Written by Jan Jaben-Eilon Tuesday, November 02 2010
Snapshot: Marlene J. Waldock
Marlene J. Waldock owns New Jersey-based 1st Impression Communications, a strategies and solutions company founded in 1987. Six years ago, she launched a women’s initiative entitled Because We Are Women: Celebrating Possibilities. The purpose is to assemble women from all walks of life in a safe, encouraging, and comfortable environment that offers personal reflection, group interaction, and inspiring stories. The proposed outcome is to identify a vision for the future, release negative forces and limitations, be inspired by other women, find positive support, and take a step closer to becoming the person the members long to be.
In December, Waldock will be the keynote speaker at the Merck Global Women’s Initiative quarterly meeting, which will be broadcast worldwide.
She studied psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and marketing and advertising at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Womenetics: Why did you launch Because We Are Women?
Marlene Waldock: I relocated to New Jersey in 1994 and began getting involved in women’s organizations. As a result, I recognized the need that women have to be inspired and empowered to move forward in their lives. Today, with the ever-growing women business-owner population, there is so much about starting and growing a business and not enough about getting back to who you really are. In 2003 I attended an Oprah Live Your Best Life program and decided that I wanted to be on the stage to help women – so I created Because We Are Women. The focus of the initiative is to talk about who you are, not what you do, and empower all women to find and honor their true selves.
Womenetics: How does Because We Are Women actually work? It sounds like this is something that can’t be done over the phone or long distance. Do you have chapters set up around the country, or what?
Waldock: Currently, BWAW operates in New Jersey with the possibility of creating an online community. From 2004 to 2008, we held an annual symposium, which was a full day of inspiration. Currently BWAW hosts monthly Inspiration Breakfasts that provide an engaging, comfortable setting for women to be who they are and want to be. The morning offers different topics and the opportunity for women to speak their minds.
Womenetics: Tell me about the Because We Are Women TV pilot? Why did you develop a TV show? Will we be watching it soon?
Waldock: I had the privilege for five years of hosting a business show in New Jersey entitled New Jersey Business. Combining that experience with my desire to empower women, I was fortunate to meet Academy Award-nominated producer Corinna Sager of Lifestyle International Productions, who liked the idea of a women’s show and offered to work on it with me. She brought in Figure 5 Productions, and together we created a pilot. In June, we were nominated as Top TV Pilot at the Hoboken Film Festival. We are currently marketing the program and hope to have it on TV in the very near future.
Womenetics: What did you do before starting 1st Impression?
Waldock: Prior to the launching of 1st Impression, I spent 15 years in corporate America in sales and training. I traveled the country for a Fortune 100 company, conducting sales and merchandising workshops to retailers. In addition I worked as the marketing communications director of a startup long distance company in Atlanta. Recognizing the need that small business had to market more effectively, when the company merged, 1st Impression was born. Initially, I provided marketing communication, advertising, and print services. Upon relocating to New Jersey, I began to shift the focus to more communication skills training.
Womenetics: What did you grow up wanting to be?
Waldock: My first goal was to be an adolescent psychologist. Although I ultimately did not pursue that route, I feel that I am using my psychology background to help women today.
Womenetics: What’s the best advice you can give women who want to accomplish something in their lives?
Waldock: Give yourself permission to be all that you can be. Follow your dreams, and dream big. Ask for help and align yourself with women of like-mind. Be passionate, take action, and above all, believe. This is my quote: “When you believe in possibility, opportunity will find you. Then you need only to believe in yourself and everything is possible.”
Womenetics: You have said that the most pressing issue for women is equality, but that seems to put the onus on the outside world. What can women do for themselves?
Waldock: It is still a man’s world, even though it is changing. Believe in yourself, follow-up your dreams, and ask for what they want. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. If you never try you will never fail and, more importantly, you will never succeed.
Womenetics: You seem to be a very outgoing person who likes people. Are you a partygoer, or do you prefer more solitary entertainment in your down time?
Waldock: Both. I love to get dressed up and go to events where I can meet exciting and engaging people. I also like quiet time.
Jan Jaben-Eilon was a founding staff writer of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Since then, she has been the international editor of Advertising Age magazine and has written for such publications as The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Journalism Review, and Consumer Reports. She is the author of soon-to-be-published (There is) Life After Cancer. Jan and her husband have homes in Atlanta and Jerusalem.