1. Tell us a little bit about yourself including your time as Director of the non-profit organization, F.E.M.A.L.E and founder of Women@work . I began my public relations and marketing career in New York City in the restaurant/hotel business. Later, I became a national sales leader in a well-known consumer company where I was asked to sit on various committees which concentrated on communications and marketing issues. After moving toWestchesterCounty, I became Director of F.E.M.A.L.E. where, in addition to my Director’s responsibilities, I ran a public relations campaign which brought some much needed attention to the nationally based not-for-profit.  F.E.M.A.L.E. stood for Formerly Employed Mother’s At the Leading Edge which helped transition mothers from full time employment to full time motherhood.  I put a board in place, created a Mom’s night out and brought in speakers that would educate and entertain the members…everything from Pediatrician’s talking about burns to local politicians.

 Later as a resident of Fairfield, Connecticut, I was the founder and facilitator of Women@Work which required branding work, numerous public relations campaigns, and the management of varied marketing events in order to get the community based organization off the ground.  The mission of Women@Work was to help women find their passion in their life’s work.  Speakers from around the world came and educated us…refugees from Sierra Leone to speakers educating us on the long term ill effects of refined sugar…everything was covered which allowed us to think about our lives and how to follow our dreams.  We also did a major fundraiser which raised money to enhance technology at a local women’s shelter in order to help abused women both on and off line. Once I found my replacement for running Women@Work , I formed Creative Concepts Consultants which specializes in my passion: public relations, marketing and new media.  In addition to Creative Concepts Consultants, I , with my vision of bridging the gap between the business and tech worlds, have organized, with my team, and presented the Business Smart Tools Conference.

2. What do you enjoy most about your PR, Marketing and New Media? I love to understand each clients’ mission and goals and then help them make it all happen by using PR, Marketing and New Media…nothing is better than increased sales based on our efforts!

3. What are some of the trends you are noticing in your profession/industry? The trends are very exciting.  Good old fashioned communication is at its height of popularity through blogs, emails, social networks like myspace, facebook and twitter and of course video.  We use every channel possible to help our clients reach their customer and it all begins with a simple conversation.

4. Do you or have you participated in partnering/strategic alliances and if so, tell us about the experience (or give us one example, if many)? We are just entering such a partnership and it seems to be very promising simply because we, our companies, enhance each other.  As a boutique firm, we need to count on others to make a job happen so partnerships are very important and the communication and flexibility between us is imperative.

5. Let’s talk about the community-based organizations your company supports.  Which one(s) you work with and why you choose them. Right now we are working with a couple organizations.  One is the Fairfield  Theater Company who has struggled for a couple of years now but is starting to break out in a very exciting way.  The staff are not only hard workers but they are dedicated and have truly changed the face of  Fairfield CT for the better and we want to support that!  We have also recently become a sponsor at The Cardinal Sheehan Center because they are working hard to support kids and their families.  For the holidays, we donated money in our clients’ name to one local organization, Micro Credit Businesses, Inc. and Women for Peace which is an international effort for women through Alternative Gifts International.

We choose these organizations because they are working hard to do something solid for the community..beyond that the choice becomes gut instinct on who can make a big long term impact and how can we support that.  We also try to match the mission of the project or organization to our mission which is how we chose Women for Peace.

6. What books are you currently reading?  Sadly, none.  I read constantly online to keep up with the world and read NY Magazine, Crains and BusinessWeek to keep up too.  I read kids books with my children if that counts.

7. What one thing would you like to learn this year? Great question…I would like to learn why Facebook is so mysterious and big brotherish when it comes to corporate accounts.

8. Do you have a secret passion or obsession? If so, do tell!  Nothing secret about what I am passionate about…I love my business and I love my family…nothing else matters (ok, a great thai massage is up there too).

What else would like readers to know about you?  About your company? My company is fabulous because I have a vision of how to use pr, marketing and social media tools so every client has a way to reach out that is new and innovative and solid…nothing does it better than a conversation through a press release or a blog.  What also makes my company special are the people working for me who are, for the most part, women (sorry Justin, Alex and Chris) who need and have found flexibility with Creative Concepts.  Because we have a virtual office, people have the opportunity to work when they can and at their own pace…this has created very loyal and hardworking employees who are the core of the success for Creative Concepts! 

You can learn more about Valorie Luther at www.creative-conceptsllc.com