Happy November! Can you guys believe its almost the end of 2017? This month, I have an extra special treat for our Pink Corner, in the form of our Ms. November. She is a true lady, who has not only changed my perspective on life, many times, but has encouraged me to fight for myself every day.
I first met Liz 3 years ago when I attended a media event which she hosted. We did not speak too much, but her spirit, charisma and persona captivated me, and I instantly felt I needed to have this lady in my life. Throughout the years and hardships, she always told me to stay strong and keep smiling – simple words which made the whole difference to me at the time.
I never had the pleasure of working with Liz directly, but our friendship grew deeply and I not only look up to her as a role model in career, but in life. She is an eccentric, life-loving, positive force of energy, who I look up to as the aunt which I never had, and definitely, does a better job of introducing herself. Enjoy!
- Name: Liz Beneski
- Profession: Aspiring Retiree & Hotel Industry refugee
- Favourite destination: I live in it- my beloved UAE
- Horoscope sign: Leo
- Loves: Laughter, memories, and experiences
- Hates: Indecision, disrespect and rude people
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Liz Beneski, Marketing Director for Royal Catering in Abu Dhabi. Born in the USA with theatre, business, sales, marketing, and travel in my blood, I have been exploring the globe since the age of 12. When most girls were clothes shopping, I was working to save money to travel. Borne out of my travel passion, I embarked upon a fruitful 32 year hotel career- albeit starting as the first female hotel dishwasher in a historic South Carolinian hotel, ending my hotel career just recently at the iconic Beach Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi as its Marketing Director. During those 3 decades, I had the opportunity to work with many fine hotel companies, honing my style and business savvy; one of my proudest accomplishments was the PMI Hotel Group, which I co-founded, co-owned and operated with several American Dreamers in Beaumont, Texas. My passion turned towards the Middle East in the early 90’s, when I first visited the UAE and fell in love with its leaders’ hopes and dreams. After going through a handful of personal tragedies in the 2000’s, I finally decided to sell off my hotels, business interests, homes, and most personal belongings, in order to pursue my life’s passion: living in the UAE permanently. Now a resident for 5 years, I have recently taken on the role of Marketing Chief for Royal Catering, one of the UAE’s largest hospitality services providers. In my spare time, I mentor NYU Abu Dhabi students, voraciously enjoy the UAE, and most passionately enjoy the global network of friends here and abroad, one experience at a time.
2. How did you handle difficult times in your life?
A stiff drink. I allow myself a wee wallow, and then hoist up my Spanx and get moving. No one defeats me but me. So I suss it out and move on. I have had some of THE most difficult times one can have: spouse death, cancer, bankruptcy, caring for sick parents, business loss, illness- you name it. If THOSE THINGS didn’t knock me down, I really don’t see what would. Time heals ALL things, and you can’t change what isn’t in your power to change. So I dig deep, find my happy memories, and work back towards better days.
3. How do you balance your life between being a career woman and finding time to do what you love?
I am very bad at this. I am not a career woman, I am a success addict. But I could frame it this way for you: Do what you love, and you aren’t ever working. I DO work hard here in the UAE, but mostly it’s doing what I love. It’s always out of balance- in the opinion of people whom don’t understand people like me. BUT, as time moves on, I am becoming far more selective in how I spend my time- and giving myself more ME time.
4. What are your hobbies?
Traveling, creating memories with friends, watching series like “The Leftovers” and “Handmaid’s Tale”, and music events.
5. How do you de-stress?
I don’t. That’s impossible. Ask me in another 20 years. Life is stressful. Get over it. Even Buddhists are stressed.
6. What are your tips for happiness?
Choose YOU first. Apologize first. Love yourself. See the glass as refillable, not half full or half empty. Laugh loudly. Eat the cake. Treat friends like gold.
7. Do you have a motto or favourite quote?
“Life’s a buffet and most poor suckers are starving” – Mame Dennis, NYC
8. Who is your role model or someone you look up to?
My Dad- he continues to inspire me. I am also very inspired by Diane von Furstenberg, Mame Dennis, and Simon Sinek.
9. What have been the most exciting milestones in your life?
There are many, but 2 standouts are the day I started my first company, and the day I walked away from the USA to live my dream.
10. What advice do you have for women today, trying to balance a career, family and personal life?
You can have it all, sure- but only if you sacrifice yourself. Do not sacrifice yourself- you are the most important element in your success. Learn not to compete with others whom seem to have it all- learn to accept what you cannot change & rather embrace it. Know that you’re beautiful inside and out no matter what. Life is hard, but don’t become hard. Forget the bad times but remember the lessons from them. Live for the good moments and work hard to keep them inspiring you. Work to live, don’t live to work. The only person you ever have to impress is yourself. And finally, always drink champagne. EVERY day is something to celebrate- you only get that day ONE TIME.
11. What makes you feel feminine?
I am known for only wearing dresses; I think my curves and bumps and all those parts in between make me feel feminine. I am a woman. And proud of it.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Liz for collaborating on this post and sharing an insight into how fabulous she is!