Meet another Women of Influence New York honoree: Debra Joester! Debra is President and CEO of The Joester Loria Group, which is the architect of dozens of award-winning strategic brand extension programs as well as licensing innovation in entertainment, emerging sectors and special events. We spoke with Debra about her involvement in this year’s luncheon and awards that will benefit the Foundation’s breast and ovarian cancer research programs. See what Debra has to say below, and learn more about the 4th Annual Women of Influence Luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City by visiting www.tjmfwomenofinfluence.org.
- What does it mean to you to be chosen as a Woman of Influence by the T.J. Martell Foundation?
I was honored and humbled when I learned I was selected to be recognized as a Woman of Influence in 2016.The TJ Martell Foundation is important to me on a very personal level. As a parent, Tony Martell’s story and commitment to finding a cure is truly inspirational. As a woman and mother of a daughter, I consider finding a cure for breast and ovarian cancer of the utmost importance. Over the years, I have lost dear friends to breast cancer and to AIDS, but I am hopeful as I watch friends winning their battle against those diseases every day. Those victories and finding a cure are supported by funding the TJ Martell Foundation provides for research. Beyond the work TJ Martell does, I am thrilled to reinforce the message of hope and empowerment that is the centerpiece of the TJ Martell’s Women of Influence luncheon. Past honorees have truly inspired me and I hope I can use my story and experience to do the same.
- What piece of advice would you give to young women today to inspire them to follow their dreams?
Follow your passions: Find something you are passionate about and do it as well as you can.
Celebrate being smart: Be confident in what you know and do well. Take ownership of your accomplishments.
Curiosity keeps you relevant: Never stop learning or asking questions, and stay informed about our complex and ever-changing world.
Develop People Skills: Be a team player and a good collaborator. Build relationships and trust with your peers, as well as those that are senior and junior.
Don’t forget your personal life: Make time for family, friends, fitness and fun. Balance is hard to find but it is important to make balance a priority.
Give Back: Mentor, volunteer, and join in whenever you can. There are so many ways to participate in causes that are important to you!
- What steps do you take to make health and wellness a priority in your life?
I love my hectic New York lifestyle but it can make healthy choices more challenging. Work and personal commitments fill my days, so creating healthy habits is really important to me. I am a foodie, but I find eating more fruit and vegetables makes me feel better and still gives me delicious food options. I have never smoked and don’t drink soda, don’t eat sugary foods or indulge in unhealthy lifestyle choices. I believe women cannot afford to miss their annual visits to their doctors, so I schedule my check-ups and doctor’s visits the way I would schedule any other important meeting or event. I play tennis in the summer and walk all year around but I don’t make enough time to go to the gym. I am challenging myself to make time for exercise but it’s not easy!