Tag Archives: stephanie casola

Giant Turkeys and Lukken’s – Here’s How Franco Does the Holidays

Each family celebrates the holidays in their own, unique (sometimes out-there) way. Here’s how some of our Franco team rings in the yuletide season with their loved ones.

Stephanie Angelyn Casola, Account Manager

Pasta! Is that a tradition? It was if you grew up in the Casola household. The holiday didn’t matter, one thing was certain: there would be pasta. Sure, we had a giant turkey, my mom’s mashed potatoes, cranberries shaped like a can. But even better? My Sicilian born-and-raised father made sure there was also a pot-full of fresh tomato sauce bubbling on the stove to top his cannelloni or spaghetti. If he had time, we started the meal with homemade meatball soup (my sisters and I would battle over who-got-how-many-meatballs). Every holiday morning I dream of waking up to those smells of him cooking in the kitchen.

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Note the caption!

Pat Adanti-Joy, Vice President

There was a local department store in Dearborn by the name of Muirhead’s that had a wonderful, elaborate Christmas exhibit every year. It was a tradition for our family to see Santa there every year.

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If you’re wondering, Pat’s riding shotgun.

Lauren Connor, Assistant Account Executive

When we are sitting around the table after we have finished our meal my dad will put some random item in a box and put it on the table. No one can see inside it and we then go around in a circle asking yes or no questions trying to guess what it is. The items are very random like a pen or a baseball but once someone has figured it out, they get a prize – usually money or a gift card. Last year, it was a gift card to get your car detailed. (I didn’t win and I was super bummed because my car needed it.)

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Mary Parkinson, Assistant Account Executive

A recent tradition my family has started is traveling around the holidays. We have been to New Zealand, Salt Lake City and this year we are heading to Dubai!

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Salt Lake City, 2014

Marie Stawasz, Senior Account Executive

I’m Polish. Polish people love tradition. Pierogi, kielbasa and zupa grzybowa are all part of my family’s Christmas, but another tradition that holds a close place in my heart are my Mimi’s Santa Cookies. These decorated treats are made using Aunt Chick’s cookie cutters, a vintage cutter that my grandma purchased at Hudson’s many years ago. Perfectly decorated with red granulated sugar and fluffy icing, these retro-inspired cookies are always a hit during the holidays – and it’s not hard to see why!

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Notice the fu manchu and unibrow? Mine and my sister’s take on making the cookies more unique. We get our sense of humor from Mimi.

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Joe Ferlito, Account Manager

My uncle raises a turkey each year specifically for Thanksgiving Day. It’s funny because a few years ago, we had a 40 pound bird and it barely fit in the oven… and took forever to cook.

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Sasha Reeves, Assistant Account Executive

The past few Christmases, I’ve prepared some sort of sweet treat, packaged them up in a cute holiday themed tin and delivered them to our police and fire stations for those on duty on Christmas. It’s also nice being able to hand deliver it and thank them for their service that pulls them away from their own families in order to protect our community.

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Alex Fulbright, Digital Marketing Specialist

Each year my parents make me and my siblings wait at the top of our steps as they “see what Santa brought” (We now know that means make coffee, and turn on the 24-7 fireplace channel.) To get a glimpse of the Christmas cheer that exploded in our living room the night before, we would have to ask permission to descend a step. Yes, one step at a time. Sometimes – if we were lucky – we’d get the okay to move down two! Making it to the landing was always an accomplishment, and by then our eagerness usually takes on a new form – frustration. “Can we go down two more stairs, Dad?” we’d yell down. “I don’t know ask your Mom” or the ever-popular “I saw you peeking, move up two stairs” certainly takes its toll on a kid. But it’s all worth it when we get that first glimpse of the tree. Deep gasps all around.

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Note: Yes, even though my sister and I are in our early twenties and my brother is old enough to drive we still have to start at the top step and work our way down. We’ve grown to love it (not to mention almost out-grown the steps between the three of us!) and plan on keeping the tradition alive!

Lori Cook, Office Manager

In my family, every Christmas, we make a Belgian cookie called Lukken.  These cookies look like and taste quite a bit like sugar ice cream cones but are flat discs made one at a time on a metal iron that sits on the stove. It’s a daylong event that begins around 9 a.m. with Grandma Pat, my daughter Michelle, nieces Chris, Sarah, Tracy and Rachel all working together to turn three big bowls of dough into quarter-sized balls that will then be cooked individually.  During the six or so hours it will take we all take turns manning the two irons that have been passed down from my grandparents to my parents. My dad started making these cookies as a boy with his dad.  We take this very seriously and if anyone burns a cookie it comes out of their allotment at the end!

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Sarah Kornacki, Assistant Account Executive

Since my parents always like to buy clothing as Christmas gifts for me and my sisters, every year on Dec. 26, my sisters and I try on and model our new outfits.

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John C. Mozena, Account Director

For us, the holidays involve the kind of organizational planning and negotiations usually associated with a major amphibious invasion. Juggling family, church, school pageants, and work-related events keep my family on their toes. But that makes the time that we do get to spend together (even if it is in the car driving to our next stop) that much more meaningful.

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How does your family celebrate the holidays? Share your traditions in the comments!

9 Moments From TEDxDetroit That Will Make You Want To TEDx Everyday

Just one week ago Detroit entrepreneurs, musicians, comedians, nerds, artists and doers congregated at the Fox Theater for TEDxDetroit 2015 to share their new ideas, inventions and points-of-view. It was a day filled with explosions, standing ovations and tears.

I was lucky enough to get asked to help my fellow Franconians, Stephanie Casola and Marie Stawaz with the PR efforts the day-off the event. Picture backstage access, VIP seating and face time with speakers.

So to commemorate my first-ever TEDxDetroit, enjoy these moments from the show – crowd favorites, most-shocking and some inspiring. If you weren’t able to attend, or if you’d like to re-watch any talks, TEDxDetroit plans on posting links on their website sometime in November.

1. Charles Gibson aka “The Exploder” from the Michigan Science Center causally BLEW THINGS UP during his talk.

2. Detroit Director, Stephen McGee showed off some of his new toys.  

3.  Organization for Bat Conservation‘s, Rob Miles surprised us with a different kind of flying object. 

4. Music performances by Alicia Michilli, Tunde Olaniran and Ahya Simone and Shelby 5 kept the TEDxDetroit crowd pumped up.  

 

 

5. Detroit native, Aaron Foley made some great points about old Detroit vs. the new Detroit and how we need to come together as one.

6. Speed painting pair, Dave Santia and Sarah Kay created a Beatles portrait, in front of the TEDxDetroit live audience in just SEVEN MINUTES.

7. Sixteen-year-old high school senior and inventor of the “Wheelchair Stroller”, Alden Kane had the crowd on their feet during his on-stage interview with TEDxDetroit board member, Charlie Wollborg.

8. Comedian, writer and professor Amer Zahr did a bit about what it’s like to be an Arab American.

9. Franco Account Manager, Stephanie Casola was recognized on stage for her PR work surrounding TEDxDetroit, but was too busy coordinating media interviews to hear any of it!

Overall, you could say I was “over the moon” with the TEDxDetroit experience.

Alexandria Fulbright and Stephanie Casola at TEDxDetroit

Franco’s Alexandria Fulbright and Stephanie Casola explore the TEDxDetroit labs at Hockeytown Cafe.

 

Did I leave out your favorite TEDxDetroit moment? Call me out in the comments!

Alex Fulbright is a digital marketing specialist at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5085 or fulbright@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AlexandriaFul and connect on LinkedIn.