Gala grace under pressure

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Last week we announced the nominees for the latest crop of Gala Awards, and the reaction has been the usual wild mix.

Some people are over the moon, some pretty unhappy.

But several times this year, I've been struck by how gracious many entrants are.

My favorite so far: an event company that for the first time in its 30-year history entered an event competition, and it was our Gala Awards.

The Creative Group didn't bring home a nomination this go-round, but founder Fred Stein told me that he enjoyed the process and thanked the judges for their consideration.

When I thanked him for such a gracious message, he told me it was the joy of his event work and the lessons it has taught him that give him such composure.

"I love what I do," Fred told me. "And for over 30 years of enjoying the business and knowing how to handle stress and pressure, I realize that I am able to remain calm in all avenues of my life."

He is the winner in my eyes.

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