If there’s one person in the community best known for loving life, having a big heart, and always helping others to succeed – it’s Arely Ruiz.
Soon after she left her position as Membership & Marketing Director La Gorce Country Club for 15 years and her son went off to college, Arely followed her dream – to start her own public relations firm. Having developed a great base of contacts early on, Arely has amassed an impressive list of clientele, all of whom seem to share her passion for giving back. Balancing all that can be a challenge unless, like Arely, you love what you do.
This vivacious, fun loving, generous, elegant, and incredibly creative PR maven and civic leader serves on many boards of directors and orchestrates several huge events annually that are always spectacular. Arely’s ability to connect and even cross connect her many friends and associates with prospective new clients and non-profits is one of the keys to her success.
QUESTION: Most recently, you were elected president of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club (GFWC). Please share how you were introduced to the club and what made you decide to join?
ARELY: CGWC is an impressive volunteer organization that is part of the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs. A colleague asked me to a meeting and I was hooked from the start.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what first impressed you, aside from the friendly welcome?
ARELY: This club has a long history of serving the community from the days of Eunice Merrick who was a member. We own, operate, and maintain a beautiful historic clubhouse with two ballrooms for rental. We also operate a free children’s dental clinic adjacent to one of our ballrooms, which provides more than $220,000 in free care annually to the children of the working poor. Two longtime members, our Dental Clinic Director Dr. Iris Torres and our Clubhouse Director and Past President Barbara Lapsley, are the glue that allows us to provide the best care for our patients and our well maintained clubhouse.
QUESTION: How do you manage to stay healthy considering your long hours?
ARELY: I think life is all about balance – striking a healthy balance between body, mind, and soul. It is important for all three to be in sync, otherwise one of the three ultimately suffers. In my profession, everyone is under constant stress so it is important to find a healthy outlet for the stress, eat right, exercise, and follow your intuition. And part of keeping my soul in balance is finding the time to help others, which is why I love being a member of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club.
QUESTION: You work closely with your client and friend, celebrity chef Chris Valdes, whose impromptu dinners must test your will power. We know Chris works out five days a week; what’s your secret?
ARELY: My secret is having my biggest meal of the day at lunch and exercising at Figurella! I find they not only help me with my weight loss goals but the oxygen bath at the end of every workout leaves me feeling like I have been to a spa…As for diet, I eat lots of vegetables (think GREEN) but I am addicted to coffee, so I have to drink it black which is very hard when you have grown up on “café con leche” and “cortaditos!” I try very hard to stay away from “sugar” in general, since it can cause inflammation in the body. Once a week though, I have a “cheat” day and eat everything I want!
QUESTION: You have some interesting clients, media contacts, and resources that allow you to put together events rather quickly. What was the shortest notice for a big event you ever tackled?
ARELY: I was once given just two weeks to put together an auction and sell sponsorships for an annual gala. Never doing that again – because it really is a disservice to the organization and to my agency when I put us in that type of situation. Years of experience have taught me to just say “no” at times in order to maintain a high level of service for all my clients.
QUESTION:For those women who share your passion for community service, explain how best to get involved.
ARELY: The best way to get started is to first determine which cause resonates with you. Do you have someone in your family suffering from Alzheimer’s? Has someone in your family had breast cancer? Do children hold a special place in your heart? In my case, all these causes are important to me, but I made children my priority and and I help them through my work with the Coral Gables Woman’s Club.
For more information on Arely and her community work, visit www.arelyPR.com.