When and how did you and Karla meet?
I had the pleasure to meet Karla for the first time in November 1996, when I got my job with MobiFon in the Sales & Marketing Department where Karla was the Vice President.
MobiFon just started its operations on the Romanian market and our office building was not yet finished, so temporary offices have been arranged in “Hotel Parc”. I was among the very first employees hired and Karla was leading the entire department.
What projects did you work on together?
Initially, I was part of the Advertising team being involved in all kinds of projects related to our very first campaigns created under the new brand – “Connex”.
Then I was involved in Karla’s unique project called “MyX” which was a clothing line created for cell phone users. At the same time, another of Karla’s ideas was hitting the market – the “Connex Cookies” (which at the time were novelty sweets for Romania).
And then, Karla offered me the chance to be the first member of the newly created Event Marketing Department. Soon we had an entire team and for 2 years we traveled together with a group of young talented actors to open Connex branches in major Romanian cities (including the littoral). Through various fun events and theatrical performances we attracted curious audiences who turned into loyal customers, being mesmerized by the new GSM technology and our Connex cell phones, services and offers.
In Bucharest, one of our most successful events was “The Night of the Ad Eaters”.
My last job working for Karla was related to handling the Marketing Department budgets and financial matters.
I was also in love with her dogs Pushkin and Laguna and I used to babysit them when Karla and Al were traveling – this was one of my favorite things to do because I didn’t have dogs and I wished so much to have a Great Dane.
When did you know that you had moved from work colleagues to friends?
To be honest this transition from being my boss to being her friend never crossed my mind.
For me, throughout the years, she remains the wonderful VP and mentor I used to work for, I admire and I dearly miss, who supported and advised me during the early years of my professional development.
Karla is a wind of high seas….
Tall, slim, bright, someone who keeps you wondering… is she a charming thinker or an intelligent charmer? A passionate leader or an eternal idealist? A vibrant inspiration or an enthusiastic visionary?
And then you realize that Karla is a potpourri of all of the above and that you can never fully grasp her because she is always moving, evolving, inspiring….
To say that I am deeply honored to be considered one of her friends would be a gross understatement. I would be so happy to know that she thinks of me this way.
What have you done since working with Karla? Any work and life highlights that you can share with us?
After leaving Connex in February 2000, I left Romania and started traveling and working overseas; first in Bahrain for 2 years, then in Kuwait and Iraq and later on for the American Business Council in Kuwait.
I also created my own special events and shows to raise money to support the 2 animal shelters in Kuwait who were full of abused cats and dogs, monkeys and horses.
Animals are the love of my life.
Karla says that you and Scott have lived all over. Can you tell us where and how you ended up in Orlando?
It’s true…. Scott and I met in Iraq.
We traveled together extensively throughout the world and we lived in Kuwait for 14 years and also in the United States.
My father was a mathematician and I grew up in Morocco with him and my mom so I really enjoyed living in the Middle East.
Scott and I got married in Las Vegas and because of my passion for everything Disney, for lizards, palm trees and alligators, it seemed that Orlando would be the perfect place for us to live permanently so that is how we ended up moving here together with our 6 plump, rescued cats we brought with us from Kuwait.
What does your life look like now?
Between annoying Scott and spoiling our kitties, I am working on starting a Greeting Cards business using my designs.
I love art in all its forms.
And then later on in the future, I am planning to create clothing for children and teens with my designs. My desire is to be able to use some of the proceeds from my business to support different charities, mainly animals and children, the way I used to do in Kuwait.