How did you come to live and/or work in Conshohocken?
I moved to Conshohocken in 2006 after switching jobs. The location was ideal because I needed access to the Turnpike. When the credit crises hit in 2007, the real estate company I worked for was bought. I decided to take matters into my own hands and opened up my own PR business out of my apartment. A year later my business is growing by double digits and I have taken office space in West Conshohocken.
What do you do (career wise)?
I am President of DeFazio Communications, LLC, a public relations agency based in West Conshohocken. I love what I do. It is simultaneously one of the most exciting and anxious times to be working in the business. The industry is going through tremendous change with the fragmentation and proliferation of media. Social media is rewriting the rulebook on how organizations communicate and relate to their publics and that is challenging us to be even more creative in our approach to getting exposure. But what motivates me every day is the opportunity to be an advocate for my clients.
The fact that they put a tremendous amount of trust in our ability to represent them is never lost on me. Public relations is based on faith. Clients want confidence that you can deliver. We don’t buy exposure, we create it.
Tell us about your experience being the spokesperson for the residents after the 2008 fire at Riverwalk.
As I watched events unfold, I realized that something was missing. The developer, city council and property management all had attorneys representing them. But the tenants, those most directly impacted by the disaster, didn’t have a voice. On the second day while staying at a friend’s house, I woke with an epiphany of sorts. We needed a tenants association to represent the resident’s interests. It was a common sense approach to mediate a long list of issues and get solutions to their concerns. I simply combined my background in politics with my PR skills to help out. Others volunteered as well. We built a following of nearly 200 tenants using social technologies to organize and then to advocate.
What do you love most about Conshohocken?
The mix of people and resources. The Main Line has its affluence. The city has its restaurants and nightlife. But Conshy offers something neither can. That’s convenience and quality of life. Where else can you find restaurants that are on par with Center City, a great value for real estate and a diversity of people all living within a square mile? Oh, and people actually talk to each other. I think Conshohocken has a bright future. There’s a reason so much commercial and residential real estate investment was made here. It’s the most convenient location in the region and offers an abundance of assets.
What are your favorite places in Conshohocken?
The restaurants and bars of course; Blackfish, Stella Blu, Pepperoncini, Tratorria Totaro and The Stone Rose. And when there’s a game on, you can’t beat the Boathouse or The Great American Pub.
Any idea who nominated you?