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LARISSA + MICHAEL
ANELISE + ANTHONY
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PB Protègè Puerto Rico

"We had the honor of hosting and producing the PB Protègè Intensive Workshop in Puerto Rico.  It definitely has been one of the most amazing experiences in 16 years."  Mara

 

 

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

I don't consider myself a writer, but there is always a first for everything in life.  I decided to start blogging after a successful week in August, a somehow intensive week.  A journey that started two years ago with what some people thought was an impossible dream.  A journey that some may consider ended a few weeks ago, but I see it as a new journey that has just started in my professional life.  

It was back in 2015, while in New York City, when the idea came into my mind.  At that time I was attending my second PB Protègè and was very aware of all the knowledge I had acquired.  Three "why's" came up to mind, education, Puerto Rico and collaboration. I remember Preston said "go ahead, let's do it" and upon returning home I started putting everything together.  We started the planning process in January 2017, I can say that the past months have been quite a ride and I enjoyed every moment. 

 


 

"The capacity to learn is a gift... the ability to learn is a skill... the willingness to learn is a choice." Brian Herbert

 

Education

My initial "why" was based on education, I had learned so many things from the PB Protègè, that I thought everyone back home would benefit from this.  Everytime I came back home from a PB Protègè in New York, and I've been there three times, people would ask lots of questions or tell me "I would love to go, let me know when the next one is".  I strongly believe that education is the key to success and if the event industry in Puerto Rico grew in knowledge, everyone would benefit from it.  Education is a choice and to my surprise all the attendees where from all over the world, which leads me to my second "why".

 


 

Puerto Rico

As a three time Protègè I've met people from all over the world.  Some may think this is just a one time thing, you meet them and then everyone goes back home, not for me.  I knew we would have people visiting Puerto Rico for the first time and this would result in a great opportunity for tourism and the event industry.  Puerto Rico is considered the number one desination in the Caribbean, but who wouldn't want Puerto Rico to go further?  We had people from Nigeria, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Suriname, México, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay and USA.  Now more event planners + designers from all over the world will think of Puerto Rico as a destination.  I have to say that all of the attendees came up to me to express how welcomed they felt and how they loved the whole experience of Puerto Rico. 

There is so much you can learn from cultural exchange.  Yes, weddings can "look" the same here and there, but there is always something different  that is done in another country that can be implemented in yours.  Attendees were divided in four groups and I had one to supervise, group #4. They were given a design, worked on it their way and later sold the concept to Preston.  You can't even imagine how much you can take from a conversation and exchange of ideas with designers from other countries.  Yes, my group won!

 


 

Collaboration

"I can do things you cannot... You can do things I cannot... Together we can do great things..." Mother Teresa

I had to build up a production team from Puerto Rico to work on the program.  Of course I had my own team from Blanco by Mara and Ambiance Event Rental, but decided to go further with this.  I reached out to my event design colleagues.  Why?  Because we need to break down barriers, learn from others, reach for the same goal, build new opportunities and relationships.  My goal definitely is a better wedding + event industry in Puerto Rico, because we would all benefit from this.  If you have a new idea, share it.  If you want to collaborate, reach out to others.  If you really want a positive change in Puerto Rico, we have to work together!

And this is just me getting started, I had the best team of professionals who said YES when I reached out to them...

 


 

Dear Preston,  

There will never be enough words to express my gratitude to you.  You have been more than a mentor, you have become a special person in my life. This was one of the best experiences in my professional life and I'm very excited for what's next!

Gracias, Mara

 

 

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