Frequently, I write about new arrivals in an organization. But another satisfying part of my work is to honor excellent individuals upon their exit.

Such was the case earlier this week with Pat Liss, concierge extraordinaire at Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge for the first 9 1/2 years of the club’s existence. Her last day was July 23.

For more than a few reasons, I will miss Pat and her welcoming, warm personality as I entered, roamed around and exited the club during my visits to the site. From a purely PR standpoint, here’s one of the reasons: she tipped me off to numerous outstanding story ideas in the 3 1/2 years that I have provided public relations support for the Five Seasons clubs in Burr Ridge and Northbrook.

Pat was the one who sparked my media outreach about Five Seasons member Rick Rodrigues when, as a 55-year-old grandfather, he deployed to Iraq in 2007.

Spurred on by my news release, a media blitz ensued: the Chicago Sun-Times’ Andrew Herrmann wrote a front-page story on Rick, TV stations profiled him, and national outlets also pursued his story.

All of that buzz–and the positive glow that cascaded on Five Seasons, whose training staff was preparing Rich physically for the rigors ahead–can be traced back to Pat.

Her insatiable curiosity about what is happening in others’ lives and her others-focused desire to put the spotlight on them also happen to be powerfully effective PR traits.

So I was pleased to be able to turn the lens squarely on Pat last week, at her retirement celebration. You can see a TribLocal photo gallery of the event, which also links to the full release that I wrote.

In addition, Pioneer Press has picked up on the story.

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