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Volume 24 No. 158
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Weekend Plans With Wasserman Media Group's Heidi Pellerano: Getting Back To Roots

Marketers must adapt to an ever-changing marketplace, and Wasserman Media Group Senior VP/Multicultural Marketing HEIDI PELLERANO is no stranger to adaptation. She adjusted to life in North Carolina after living in Puerto Rico until the age of 15. She adapted to the sports industry after beginning her professional life closer to the engineering field. But away from work, she gravitates toward the familiar, whether it is the company of her extended family or the comfort of meals she remembers from childhood.

TIME TO CONNECT: For me, the weekends play a few roles. ... I have family here in Miami that I hadn’t seen in a long time, so now that I moved here, I can have dinner with them or go shopping or catch a movie. Being new to Miami, the other part is making new friends and getting more comfortable making this my home. My family are spread all over, so thank God for the invention of the telephone. My mom tells me everything that’s going on in Puerto Rico, and my dad tells me the latest statistics in baseball. He’s a huge baseball guy and a golf guy, so he gets very depressed when the season ends. I’m waiting for that speech at the end of October. It’s the same one every year. I grew up playing basketball, but I cannot get him to follow basketball to save my life.

THE COOL AUNT: Weekends are also an important time for me to catch up with my brother’s three kids. My oldest niece just started college, so it’s been good talking to her about going to her first college football game and her first exam. It’s all the stuff I love, and hopefully I get to play a little bit of the “cool aunt.” My middle nephew started his first fantasy football league, so I helped with his draft board. We spend a lot of time on the weekend talking stats.

LA ISLA BONITA: Now that I’m in Miami, it gives me the flexibility to get back to Puerto Rico. My parents definitely come here more often. They love that it’s a two-hour flight. I go home two, maybe three times a year, but no more, because my mom comes every quarter. ... In our culture, you always get Holy Week, the week of Easter, off. Our family would go to different parts of the island. Now you go back, you see things are different. ... That’s where my heart is and will always be, but it is amazing to see how things have changed.

A COOK’S TOUR: Sunday is my cooking day. I usually eat out on Saturday and try a new restaurant. But Sundays, I get to reminisce about all the things I’ve been taught by my parents, who are fantastic cooks. It’s really cool when they call me on Sunday afternoon, and I’m like, “Dad, I’m making your pork loin and tamarind sauce recipe,” and I can see him beaming through the phone. Food for me is a way to stay connected to my family and my culture, no matter where I am. ... When I have to work on a Sunday, it throws me off the rest of the week.

ONE OF A KIND: There’s an experience in Puerto Rico called lechonera. The middle of the island is a mountain ridge, and there is a road that goes up the mountain, and it’s all these places. They put the pig on a spit, and there is no place like it. If you go to Puerto Rico, you have to try that. They might not look like the best places. They are usually little huts, but the food is just amazing. I’ve had them here in Miami, which you would think gets close. But no, not even close.

SEASONS IN THE SUN: This time of year is very busy from two things. You have client planning, so you’re doing a lot of material for your clients for their planning season, their budgeting season. And on top of that you have your own internal planning and budgeting. September, October, November can be very busy, then on top of that you add the holiday schedule. It can be a very difficult stretch. For me, the quietest time of the year is early January, because a lot of Latin culture is not back at work yet. Especially in Latin America, they don’t get back to work until the second or third week of January.