A Gem in Jacksonville
I recently had the privilege of an early morning coffee date with Leigh Cort. I asked her to meet me so I could find out more about her successful, growing organizations here in NE Florida (see links below). I didn't expect to discover a rare gem, right here under our noses. Her resume is unmatched as far as Publicists go, as is her energy and dedication towards her trade. Leigh has an affinity for early mornings, which means that I just may have met my new "spirit animal". If you have the opportunity to share a cup of java with this lady, set your alarm and get ready to gain a new perspective on your life, both personally and professionally. Leigh never goes to bed without planning to wake up with a new idea, which usually translates into helping out local business owners. She happily shared some other thoughts with me, as well ....
FlipperSplash: If you had to give your 18-year-old self-advice for the future, what would that be?
Leigh Cort: Choose a career that makes you happy to get up and face the day with joy. (Business-related).
Choose a partner in life that makes you happy to get up and face the day with joy (Personal life).
FS: How long have you been working in the entertainment and PR business?
LC: I was an actress/singer until nearly 40 and then I was the Party Director at the Trump Tower AND the Dir. Of Marketing at the famous Sardi’s show business restaurant in New York City. Currently, the Women's Food Alliance, Moveable Feasts and the launch of FoodJudges.com are all an appendage of my original passion. My projects are always evolving and I tie the pieces together so that they perfectly enhance each other, while all fitting under my Leigh Cort Publicity umbrella.
FS: What is your favorite part of the day?
LC: As a creative-minded person, I enjoy any time of the day or evening when I’m developing something new and putting it into action (Business-related). Personally, I eagerly anticipate the evenings when I’m out enjoying a great restaurant with people I enjoy (Personal life)
FS: Do you see yourself ever retiring?
LC: I’m having such a wonderful life & career doing so many interesting things and running two successful organizations ~ I can’t imagine giving them up. The word ‘retirement’ doesn’t hold any appeal for me at this time and NEVER has. What would I do if I ‘retired’? I’d probably dream up something new to create and would be working all over again!
FS: If you could have a dinner party with any 3 people outside your family members, who would they be? Could be famous/deceased/anyone!
LC: I don’t aspire to have dinner with anyone ‘famous’. It’s not my style nor would I relax and enjoy myself wondering and talking about THEM.
But I would love to have my darling son Jeff with me again. If he hadn’t passed away, I would ask HIM who he would like to invite ~ since his joy and seeing his smiling face & heart…was always my own satisfaction. And I know he would have invited some very interesting people.
FS: What is your advice to other entrepreneurs that want to reach your level of success?
LC: Well, I never go to bed without finishing all of my emails and I always stay moderately awake. Remember to think outside of the box and look at your fellow colleagues and clients as a cast, your ensemble, all part of the family of what you are trying to accomplish. When everyone is working toward the same goal using constant communication and conversation, it's easy to be successful by keeping up the dialogue with one another. If someone else is speaking to you, be quiet and pay attention, you never know what they might say. Respect people by not interrupting them.
FS: With your amazing theatrical background, do you consider yourself a star?
LC: My theater and music background prepared me to be a good listener which makes for a good communicator. My goal is to make other people the star, putting them and their businesses in the spotlight are my desired outcomes.
FS: One last question, Leigh - Can you tell us what you are most looking forward to in 2018?
LC: I am most excited about the doors that are opening for the hospitality and food industries here in NE Florida. I want to see local small businesses flourish and help in any way.
In my opinion, anyone that reads this should take a minute or two and check out Leigh's incredible resume on LinkedIn, skim through her Women's Food Alliance website or if you have the opportunity to meet her for that early morning coffee, wake up and do it!
Her vast 50-year career has morphed into what Leigh is doing today. Through evolving synergies and continuity, Leigh is able to live her best life both personally and professionally. This picture of satiation comes through clearly by looking at her social media posts, where her family, wonderful husband, beloved pets and countless friends both in and out of the hospitality industry share her love of life.
Be sure to catch Leigh's radio program, "A Moveable Feast" on WJCT’s popular First Coast Connect when she dishes about tourism and hospitality trends in the region. Hosted by Producer Melissa Ross, “A Moveable Feast,” airs every other week on 89.9 FM on Tuesday mornings (also 8:00pm the same day of morning show).
On a side note: I thought that as FlipperSplash is ramping up for our launch, seeking out successful entrepreneurs in Jacksonville and St Augustine would be a good way to network. What I actually discovered were great people more than willing to help a start-up and share insights that we can all use on a daily basis. Leigh's last bit of advice for me on my quest to discover the hidden treasure trove of incredible entrepreneurs here, "Never talk about your business with someone that's not listening."