Every day is a balancing act for Adriana Alcaraz. The former Emmy award winning television anchor/ reporter hasn’t slowed down even though she left the airwaves 5 years ago. “My only daughter, Eleni, was 3 at the time and I wanted to spend more time with her.
I wanted control of my own schedule, but I didn’t want to stay home full-time either. Taking that leap has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” Adriana tells Giving Back Magazine.
So at age 33, Adriana went on a mission to reinvent herself and launched a public relations and marketing consulting agency, focusing her work on non-profit organizations. During her 12 year TV news career she supported many local charities and served on several boards. “I’m an advocate for higher education for all, social justice, children’s issues, women’s issues and the arts. So why not make a living doing something I’m passionate about?”
Earlier this year she became the Director of Development and Communications for Chicano Federation, a $20.6 million social services agency that serves 10,000 people a year and creates opportunities for self-sufficiency. “It’s the perfect place for me. I whole-heartedly believe in the mission. Chicano Federation has allowed me to create my own opportunity. I have flexibility – which is critical to me, I’m out in the community, and I am contributing to something bigger than me.”
When she’s not at Chicano Federation, Adriana is helping her husband, Chris Stavros, with their family business. The couple owns The Olive Tree Marketplace, a grocery store/ deli in Ocean Beach which will celebrate 25 years in 2012. They also own a tasting room, and coming later this year, a new restaurant. “The biggest joke between me and my husband is that we need a wife,” she says laughing. “We both choose to work very hard and be involved in our community. It’s very rewarding, but it’s also very challenging.”
It’s a team effort everyday. At home, Chris cooks while she helps Eleni, now 8 years old, with her homework. The three of them always find time to take mini-vacations during the year. “We’re creating our memories. We go to the theater a lot because Eleni loves the theater and we love going on little trips to San Francisco, the wine country, skiing. She is always with us.”
Adriana admits it’s challenging being a wife and mother and having a career and a business. She believes that “having it all” is a myth. “I don’t believe women can have it all; but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy and totally fulfilled. Life is about balance and compromise. I think our challenge as women is to figure out what that “all” is for us as individuals and then make it happen.”