When in Rome…

I recently got back from our Consultant Incentive Trip to Rome, Italy, with over 24 amazing top achievers in the company and their guests! Like many of our Consultants, I absolutely dreaded the lengthy flight over there, but was surprised to find that it flew by and wasn’t as arduous as I anticipated. I spent a lot of time catching up with my wonderful family, learning more about my son, Matt’s wedding plans, my daughter, Lauren’s teaching interviews and about her boyfriend’s home-building company. I was disappointed that other family members weren’t able to join, but I was sure to take an excessive amount of pictures to make sure they felt as much a part of it as possible. I look forward to them joining us on the next Incentive Trip which is a Mediterranean Cruise in the spring of 2011.

Upon arrival in Rome, we held a glorious reception for all of the Consultants and their guests. Some I’d met before and some were brand new and traveling for the first time with Pure Romance. I’m always love seeing the excitement on their friend’s and family’s faces when they accompany them on these trips. It really puts into perspective for them how hard these women have worked and what an incredible achievement it is for them. When their loved ones heard the number of Consultants aspiring to take the trip versus the number of those who actually achieved it – they were blown away! Some brought husbands, family members, and lifelong friends – I could see the pride in all of the guests’ faces that they were chosen to take this trip.

The first stop of the tour was the Sistine Chapel where we were able to see the amazing work of artists such as Michelangelo and envision them centuries ago perched on scaffoldings creating work that still moves us to this day. Sitting there with my Consultants I felt a shared sense of gratitude that I was given such a privilege to be there. For so many people traveling to these places is just a dream; yet, we are able to make these dreams a reality. Next, we went to the Coliseum where were learned that they used to fill it with water and battleships. It was unsettling to think of all of the people who had died there during that era in history. I’ve never been good about being herded around (guess that’s the leader in me) so some of that tour was uncomfortable; however, what an experience!

The third city in our excursion was Florence and it killed me to think about how young the buildings are in the United States compared to these ancient cities. It’s almost like our skyscrapers are sheds compared to what they built centuries ago in Italy and how it has withstood the test of time! The detail that went into the architecture is unfathomable. I consider the time, effort and energy exerted building every detail in my home in Naples, Florida and this is nothing compared to what these artists and architects have created! We also enjoyed walking around and talking to the various people touring the city. I loved listening to their opinions about the art and culture there.

Finally, we hosted an unbelievable Farewell Dinner at a literal Roman Palace called the Palazzo Brancaccio. The night meant the most to me not only because I was saddened to see the Consultants go, but also because I felt the journey of my own career pass before me. I could remember my own very first Incentive Trip dinner when I was a Consultant decades ago and how there was just a group of us sitting down at a chain restaurant! Now, walking into a palace and mingling during an elegant cocktail hour accompanied by a three-piece band, and then sitting down to a dinner serenaded by an extraordinarily talented violinist was nothing short of surreal. I clearly saw the journey still unfolding and how all the struggles and goals had been met over the years.

Leading such a fast-growing company like Pure Romance, we are always moving at light speed! This was one of the first times in a long time I was able to stop and take in our surroundings. I took a deep breath and looked around at all of these hard-working, beautiful empowered women and felt pride for how hard they had worked for this very moment. It was truly a huge milestone in the 17-year history of Pure Romance and to see everyone dance, celebrate, cry and relish this time was something I will always cherish. In the end family members stood up and said how honored they were to be there and it was a night that I hope we will have the opportunity to relive again sometime in the near future. To this day, this experience will always hold a very special place in my heart.


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