I am here to talk about connecting - or in our circumstances - RECONNECTING. For all of you who do not know me, my name is Melissa. I’ve known Kelli, president and CEO of K2 Creative & PR, since 2004. That was the year I started as the receptionist at the Pittsburgh Business Times. I was 23 years old. I was a BABY.
As the receptionist, I was answering phones, directing calls, etc. I eventually went on to do more things with this amazing company, but at this job, I met Kelli. She was loud and in your face, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. She was inquisitive. Asking me questions about where I was from. Did I know so and so? What did I want to do? I was 23. I had worked a few random jobs and done most of my college work, but I was at the PBT because I needed a job and money.
The receptionist job was wonderful, as were the people I worked with. I was able to advance my career there, while meeting SO many people through networking events around Pittsburgh. I was able to wear suits and heels and attend events way out of my league. And let me tell you, I had fun. However, I had no clue what I was doing.
There were several women I worked with who could own a room. And, trust me, I can and have done that in different, laid-back settings. But these women, they shined in a business atmosphere. For me, I just never felt the need to do so. Because I didn’t understand.
Flash forward 17 years and here we are. I am working full time at David Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center in Mt. Lebanon as the receptionist (after a glowing recommendation from my first boss at the PBT so many years ago) and I handle content creation and social media accounts for K2C and Kelli Komondor - the girl who sat at the desk a shout away, the girl who would bring me coffee in the mornings, the girl who became my best friend, but ALSO, the girl who I would follow around networking events like a little puppy - and watch her SHINE.
Tonight I am sitting outside on my deck catching up on everything amazing she’s been doing and soaking it all in. This past year has been extremely awful for everyone - regardless of your situation - and it is amazing to me to see the people who have come out of it on top.
Kelli and I had a call over the past weekend about business and everything she has going on. I, per usual, cried. Because Kelli, per usual, built me up. She is that girl and what she has to say is legit.
If you listen to a story about someone who has built something from the bottom up, you’re inspired. For me, Kelli was just that. And not only was I privy to her success. I saw the failures, the struggles and the determination she had (and found) to succeed.
Ok, so back to me. I am sitting outside - on a cool night FINALLY - and I am listening to her latest podcast from her most recent endeavor, Biz Bevs & Bites, a podcast she created with Cindy Ellek, which digs deep into business topics like marketing, public relations, networking and branding.
As a 23 year old being thrown into the networking world of Pittsburgh, it was nice to have Kelli by my side. Now, you get to as well. The words and wisdom these women have to share…well it’s just amazing. I invite you to follow along their journey and learn everything you need to know, not only about networking, but also the food and drinks Pittsburgh has to offer.
So, grab a drink and your favorite snack. Let's settle in and follow these ladies around the beautiful city of Pittsburgh.
- Melissa Pravlik, Social & Web Strategist