NEW YORK: Patrice Tanaka, chief counselor and creative strategist at PadillaCRT, has departed the firm to launch career coaching company Joyful Planet.
Tanaka started working on Joyful Planet as a side project last year, but started focusing on it full-time last month. Her title is chief joy officer, and she is based in New York.
Tanaka told PRWeek that she has 10 clients on-board. She added that she considers herself a business and life strategist, and through Joyful Planet she will focus on helping people and groups achieve their purpose in life.
"What has made me successful in PR is my critical thinking and creative problem-solving abilities, and [I am] applying those in service of helping individuals and organizations identify and live their purpose in a more purposeful way," Tanaka said. "I am really focused on helping people create a more joyful life for themselves in every area from their personal to professional life."
She added that her ultimate goal is to "create a more joyful planet."
Tanaka is targeting clients ranging from recent graduates trying to find their way in the world to PR executives to stay-at-home moms trying to reenter the work force.
"Purpose-driven organizations are much more successful than organizations focused purely on profit," she said. "If every individual was purpose driven, they could perform to their highest and greatest potential."
Tanaka said she started questioning her own purpose after 9/11, which she said left her "very depressed and in a malaise." In early 2002, she saw an executive coach, who taught her how to find and proactively live her purpose.
"I found that my purpose was to choose joy in my life every single day, to be mindful of that joy, and to share that joy with others," Tanaka said. "That led me to ballroom dancing, which I had never done before, which led me to write a book on what I have learned from ballroom dancing."
That promoted Tanaka to sell her firm, Patrice Tanaka & Co., in 2005 to Carter Ryley Thomas Public Relations & Marketing with the goal of "creating a bigger national agency with greater capabilities."
Her goal was further realized in 2013, when Padilla Speer Beardsley acquired CRT/tanaka and became PadillaCRT.
"[Tanaka] led the way for hundreds of women in communications," said Lynn Casey, CEO of PadillaCRT, in an emailed statement. "Her legacy includes a deep commitment to humanity in the workplace and high standards, and in those respects and more, her legacy will continue at PadillaCRT."
Tanaka left her role as chief counselor and creative strategist at PadillaCRT on August 31 but is continuing to consult for the firm on a three-month agreement.
"I love having an ongoing relationship with the agency I helped to cofound," she said, adding that no one will replace her at PadillaCRT.
This story was updated on October 6 with comment from Casey.