Grey Goose Notable young professionals and entrepreneurs are influential tastemakers who have made it beyond their years and, though their careers are still evolving, are now able to enjoy the success and life they have created. These selected individuals share how they got to where they are today, how they are able to enjoy what they have earned, where they love to travel, how they entertain, and how they celebrate all that life has to offer. Toronto’s “it” PR person for over a decade, Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski successfully balances a thriving lifestyle and entertainment boutique public relations firm, rock-it promotions, a marriage, a three-and-a-half-year-old child, dining out, and maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
In January 2000, Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski launched rock-it promotions, a top lifestyle and entertainment-based public relations firm in Toronto. rock-it’s assortment of clients range from notable TV and film talent, to some of the top brands in everything from fashion to house and home. Debra has worked with talent like as Helen Mirren, Woody Harrelson, Jane Seymour, Lord Richard Attenborough, Joaquin Phoenix and James Brown, just to name a few. rock-it promotions’ clients include Frigidaire, Electrolux, the Drake Hotel, President’s Choice Home, Fashion Design Council of Canada and many more, all neatly categorized under the headings of talent, lifestyle, hot spot, fundraisers, theatre and film/TV on the firm’s website.
Now a seasoned expert in the world of public relations, Debra has appeared on multiple television shows, including MuchMoreMusic, eTalk, Toronto Living and Global News. Increasingly a go-to source, she has also been interviewed and featured in publications such as National Post, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and more. Debra reaches dedicated, engaged audiences through blogging for Huffington Post Canada, Inside Toronto and Toronto Special Events. In 2012, she was voted the PR Professional of the Year at the inaugural BizBash Toronto Readers’ Choice Awards. In just twelve years, rock-it promotions, which began with Debra as the sole employee, has become one of the top boutique public relations firms in the country.
If there were one location everyone must see, what would it be?
Costa Rica. I got married there almost seven years ago and it’s a magical place. The beaches are incredible, the food fresh and clean and the backdrop of the rainforest and the ocean can’t be beat. Two places I’d recommend are Casa Chameleon in Mais Pais (book via Trip Advisor) where we spent a week exploring the area and seeing different beaches. Ylang, Ylang in Montezuma is unlike any place I’ve ever stayed. You have to drive in on the beach about 10 mins to get there. Yoga, amazing food, monkeys at your window and sleep to the sound of the ocean. Unplug and enjoy paradise.
What is your general perspective on life? Advice for fellow young professionals?
My general perspective is to work hard and play hard. Be loyal to those you love (and who love you). Don’t put anything in writing that you don’t want to come back to you.
Young professionals: work hard for what you want. Loyalty and trust are the qualities I want most in an employee. First one in, last one to stay does count. Don’t complain (it’s called work for a reason), say thanks to your boss for doing nice things for you (it counts, too) and try to be a positive person at least 90 per cent of the time. Use your private time to be a bitch if you want, but when somebody is paying you, don’t do it in his or her house.
Who do you admire most?
I admire different people for the different roles they play in my life. My dad for his incredible financial smarts, my sisters Linda for her big brain and Karen for her unconditional love, Jennifer, my best friend of 30 years+, for her strength, my husband (filmmaker Matt Sadowski) for his humour, creativity and loyalty.
Why were the early stages of your career worth what you are now able to enjoy?
A career is a journey and a big part of your life. Every year has brought me new experiences and new clients who have inevitably changed my story. I was solo when I started and now I have an incredible team around me who I adore and who have my back. That’s been the most amazing part of my growth.
What makes the best host at a dinner party?
Being a great host is easy – provide good food and drink, and plenty of it. Good tunes and nice lighting. Invite a fun group of chatty, friendly friends/colleagues. Don’t worry about the mess. Pour, feed, go.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
I go to as many different restaurants as I can because there are a lot of new spaces to check out right now, but Woodlot, Black Hoof and Stockyards (five dangerous minutes from my house) are foolproof. Just went to Fat Radish in NYC and I can still taste it.
What’s your favourite drink?
Vodka martini, straight up, 3 olives.
One thing always in your fridge?
Hummus, cheese, bread, egg whites, tofu, diet coke, beer and champagne.