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Good Morning, Frederick!

Dani Gurri

Article by Kristen Wojdan

Photography by Jennifer Rosaria Film & Photography

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

How long have you lived in Frederick? Where did you attend school?

We moved to Frederick in March of 1977. I was in 4th grade and transferred into Yellow Springs Elementary where I stayed through 6th grade. Then I went to TJ High School where I graduated in 1985. (GO PATRIOTS!) I kept moving and coming back for stints of time, but was gone for about 12 years before moving back to Frederick in 2007.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am the oldest of six kids (result of two blended families). I didn’t finish college; instead, I went to Frederick Community College (FCC) for about a year and a half, then started working. At the time I thought, “I’m making money so I’m good.” I would have most definitely finished at least my AA degree if I were to do it all again (I think).

I started working in radio in 1986: Z104 in Frederick (sales and promotions), 98ROCK in Baltimore (promotions assistant and promotions director), then eventually RockMix 103.7 in San Diego (promotions director). In about 1995, I learned the basics of graphic design and really fell more in love with marketing. I took a job in 1998. as a tour guide with Contiki, and I spent two years traveling throughout the US—this is where I met my husband. He was on the tour with his sister and her friend!

My husband, Ash, and I got married in July 2000, at Coffman Chapel (Hood College) and we were one of the first wedding receptions booked at the Delaplaine! We have two children: Cooper and Brodie.

What inspired you to pursue your career in media and marketing?

It’s interesting—when I moved to Australia in 2000, I had the hardest time getting a job. It was so strange as I had never been unemployed EVER (since the day before I was 16)...and the only interview and offer I received was for Inside Sales. I was mortified, but took the job. I was the last one to get a sale in the entire team; however, once I made that first sale, I didn’t look back. I had finally figured out how to be successful. I realized it wasn’t at all about me or what I was selling; it was about the client. Once I started asking “How can I help you?” everything changed. Integrity, honesty and sincerity were (and still are) my greatest assets. Especially those times when I told a client that I wouldn’t sell them because it didn’t make sense. I was the top salesperson for five years in a row.

I still ask that question daily—to everyone—how can I help you? Of course, the answer is different for each person / company / organization I ask. I love the challenge of finding the best solution, not necessarily the solution I am offering.

So to answer your question: this career found me! It’s the culmination of every job I’ve ever held, from waitressing, to bartending, to customer service, to promotions, to graphic design.

How and why did you create "Good Morning, Frederick"?

When I resigned from my job in radio, I knew that I still wanted to help businesses in Frederick. Plus, I love this town! So, I thought, “Why not? Let me create a place that people can go to connect with Frederick on a more personal level.” The beauty is that I have no restrictions placed on me at all. This show can be whatever the viewers want it to be.

How do you define success?

Well, the definition of success has certainly changed for me over the years. At this stage in my career (and life), I would define success not by material things but by the sense of fulfillment in what I am doing. Ultimately, success is about living a life closely aligned with my core values, feeling content with the progress and knowing that I am making a positive contribution to the world around me.  

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in media and marketing?  

Do it! But you don’t have to wait for the college degree or perfect job—start with yourself.

Create YOUR brand with a website and social media. Figure out what works and what people respond to. Continue to craft and update with the latest technology. Network with local business people and marketing professionals. LISTEN and LEARN all you can from them. Implement what you’ve learned. Decide what’s great and decide what could be improved.

Then find a small business and take what you’ve learned to help them—maybe free at first—or, maybe, for a percent of the growth you help them to achieve. Once you’ve done that, you ARE a marketing professional!

Can you share any upcoming projects or collaborations that you're excited about?

My life is a collaboration right now (in the best of ways). When I was younger and even when I had my first business, Tots2Tweens, I shied away from collaborations because I was insecure about my company’s value. Now, I realize that we are stronger when we work together. There is enough for all of us to be successful. I am always open to and interested in collaborations.

What is an inspiring quote that keeps you motivated?

I saw this on social media once and look at it often: “Success is not for the lazy. It's for those who hustle, who grind and who refuse to quit until they've achieved their dreams.”

What's the most rewarding aspect of your work?

The most rewarding part of what I do is helping who I can and giving back. I enjoy being able to assist an organization to reach their milestones and joining together with other businesses to make our community stronger and better.

What's the most challenging aspect of your work?

Trying to keep up! I’m not so young anymore, so being a one woman show currently can be exhausting. But it’s exhaustion in the best way, if that’s possible.

When I decided to do this show, I had no idea how to edit video or run a stream. My husband had always been the producer behind the scenes pushing buttons and making things “go” and making me look great in the process. My brother has always been the video editor. He’s so creative and good. I was literally begging my brother to come to Maryland from Ohio the week before the show to help me and he said, “You’re good, you’ve got this. The first few will be bad, but by the 10th, you’ll be fine.” And he was right! I still have tons to learn and I can improve a lot, but for what I’m doing right now, it seems to work!

What impact do you hope to make through your work?

I hope that by giving local businesses a platform, I can help them to continue to contribute to our community. I hope that people outside of Frederick take a look at all the great things we’re doing here and decide to do it for their communities as well.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Whatever business idea (or hobby, or side hustle) you’re thinking about, and contemplating, and re-thinking…Just do it!  It will never be perfect. Better to start now and learn on the go then to never get going because of a “failure to launch.”

The famous Gary V. says to “Fail Faster.” Everyone is going to fail on some level. The faster you fail, the more you learn. What I take from this is that I spent too much time thinking about the little things in my previous business. I just go with my gut now. Does it always pay off? NO! But at least I’ve learned that lesson quickly and can adjust to try something else.

If you could turn the clock back, what would you do differently?

Nothing. Even though there were things that at the time I regretted, there are lessons in everything. And God always has a plan.

What do you love about Frederick?

Well, for one, it’s home! I’ve lived in Baltimore, San Diego and Melbourne, Australia; and there is no place like Frederick. I don’t know how to describe it—it truly is just home.


"I hope that by giving local businesses a platform, I can help them to continue to contribute to our community."