After five years as a spokeswoman for the Dallas Regional Chamber, Jo Trizila (left) has resigned her position to, guess what, get into public relations. In her spare time, Trizila also is something of an expert on Dallas dating, having fought the dating wars for years herself. Jump for a Q&A with the Indiana-born, Dallas-reared blonde.
D: So, why did you leave the Chamber?
Trizila: This is something I’ve thought about for a year. While I was at the Chamber, I was able to meet with some incredible people and was afforded some incredible opportunities. During that time I had several companies come to me and ask me if I did any freelancing. It was a conflict of interest back then, but the more they started accumulating, the more I thought, you know what, there’s an opportunity here.
D: Have you associated with any companies yet?
Trizila: I haven’t signed any; we’re still in the contract basis, so I’m not going to mention any names. But there’s three or four that I’m working with–two in banking, and two in technology.
D: So you’ll be in the PR business?
Trizila: Uh huh. What we’re finding is that lots of journalists have left the field and gone to PR. In a down economy, PR and marketing are one of the first things that get cut in small companies, because they don’t see the ROI on it. Once they’re cut, it only takes about six months for these companies to say, we’re up a creek. They can’t afford to go to the big firms, and so the independent PR firms have a real opportunity there.
D: You’re not going to hook up with Jeff Crilley’s new PR company, are you?
Trizila: I’ve got an e-mail into Jeff.
D: Since you’re gone from the Chamber now, tell me which big companies are looking secretly to relocate to Dallas right now.
Trizila: You know me better than that. [Laughs.] You know me better than that.
D: What I do know is that a couple of years back, you were planning to write a book titled Dating in Dallas: The Real Guide. Whatever happened with that?
Trizila: That project took on a life of its own. It became so overwhelming, it scared me. So I stepped back from it about eight months ago. It’s still on my radar screen. People in Dallas don’t know how to date, just like people in Chicago and New York and L.A. don’t know how to date. Especially having a recently divorced brother, I can vouch for the fact that they don’t know how to date.
D: What sort of things did you discover in your research?
Trizila: One of my questions was, “Do you pick a girl up on a date?” What’s interesting is that in my research, almost 80 percent of the 20-to-30-year-olds said, “Absolutely.” The 30-to-40-year-olds were sort of 50-50. And the 40-plus were, “Hell no.”
D: Why do you think that is?
Trizila: I think when you’re in your 20s, you’re a little more naive, and escaping a bad date is not a bad thing. As for the question, “Who pays for the date?,” the 20-year-olds were more likely to go Dutch. The 40-year-olds were: “Absolutely it’s the man.”
D: You’ve been in the Dallas dating trenches for awhile, haven’t you?
D: I can’t believe you’re still single.
Trizila: Well, that’s sweet. I just haven’t met the one.
D: Is there a type of guy in Dallas that’s just not suited for relationships? What’s the problem?
Trizila: Dallas has a lot of the $30,000 millionaires. Just go down to West Village and you can see them.
D: You don’t get taken in by that, do you?
Trizila: I’m a pretty good judge of character. But every once in awhile I’ll get hosed. Dallas also has a drug scene. And when you don’t associate at all with that, that’s something that you sometimes find out after many dates. And once that’s revealed, that’s a deal-killer.
D: What kind of guy are you looking for?
Trizila: [Laughs heartily. And doesn’t stop laughing for a long time.] If I knew what my ideal was, I probably would be dating him. Let’s see: Educated. Successful. Tall; I’m 5-feet-9, so he has to be 6 feet, because you wear heels.
D: So, you’re actively looking. Thanks for your time, Jo, and good luck.
Trizila: Thank you.