“If you had it to do all over again, what would you do?”

“If I had to do it all over again in public relations, I would start out at the top. I would abolish all No. 2 pencils and editing software from client premises. I would see to it that the news media hire only reporters who take phone calls and recognize instantly the inherent worth of every pitch. Other than that, I would change very little. But of course, those changes will have to wait until I finish drafting my client’s latest news release and posting our latest tweet.”

– Jeff Bogart

Principal, Bogart Communications in
Hastings-on-Hudson, Hastings resident


“When I first got a credit card in my early 20s, I traveled to all the major cities, but I didn’t spend time exploring or taking full advantage of the opportunity. Now I don’t have time. I wish I had made the effort to take full advantage of each city I traveled to.”

– Michael Dardano

Marketing executive, BuzzPotential in Tuckahoe,
Tuckahoe resident


“I personally would not do anything differently, because I believe life is based on the experiences you have. There’s no rewind.”

– Jack Fingerhut

President of SmartPros Ltd. in Hawthorne,
Westwood, N.J., resident


“I would probably read more and study more.”

– Hector Grajales

Managing director, Eternal Asia in New York City,
Long Island City resident


“If I had to do it all over again, I would have decided on my career at an early age. My recommendation would be to start pursuing your interests while in college via internships and then stay the course with a great company in an industry that you truly have passion for. I have been fortunate to do a lot of interesting things throughout my life, such as owning a restaurant, a retail jewelry store and a travel agency and working in both the hospitality and financial services industries. Although I’ve enjoyed and learned a lot from each of these career opportunities, I’m very happy to have now re-entered the hospitality field – managing sales and marketing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown.”

– Peter Jiser

Director of sales and marketing,
DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown, Westport resident


“I’d become a debate coach for presidential candidates.”

– Carolyn Mandelker

President and CEO, Harrison Edwards PR & Marketing in Bedford Hills, Katonah resident


“The hardest thing when you’re starting out is knowing you can negotiate. You are worth negotiating. People should know they don’t need to settle with the first job that comes along, a job interview should go both ways.”

– Kat McKee

Client relationship manager, Mount Kisco resident


“I wouldn’t change a single thing. Life definitely has its share of ups and downs, but I am a believer in the importance of the journey over the destination. There is a proverb from Japan (where I had the good fortune of living for eight years) that I think captures it best…. ‘When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there.’”

– Leila Siman

Director, employee engagement communications, ITT Corp. headquartered in White Plains, New Fairfield resident


“If I could do it all over again, I would have left the corporate world earlier to pursue my entrepreneurial aspirations of working towards my own goals and being in charge of my own destiny. Being your own boss offers many benefits, including the ability to skip out and play a round of golf, but the long hours can certainly be grueling. About five years ago, my partner and I began to review franchise opportunities in the area and then decided on opening up a Jake’s Wayback Burgers restaurant when the burger craze first began. Since opening the business, I’ve become the queen of multitasking, learned to deal with many different personalities – from customers to our staff – and have realized there should be eight days in the week, instead of seven, to accomplish everything I need to do.”

– Deb Smith

Co-owner of Jake’s Wayback Burgers
in Hartsdale, Peekskill resident



– William Van Vlack

Vice President, senior business relationship manager, HSBC, Port Chester resident


“I think if I had to do it all over again I would take the time to enhance my personal development or leadership skills.”

– Jacqueline J. Warner

Attorney, Hinman, Howard & Kattell L.L.P.,
Ossining resident
“If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have been so indecisive. If I had known I was going to be in the dental practice management field, I would have stuck with my original major in business management. People always say to go with your instinct and I should have listened. I must have changed my major four different times in college. I couldn’t make up my mind and couldn’t see myself doing any one particular thing, which was so frustrating for me. I was just going with the flow and continuing to further my education. Although I wasted a lot of time, it led me to where I am, and who I am, today. …And, I’m happy to say that it all paid off. I was quickly promoted to office manager and I now help manage two offices and a team of 14 people.”

– Ashley Witkiewicz

Office manager, Valley Pediatric Dentistry in Yorktown, North White Plains resident

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