My first official interview for NJBIZ was with Adenah Bayoh — one of the Best 50 Women in Business in 2014.
For a while, our conversation simply felt like two new friends chatting: we talked about becoming morning people, being health conscious, the fitness regimens we both enjoyed, and our shared experiences as resident assistants in college.
By the end of our interview, I learned she loved yoga, spinning and boot camp; that she was a mother to a then-4-month-old girl and a 3-year-old boy; and that she had emigrated to the U.S. from Liberia during the war.
Then, of course, we talked about her careers as a restaurant owner of the IHOP in Irvington, a landlord and a developer and partner for Kapwood LLC.
I still remember our interview fondly as one of the most fun in my time with NJBIZ, and when I see Bayoh at events, we greet each other as friends would — not distant and former collaborators.
I have treated every one of my interviews since with the same personal interest, keeping them as casual yet complete as possible. After all, it’s not the job that makes one successful — it’s who they are that allows them to do that job well.
In my experience, after two years of reporting for NJBIZ, women interviewees have always seemed more open, appreciative and responsive to my style of interviewing. And, for the first time in my life as a tomboy, I have since found it easier to connect with women than men.
I’ve been lucky to meet and work with some incredibly inspirational, creative and hard-working women around the state, and I look forward to meeting so many more. It is, without a doubt, the best part of my job.
So, in an effort to collect as many story ideas and resources as possible — as well as to celebrate the joyous and collective spirit that women in business embody every day in their career — I have a goal for this year’s Best 50 Women in Business event on March 21 in Somerset:
I want to get a photo with each of the honorees — no, not at a photo booth where we’re all forced to smile and stand up straight, but with sunglasses on, in the style of Ellen’s famous Oscars selfie, or by means of the photobomb.
This event is one of the most fun that NJBIZ puts on each year — let’s simply capture that spirit on (digital) film!
I will see you all at the event in March!