Friday, July 10, 2020

Myra Janco Daniels visited Marco

Myra with Judy Kenney. Photo by Lisa Smith Wood

Myra with Judy Kenney. Photo by Lisa Smith Wood

by Lisa Smith

The Marco Island Women’s Club held their March meeting at The Marco Island Yacht Club on Wednesday, March 2. The guest speaker at the luncheon was Myra Janco Daniels, founder and long time CEO of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples.

Mrs. Daniels, who announced her impending retirement earlier this year, regaled club members with stories of her trail blazing professional life and equally exciting stories of her personal life.

As chronicled in her book, “Secrets of a Rutbuster, Breaking Rules and Selling Dreams,” founding and running the Philharmonic for the last 29 years is actually a second career for Mrs. Daniels. Her groundbreaking career in the what’s considered to be the golden age of advertising marked her as one of the forerunners in what was a male dominated industry. At 38, then Myra Janco was Executive Vice President at one of Chicago’s oldest advertising firms. As an accomplished professional in her own right, she spoke about her ‘collaboration’ with Draper “Dan” Daniels, who became her business partner and ultimately her husband. The iconic Draper Daniels was the genius behind the Marlboro Man ad campaign and was the inspiration behind the character Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men.

Together the two continued to build their thriving Chicago business, retired and moved to Florida. It wasn’t until her husband’s death that Mrs. Daniels acted on her life long love of the arts and founded what is now the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, which houses both a premiere performing arts center and an art museum in Naples.

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