September 3, 2008

Celebrity Sighting: Keith Ferrazzi and Danielle Gaudio-Lalehzar

September 3rd, 2008

Howard and celebrities
Left to right: Sal Lalehzar, Howard Tucker, Keith Ferrazzi, Danielle Gaudio Lalehzar, Robin Kimzey (Marketing Director at Accenture).

By Howard Tucker, JBB Special Correspondent

Thursday, August 28th was another night to remember at the August Wilson Theater as celebrity sightings continue at this ever-magnetic show. Although I myself have sometimes been accused of being a quasi-celebrity in Jersey Boys circles, on this evening I paled in comparison to the distinguished company I was in… ladies and gentlemen. I had the pleasure of spending time with renowned author Keith Ferrazzi and his guests- as well as our own Jersey Babys Executive Producer, Danielle Gaudio Lalehzar and her husband, Sal.

Many of you are aware that Keith wrote the NY Times Top 10 best-seller, “Never Eat Alone,” which is a virtual bible for movers and shakers and regular folks who want to connect and be connected in any area of life…certainly an important objective for those in the competitive field of performing arts, which is why his book is well known to so many in the JB cast. Keith has also created a myspace-type Internet community which has set the standard for connecting on-line.

Like the humble beginnings portrayed in JB, Keith is the son of a small-town steelworker and a mom who worked as a domestic. He used his remarkable ability early in life, effectively connecting with people to pave the way to an undergraduate degree at Yale and a Harvard MBA. After many successful business projects, he is now immersed in his passion for sharing his knowledge as CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight; a marketing and sales firm, while also writing for the “Wall Street Journal,” the “Harvard Business Review” and similar publications.

Keith’s connections stretch from Washington’s corridors to Hollywood’s A-list, and he was named to Crain’s “Top 40 Under 40 (age-wise)” and a “Global Leader of Tomorrow” by the Davos World Economic Forum. His form of connecting is based upon generosity and helping friends connect with other friends. I can tell you that he also never forgets his less famous friends and has helped me enormously over the past years, often reaching out first, rather than waiting to be approached.

Keith has an instinct for quality and has followed the JB Blog- all the while pursuing a time that we could get together so he could finally see his first performance. (He understands now what most of us already know…once is not nearly enough for the depth of this production.) Danielle Gaudio is a master connector herself and has been communicating with Keith. Well, last Thursday, our perseverance paid off and we were all able to get together.

Danielle needs no introduction on the JB Blog, of course, but I never want to pass up the opportunity to reinforce a new friendship- one that has developed this past year as I have seen Danielle at varied events. I can’t say too many times what a great CD she has brought to life with a team headed by her dad, Bob Gaudio, and Frankie’s long-time arranger and conductor, the legendary Robby Robinson.

“Jersey Babys” is a wonderful instrumental collection of Four Seasons songs, all written by Bob Gaudio. It’s soothing- and at times even invigorating- with all the melodies and chords that have grown to be classics for very good reasons! It’s been compared to Baby Einstein, and yet unquestionably appeals to all ages and a wide range of tastes. My office colleagues find it a welcome and relaxing background when deadlines are stirring up those stress levels.

In the interest of more ‘connecting,’ I can’t wrap up my account of the special evening without reminding folks that there is more than one talented apple which has fallen from the Gaudio tree and that’s CD cover artistic designer, Shannon Gaudio. I have faith that Danielle will keep her winning streak going with Volume Two, which Danielle promises will include “Tell It to the Rain” and “Bye Bye Baby”. I’m holding you to that, Danielle!

While making and reinforcing these connections, we got to see my buddy (and Tony winner…have I ever mentioned that before?!!) Christian Hoff. After chatting with Christian- also a huge fan of Keith’s wisdom- the designated celebs Keith and Danielle exchanged autographed copies of their media masterpieces and marketing suggestions. Each has made a new, valuable life-long contact, the whole point of “Never Eat Alone.”


  1. Howard,

    So amazing (and inspiring!) to see you continue sharing your joy and friendship through the show “Jersey Boys.” Awesome that you were able to meet up with an author that I too look to for advice and ideas for meeting people while I’m out and about learning about my world.

    I still remember you generously inviting me to see the show in LA. From dinner, to the show, to meeting the Los Angeles Cast afterward. Thanks for the great article here!

    Comment by Jason Womack — September 3, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

  2. Howard, it is always great to read your blogs, fantastic. I am still looking forward seeing the Jersey Boys in Germany somehow or sometime. Keith’ book you gave me is amazing. Keep on going man !

    Comment by Reiner Bussmann — September 4, 2008 @ 1:43 am

  3. What a joy to read your comments, Howard! I am in awe of your ability to connect, network, and communicate. Your constant and true loyalty to the Jersey Boys is a reflection of the genuine and devoted friend you are. I have been honored to know you for nearly 30 years, and have been privileged to enjoy my own private Jersey Boys “backstage tour”…but… only because you made it possible. All who know you have been gifted with the joy of your ‘distinguished company’.

    Comment by Soni Dimond — September 4, 2008 @ 7:06 am

  4. Hello Howard!

    I read Keith Ferrazzi’s book a while back and have put many of his suggestions to work with great success. He has a special talent for networking and anyone who has put his methods to practice owe him a debt of gratitude.


    Michael Heath

    Comment by Michael Heath — September 4, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  5. Howard,

    Another great blog. I always look forward to your spin on whats going on. Next time you speak to Keith please let him know that his book was extremely helpful with my organization and with his ideas I have been able to reach well beyond my small circle to help many 9/11 families. With 9/11 just a week away also let the cast know what an important part they have played in the recovery of 9/11 families. Over the past seven years along with the other shows on Broadway they have created an escape at least for a few hours from the horrors of the events of that tragic day. More specifically the songs of the Four Seasons bring people back to better days and they are better for it.

    Keep up the great work


    Comment by Dennis McKeon — September 4, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

  6. Hi Howard!

    Another great “Tuckerism”…to the one & only Howard…to say the least!
    Thanks for the recent subliminal reminder..I need to get Keith’s book off of my bookshelf & read it again. You are and will ALWAYS be a great friend…wherever business travels & Jersey Boys events may lead in the future. Thanks for your enduring friendship!

    All the Best!

    Comment by NewJerseyLasagna — September 4, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  7. H,
    Needless to say Howard, your insightful comments regarding Danielle, Sal and Keith are much appreciated by ‘your fans’! Having read and personally captured several lessons from Keith’s book, I welcome the opportunity to not just sight, but actually meet Keith in the future.
    Additionally, I must concur with your kind words for Danielle and Sal, having met both at the recent 4 Seasons Street naming in Union, NJ; I found both to be most gracious! Danielle, I borrowed your Jersey Baby’s CD from Howard last week, a simply wonderful companion for a long drive, I too look forward to your volume #2.
    Am sure the evening was delightful for all.
    Howard, we look forward to reading your book.. Meet and Greet the Stars Handbook!!

    Comment by priscilla — September 5, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  8. Hey Buddy (Howard)

    It is always a pleasure reading your articles. You sure have a gift for writing with sincerity, loyalty and humor. You do a wonderful job (as always) to keep your subject interesting, even though Keith and Danielle need little help …. You are doing a great job in applying “never eat alone”.

    Keep dreaming, your talents will be more appreciated and you will continue to be rewarded to heights greater than you could imagine.

    We’ll talk soon…


    Comment by Sean Burrows — September 5, 2008 @ 11:08 am

  9. Howard,
    You continue to amaze me with both your connections as well as your story-telling about those experiences. If I didn’t know better, I would think you’re a best-selling author. Thanks for taking me behind the scenes with Keith, Danielle and Christopher. Once again you made me feel as if I were there.

    Bravo! Take a bow!

    Comment by Steve Hammel — September 5, 2008 @ 6:15 pm

  10. I love how you love Jersey Boys, Howard, and how you’ve brought so many people to this great show, including me. You even got me backstage to meet the cast. Always a joy to read your updates!

    Comment by Christopher Bradley — September 8, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

  11. Howard,

    Great to see you’re still blogging away. Ellen and I always enjoy reading them. We look forward to seeing both you and the show again in the near future. Great picture kid, you look marvelous.


    Comment by Rocco Mazzei — September 9, 2008 @ 10:29 am


    Comment by JIM PETRECCA — September 9, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

  13. Howard,

    You are like the Energizer Bunny – you just keep cranking it out! …and thanks for the book. I had read half the book but had to put it aside because I was learning a new job. I have picked it up again. It really makes me think about opportunities I missed because I did not reach out to others like you did to me. It will be interesting to apply the book lessons to my technical world. I talk to so many people during the day solving their problems over the phone – but it never occurred to me to take it one step further…make one extra call a day for no reason except to say “hello, how’s it going?”. I’ll let you know what happens.

    Also, Dennis McKeon wrote above that the book helped his organization. Thanks Dennis! You just gave me a great idea. As soon as I’m done reading it, I will put the book next to the coffee pot in the break area with my recommendations.

    Howard – thanks again for keeping in touch.

    The Bronster Monster

    Comment by Bron Burda — September 26, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

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