National Author’s Day: Dr. Helen Rothberg on Bartending, Leadership, and the Red Fox Family

As winter slowly approaches, what’s better on a windy day in the Hudson Valley than curling up with your favorite book? Every year on November 1st, millions of people celebrate authors and the books they write on #NationalAuthorsDay.

Dr. Helen Rothberg, a professor in Marist’s School of Management for over 20 years, published The Perfect Mix: Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned as a Bartender earlier this year. The book describes the lessons Dr. Rothberg learned about leadership from her years of bartending as a graduate student.


While pursuing advanced degrees in business and behavioral science, it was bartending that gave Dr. Rothberg insight on the ‘perfect mix’ for professional success. Stereotypically, bartender are known for doling out advice while pouring drinks. For Rothberg, her ADVICE is the acronym for her leadership model – Action, Determination, Vision, Integrity, Communication, and Empathy.

Dr. Rothberg shares ADVICE with Marist students and as a business strategy consultant with the country’s top CEOs and entrepreneurs interested in adapting to change with courage and with grace. Teaching at Marist allows Rothberg the opportunity to interact with students she describes as having hope in their eyes and believing the world can become a better place. Engaging, sharing, and learning with young people provides insight into navigating a quickly-changing global community. Rothberg believes the Marist community embraces the six pillars of ADVICE in and out of the classroom.

  • Take Action through internships
  • Learn about Civility by being a team member
  • Create Vision by offering advising beyond a career
  • Establish Integrity through the values of the Marist Brothers
  • Effectively Communicate through digital media and public speaking opportunities
  • Express Empathy by helping, donating, and mourning events in the local and global communities

The Perfect Mix is full of entertaining anecdotes from Rothberg’s days as a bartender that teach important lessons. Rothberg believes the best way to reach young people is through a narrative. “What I’ve learned is the best way to communicate any kind of lesson is story-telling,” she explains. “If you can help students understand the story, if you can help them tell a story, then they are going to learn well and be able to express themselves well.”

Want to learn more? Tune into the WKIP Tom Sipos radio show this Friday (11/ 3) morning at 8am – LIVE, with guest host Ed Kowalski, who reached out to Helen last week after reading the book. The show will be live-streamed on i-HeartRadio.


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