Awesome Washingtonian of the Day Sept 21, 2010

Name: Wendy Gordon
Live in: Washington, DC
Originally from:
Philadelphia, PA
Creative Public Relations & Marketing; Freelance Writing
What I love about DC the most:
I love the respect of architectural and historic importance; the emphasis on community service and causes; the fact that the city is so international.  It’s full of cultural diversity.  I love the fact that anywhere you travel here, there’s intelligent conversation and social discourse. I love the idea that museums and even the zoo are mostly free to the general public—affording nearly everyone the opportunity to visit and to expand their horizons.  I love that the city is proud of its accomplishments and moving so far in education, in hospitality, in business and more, and pushes arts & culture.

I think, though, that anywhere you go, it’s the people.  You can have all of the beauty, all of the shallow and deep trappings and philosophies, but it’s the people, to me, that make anywhere great.  In DC, whether originally from here or not, you have a group of people here that are uniquely present and aware.  They’re ambitious, yes, but there is a sense of community and comradery.  There’s a sense of human spirit.

My favorite Music Video: wow…I have so many. It all depends on my mood.   I really love Sinatra, Tony Bennett,…Opera to Jazz to classics to oldies to heavy metal but I guess my mood now..would be this—Foo Fighters-“Miracle”

About Me: I grew up in a family primarily made up of artists, photographers, writers and musicians.  We always had pets and lots of noise—everyone speaking to be heard—everyone with their own opinions; everyone very free to laugh and to joke.  There was never a loss for a wry comment.  To this day my family are among the funniest people I know…fast and clever.  Arts and culture were always important.  There was always appreciation for intelligence and beauty; for  the importance of the written word and the perfectly played tune—one played not with pristine technique, but with feeling and creativity.  There was always a lot of food and great cooks.  There was always a lot of emotion; and most importantly, a lot of warmth and love.    There was an emphasis on accomplishment and of creating opportunity for oneself.  Creativity in all was important.  Animals were important—we were always the house with numerous pets and where every stray or injured animal would wind up for aid—which they would get..  Hard work was important. Common sense was important.  Compassion was important.  Being a good human being was above all.   Where conforming and rules were important, I learned to be a bit of a rebel.  But I think in many cases, that serves people well.  What I took away was all of the emotional baggage and inspiration anyone else does in their realm of the world.   But I learned to appreciate some of what I think are the finer things in life—not materially, but in more important ways.

In first grade, my teacher commented that I wrote well.  But I wanted to be first, an actress…then a Vet.  Unfortunately, one dissection of a frog in biology class later, when I almost passed out, and no proclivity in math or science led me to believe something more esoteric might be a better choice.  I then wanted to be a designer.  My parents pushed me toward a career in journalism—which is probably a relief to anyone that appreciates good design.  J  So I wound up skipping 12th grade and going directly to college to major in journalism.  I also volunteered at an animal refuge.  Long story short, I learned I didn’t have the stomach for hard news.  On the side, I had won some awards for my cooking and was looking toward going to culinary school—but wound up combining food and words in writing features and food stories.   I fell into doing PR by accident—creating a freelance business for myself which snowballed into an opportunity to be corporate food and beverage PR director for a luxury hotel chain which afforded me the opportunity to travel the world.  I had a side stint at an agency in NY, and then back to the hotel business.  From there, I had an opportunity to segue into business in DC—an area I had grown to know well through my previous work..  That’s the professional history….more or less.

Personally…I still adore animals and am a strong supporter of the Humane Society among other causes.  Most important thing in my life, though,  are my children who live in Philadelphia—my daughter, who works at the Philly zoo and has an eye toward that career as a vet I never accomplished—and she is much better at it than I ever could have been, and my son who is a brilliant guitarist..and dabbles equally brilliantly on the drums and just about every other instrument he picks up.   They’re both in college in Philly.  Between all of us we have many pets, lots of hugs, kisses and never forget to say “I love you” to each other.  Oh…and lastly…sorry, DC, but although I love Nats stadium, I will be cheering for the Phillies or the Pirates; and in the winter, the Eagles and the Steelers…and the Sixers, Flyers and Penguins.  I’m from Philadelphia—we’re rabid fans, and some things just never change regardless of where we are.

Feel free to follow me on FacebookTwitter

Those of you who know me, please, leave your comment here for others to see and make their judgment on their rating.

Check out our previous Awesome Washingtonians.

If you are interested in being featured on our next “Awesome Washingtonian of the day“, using similar format, please send us your bio from our Contact page – ATTN: Awesome Washingtonian.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

16 Responses to Awesome Washingtonian of the Day Sept 21, 2010

  1. April says:

    I met Wendy at last year’s Fashion for Paws and ever since have realized more and more everyday how amazing she is! She is extremely talented and very intelligent business woman – with plenty of street-smarts to go along with it, and most importantly is a kind and generous person. Not to mention she has a fabulous sense of style and is in amazing shape! Wendy IS the Awesome Washingtonian! 🙂 Well deserved, Wendy!!!

  2. Zena Polin says:

    You are just awesome!

  3. Great article – learned some things that I never knew about you! Oh…I think you’re SUPER awesome by the way.

  4. Linda Krell says:

    Wow I have SUCH an AWESOME friend! Woohoo!

  5. Well I always knew you were awesome, but that IS pretty awesome.

  6. LOVE THIS!!! Well deserved!!!!! XOXOXOXO

  7. I voted in the poll. 5’s across the board.

  8. Mel Davis says:

    wow! awesome is right!!! Yay.

  9. Tracy Larrua says:

    two-timer. i love it. ps- thought of you at the morimoto tasting dinner. jojo, of course, was a rock star. the guy was on the line cooking up a storm!!!

  10. Jill Collins says:

    You skipped 12th grade??? Now that really is awesome………..

  11. Jennifer says:

    You so deserved to be highlighted, Wendy! Congratulations! Thank you for all you do for the animals. I’m so glad we’re friends! XO

  12. Wendy is a dynamic and caring indiviual! I always enjoy conversing with her about what we’re up to. This article is not a surprise in the least, as it’s very well deserved.
    Congrats girlfriend!

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