Miss Lori lists her 11 top Follow Fridays from 2011

On this the last Follow Friday of 2011 I have a a very special list to share with you. Theses are 11 people who held 2011 together for me and helped me propel it forward with intelligence, laughter and community. If you aren’t following them yet in any social media outlet I encourage you to do so. They are as loving as they are inspiring and are sure to add a little special something to your World. I know they have in mine.

Mj Tam @MjTam I can’t say enough about MJ Tam. She is my idol. I am so in awe of all that she does, especially because she is so unassuming about it. She accomplishes more in a week than most of us do in a month. I swear she doesn’t sleep. there is simply no way that she can. As the operator of the Chicagonista conglomorate, head of Social RevUp, creator of the new Brands and Bloggers summit, master event planner, Mayor of nearly every Chinatown restaurant and, oh yeah, mother of three! Every time I sit down with MJ I learn as much about the industry as I do about myself. She has such insight in to this social media sphere. Just a casual conversation reveals valuable ideas and strategies that can help even the most seasoned pro. But when I tell her that she just scoffs, which makes her all the more endearing. But for as much as I love having her as a professional booster, I am most thankful for her love, support and friendship as a woman and fellow mother. I can’t imagine my life without her.

Liz Strauss @LizStrauss You know that little voice you hear in your head sometimes, the voice of reason or encouragement or caution? That voice for me belongs to the irresistible Liz Strauss. I first met Liz when fellow friend and social media influencer Beth Rosen brought her to my OfficeMax teacher event in 2009. We didn’t get a lot of time together that day but she was kind enough to share a story form her teaching days with me. The first of many stories of inspiration she has shared with me consistently since that night. She has so many. However if I were to say that I don’t understand how little ole me became good friends with the Liz Strauss she would give me a stern look and remind me that I am worth more than I give myself credit for, so I won’t say that. What I will say is that having her voice in my head, having a little Liz on my shoulder, helps me find the resolve on even my most difficult of days to stand taller, to weed out things and people that aren’t relevant, and to plot out a path towards personal and professional accomplishment and fulfillment. That is utterly irresistible.

David Grotto @DavidGrotto If you don’t know why I love David you haven’t been paying attention to my site for the last several months. David Grotto is the master nutritionist who has so kindly shared his expert guidance with me on my path to better health through more sensible eating. His suggestions, his weekly phone check ins, his online nudges have empowered me in a way that I have not been able to empower myself in years. I am standing taller and slimmer thanks to David, and it feels AWESOME! I am not yet fully able to walk alone on this path, but I don’t have to because I know my friend David Grotto is there for me in whatever capacity I need. And that is a nutritious blessing for my soul.

Priscilla Dee Dixon @PDeeDixon Priscilla Dee Dixon may not be a name you are familiar with outside of Chicago, or even inside our fair city for that matter. She isn’t a Social Media guru or blogger, or anything like that. She is a lawyer, she is a mother of three, she is a vocal and concerned citizen, she is the smartest woman I know and she is my friend. I have known Priscilla since just before my third child was born almost 9 years ago. Our relationship has traveled over many peaks and plains. but this year we have bonded more closely than ever before. She is my nearly daily phone call checking in on reality. Hearing her voice say, “What’s up Chick?” or “Hola Chica” brightens even my darkest of moods. Oh yes, I have dark moods. There are very few people who experience them though. Priscilla is an expert in my moods, my life and my trials and tribulations. But our exchanges aren’t all blue. We laugh like there is no end to the humor. We are loud, we are boisterous and we are unstoppable. And that’s just what I hope our friendship will be totally unstoppable.

Connie Burke @ConnieBurke  Connie Connie Connie. What can’t I say about Connie. She is the force behind General Motors’s Social Media. She is HIGHsterical, she is smart and she is supportive. Though I have know Connie for about two years she became a huge part of my life this year, starting with a random December tweet I posted in 2010 asking Santa for a car for Christmas. Well, Santa was too busy to answer, but Connie wasn’t. She said she couldn’t give me a car for Christmas but she could lend me a Chevy Cruze for a week. And that’s where our story began. About 70% of my viewership on my MissLoridotTV youtube channel are men thanks to Connie. Her generosity, her belief in my talent and influence afforded me the opportunity to promo over 8 cars for GM this year. By giving me such a great opportunity she opened up another chapter in my resume leading me to promo cars from other brands as well. It has been such an exciting journey and I am forever thankful for Connie putting me behind the wheel first.

Renee M Martinez @ReneeMMartinez “Jo-laaanda!”I had actually met Renee Martinez a few times before my trip to BlogWorld LA, but like Adam and I we hadn’t really had a chance to talk. I don’t remember what brought us together exactly but it doesn’t really matter, because once we connected in LA we were instantly bonded. We laughed so much I had to keep visiting the bathroom so I wouldn’t wet my pants. It’ was just one of those connections those meant to be connections that doesn’t need a definition or structure, it just is. Renee and I have talked texted, emailed and more since LA. Living a time zone apart is an obstacle, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I know in my heart that no matter the distance, no matte the time in between contact that somehow Renee and I are going to remain soulmates, and that is priceless.

Ted Rubin @TedRubin You must know Ted. If you went to any conferences this year you probably saw ted live or in your twitter stream. Ted is everywhere it seems. But what I love most about Ted is not his energy, his social acumen, his dynamic personality, no, all of those are awesome and true. But what I love most about ted is his commitment to his children. We didn’t get to hang out at Blogalicious this year because he cut and run after speaking. Why? Because it was his weekend with his girls. And even though they are teen-agers and would probably ignore him the whole time 😉 he wasn’t about to miss any chance he has to be in their presence. Now that’s what life is about. That’s a true leader, and I am so proud to be in his community because of it.

Adam Keats @AKeats and Renee Radbill Keats @WindyCityMomma: Adam Keats and I have been circling each other’s hemispheres for the last couple of years, but it wasn’t until BlogWorldLA that we got to spend some very concentrated time together. So much so that I was convinced he had a tracker  on me. But then later I realized it was more likely that I had a GPS on him. Whichever it was we seemed to share each other’s company at every turn. And what a treat it was. Adam is easy going, intelligent and has a great dry sense of humor. We laughed a lot! What I like most about Adam though is his taste in wives. I didn’t realize at first that I had just met his wife prior to BWELA. At a screening of Oprah’s Life Class program I sat next to this delightful woman named Renee aka WindyCityMomma. I was casually aware of her, and new that we were following each other, but as is often the case in social media we had never met in real life. Again she knew me for the TV and was incredibly complimentary of my work. So much so she had me glowing all day after our conversation. Special that I am it took me several weeks before I put two and two together and came up with Adam and Renee. But once I did it made perfect sense. I am so in awe of the way they balance each other personally and professionally. They aren’t perfect human beings, or a perfect couple. (Geez who is!) But they have established a rhythm that works to this lay persons eye, and I applaud them. I am thankful for their example, for their hard work, and for their friendship.

Lisa @NewYorkChica I made a great new friends this year at Blogalicious. It started with a tweet from me in search of a roommate. We had never met before, though she and her kids were aware of me form my television work. She arrived ate the first evening. we had a timid hello which lasted all of about 2 seconds and then after that we were fast buddies sharing thoughts laughs ideas and a bathroom! It was the girlfriend experience I never had in college. I am so thankful for those 3 days. Our lives are lived many states away form each other so continuing that level of intimacy achieved is hard. But life is rich from little moments not just big ones. And those this moment was short it was by no means little in it’s impact on me. For that I thank my Blogalicious roommie @NewYorkChica and remind her, “you don;t have to call me Miss Lori, Lori is fine. But remember it’s Mistress Lori after midnight!” Tee Hee :)

Cynthia Wheeler @NapWarden Cynthia is also one of those people I have seen around the social media water cooler since I joined the crew a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t until this year that we really got to know each other. And get to know each other we have done. Cynthia was my very special date to the absolutely memorable Nintendo party at Blogher this year. I don’t even remember how that came about but I am so glad that I invited her because there is no one else I would like to share that particular memory with than Cynthia. She was a perfect match for the experience. Since that bonding event we have been consorting more professionally as I am one of Cynthia’s numerous blog design clients. She has been slaving over the redesign of MissLori.TV. Well, maybe not slaving, more like chasing it…or me to be exact. She has to chase me down, bless her heart. But we will finally get it done in 2012 and it will be as spectacular, because she is spectacular. Until then, we will always have the fire pit!

I would be remiss if I didn’t add YOU to the list. All of YOU who have followed my stream, followed my concerts, followed my posts, followed my life. It is because of YOU that I push myself harder, reach further and love deeper. Thank YOU for being there for me this year. I hope to see YOU in 2012 as well.



Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV,

Wearetherealdeal.comYoungChicagonistaChicagoMomsBlog, and ChicagoMoms.com.

You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on YoutubeFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Miss Lori says:

    So glad to have you as a teamate MJ!



  2. Miss Lori – what a gift to read this on the very last day of 2010. I am blessed with your love and frendship and I too cannot imagine life without knowing you! Cheers to 2012….We are so owning 2012! :-)