About

Vladia Jurcova Spencer is a publicist, freelance travel writer and photographer.

In 2004, Vladia co-founded Stylee PR & Marketing with her fellow travel writer and publicist, Sherrie Bakshi. Since then, Stylee PR worked with a number of interesting clients, assisting them to grow their business and achieve their business goals. Over the years, Sherrie and Vladia created some of Charleston’s signature events such as the CFADA’s Palette and Palate Stroll and the Grape Stomping at Irvin-house Vineyards and launched some great products such as FireFly Vodka and the Culinary Tours of Charleston. Although her demanding life as a publicist keeps her busy, she still finds time traveling with her camera and pen. She also devotes her time to the Zonta Club of Charleston. In the past 5 years, she served as the Vice-Chairman of the PR and Communication Committee for Zonta International,  the Chairman for the ZISVAW Committee for Zonta International, District 11, and the president of the local chapter. Currently she serves as the PR and Marketing Chair for the 2014 Zonta International Convention in Orlando, FL. Established in 1919, Zonta International is a global non-profit organization that advances the status of women around the world through services and advocacy. In 2010, Vladia served as a PR chair for the American College of the Building Arts’ annual fundraiser, The Red Party, and as a PR and marketing chair of the Charleston Arts Coalition. She also assisted the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts with the creation of OPEN, an annual art expo. Worked on and led numerous PR committees for fundraising events including Share Our Suzy’s Black & White Party, Darkness to Light’s annual event and Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation event.

In 2011, Vladia was named one of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Forty Under 40Winners – annually awarded to outstanding young professionals in the Greater Charleston Area. In connection with this recognition, the Center For Women of which Vladia is a long-time member did the following profile.

Growing up in Communist Czechoslovakia, her travel opportunities were limited, but she always dreamed of being a journalist and writing about different countries, traditions and cultures from around the world. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia changed her life as she was allowed to travel and study abroad.

Her dream of becoming a journalist was shaping up to become reality when she started studying English and Creative Writing at a college in England. This was the beginning of her career as an independent world traveler as she undertook her first trip to the Persian Gulf. This captivating experience opened her eyes and heart to wanting to learn more about different cultures, traditions and religions.

Her fascination with this new feature of her life led her to involvement with international politics and public relations. After returning from England, she started working for Vodohospodarska Vystavba, an agency owned by the Ministry of Land Economy of Slovakia. She became involved in International Marketing and traveled the world with the agency, marketing its construction projects to world investment communities and securing financing for large scale projects such as water dams, tunnels and highways. During the four years with the agency, she worked with numerous global publications, governments and banks including J.P.Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Nomura Japan. While spending a semester in Chicago as an International Marketing Intern at Purdue University, Vladia gave several presentations to Indiana business communities on Slovakia and its marketing practices.

At the same time she was building her dream of becoming a photojournalist and every minute she could steal, she devoted to exploring the world with her pen and camera. In 1999, she spent several weeks in Morocco, chasing the perfect image; she climbed the highest mountain in the Northern Africa (Jabel Toubkal); camped with Bedouins in Sahara; searched for the Touaregs, the Blue People, in the Mauritania desert and explored the ancient souks and medinas with interesting local guides.

In 1999, she successfully closed a financial transaction worth $40 million for the Slovak Government, after which she made a decision to move to the United States and return to school in order to learn more about journalism, public relations and photography. Before this major move, she visited the Southeastern Asia and explored the world’s oldest rainforests in Malaysia, spent weeks trekking through the Northern Thailand, learned about traditions and culture of the Karen people while living in their village on the border with Burma and explored the enchanting, undiscovered islands belonging to Malaysian Borneo and Thailand.

She graduated in May 2002 from the University of Charleston, WV, and moved to Seattle. During her school years in West Virginia, she traveled to Brazil with a group called Partners of Americas. She provided them with press coverage prior and during the trip, visiting several Brazilian cities and Amazon rainforest. Having gathered enough materials from her trips, she held her first photo show in 2002 and showcased her creative black and white photography as well as several favorites from all over the world. During this time, she worked as a reporter for the West Virginia Public Radio and a local television channel owned by FOX Networks as well as wrote for the local newspaper.

 

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