On Jan. 25 during NAMM, I was honored with the “Next Generation” She Rocks Award at the first annual Women’s International Music Network (WiMN) breakfast and She Rocks Award ceremony held at the Marriott in Anaheim, Calif. (!!!).
The award came to me as an absolute surprise, as I was attending the event as a guest and had absolutely no idea that I, too, was being honored. WiMN founder and music industry veteran Laura Whitmore saved my award for last and described me as “a woman who works tirelessly to do the right thing,” and “an inspiration for young women joining our industry.”
I was in a total state of shock! Especially because other women receiving an award included heavy-hitters like musician and multi Grammy-winning songwriter for Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Heart, Aerosmith, and more Holly Knight; Australian guitar prodigy Orianthi (who is my total idol!!); Senior Vice President of Operations for Guitar Center Laura Taylor, and more. My reaction was, “really?!!? Me?!!? Up there?! Wow!!”
After being on cloud nine for the entire day, I came back to my hotel room to reminisce on the magnitude of what had just happened to me and my career. I also pondered on how I got to where I’m at, and who helped me get to where I am. There has been one common denominator ever-present throughout my career: inspiring and mentoring women.
Women have played a pivotal role in my life and musical journey since I was a child, starting with my mom. It was she who insisted on signing me up for guitar lessons while living in Mexico, and who along with my dad provided me with unconditional support.
My first-ever guitar teacher was female and she was also the one who left the most indelible marks in my life, Teresa Madiedo. It was a woman who first taught me about PR and who told me I’d make for an incredible public relations practioner, Linda Hensley. It was a woman who gave me my first guitar teaching gig when I had no experience, Marilú Briseño.
It was another woman who gave me my second guitar teaching job and provided me with absolutely all the support I needed in the classroom, Elsa Caberte. It was a woman who taught me 100% of all the music theory I know, Cynthia McGregor. And it was a woman who recognized my skillset and all I have to offer to the world, the beautiful, talented and relentless Laura B. Whitmore.
To all those women, thank you for believing in me. I am more motivated than ever to pay it forward.
Guitar & PR