Born and raised in Philadelphia, Buffy Elyse Harakidas is the Director of Marketing & Special Events for both Chorus Communications and Metrospect Events. In addition to her daily roles and responsibilities she is also the producer for several staple events, including the acclaimed annual affair, Hair O’ The Dog, multiple winner of Best Event In Philadelphia, the Carriers Ball, a national technology awards show and networking event, and the renowned Who’s Who In Technology.
Over the last eight years, Harakidas has been an integral part of the Chorus and Metrospect brands and has produced multiple events and campaigns across the nation on their behalf. Throughout her career, Harakidas has worked with many celebrities and athletes for events including Vivica A. Fox, Terrell Owens and Jason Kelce. Harakidas enjoys traveling to Greece and was truly honored to be included in Philly Chit Chat’s “Most Fashionable of the Decade.”
Buffy’s most significant role is being “Mom.” Harakidas is happily married and the mother to three beautiful sons. This marketing powerhouse always makes giving back a priority and has helped elevate awareness for Chorus and Metrospect. Buffy is also a member of Alliance of Channel Women, a non-profit designed to advance careers and leadership roles for women. Moreover, Buffy is a true die-hard Eagles fans, and cried hysterically when they won the Super Bowl.
Who influenced you in your early years to become a leader in your own life, what did they do for you?
My Grandmother. She taught me at a young age that family always comes first and to work hard. My Nanna was a first generation Italian-American who was forced to quit school at an early age to care for her younger siblings when her Mother became very ill. After the loss of my Grandfather when her children were still very young, she was forced to work three jobs to support them. In the rain, sleet, and snow she would take two buses and walk over a mile each day to work. Her story always inspired me, and she was the wisest, kindest, most loving woman I knew. As an adult she devoted her life to providing for her family. Everything valued and dear to me I learned from her, including her sense of style.
What difficulty have you overcome, that impacted your career for the better?
When my Mother suddenly passed away in 2008, I was approaching ten years at a dead-end job with no real opportunity. Before her passing, she constantly would encourage me to move on and find something new where I was appreciated. Her passing, as devastating as it was, pushed me to move on and find the most rewarding position that I have now held for over 8 years.
Why did you join Alliance of Channel Women and what do you hope to get and to give to this membership?
Joining ACW was an opportunity for me to contribute my skills and abilities to others and to learn from some outstanding industry leaders.
What advice would you give to someone new to the channel?
Network as much as you can.
Where do you see the women in our industry thriving?
I see women thriving in all aspects of our industry, especially in speaking roles. Recently at our Fall Forum Event we had only 1 woman on our panel of 6 speakers and she dominated the panel. She communicated her strong technical abilities to build and orchestrate an enterprise level Unified Communications solution which was very impressive.
How are you positioning yourself to stay relevant and support your clients in the coming year?
Attend more events and increase the value of our own events at Chorus. Also, stay active and relevant on social media.
When have you helped another women gain confidence & connection, what happened?
My former assistant was very timid and shy and was not able to communicate very effectively. After working with her extensively on her communication skills, she was able to move on and secure a role as Director of Marketing for a well-established hospitality group. She now is very confident and is a very strong negotiator.
What can we do to prepare ourselves for the changes that are coming to our industry?
Stay educated and continuously research trends.