intenational womens day

International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to spotlight all of the incredible women at The Hoyt Organization. We asked them three insightful questions: 1. If you could have dinner with any woman, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 2. Who is your female role model? 3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you? (Here’s the link to their advice on Public Relations.)


Erika Snow-Robinson

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Who could limit it to just one?  It would be a girls night in and I’d want to pick their brains, have a glass of wine and chat it up. I’d pick Oprah Winfrey, because she does and has change(d) the world for good; Condoleeza Rice, because she is super smart and has been able to navigate ably on a mostly-male dominated playground; Golda Meir, because she was a woman in an impossibly hard situation, WAY before her time (and I’m Jewish); Amy Adams, because I’m pretty sure we could be best friends in another life (or this one); and Ingrid Michaelson and Melissa Etheridge because life without music is not life, and these two women are not only amazing singers, but awesome musicians and songwriters in their own right.

Who is your female role model? I suppose it would be my mama, in that I definitely credit her for where I get my strength from and that I’ve always felt and known I was loved, no matter my circumstances. She’s been through unbelievable or horrific situations, from enlisting in the Air Force in the late 1960’s to great personal tragedy where it was up to her to ensure her four young children under the age of 10 (including a newborn) continued to thrive despite losing our father. She’s not perfect but I definitely think my ability to persevere and my upbeat nature is directly due to her. I’ve seen what she’s been through and most people would’ve simply given up and would have been well within their rights to do so, but she never did.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? To me, it’s just a way to continue celebrating women, their achievements and strides forward that we’ve made. I think it’s also a day to celebrate being born in a country where women can achieve anything. Conversely, it’s a day to mourn the fact that there are lots of countries where women are still oppressed, and treated as second-class citizens or worse.


Diana Winn

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? I would love to have Dinner with Ina Garten. Of course, I would enjoy it even more if she were to cook the meal and invite me to her house! I love her cooking style – classic and favorable. I would soak up the food knowledge that she was willing to impart. Ina was successful before switching careers and getting into the food game, but followed her love of cooking. She had no formal training; taught herself and I respect that very much. She also really likes her husband and spoils him with yummy food!

Who is your female role model? The main female role-model I have would not just be one woman, but all of my girl friends.  I was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years and could not have gotten through all those years without having their support and advice. Stay-at-home moms are incredible. It is a 24/7 job.

What does International Women’s Day mean to me? International Women’s Day brings hope that the world is recognizing women’s right and the contributions that women make.


Lauren Howe

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Sally Ride, who was the first woman astronaut. I believe that because of her strides she has empowered and encouraged other women to pursue their interests in STEM and to push boundaries. She was the perfect image of a woman pushing boundaries to pursue her passions and make a difference, leading by example.

Who is your female role model? I find all of the strong women that I cross paths with to be my role-models in various ways. I have learned so much from so many different women – I can’t name just one!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? To me, International Women’s Day means setting aside a time to honor the women who have fought hard for our rights and for equality. It’s acknowledging all of the work, intelligence and bravery that has brought us to this point in history.



Leeza Hoyt is President + Founder and a former lead singer of a Pop Band

Leeza Hoyt

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Jacqueline Kennedy or Princess Diana.  Both managed to navigate their public world with finesse; in Jackie’s case she ended up there simply because she married a Kennedy; in Diana’s case, she married the man who would become the future king.  They both “trained on the job”, and learned to navigate their new world with grace, charm and dignity – no matter what was going on at the time. Telling for Jackie was the celebration of her son’s three-year birthday just three days after her husband had been assassinated.  It was a true testament of her

character and showed the world that life moves forward.

Who is your female role model?  My mother. She started her own real estate company when women were expected to stay at home, and became very successful.  My mother raised three children single-handedly. She taught me the power of strength and conviction. My mom was also a great role model of some things NOT to do, so either way, she was a powerful role model for me.

 What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Since there are so many women in the public relations and marketing industry, It gives us a chance to highlight the fabulous women we have working for us. Hopefully, it also means I may get out of cooking dinner that night.


Pippa O’Brien

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? This question is nearly impossible for me to answer. Mainly because I have so many women I would love to have dinner with and just absorb their knowledge. Each time I tried to brainstorm my response, the list would grow rather than shrink. So instead of choosing just one, I will just give my shortlist for who I would like to have dinner with (and if any of them are available, dinner is on me). Rosa Parks. Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Nancy Drew. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Hilary Duff? Michele Obama. Looking back at the list, I realize that they all have certain characteristics in common: courage, poise, intelligence, and persistence. Each dinner would be so valuable to me to learn more about civil rights, feminism, public policy, justice and passion. These women are all dedicated to helping others and working towards a brighter future.

Who is your female role model? Even though it’s probably cliché, my mom is definitely my female role model. My mom is funny, witty, academic, driven, … I could go on forever. But most of all she is thoughtful. I strive to not only have as many career and life accomplishments as my mom, but also to be just as thoughtful, caring and kind to everyone around me. When the weight of the world is on her shoulders, she handles it with such grace and poise…and maybe a little bit of cursing (which is proven to relive stress).

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? To me, it’s a day to celebrate all of the badass women in my life and all of their accomplishments. I have such strong, intelligent and kind family, friends and co-workers. In a world where women are constantly fighting for equality, I think this day is a great way to get global coverage on women’s issues and rights.



Farida Waquar

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Meghan Markle because she has been a huge advocate for women’s empowerment and is every definition of a modern woman. As she is now a part of the Royal Family, her public voice has been silenced, and she has to acquiesce to different traditions and customs that may go against her upbringing and lifestyle. I’d like to know how she navigates through this ‘new normal’.

Who is your female role model? Anyone like J.K. Rowling who started off with nothing, writing the Harry Potter book series on napkins and has created a prolific brand for herself. I love seeing pioneering women who start off from the bottom and create successful empires for themselves.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? It’s a time to honor all that women have done and how far we’ve come, but International Women’s Day should really also extend to tomorrow and every day after that. True equality is that we don’t have to have a designated “day” to celebrate women because everyday should be that without even questioning it.



Jill Hills

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? If I could have dinner with any woman it would be my Grandmother Mae who passed away one year ago almost exactly.  She was 97 and lived through so many changes in the world including the depression and my Grandfather serving in the Hump in World War 2. My grandmother was from a tobacco farm in South Carolina and one of the hardest working people I know. She had amazing stories of how things had changed in her lifetime and the three generations before her also lived to be 95 years old. I feel we can humbly learn a lot by sitting and listening to older generations who have lived through so many experiences. She would definitely be my dinner companion choice so I could tell her I love her, respect her and miss her but I think of her and smile every time I go out in my garden.

Who is your female role model? My female role model is my mom Gloria Corbett. She is  kind-hearted and strong. She is a 30 year military wife who raised my brother and I while moving around the world 12 times to support my Dad’s career in Public Affairs for the Air Force. My mom raised us for a year alone while Dad served in Korea and took care of us as babies with bamboo snakes coiled up on end tables while we lived in Taipei, Taiwan.  She, like my Grandmother is strong, loves to laugh, beautiful inside and out and one of my favorite humans in this world.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?  International Women’s day to me is hope for all women around the world to live in a world that respects them and recognizes that all women are beautiful no matter where you live, what you look like or who you are.


Amber Hergen Senior Account Executive was a competitive gymnast for 10 years

Amber Hergen

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Wilma Flintstone, I really never understood why she married Fred and I would so appreciate some insight into their relationship, perhaps over a glass of wine. Other women I would love to have dinner with include Harriet Tubman-what a courageous woman! I love activists so, Rosa Parks and Erin Brockovitch are definitely on my list as well!

Who is your female role model? My mom is my role model. She is the most loving and patient person I know—I also really admire Heidi Klum—she has the ability to take charge and be very inclusive at the same time. I think that is an admirable trait and skill.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?  This is a bit of a tough question actually—I think, for me it is a day to celebrate women and also femininity in both men and women. I hope it’s a day to recognize that there is a value to gentility.

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