Love for the Local Ladies

Debra Ponzek has owned Aux Delices for 26 years with her husband Greg Addonizio. They are residents of Greenwich and have 3 children Remy, Cole and Gray (and 2 dogs!) They have been able to connect with many local families through their businesses sustaining an important community connection.

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I love being creative and working on new menu ideas with our chefs and staff, as well as the day to day operations of the shops and all of the various aspects of our business. It's wonderful to see food ideas grow and change and then finally end up in one of the shops as a new menu item. Our team has so much camaraderie which makes it really fun to come to work and bounce ideas off of each other.

What is something that inspires you to help achieve having successful businesses? 

I love when I am able to connect with other women in business, whether it is the food business or another type of operation. It's inspiring to be able to talk about what's going on in our industry and what's happening with their careers. I can honestly say that we definitely don't rest on our laurels and we are always looking for a better way to do things if it's possible. Consistency and maintaining our high quality is probably the most valuable thing a business can offer. We work very hard to make sure we give the same positive experience day after day-whether it is in the shop, or for a food delivery or for a catered event.

What keeps you motivated? 

Everyday, even after 26 years, I am truly excited to get up and go to work! I never get tired of trying new ideas-finding out about new products, going to food shows, or going out to eat to get more ideas! I love translating things I see into ideas for Aux Delices. We have a young staff and it's rewarding to see the relationships they have developed with our customers over the years. We value their opinions since they are the ones having the conversations with the customers everyday. We want new customers to feel as welcome as the ones that have been coming for all these years!

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Farmer and the Fish

Favorite Store: Diane's Books

Favorite Coffee Spot: Aux Delices (of course!)

Fav Spa/salon: Maria Livesay Salon/ Delamar Spa

Where to find me: 1075 East Putnam Ave- Riverside, 3 West Elm - Greenwich, 1035 Post Road East- Westport, or 25 Old Kings Highway North - Darien

Kellie Kerwin is the founder of Kellie Kerwin Public Relations, who prides herself in supporting female owned, local small businesses. A true powerhouse, Kellie works as a publicist, advisor and promoter.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is working alongside like-minded female entrepreneurs who are looking to grow, learn and build their businesses in the Greenwich community. I love promoting and publicizing brands, businesses, people and products that I truly believe in – it makes the role of my job fun and heartfelt, while helping the bottom line. I also thrive in any environment where I can connect people. Public relations has always allowed me the opportunity to be creative and communicative, and now being my own boss, I am fortunate enough to explore other areas I am passionate about. 

What was your ‘aha’ moment?

Once Covid hit in 2020, the consulting work I was doing essentially dried up given the economic environment and uncertainty in the world at that time. I wound up hunkering down for nine months with my husband and children but my goal was to find a way to turn things around come January 2021. A fresh start to a new year! I decided to take my experience working in consumer PR and apply it towards a void I saw in the industry that I was particularly fond of – female-owned local small businesses within lifestyle, beauty, retail and health/wellness that needed brand awareness and public relations assistance.

What are your tips for growing your business?

From a public relations standpoint, I would suggest: Effectively communicate your brand messages to the right audiences. Leverage social media as a free marketing tool for your business. Identify ways to build goodwill and camaraderie with the community. Offer exceptional customer service, establish loyalty and be available. Create partnerships with other local companies that align with your business model and may offer products or service you don’t. Build relationships with the local press and create a quarterly editorial calendar of story ideas that you can pitch to them for earned media results. Network, network, network!

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Little Pub with the kids, Valbella without the kids 

Favorite Store: My daughters would probably say Target 

Favorite Coffee Spot: Roost Kitchen + Coffee, Cos Cob

Favorite Spa/Salon: ELIVATE Med Spa, Old Greenwich 

Where Can We Find You: @kk_publicrelations on Instagram

Karen Richard is the 2021-2022 President of the Junior League of Greenwich. As a leader, she plays an integral role in establishing services throughout the community. 

What's the best part of your job?

Collaborating with women who inspire me!  Our members are civic leaders who share their talents for the betterment of our community. I’m continually learning and growing my skill set through hands-on work with these talented women, as well as through the educational programming that we offer to train and empower our members.  We’ve increased our focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) over the past few years, and I’ve been impressed and energized by our membership’s passion to advance DEIB both within our League and in our community.

What lessons have you learned along the way?

I’ve learned not to let self-doubt hold me back. I don’t think I’ll be the first pandemic leader to admit that leading a large organization, during this constantly changing COVID-19 environment, has at times felt overwhelming. However, I’ve learned that I don’t need to know or respond to everything that comes up immediately. Questions are going to arise that I don’t know the answers to, and issues will surface that I alone cannot solve. The beauty of our organization is that we have a dedicated Board and Management Team, dozens of knowledgeable and supportive Past Presidents, and over 500 talented members and together we not only find the answers, but we make better decisions collaborating as a group. 

What energizes you and brings you excitement?

As the mother of two teen girls, I’m continually impressed by the confidence, worldliness and aspirations of today’s young women. They are not easily intimidated and have grown up seeing women in positions of power and influence, and expect these same opportunities for themselves and their peers. I look forward to seeing the next generation of female leaders in the highest echelons of leadership in our country; knowing they will better our world.

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Le Fat Poodle

Favorite Store: Great Stuff

Favorite Coffee Spot: CFCF 

Favorite Spa/Salon: Esthetica Skin by Suzanna

Where Can We Find You: JLG House/Home Office/Walking our pups!

Brett Galley is the owner and Director of Special Events at Hollywood POP Gallery. She first joined forces with her mother, Joyce, in 1993 when they opened a Pop Art Gallery in Greenwich. Fast forward to 2022, Hollywood Pop Gallery is full-service, creative event planning business providing services for an array of celebrations.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Trial, error, experience and awe-inspiring moments. Event planning, production and design is a fast paced industry dependent on many people, personalities and components but ultimately the end result is reflective of you and your teams skill and vision for your client.I ask questions. Focus on my strengths. Gain knowledge. Put the spotlight on FUN whenever possible and always remember and celebrate our great successes! Once you understand that you have control over events and that the events do not have control over you, your confidence will sour and you start making better decisions.

What's the best part of your job?

I would say the uber creatives I get to work with on a continual basis. I am always inspired by the innovative people in my industry. Plus the incredible clientele I get to meet, work with and learn from. Famous, infamous and otherwise. 

What was your 'aha' moment?

There have been a few. I think the most recent would be a year into the pandemic, when clients started booking smaller events and then larger events. I saw many of my colleagues in the industry had moved on to other careers as it was just too stressful to remain in unknown territory. I had taken this time to reflect on how I could better myself. Better my team. As soon as I understood our value, we have never been busier. I think my 'aha' moment was, don't ever underestimate your worth.  

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Miku on the Ave

Favorite Store: Anthropologie

Favorite Coffee Spot: The Granola Bar

Favorite Spa/Salon: Warren Tricomi & Maison Alexandre (it's a tie!)
Where Can We Find You: In my Greenwich office overlooking the sound, dreaming up the next EVENT-ture!

Melissa Needle is an experienced family law attorney with deep roots in Connecticut. In 2010, she started Needle | Cuda: Divorce and Family Law. The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named Needle | Cuda a Connecticut Top 10 Best Firm in Client Satisfaction in 2019, 2020, and 2021. 

What's the best part of your job?  

I am able to help my clients move forward with their lives when they are confronted with the prospect of divorce.  Divorce is very disruptive, disorienting, daunting and emotionally draining...Divorce can also be quite destructive if the process is not managed properly (adversely impacting kids, relationships, work, life's savings, etc.).  In an instant, the vision for one's future simply disappears and that person's path forward in life crumbles right before their feet.  Divorce is, perhaps, the single most difficult challenge any person faces in their life. Being able to guide people through such a profound crisis is extremely rewarding.   

What does success mean to you? 

Success is being surrounded by people who you love and who love you back and having a positive impact on all the lives I touch. 

What energizes you and brings you excitement? 

I am super competitive and love a challenge....so if someone says something cannot be done, I get very motivated and need to do it!

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Pepe's Pizza

Favorite Store: Intermix

Favorite Coffee Spot: Granola Bar

Favorite Spa/Salon: Mohegan Sun

Where Can We Find You: My office

Beth Krupa runs an 3X time national award winning Interior Design firm based out of Greenwich. Her intricate approach to design and 20 plus years of expertise, has allowed her and her team to create custom-curated and dynamic experiences within each space they work on.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love the fact that each new project is seen from a fresh perspective. We have tools that I have built over the years to help us visually see what it is the clients are wanting to express. Questionnaires can only take you so far, but when you and the clients can walk through visual wish lists of ideal colors, textures, many varied inspirations, then that gets us all excited. We really are able to make peoples’ dreams come true! 

What was your aha moment?

I came from 17 years as an executive in the Fashion Retail world…Buyer at Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Director of Merchandising for Calvin Klein… with my husband we have lived in 12 homes across 4 countries in our 28 years of marriage. The most important thing I learned about living abroad was how vital the home became to my family in creating a sense of belonging and harmony. I found myself being drawn more deeply into the home environments and absolutely loved seeing everyone thrive once they felt more settled in our home spaces. The same traits I used in the fashion world I found to be very much transferable with interior design, so much so that one momentous day in 2008 I had my “aha” moment; I wanted to go back to university and achieve an interior design formal education!

What energizes you and brings you excitement?

Seeing the absolute joy me and my team can bring to our clients' lives, being able to deliver them their refuges and sanctuaries. I really do get out of bed each morning looking forward to the day ahead. I love walking into my studio with a fresh energy ready for whatever challenges may be coming our way. We are beauty-makers and problem-solvers for our projects.

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Applausi in Old Greenwich

Favorite Store: Saks 

Favorite Coffee Spot: CFCF Coffee on Greenwich Avenue

Favorite Spa/Salon: Tip Top Nails

Where Can We Find You: 6-7 days/week here at the studio, BKI 19 E. Elm

Street, Greenwich

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