Professional Profile: Carol Bloom Stevens, 2015
March 09, 2015 - Design / Build
Title: Senior vice president and director of public relations
Location: 800 Westchester Ave., Rye Brook, N.Y.
Birthplace: Yonkers, N.Y.
Education: BS in Communications at Syracuse University
First job outside of real estate: Research for business book author Mark Stevens
First job in real estate or allied field: I landed my first career job a few months out of Syracuse University's renowned Newhouse School. I was always enamored with media and thus I accepted a job at Grey Advertising buying spot times mostly for General Foods products. I learned that going to a great school is a blessing but only to a point: they aren't very good at giving career advice.
The title of "media buyer" sounded rather auspicious but in reality it was far more tactical than strategic. The good news is that it did not dull my enthusiasm for media (my dad taught me to never quit anything until I master it) and I simply segued to public relations where serendipitously I wound up serving real estate clients from developers to owners to financing companies.
What do you do now and what are you planning for the future? That early stage career change was kismet. I discovered that real estate isn't really real estate per se. It is business, creativity, physics, finance and marketing all fused into one. For the past 20 years or so I've been actively engaged with my team in developing and executing media strategies/coverage for clients as diverse as ReMax and OwnAmerica. My passion is not to simply do the same thing every day but to develop innovative approaches that fuse the power of traditional and social media for my real estate clients. I am actively developing new models that integrate the two major channels and deliver viral results.
How do you unwind from a busy day in real estate? I am one of those people that really doesn't divide my life into on the job/off the job silos. My work is a passion as is my family, reading an eclectic mix of books, being a film buff and I combine them all into one delicious stew.
Favorite book or author: Nothing touched me or opened my eyes as much as an art history class that I took my senior year in college. The professor, whose name escapes me, had written an art history book describing his travels and the art and architecture he experienced along the way. If I had to pick a single thing that I truly adore from this eye opening experience, it was to visit Florence and stand in front of the Statue of David which I had only read about in that book. The magnetism of that sculpture is absolutely breath taking.
Favorite movie: I know I should be citing some opus from someone like Stanley Kubrick's A "Clockwork Orange" or Martin Scorcese's "The Godfather," but my favorite remains a sappy little movie known as "The Holiday." It provides Zero epiphanies but it makes me feel wonderful. Whomever owns the rights knows me.
Last song you purchased/downloaded? "Welcome to New York" by Taylor Swift
One word to describe your work environment: Psychedelic J
Rules to live by in business: You can do anything you put your mind to. Never stop raising the bar, never pick the first solution that comes to mind and if at first you don't succeed try, try again.
If you could invite one person to dinner (living or dead) who would it be and where would you go? Margaret Thatcher: I would like to speak to her about the art of breaking ceilings. I would take her to a pizza joint and share a pizza with her.
What is your dream job? I think I will have several more acts in my life. Although I am in my early 60's I am far from contemplating retirement. Looking forward to my next adventure hoping it includes grandchildren. I finally got to ride in a hot air balloon this summer which was as great as I had hoped it would be. Looking forward to more adventures like that as well.