With all this talk of IPOs and conferences cropping up like dandelions, you've got to wonder how the average measly computer geek turns into a slick new media executive so effortlessly. This Ugly Duckling story isn't just happenstance, however. Usually there's some talented person behind coaxing the charm and wit out of these brilliant 20-somethings. You know the saying, "behind every great man is a woman," and behind a lot of these smooth-talking Alley-ites is Mary Dawne Arden. She's not your typical coach though. No! Ms. Arden's extensive background in the arts, business and international marketing enables her to synthesize and refine, examine the options, and search for inspirational vision that will promote interest in whatever the strategic direction is for the person, product, company or organization. Creating and reinforcing the well-defined image is her specialty. She does career counseling, prepares people for job interviews, sales presentations, public speaking, media interviews and road shows for their IPOs.
Ms. Arden was a marketing director for international cosmetic companies, is a professor in New York University's Department of Culture and Communication, and was a performer, actress and host and producer of her own TV show and numerous documentaries. After a tour with a musical theater company, she lived and worked in Europe as a successful photographic and runway fashion model for the top French and Italian couture designers. By developing her own immersion techniques to become fluent in French and Italian she began to work in films as an actress with cool directors like Federico Fellini!
From Europe to California, Ms. Arden created and hosted fashion segments for the noon news and produced and did commentaries for big special events and charity fashion shows. In Mexico City, she once again taught herself Spanish and created a modeling, self-improvement and acting school. She also hosted TV documentaries in Spanish and created major fashion special events of top designers for a leading department store. Four years in the Caribbean and Latin America as a marketing and management executive gave her more cross-cultural experience. She spent a year in Japan in 1992-1993 to create business-training programs for Japanese executives to bridge cultural and communication differences. Today Arden is dedicated to bringing inter-personal communication skills into the public educational system as well as Media Literacy. With these efforts, she hopes to teach children, from pre-school through high school, critical thinking skills to apply to all forms of media so they begin to analyze the subliminal meanings. She also believes the more the business community becomes involved in supplying internships, apprenticeships and scholarships, it will help our society to have more well balanced highly skilled workers for the future. Arden believes everyone can make a positive difference if they have a desire and the commitment to do so!
(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)