Anne Colaiacovo, Hall of Femme 2019

President, North America, Allison+Partners

What would you do if you weren't in PR?
I would be an interior designer or a registered dietician.

Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.
All my recent fist-pumping victories have been around the successes of my team – watching people get that promotion they really worked for or winning that pitch they gave everything to.

When was the last time you endured a real "agony of defeat" moment? What did you learn from it?
It was a few years back, not long after I came back from parental leave after the birth of my second child. I was leading our team in a very competitive pitch. It was a long, grueling pitch process, and it simply took all I had. In round two we flubbed and, unfortunately, couldn’t recover enough in round three to win. The whole process really took the wind out of my sails. After reflection, I realized that at a point I took my foot off the gas for a brief moment, but that was all it took. Suffice it to say, I learned my lesson.

How long ago was the last time you took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
Every year I take a two-week vacation. The first week I spend with my husband and children at the beach, and the second I take for myself to do things that are just for me.

What is it about this industry that frustrates the hell out of you sometimes?
Our industry is still often misunderstood and underestimated. We are still put in a box and asked to stay in our lane when the talent in our industry is as good as, if not better than, any other communications and marketing discipline.

When have you seen this industry or your organization really shine?
Allison+Partners is at its best when we bring our people together, whether for training in our Allison University or sharing and planning in our senior leadership meetings.

That said, I was incredibly proud of our agency when we instituted our updated paternal leave policy. It’s best in class and one of the reasons why so many of our working moms are able to be successful in our agency.

Words to live by?
"Just keep swimming." – Finding Nemo

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
Give yourself a break. Being driven by fear and anxiety doesn’t make you great. It’s when you clear the worry that you actually make space in your brain for the creativity.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you as you enter?
Your grandmother is waiting for you.

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