By Donna Gehrke-White
Boca Raton advertising executive Phyllis Green knows about getting a pink slip at age 50.
Green was laid off from ABC’s corporate headquarters in New York in 1985 after Capital Cities bought the television network and began trimming staff to cut costs.
Now she wants people to know they can rebuild their careers in midlife — or even later. She did.
Her book, “Fired at 50: A Survivor’s Guide to Prosperity,” (Teramar Media, $13.95) recounts how Green journeyed from the unemployment lines in New York City to become a top advertising executive here.
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Green said she reinvented herself as an entrepreneur using her sales, broadcast production and advertising experience.
After her layoff, she came back to South Florida, where she had grown up.
Green started her own business — Green Advertising — and later moved it to Boca Raton.
In 1999, Green sold the company to WPP Worldwide, a marketing communications conglomerate.
She has stayed on as chairwoman of Green Advertising, which includes Stalder/Green Advertising in Orlando and GreenAd and VidPop Productions, a video production complex, in Boca Raton.
“Phyllis is the consummate survivor,” said South Florida developer Richard Finkelstein, a long-time client of Green Advertising.
“She’s had her challenges, as most people do in business. But not only has she conquered them, she has prospered.”
Green said she loves her work, how it constantly changes — and how her 32-member staff of all ages works together to find solutions.
“We have four generations working under one roof,” she said.
Green said she realizes now that losing a job in their prime working years will continue to be a reality for many others, too.
Companies downsize when they’re taken over or hit economic hurdles, she said. Her former employer, ABC, had grown fat and was prime for a takeover, Green added.
She said she worked on keeping her confidence up as she started over.
Her mantra: “You have the same expertise you had before you were fired. You are the same person.”
That helped her rebuild.
Now in her 70s, Green expects to keep working. “It’s still exciting,” she said.