January 5, 2013

Dear Dad:

You could only be so lucky to have a friend like Lisa Buzzelli. And this comes from someone who has had a ton of friends in and out of my life. Lisa is one of the most caring, thoughtful, entertaining, engaging, loving, inquisitive friends I have ever had the pleasure of having.

I have only known Lisa for a few years (make that 10) and have had some really incredible moments with her. Whether she knows it or not, she has had a major impact on me and my life, as well as my kids, my family, my friends, my profession, my city…and on and on.

When I first met her, she was the manager at newly opened IMAX Theatre (which has since closed). It was then when I got to see how talented she was and to see her love for the city. She lead the charge in creating synergy to the area and was smart with her approach to marketing Aquarium Wharf as a destination. She thought big and had incredible vision. She assembled one of the best staffs I have ever seen who were equally as talented, passionate and creative.

It was obvious to have her part of the Festival when we were coming up with the initial concepts. She instantly agreed to serve as one of the original Planning Committee members and headed up all of the marketing efforts. I learned from her how to be super creative, how to turn over every stone possible and how to do it all without spending a dime. She is queen of collaboration and cross-promotion.

Since her early days on that Committee, she has remained one of the few original volunteers that is still extremely involved in the organization and has appropriately been named “Queen Volunteer”.

But more than a hard worker, she is a dedicated and thoughtful friend. She is the first to send you a card and a little gift “just because”. Her gifts are extremely thoughtful including the pez with labels, the lottery tickets, the liquor and wine and much more.

Lisa is a part of my family. When she agreed to become Chase’s godmother, she took it extremely seriously and still remains active in his life (yes sending cards and gifts for every holiday–who does that?). And because I know her like I do, I am sure she lights a candle for him when she goes to church.

“Lisa B” as we call her, is one of the best people to have while you are out to dinner or at a bar. She asks a million questions, which I love, and really cares to find out how you are, what’s new in the world and how she can help out. I could sit around for hours with her on a deck or dock somewhere, shooting the shit, drinking–her Miller Lite, me red wine–and laughing about our lives.

My only regret is she does not work with me day in and day out. I wish there had been a way to have her part of the Festival team full-time. I know she would make an incredible addition and would really help continue to elevate the event to enormous potential.

Dad, I know you have had friends like Lisa and as you would do, I embrace her and treasure every moment we have together. I hope to continue to learn from her and to become a better person just trying to be half the friend she is to me and to so many others.

So to friends like Lisa! May they always be around and always know how amazingly great they are.



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