Risë Birnbaum on "Pride"

Rise Birnbraum

Summer in the City



On "Pride"

I’ve come to think of pride as a fluid trait, changing with time and self-awareness.  The objects of my pride have shifted over time, like GPS course corrections. 

I was always proud of gold stars, well-played tennis matches, gold plaques and silver statuettes, but, pride in my family and business has eclipsed many early, chest-puffing moments.  And though I’ve failed in the past, I’m trying very hard these days to stay in the “proud” zone and not cross over into “prideful” territory.  Don’t think there’s a 12-step program for being prideful.

I’ve been on boards in the past, and proud of my involvement, but my focus on work is eating up much of my times these days.  Apart from work, my passions are movies (Indie and foreign first, then anything with popcorn), art & architecture (thanks to modern architect dad), tennis (need to play more), pizza (I am from New Jersey) and a warm chaise on a white sand with a good read (summered on jersey shore when summer was still a noun).


Rise Brinbaum

A little fun on the job




Here are a few proud & memorable moments over the years:

  • Tuning in to my first on air news broadcast on WINZ Radio while seated in my gold, racing-striped, second-hand Toyota Celica parked in my Coconut Grove apartment underground garage
  • kissing the golden-boy captain of the tennis and football teams on the steps of my dorm at Choate summer school after curfew
  • working as the first woman Correspondent at ABC’s American Contemporary Radio Network
  • crying as I hung my dad’s oil painting of the NY skyline that he painted on weekends in our rec room throughout 1964
  • opening the envelope tapping me as quarter-finalist for my screenplay, “Newsflash,” (still for sale along with “Rock Hard”) in the Monterey Screenplay Competition
  • publishing Amtrak’s first on-board magazine, “arrive”
  • befriending Bob Balaban at the Cannes Film Festival and being invited to his directorial debut (‘cause we had a car and shuttled him around town)
  • helming a marcomm agency for 28 years (though still wish I were a Hollywood producer)
  • joining my family for our annual Thanksgiving dinner
  • watching my daughter, Jeni Birnbaum, thrive

The last two bullets put all the others to shame.


I have just one child – Jeni Sue Birnbaum – who is the very best of her dad and me.  Sometimes you just get lucky, and we did.  She’s kind, well educated, self-aware, hard-working, responsible, athletic and very, very funny.  In fact, the two of us have an idea for a spoofy feature film that I’m trying to persuade her to write with me.  She, is, by far, the best thing that’s ever happened to me and is literally my pride and joy.


With daughter and niece



Risë Birnbaum

CEO, ZCOMM, Washington DC - A National Marketing Agency

Email rise@zpr.com

Facebook: @ZCommunications





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