You know the kind of friend who makes you feel like you’re the only one in the room and that they’re interested in everything you have to say?
Well, that’s Laila Morcos Zissis. She is always thinking of ways to help others. Earlier this year she expanded the group of close friends and business associates that first met in her living room in 2014 into Likeminded Ladies – a membership organization for women passionate about inspiring others. LML, as it is affectionately called, is an organization where women can come together to support one another personally and professionally. Monthly meetings are times for members to vent, brainstorm,network, and have a fun time!
Laila grew up wanting to be a fashion designer. She was so in love with playing dress up that her Mom helped Laila turn her bedroom into a “boutique” – complete with gift boxes and her own designer labels. Today, her career of choice may not be fashion, but she’s fashioned a great life doing what she loves and helping others to do the same.
What was your major?
I majored in Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism at LSU.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
My first job was at the Whole Foods Market on Esplanade Avenue. Now it’s a Canseco’s Market. I learned that I didn’t want to be in the supermarket industry.
You were a reporter here in New Orleans in a decent-sized market, but you walked away from that job. Why?
I got into reporting because I wanted to make a difference, to tell good stories, and to tell people information that they needed to know. I felt that throughout the years it became no longer about telling human interest stories but instead more about the tragedies of the day. I know those stories have their place but I enjoyed reporting human interest stories more. That’s why I left the business. However, I benefitted from the experience and will always cherish the colleagues with whom I worked.
How did you get your first job in television news?
I got an internship at WAFB in Baton Rouge. My first job was in Lake Charles at KPLC.
What was your favorite news story that you covered during your time as a reporter?
There were two stories that impacted me. The first story was about Dylan Tujague. He truly touched my heart. Dylan was born with a cloverleaf skull. He has an amazing personality. Dylan and his family brought sheer joy to me through their perseverance and love for each other.
The other story that touched me was reporting on D.J. Dietze.When Dylan was 13 years old, he accidentally shot himself with a gun leaving him a paraplegic. He used his accident as a way to share his message about gun safety with local high school students. Unfortunately, D.J. has since passed away.
Both of these families pushed through their adversities with a beautiful spirit.
Where do you work now?
I work for a company called Miles. It’s one of the largest tourism marketing agencies in the world. I handle all the New Orleans advertising for its tourism collateral.
Why did you launch Likeminded Ladies?
I feel that today women do everything, not that I’m taking anything away from men. I wanted to start a group of superstar women that could come together and be there for each other. I don’t believe that women should compete with each other. I think that women should uplift each other because we’re all in the same boat.We need to be kind and supportive to each other.
How did Likeminded Ladies begin?
I started identifying women that I knew and admired and invited them to come together. We’d meet once a month to have a good time and release stress. The women started connecting and forming friendships outside of me. People were telling me that I needed to formalize the group and that’s how LML began. Likeminded Ladies are open, loving, and caring. That’s the kind of people we are looking for. If you have unconditional love and are kind to others then we’d love to have you join us.
What do your girlfriends mean to you?
My girlfriends are everything to me. They are like my sisters. I know that if I were to reach out to my friends for help they would be there for me.
Describe your perfect day in New Orleans?
I’d sleep late then go for a walk in City Park with my husband just to get the endorphins going. We’d go home to freshen up and then go to a champagne brunch. After, we’d take the streetcar to the French Quarter and walk around. We’d return home after sunset and spend a lovely evening together.
What three restaurants do you tell tourists about?
What advice do you have for young women today?
If you want something badly enough don’t stress about the journey there. Also, keep your reputation solid and you’ll never have to look for a job, the job will always come to you.
The best thing about New Orleans is…
Favorite po-boy: roast beef, fried shrimp, or fried oyster?
Fried shrimp with extra, extra, extra mayonnaise, dressed!
You can find out more about Like Minded Ladies at http://www.likemindedladies.com/