Acknowledgements for From Individual to Empire

This book was merely an idea for many years before serendipity

took over and placed the right people in my world at the right

time. When I’m asked how long my book is, I often truthfully joke

that I’ve written well over 100,000 words, but only about 50,000

good ones. Between moving, getting married, having a baby, teaching,

consulting, and finishing a master’s degree, this book could have been

derailed into nonexistence without the undying support of my tribe.

I want to thank the village, old and new, for helping me jump hurdles

and for shaping my understanding of the cross section between the

human experience and marketing.

First, a sincere thanks to Dr. Janet Harris. She helped me, quite

literally, find my voice. She believed in my idea and, even though I

had zero writing experience, helped me develop this passion project

into reality. Her consistent reassurance from the first page to the

last is the only reason this book exists. A simple thank-you is not

adequate. Also, I must thank Dr. Anthony Picchioni for busting open

my egocentric predicament, Dr. Kimberley Monden for introducing

positive psychology, Dr. Charlotte Barner for transforming my

narrative, and the late Dr. Gerald Perkus for reminding me of the

true meaning of the American dream.

Thank-you to the Sony Music greats who are pioneers and my

personal heroes: Tom Baldrica, Tanya Welch, John Grady, Margie

Hunt, Deb Haus, Mike Kraski, Butch Waugh, Heather McBee, and

Joe Galante. I enjoyed every late night and early morning, every

ounce of stress, and every celebration, because I was able to learn

firsthand from these extraordinary leaders. Together, we made a few

dreams come true. I can never repay them for the immeasurable

experiences both professional and personal.

A heartfelt thanks to everyone on my team: Barbara Norris, Cindy

Birne, Jennifer K. Beal Davis, Colson Horton, Cameron Powell,

Brenna Mader, Omar Mediano, Scott Safford, Michael A. Ransom,

Gigi Stone Woods, Brian Apunda, Justin Branch, Jen Glynn, Sally

Garland, Karen Cakebread, Emily Maulding, Tiffany Barrientos,

O’Licia Parker-Smith, and everyone at Greenleaf Book Group. This

phenomenal group shared their passions and their immense talents,

and this project wouldn’t be the same without any of them.

A big thank-you to my Dark and Stormies: Mary Harris, Mary

Guthrie, Bonnie Bazley, Liz Grote, Pam Zeko, Sean Gilder, Sarette

Albin, and Johnnie Mays. This group of talented writers, from poets

to novelists, keeps me on my toes, triggers my creativity, and holds

me accountable for what and how I write. The endless laughter

and encouragement have pushed me past some serious writer’s

block many times and if you look closely, you will see each of them

sprinkled throughout the book.

A shout-out to my girl tribe spread about the country: Tara,

Mimi, Jessica, Capucine, and all my Nashville and Dallas girlfriends.

They’ve each seen me at my best and my worst, and they still root for

me anyways. That’s true friendship.

An eternal thank-you to my family. My parents, Ellis and Leta

and Jerry and Donna, have instilled grit into my being from the

onset. They taught me the importance of education and made sure I

never questioned my ability to do anything I wanted in this world.

It is because of them I am passionate about what I do, and mostly

fearless about how I do it.

A special thanks to my grandparents, Appaw and Roma, for the

endless love. Thanks to my supportive and loving in-laws, Bill and

Mary, for flying down to watch Baby Girl so I could write. And, a

begrudging thanks to my big brother, Mike, who pushed me down

the stairs on a pool raft headed straight for tile flooring when we

were kids. Despite that little hiccup, he has since become my closest

ally in this world. Oh, and he deserves an extra special thanks for

marrying Adriene, who quickly became my best friend, and for my

Nugget, Bug, and the little Prince.

And most of all, my world would be miserable without my

husband, Michael, and our perfect little girl, Ainsley. Without even

realizing it, they’ve made all my dreams come true.