Past Press Club President Barbara Zippi-Och began her career in communications as assistant to producers Al and Stella Alberts for Al Alberts’ Showcase on WPVI-TV. For almost 40 years, she has conceived, produced, and executed events as president of ARTEMIS Productions International. She is the creator and executive producer of Ciao Bella Living Italian Style, an Italian themed public access TV program archived on Radnor Studio 21 and YouTube, and she writes a column for the forThe Delaware Valley Italian-American Herald. Her latest project was the recent debut of the Barn Shop and Gallery at Echo Hill Farm, a historic property with roots dating back to the mid-1750s.
How did you get into creating, planning, producing, and marketing events?
I got involved with the Delaware County Chamber in the early ‘80s when I was a manager of Manpower Temporary Services. I became one of two women on the 30-member board along with Theresa Heinz of Heinz Lumber in Chester. It was an amazing time. I learned from the best. Whenever the Chamber needed volunteers to produce trade shows at Granite Run Mall, I stepped up, and when American Cablevision offered the Chamber a TV show during Jack Holefelder’s presidency, I produced it.
I handled many pro bono projects and my business grew from those activities. I believe that if you put your all into pro bono projects, they always produce positive results in your life one way or another. When I got laid off from Manpower, I started doing trade shows and events for other chambers.
What advice would you give others who would like to become involved in event planning?
The biggest component to understand in event planning is how to pull it off within budget. That’s what most people don’t put first. The event is planned in the budget line items which include your fees so the proposal you do is about finding the dollars. Sponsorships are vital in this industry today more than ever. Mutual beneficial partnership opportunities for sponsors, hosts, and guests are the strategies that are needed.
What effect has the Press Club had on you and your business?
My association with the Press Club started with Bob Finnucane walking into my business office in Media and asking if I would volunteer to take the phone call reservations for the monthly Club luncheons.
I’ve developed many friendships over the years as a result of the work opportunities provided to me by the Press Club. The value of any organization is to develop relationships. Some call networking handing out your business card. It’s caring and continuity. That lasts a lifetime.
What do you have planned for the future?
I’m learning more about Echo Hill and sharing it with small groups during COVID. The fall season includes many events including Photo Sessions with Santa, Connecting with Loved Ones in Spirit with Jeanann, Historic Barn Tour & S’mores, and more! All the events are listed on Eventbrite.
When it’s safe to travel again, I also can’t wait to enjoy my Italian hometown roots in Abruzzo with the many American friends that want to see the beauty of the real Italy.