Four interviews in and Zinaejah Ozier spoke with a black leader that has a lot of inspirational advice and a very unique journey. Byron Calamese, Managing Director (NYC & DC) at Zeno Group, a global, integrated communications agency, born from PR.
Calamese expressed that in many ways, his career has been challenging due to his tendency to be an introvert and his experience as a black man in such a high position. The question of leadership brought up for Calamese a very special person in his life, his niece, who he sees as one person he’s responsible for guiding on her path to success.
“It is partly my responsibility to ensure that her journey to getting to where she wants to go is easier,” said Calamese. “It’s not that she’s not going to work hard, but I want to ensure that she has the confidence and that we instill those values in her as well as other black men and women.”
After speaking about confidence, Zinaejah was curious to hear about mentorship and learning from people, as advice seeking is usually where one gets the motivation to push forward with careers and desires. Calamese shared how he himself had more than just black mentors in the past that ultimately helped him to see and understand different perspectives and ways of looking at the world.
“If I were to advise someone that’s in college now or at a junior level of their career, I would say yes, mentors are super important, and I think that that is invaluable. But I would say that you can learn a lot by just being curious with a number of different people,” said Byron Calamese.
As Zinaejah is interning for Lea-Ann Germinder, who as a red-headed white woman is decidedly not Black, she heavily related to the idea of learning from more than just people who look like herself. Germinder has been very influential in Ozier’s life thus far during the Power of Pink initiative and is bound to mentor her for years to come.
For her second interview, intern Zinaejah Ozier reached out to Dr. Courtney Campbell, DVM, DACVS-SA and recipient of the 2020 Global Pet Expo’s media personality of the year award. Campbell is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and host and producer of Vet Candy. As an aspiring entrepreneur, Zinaejah thought it would be a good idea to interview this young black business owner and leader due to his expertise in the professional world.
One of the main things that she discussed with this amazing leader was the idea of building a career while still in the process of finding your passion. Dr. Campbell shared some advice on finding out what it is you really love within your everyday activities. He specifically talked about his journey following his youthful love of wildlife and medicine.
“When I was growing up, I’d jump outside and explore the woods, look under rocks, and I really started to appreciate wildlife,” said Dr. Campbell. “Once you appreciate wildlife and you fuse that with medicine, anatomy, and physiology, a career in veterinary medicine just makes sense. You’ve got your love for animals on one side and then you’ve got a love for medicine and science and it’s a beautiful marriage.”
When asked about having a mentor while on the journey, Campbell stressed the idea of having a set goal, a timeline, and having objective criticism during the process.
“I don’t care how old you are or where you are in life, you need a mentor,” he said. “What gets measured, gets improved. As you’re achieving your goal and doing it in record time but not doing it right, then you’re not really improving.”
Dr. Campbell mentioned how he, himself had and still has many mentors, whether it is for professional development or personal life. As we have different sides to our lives, he talked about how helpful it can be to have a mentor for each of those sides.
To watch the full video on mentorship and more, click here!
This interview is the first in a series of interviews from University of Dayton junior and summer Digital Associate Zinaejah Ozier. As an aspiring leader Zinaejah made an effort to contact Proctor-Rogers as she is an executive coach with many years of mentorship under her belt. As Ozier’s series of interviews is also an attempt to grow a connection and listen to the words of the wise, this candidate was a definite fit.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS: MENTORS PLUS
The interview consisted of insights on how Proctor-Rogers made her way through the professional world over time and her emphasis on the importance of having a mentor. As explained in the video, we get to hear about the many mentors that Cheryl has had growing up including her parents and peers within the organizations that she took part in.
“Having mentor as part of your personal cabinet is critical to your success,” said Proctor-Rogers. “I can’t imagine how I would have been able to achieve everything I could.”
To watch the full interview and gain insight on Cheryl Proctor-Rogers for yourself, check out the link to the video here: https://youtu.be/DBxytGLg0dw
a next step in our Power of Pink Initiative and in light of recent events,
we’re introducing a series of interviews with black leaders across the country conducted
by Zinaejah Ozier, a junior at the University of Dayton and incoming treasurer
of the PRSSA chapter at Dayton. The goal of the series is to join in the
current conversation through the eyes of a young leader speaking with black
leaders – and learn!
is already a budding storyteller, a journalism turned public relations major. Coming
into the internship, Zinaejah expressed her desire to learn about the stories
of the people whose footsteps she planned to follow. Using her own journalist
approach, she’ll conduct video interviews and ask unique questions of each
interviewee in an attempt to grow her understanding of how each person achieved
success and how she can do the same.
excited to have this opportunity to conduct these interviews at Germinder +
Associates,” said Zinaejah. “It allows me to gain a broader understanding of
the public relations profession and the opportunity to connect and network
while I am gaining experience on the job.”
Two Students from the University of Dayton PRSSA Chapter Selected
Click here to watch Zinaejah Ozier and Abby Crotty’s interview to learn more about them.
Just one short week ago, the Germinder + Associates Power of Pink virtual summer internship program began. Accompanying founder of the company, Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA, were two students from the University of Dayton(UD), Abby Crotty (senior) and Zinaejah Ozier (junior). They’re both members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is the student arm of PRSA. As a PRSSA Champion, Germinder reached out to students at UD during the Pandemic, providing opportunity for the two students to gain experience in the world of PR while also giving back to her alma mater during hard times.
Working remotely from Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and New York, the team members are tackling the 20th anniversary of the company’s Goodnewsforpets digital platform with multiple brand partner contests presented throughout the summer while also managing Germinder + Associates agency projects. The team is set to conquer important tasks for the company and bond via Zoom in spite of the world crisis going on.
Zinaejah Ozier is a junior
at the University of Dayton who will become treasurer of the UD PRSSA chapter
in the fall. She recently switched from journalism to public relations and is
working on content and social media at the agency.C
“Going into a global pandemic was a scary experience, especially for us college students,” said Ozier, “but I’m so thankful that Lea-Ann took the time to reach out and offer an internship while in the midst of hard times. I can’t wait to see what this experience has in store,” said Ozier.
Abby Crotty is a senior at
the University of Dayton and is a member of the PRSSA chapter. She was going to
do an internship in Dayton that fell through due to the pandemic. She is
working on digital content and social media as well.
“I was so grateful that Lea-Ann gave me an opportunity to further my knowledge in the PR world even with everything going on in the world right now,” said senior Abby Crotty. “I’m so excited to be able to work directly with her and Goodnewsforpets to try to further promote the site,” said Crotty.
Lea-Ann Germinder views the
program as a natural extension of both her mentoring commitment and giving back
through Germinder’s Power of Pink initiative. The Power of Pink Honoree and
donation program was initially started to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of Germinder & Associates, Inc. and honor those who helped make
Germinder + Associates a success. She has extended probono services under the
Power of Pink moniker during the pandemic. Giving back to her alma mater during
a pandemic fits the bill.
“We’ve had many interns over
the years, and operated virtually with vendors and contractors for decades,”
said Germinder, “but this is the first time we’ve coordinated with interns
virtually. When the call went out from PRSA to help, I decided the timing was
right to develop a Power of Pink virtual internship program.”
As a past-president of PRSA-NY, Germinder also plans to participate
in the New York City based Save the
Internships program. The effort is essentially a website
that features the profiles of students in the fields of advertising, public
relations, marketing, design, and communications from City University of New
York (CUNY) colleges. Each student on the website has to be nominated by a
“These are extraordinary times, but there are a number of ways to
keep our students engaged in the public relations profession. Paid internships
and mentoring are important aspects of keeping our profession relevant and
offering students much needed real-world experience. I encourage agencies and
senior practitioners to look into these programs to participate however they
can. There are plenty of options,” said Germinder.
Germinder + Associates
Germinder + Associates, Inc. provides communications services for the pet/vet sectors and other niche industries. The woman-owned company was founded by Lea-Ann O’Hare Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA in Kansas City and has offices in New York City and Kansas City. The company connects and consults with executives in both established companies and organizations interested in entering the vet and pet industries in the U.S.
Agency Founder and Goodnewsforpets Editor & Publisher Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA is the recipient of the PRSA-NY 2020 Makovski Mentoring in Excellence Award, a former PRSA national board member, and past-president of the New York and Kansas City PRSA chapters. She is presently a member of the PRSA-NY Past President’s Council. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @GerminderPR and on Facebook and LinkedIn at Germinder & Associates.
Goodnewsforpets combines an award-winning website
and social media channels to curate news of interest and importance to pet
parents, veterinary professionals and the pet industry. Editorial, contests,
sponsored content distribution and advertising are available. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @Goodnewsforpets and on Facebook and LinkedIn at
From Private Practice to First Woman President of the AVMA to
Industry Leader & More
New York – July 26, 2018 — Germinder + Associates has named Mary Beth Leininger, DVM, a veterinarian for more than five decades and the first woman president of the American Veterinary Medical Association as the seventh #Germinder20 #PowerofPinkHonoree to receive the award. Leininger has designated the student scholarship fund at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to receive the $1,000 Germinder Honoree donation. #Germinder20 #PowerofPinkHonoree
“Dr. Leininger is beloved by her colleagues, she excels at everything she does, and her love of veterinary medicine knows no bounds. My gratitude to this amazing Honoree deepens with every passing year. She epitomizes all that is right with veterinary medicine, never wavering from her core beliefs. We all still have so much to learn from her,” said Lea-Ann Germinder, President, Germinder + Associates, Inc.
Germinder and Dr. Leininger first met when Dr. Leininger was the President-Elect of the AVMA and Germinder presented “Pets Need Dental Care, Too!” to the AVMA PR Council. Later they worked together on dozens of media interviews during Dr. Leininger’s tenure as AVMA president, as spokesperson for National Veterinary Month and later as Dr. Leininger oversaw the Mark Morris and Leo Bustad Award programs for Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.
“It is so generous of Lea-Ann to include me as one of her Germinder20 Power of Pink Honorees! I have treasured the many years we have worked together and am grateful to call her my friend,” said Dr. Leininger.
To read the full release and the interview visit Goodnewsforpets.com. Germinder + Associates provides strategic counsel to full service campaigns. The agency is celebrating its 20th anniversary. For more information contact Lea-Ann Germinder at 917-334-8682.