The stars were shining at the Matrix Awards and Meredith Vieira grabbed SheKnows for a quick one-on-one.
Every year in April, Matrix Monday shines tall and proud in New York City. What are the NYWICI’s Matrix Awards, you ask?
They’re a prestigious annual awards ceremony for women who have made their mark in communications including, of course, Meredith Vieira. Portions of proceeds from the prestigious luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria go to the Foundation which offers scholarships. Recognized by New York’s communications and entertainment community as one of the most outstanding events of the year, more than 1,200 people were expected to gather to salute exceptional women in communications fields.
Julianne Moore was on hand to introduce Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure Magazine, Donny Deutsch introduced Linda Sawyer, CEO of Deutsch, Inc. and Tom Hanks introduced Leslee Dart, founder and CEO of 42West. Among other A-listers? Campbell Brown, Brian Williams, S. Epatha Merkerson, Jessica Lange and more!
Since New York Women in Communications empowers women in all communications disciplines to reach their full potential, yours truly caught up with Meredith Vieira, emcee of the Matrix Awards and co-anchor of Today and host, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? for some empowering words of wisdom when it comes to the best advice she’s ever been given:
“The best advice was from my dad and I was a reporter at Channel 10 in Providence, Rhode Island in the late ’70s. I got fired on a Friday by my boss,” Vieira says. “I had an apartment in Providence but my parents’ home was in East Providence. I went home and I was sitting in my bedroom crying and my dad came in. He asked, ‘What’s the matter?’ I told him. He said, ‘Well, do you believe in yourself?’
I said, ‘Yeah’ and he said, ‘Why do you care what this man said? People will always try to convince you you’re not good. And throughout your life there will be naysayers and if you believe in yourself that’s all that matters.’ I said, ‘Ok…'”
Vieira continues, “That Monday I went back to my boss and kind of stormed into his office said, ‘I’m going to make it to spite you!’ I don’t know if he thought I had a knife or something (laughs). He said, ‘Ok, I’m going to give you a second chance.'”
And the rest is history.
“We became friends,” Vieira remembers. “He has every right to make the decision that he did. He felt that I just didn’t have what it took. Failure’s part of life and it’s kind of a good thing to experience because first of all, it knocks you off whatever pedestal you’re on. And it allows you the opportunity see things from the ground and then rise up again. I think your perspective is never the same after that.”