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Elizabeth Gordon interviews Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) – on the Chic Perspectives Show – Samantha Lueder of Ant Hill Communications, Carolyn Saffold Wilson of Womble Carlyle and Tonya Creekmore, Vice President of General Growth Properties


It was my pleasure this week to have on 3 fabulous businesswomen from CREW Atlanta, Commercial Real Estate Women.

First up was Samantha Lueder of Ant Hill Communications. For more than fourteen years, Sam Lueder has been managing consumers’ perceptions of brands through integrated marketing and Public Relations programs.

With a supportive and collegiate management style, Sam’s strength lies in being able to work and secure substantial results for brands within both the corporate atmosphere, some of the worlds best-known agencies and now with her own boutique agency – Ant Hill Communications.

Her love of the actual work of Public Relations and marketing drove her to start her own company, Ant Hill, in 2009, with a corporate mandate of providing big brand experience, ideas and contacts to small, entrepreneurial companies looking to do some good and to make a difference.   In this vein, Ant Hill aims to partner with new companies and people, who are excited about their brands and willing to make loyalists out of their supporters and brand ambassadors out of their customers – the sweet spot of all that Ant Hill can achieve.

Sam started her career and secured the fundamental knowledge of Public Relations with Hill & Knowlton in London. Past credits include Corporate Communications Manager for Philips Consumer Electronics, and Marketing Manager for Song, Delta Airlines low-cost, high style airline.  She’s done marketing and PR worked with clients including Motorola, Cheerwine, Applebee’s restaurants, Earthlink and Mansfield Plumbing, Publix and Sports Authority.

Sam talked about what CREW is doing in terms of programing and events and why she was attracted to the organization, as well as her unique perspective on why an organization for women in commercial real estate is so necessary.

Next up was Carolyn Saffold Wilson of Womble Carlyle

Carolyn Wilson advises banks, companies and individual clients on commercial finance transactions and real estate matters.  She specializes in commercial loan workouts, evaluation and enforcement of lender’s rights and repayment/recovery efforts to maximize the client’s return. Her practice includes resolution of problematic unsecured loans, as well as loans secured by business assets, special purpose buildings, offices, shopping centers, condominium and other multifamily complexes, residential developments and industrial projects. She also has experience in identifying and solving title issues that might adversely affect the value and marketability of real property collateral.

Carolyn is a a CREW past president and has been active for many years as an officer, board member, legal counsel and speaker for the Atlanta Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, a national organization of executive women in the commercial real estate industry. She is a recipient of the CREW Distinguished Achievement Award and has been named to Atlanta Magazine’s 2008 and 2009 Georgia Super Lawyer lists.

Carolyn is a magna cum laude graduate of  Duke University and Washington & Lee University School of Law.

Carolyn talked about what a impact CREW has made on her career and her advice for other businesswomen.

Tonya Creekmore, Vice President  of General Growth Properties was my next guest.   Two years ago Creekmore joined General Growth Properties as Vice President responsible for securing catalyst anchor retailers for re-development of regional malls throughout the Southeast. Prior to joining General Growth Properties, Creekmore was Partner at North American Properties where she was responsible for development and retailer relations throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Creekmore spent ten years as a Senior Leasing Representative at Ben Carter Properties before North American Properties.

She currently serves on the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network national board representing over 8,000 commercial real estate professionals and has consistently volunteered for International Council of Shopping Centers nationally and locally.

Tonya’s career includes an impressive list of awards, professional affiliations and accomplishments, including being a 40 Under 40 Atlanta Business Chronicle 2007 Up and Comers in Atlanta and Commercial Real Estate Women – Atlanta (CREW):  Past President 2006 (the year Atlanta hosted the National CREW Convention).  She was the CREW Representative on Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s Grant Making Committee, an active member and Co-Chair of yjr International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2004 Southeast Conference and Chair 2005 Southeast Conference (approximately 4,000 attendees). Tonya is also a CREW Network National Board Member.

Tonya has spoken at a variety of conferences and CREW events talking about Re-Development Trends and Opportunities, Retail Development in Atlanta,  Growth in North Seminole County and has also a frequent panelist at CREW meetings over the years.

Tonya talked about her experiences with CREW and the substantial impact the organization has had on her professional development and network.

It was such a pleasure to get to know these amazing and accomplished women and to shine the Chic Spotlight on all that CREW is doing for the women in commercial real estate.

Thanks for tuning in, be sure to check out the Chic Perspectives Aftershow of this episode on the Chic Entrepreneur Facebook Fanpage

Until next time, wishing you all Chic Success,


Elizabeth Gordon interviews Jennifer Shields Founder & President, Posh Tot Events and Susan Rae and Gale Middleton of roam Atlanta on the Chic Perspectives Show, co-hosted by Laura Scholz of Scholz Communications and CRAVE Atlanta

Susan Rae, Gale Middleton, Elizabeth Gordon, Jennifer Shields, Laura Scholz

Susan Rae, Gale Middleton, Elizabeth Gordon, Jennifer Shields, Laura Scholz

Yet another fabulous line up on the Chic Perspectives Show this week.  Laura Scholz of Scholz Communications and CRAVE Atlanta was my guest cohost this week on the Chic Perspectives Show.  So we got to chat about all that’s up with CRAVE and the great events going on around Atlanta.  For more on all that go to

Our first guest was Jennifer Shields Founder & President, Posh Tot Events

After a 12 year corporate career in marketing Jennifer Shields left corporate America, (and all the perks) behind, to follow her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. She turned her passion for planning events into Posh Tot Events, a full service event planning company that specializes in children’s birthday parties and baby showers

Jennifer talked about why someone would hire an event planner for a kids birthday party.

  • Posh Tot Events provides a niche service for busy moms that want to throw a great party for their children but are short on time, creativity or both!
  • Posh Tot Events takes ALL of the stress out planning a party making it fun and relaxing for the moms
  • We are offering a summer Princess Camp this year for girls that is targeted towards 4-6 year olds with an emphasis on manners and etiquette. Registration info available at
  • We have several themes for boys as well as girls and many of our clients come back year after year and always get something fresh and new.

Be sure to check them out @

And become a friend of Posh Tot Events @

Keep up with the latest @ twitter/jenshieldsATL

Next up were the wonderful women of roam Atlanta, a one-of-a-kind business cafe and meeting space that is open to the pulic located at 5815 Windward Parkway Suite 302, Alpharetta, United States, 30005

Susan Rae, roam writer and Marketing Director and Gale Middleton, the Director of Membership @ roam Atlanta joined me in the studio.

Suan and Gale talked about how members and patrons enjoy free wifi in the cafe and can order breakfast, lunch, coffee, wine & beer.  They also have access to 8 small, medium, and large conference rooms for private meetings, seminars, and networking events.

Susan promotes roam sponsored & member events as well as launching roam’s marketing programs.  Gale provides support to members to help them grow their businesses.

I can speak from experience and say that roam offers “insanely great” meeting experiences.  f you are the kind of person who wants to maintain a professional image without paying for expensive office space or meeting clients in coffee shops, roam is the place for you.

  • roam is the only co-working and meeting space that is open to the public.
  • roam serves its patrons as a co-working spot, its members as a private meeting space and corporations as an off site meeting space, and the community with seminars, special interest groups and education.
  • roam members get marketing support as part of their membership.  They promote their events via the roam newsletter, website, social media sites and with flyers and inhouse marketing and through the Georgia Alliance of Private Clubs.
  • roam patrons meet other entrepreneurs in the cafe and at events to network, share experiences and make new connections.

Susan and Gale told us all about a new program roam just launched called the “Get a Room” campaign.  They are offering 2 hours free in a small conference room with free coffee service of their award winning custom blend – Just mention that you heard about it on the show – and stop by roam Atlanta and take advantage of this great free offer to try the place out – and get a room!

roam has also formed a relationship with Steelcase Corporation and is test driving their media:scape collaboration furniture from April 13-May 1.  They also have a new series especially for women call WE @ roam: Women Entrepreneurs, Women of Excellence and Women’s Events – Check out what’s coming up:

  • The One-page Business Plan Workshop is Wed. April 21 from 9-11am
  • Shop the Swap: Clothing & Accessory Swap – Sat April 24, 2-4pm, with dropoff 11:30-1:00pm
  • And I’m speaking there at an after hours mixer on May 6th at 6pm  – so you know that will be awesome : )

find out more about roam atlanta @ and become friends and followers @ facebook/roamatlanta and

Thanks again to my co-host Laura Scholz of CRAVE Atlanta and Scholz Communications and to Pink Payments the Merchant Services for women providing Commerce with a Conscience.

Thanks to you all for listening.

Until next time

Wishing you all Chic Success,


Elizabeth Gordon interviews Bonnie Buckner Reavis CEO of Zenith Design Group and Jessie Harrison and Sara Cook founders of Choosey Chicks on The Chic Perspectives Show

Elizabeth Gordon, Bonnie Reavis, Sara Cook, Jessie Harrison

Elizabeth Gordon, Bonnie Reavis, Sara Cook, Jessie Harrison

I was thrilled to have established entrepreneur, Bonnie Buckner Reavis who is the Founder and CEO of Zenith Design Group, Inc. and Jessie Harrison and Sara Cook founders of Choosey Chicks.

Bonnie Buckner Reavis started Zenith Design Group, a full-service marketing and advertising agency, now located in historic Marietta Station in downtown Marietta 12 years ago.  The award-winning agency is home to a remarkable group of creative, business-minded talent that fuses a keen business sense with innovative design. As CEO, she is responsible for sustaining and growing client relationships, providing strategic counsel, and managing client programs.

Recent claims to fame include:

  • 2008 Top 25 Small Business of the Year – Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • 2009 Top 25 Small Business of the Year – Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • Top Ten Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Firms – 2008, Atlanta Business Chronicle
  • Bonnie was recently recognized as “Top 20 under 40” by Cobb Life Magazine – May 2010

Bonnie’s story is fabulous – just like she is.   She shared with us:

  • How Zenith Design Group started.
  • How long she ran the company by herself and when and how she knew she needed to grow the company.
  • The changes that occurred when the company began to experience significant growth.
  • Key factors that have propelled the growth of Zenith.
  • How the recent economic downtown has affected Zenith and how they effectively positioned themselves.
  • Stepping into bigger numbers and assembling the right team.
  • Why it’s important to take risks and choosing the pace of financial growth you are comfortable with.
  • Never losing sight of the big picture and maintaining balance.

Bonnie shared all kinds of great advice and perspective – and she is so savvy and chic – I just loved getting to know her.

For more about Zenith Design Group and Founder and CEO Bonnie Buckner Reavis you can call the direct office line: 770.425.5169 or visit

Zenith Design Group, Inc.

The Carmichael Building at Marietta Station

125 Church St; Suite 110

Marietta, GA 30060

Now to get to know my next guests – the Choosey Chicks you have to hear their story:

Three Chicks began their discussion on the importance of making positive choices.All were determined to get the message out that from an early age, girls have choices. And women of ALL ages can be empowered by the choices they make throughout their life!

I was lucky enough to have 2 of these 3 fabulous chicks in the studio with me today.

Jessie Harrison had a background in the apparel industry and
thought that there was no better way to make this statement than to wear it.

Sara Cook had a background in fashion design, immediately named the company Choosey Chicks and worked on their “vision”.

As soon as you meet these awesome ladies, you can feel the genuine and heartfelt  message their company is founded upon.  They wasted no time in getting this powerful message out quickly, creatively and memorably. These shoppers extraordinaire decided that high end graphics on quality apparel would best carry the message – that we are all responsible for our own choices.

These shirts are super cool and a must have for summer.  Versatile light, high quality breathable material grants any of their shirts – gets instant top billing in my Tshirts pile – I will wear mine everywhere!

The message is one of freedom, responsibility and authenticity and I love the live and own your truth philosophy.  The shirts become a symbol of your decision to own your own power and happiness in your life.

Not only are the T’s comfy and cute, they also pack a powerful message that will make you mindful throughout your day of the choices you are making.

Check out Choosey Chicks @


Thanks so much to Bonnie Buckner Reavis, Founder and CEO of Zenith Design Group, a full-service marketing and award-winning advertising agency located in historic Marietta Station in downtown Marietta and Jessie Harrison and Sara Cook of Choosey Chicks for an awesome show.  Be sure to check out their website and get friendly on facebook with ‘em too.

Thanks also to our show sponsor Pink Payments – Merchant Services for women, by women and supporting women.  Need to accept credit cards? Want a rate quote? Pink Payments is all about Conscious Commerce when you sign up with them, they’ll make a donation to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. which seeks to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer.  When you become a Pink Payments merchant, your business will enjoy quality payment processing services, outstanding customer support and the latest equipment and software to help keep your business running smooth and efficient.  Check out and tell them The Chic Entrepreneur sent you.

Thanks for tuning in to The Chic Perspectives Show.

Until next time…

Wishing you all Chic Success,


Elizabeth Gordon interviews Kimberly Wilson, Designer, Yogini, & Entrepreneur, Tranquil Space Foundation & Dallas author & CEO Shama Kabani author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing & President of The Marketing Zen Group

Today on The Chic Perspectives Show I had on Tranquilista, Kimberly Wilson from D.C. and Dallas author Shama Kabani as my guests.   Kimberly Wilson, Designer, Yogini, and Entrepreneur, Tranquil Space Foundation and Shama Kabini is the author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing.

Thanks for today’s show goes to our sponsor – Pink Payments, Merchant Services for Women, by Women and Supporting Women .

Kimberly Wilson is the author of Tranquilista and Hip Tranquil Chick. She is also the designer of eco-fashion line TranquiliT, and the founder of the Tranquil Space Foundation, which promotes yoga, creativity, and leadership in women and girls. She lives in Washington, DC. Visit her online at

Kimberly talked about what a Tranquilista is – and why creative women of today want to embrace this philosophy.  A Tranquilista blends mind/body philosophy, creativity, and entrepreneurship to help women live a life full of extravagance grounded in mindfulness. Kimberly Wilson aims to help women realize — and revel in — their unique potential to make a difference through enlightened work and mindful play.

Kimberly explained what enlightened work looks like and feels like and how to use mindful play to make yourself more productive and more joy-filled.

Enlightened work is about forgoing spreadsheets and stodgy office politics to forge ahead with a new way of designing our lives as self-defined entrepreneurs who care about blending balance, bliss, and beauty. Kimberly uses the word entrepreneur, to  refer to today’s woman who wants to leave a legacy through her daily actions, whether working for a nonprofit, launching a vegan cafe, or being a full-time activist.

Mindful play allows the incorporation of art, creativity, style, and dreams into one’s spiritual journey. Kimberly says to think of play as the icing on top of a yummy cupcake – it makes the whole experience more enjoyable and balanced. Mindfulness allows one’s playful spirit to remained focused on the world-at-large and making a difference.

Kimberly focused an entire chapter of her book on style – so you know I was all over that.  We discussed how style ties into work and play.

Looking good and feeling good often goes hand in hand. “When I don a flattering outfit with a dash of the perfect of accessories and hint of make-up plus dab of eau de parfum, I hold my head high and put my best self forward.”  Here here sister!

In addition to fashion, Kimberly’s book also addresses decluttering, communicating clearly, home décor, beauty rest, bathing rituals, nourishment, exercise, and entertaining. Style plays into how you present yourself to the world in fashion, communication, home and office environment, and more. It’s a defining aspect of who you are and how you express your creativity.

Kimberly explained how she finds balance while wearing so many different hats

She says she no longer sees a distinction between my work and play. During down time you’ll find her reading business books, practicing yoga, or thumbing through fashion magazines – all of which are applicable to her career and professional life and fuel her passion. During work she’ll be sipping tea, engaging in social media, and blogging about her latest adventure. Her work and play commingle in a coherent, holistic way. She admits she’s also a sucker for self-care: regular massage, oodles of sleep, yoga, and journal writing.  – What a different world it would be if businesswomen had more pride in self care and a little less in being a workaholic or a Type A personality  – I talked about this very thing at a Panta Rei meeting recently.

Lastly Kimberly and I got into the reasons why she emphasizes spirituality and do-gooding as lifestyle essentials.

Kimberly holds that spirituality and do-gooding are foundational building blocks to launching a career and life mindfully. By taking time to feed your spiritual self through simple acts such as time in nature, meditation, journal writing, and yoga, you’re able to know yourself better and find your center. Similarly, by giving back to others and striving to let your thoughts, words, and actions have a powerful impact on those around you, you are able to make better decisions, be a leader, and, ultimately, leave a legacy.

It was such an awesomely Tranquil experience having you on Kimberly thanks so much for sharing your story and your tips with our listeners.

Find out more and keep in touch with Kimberly

@Tranqulista; Twitter

and on the Tranqulista Fan Page on Facebook

Next up on the Chic Perspectives Show was Shama Kabani.  Shama is President of The Marketing Zen Group, a full service online marketing firm that serves clients around the world. She has been dubbed a “millennial master of the universe” and “online marketing shaman” by Fast Company magazine. In 2009, Business Week honored her as one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25 in North America.

Shama holds a masters degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and prides herself on being a constant learner. Her website,, has turned into a high-traffic destination for people looking for advice on how to successfully market businesses online. Companies around the world have hired Shama and her fast-growing digital media agency to guide them through the world of social media marketing. She also hosts a popular web TV show on new media marketing at http://Shama.TV, and is regularly quoted on marketing and technology trends by broadcast, print, and online media.

Shama shared some valuable perspective on social media strategy and how businesses can leverage the tools to build customer relationships.

Shama says to remember that social media marketing comes LAST – after you have a great website, a solid product strategy, and a clear product direction.  Nobody “starts tweeting today” and makes a million.

It was interesting to here her talk about how traditional marketing tools are almost certain to fail in the world of social media – because social media is a consumer-driven environment, not a marketing platform.

Even if you don’t have a social media plan – Shama says social media is already influencing your customers.  It’s the great equalizer, that amplifies every opinion (positive or negative), where a college student in Austin can have as much impact as a magazine reviewer in New York City, depending on their network and their relevance to your target market.

A good rule of thumb – remember your mother’s advice:  treat people with respect, and don’t try to hide who you are.  (There are multiple case studies, and admonitions in the book, about this because one of the most common mistakes newcomers to social media make is to forget basic etiquette, or try to hide their identity to create “false positive” reviews or comments.  Two short examples:  you’d never run up to a stranger at a trade show, shove your business card in their hand, and then run away without saying anything – but people will sometimes do just that by posting their contact info or a product pitch on someone’s blog, Facebook page, or Twitter DM, without realizing that it’s the exact same thing.  Businesses that enter social media through the back door after a negative review on a site like Yelp, often try to “Googlewash” the negative reviews with positive reviews they write themselves under false names.  That ISN’T the way to handle negative consumer postings.)

Shama shared that for most businesses, it isn’t a question of whether or not they are going to make social media a part of their marketing efforts at some point.  It’s a question of when they are going to enter the conversation, and take charge of their online reputation and brand.  So what we do for our clients is show them how to get into the game, and use the Zen-like secret of success:  go with the flow, instead of trying to swim upstream.  By that, we mean using social media as a way to communicate with, educate, entertain, and open a dialog with people who may become customers (now, someday, or never) – instead of always trying to sell.  Yes, we do make money for our clients and our own business through social media marketing – and we do get customers that way.  But it is often an indirect process – someone who reads my blog, or follows me on twitter gives my name to their cousin who is looking for a web design firm, or they put our name into consideration when their company is looking for an agency, or whatever.  It’s not always a direct sales process – but is can be very profitable.

Find out more about Shama’s work, clients, book and solutions @

Be sure to keep in touch with Shama as well – she really knows what she’s talking about and is one of the leaders in this space.


twitter: @shama



Thanks Shama for coming on and bringing some much needed zen into the social media world – I love your unique perspective.  It was such a pleasure getting to know you and we look forward to hearing more from the first “live book” on social media.

Thanks again to our sponsor – Pink Payments, Merchant Services for Women, by Women and Supporting Women.

Like to pitch a guest for The Chic Perspectives Show?  Visit for media contact info.

Thanks for listening.  Until next time… wishing you all Chic Success.