On Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, publicist Erica Dias, of The B Firm PR, hosted the 20th Atlanta edition of Erica’s Table of 20, a luncheon series formed in 2014. The luncheon offers an intimate experience for 20 hand-selected guests to network over a menu curated by Neiman Marcus’ chefs.
On this occasion, Michael T. Sterling, candidate for Atlanta mayor, offered his personal testimony. “I want to share a little about my journey that I don’t really talk about. My life started in an orphanage in south Texas. I was abandoned, left in the Lutheran Social Services orphanage in Lubbock County, Texas. There was this social worker named Ruby Douglas whose job was to find a loving and caring home for kids like me. She had an idea. She knew a woman in Beaumont, Texas, a friend of hers, and picked up the phone and called Doretha Sterling and said, ‘I am on my way to Beaumont with your son.’ She hopped in the car and drove more than 100 miles and introduced me to Doretha and Charles Sterling and told them, ‘I believe this is your son.’ On faith, prayer and determination, this social worker brought me to this family. Because of the act of that social worker, who cared enough for infants like me, I was loved on, cared for, prayed for and inspired. When I think about my own life and how different my life is, [it] changed the circumstances of my life,” he said.
Additionally, the event’s founder, Dias offered her own testimony and details of her career journey. “When I was 14, I knew I wanted to be in the fashion and beauty industry. I had a photo of June Ambrose and saw the movie Belly. I was mesmerized by the amazing wardrobe and saw June Ambrose was the costume designer and was determined to find her. I told my mom and sister I was passionate about being a costume designer and knew it was something I was supposed to do. I called June and told her who I was and said, ‘I aspire to be just like you.’ She was receptive to my offer to do a telephone internship. It lasted for two years. She gave jewels and advice,” Dias said.
Placing no limits on herself or her “money,” Dias majored in fashion merchandising in college and earned a license in cosmetology. She moved to New York and landed her first internship with Vibe magazine. “I was the first one there and the last one to leave. I acted like I was the fashion editor. I was assigned to do photo shoots and attend parties. From there, I went to intern at BET and worked the shows ‘Rap City,’ [and] ‘106 & Park’ styling different television personalities. I played my position and played helpmate to the boss. I played my position and made her look good,” she said.
This led to paid positions where Dias styled Google, Comcast and TiVo commercials and Doritos’ commercials for the Super Bowl.
And, the Richmond, California, native debuted her new book, Faith It Until You Make It, a book of inspirational quotes inspired by her late grandmother. “I have always been a spiritual person, a praying woman. My faith is really what has gotten me here. Before she passed away, my grandmother told me to come to God in secret, tell him what you want and he can make it happen,” Dias said.
In attendance were CBS 46 news anchors Sharon Reed and Karyn Greer, among others. A.M.A Experience laid out an eye-catching tablescape and Out of the Box photo booth captured our candid smiles. There was a swag bag that included Harbor Mill Candles. Lunch was provided by NM Café, Martell provided a specialty margarita cocktail and our special dessert was courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes.
The B Firm PR will celebrate its sixth anniversary in November. Erica’s Table of 20 is an invitation-only event held in Atlanta and San Francisco/Bay Area. Follow the conversation by using the hashtags: #EricasTableOf20 and #ETO20.
Check out Dias’ new book on: http://www.novembermediapublishing.com/author-erica-dias/ and add it to your list of stocking stuffer ideas for this Christmas.