An Interview of DAYNA STEELE by Ryan Rice
Look up…it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…it’s a Rock N’ Roll legend and a woman with the strength of steel!
Not so long ago, if you tuned your radio to KLOL you would hear the familiar voice of Houston’s First Lady of Rock N’ Roll, Dayna Steele. Amassing a huge fan base of “Steeleworkers” and countless accolades, Dayna has become more than a legend, she is a role model, a leader and an inspiration for those who want it all!
I will never forget the day I first was introduced to this fun, feisty and unique woman. Having recently started my PR career, I sat in a crowded auditorium to listen to an expert panel of media personalities at the Houston Chapter of PRSA’s (Public Relations Society of America) annual Media Day. As I sat and listened to the panel talk about the best ways to generate media coverage and other industry tips, I couldn’t help but be star struck by Dayna Steele. She was humorous, engaging and most of all, honest.
Fast forward 10 plus years and I am sitting on her terrace, overlooking a lush lawn with amazing views of Clear Lake and dishing on her life, accomplishments and the exciting projects that fill her days and nights. This is the same fiery, funny woman, but something is different. As we chat, tour her house, meet the family and talk about our pets, it becomes clear that Dayna is a rare example of a woman that has it all -- career success, an amazing family, and most of all a sense of peace and balance.
The first thing you think of when you start discussing her current projects is “does this woman ever sleep?” She has created three successful web ventures, is a sought-after media consultant, presenter and as of March – an author!
I start to get a little intimidated. I am not a journalist. What if my questions seem cheesy?
That intimidation immediately disappears when we get to talking. I feel like I have known her all my life. It’s no wonder she is so insanely popular…I am now a bonafide “Steeleworker” myself!
As we start to chat, she slips me a copy of her new book Rock To The Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars. First thing I notice is the forward by the legendary Gene Simmons. Naturally, the first thing I ask is “what made you decide to write a book?”
DS: I didn’t set out thinking I would write a book. I was being asked to present at so many different functions and took the preparation time for those talks as an opportunity to start on outline, which grew into Rock to the Top.
RR: Your book starts with a forward from Gene Simmons. Why did you choose him to open the book?
DS: Gene was a natural fit to preface the book because he embodies the characteristics I discuss in the book. He is a hard worker, a driven artist and has successfully created KISS as a brand. He used tools that I discuss in the book to build a successful career behind the music. Most of all, he is one of the hardest working men in the industry and he is clear about the commitment, dedication and tireless effort it takes to be successful. This book is about providing tools for people to succeed. It is not about getting rich quickly.
RR: You have had an amazing career in radio. You have traveled the world, partied with countless rock stars and have cemented lifelong friendships with some of the world’s most legendary musicians and performers. In fact, your book contains a great collection of photos chronicling your life in Rock N’ Roll. What do you think of when you reflect on your Rock N’ Roll ride?
DS: Wow, what a great ride it was. I think I formed so many great relationships, because I was not only a radio personality, I was a fan. I listened to their music, attended concerts and got to know the people behind the fame. I still count many of these folks as friends and have been lucky to meet so many amazing and brilliant artists.
RR: What is the best part of that chapter in your life?
DS: Meeting Charlie, my husband and best friend! It was June 3, 1990 and my good friend David Crosby called and asked me to help entertain some Astronauts and guys from NASA. Included in that group was Charlie. We immediately connected and have been together ever since. My life changed when we met and we have built an amazing life together!
RR: You have made a successful transition from radio to being an entrepreneur, consultant and most recently, an inspiration to smart girls everywhere. How did you make that transition?
DS: When I left Rock radio, I wanted to look forward, not backward. I wanted to make a difference, while pursuing personal passions. I was also a busy mother and wife. As new projects developed, I realized I had a rare opportunity to build a successful business venture in my site www.spacestore.com while still being able to make dinner for my family and actively participate in all aspects of my children’s lives. I also started www.operationnationalanthem.com, a site that contains personal video messages from US soldiers that can be downloaded and played prior to the National Anthem at events throughout the country. The messages from the soldiers really helps bring a renewed emphasis on the meaning of the song and also serves as a tribute to our armed forces, putting their lives on the line for our country.
I am particularly proud of another web-based venture, www.smartgirlsrock.com. For years, parents and relatives of young girls would come into The Space Store and comment "This stuff is all so cool, now where can I go to get something for a girl?" I was always quick to point out that the astronaut flight suits, space toys and science experiments were just as much for girls as they were for boys. This led me to start Smart Girls Rock, an online community for girls who want to make their mark in science, technology, engineering, math and business. At present, Smart Girls Rock is entirely in the hands of the students of WAVE, the gifted and talented magnet school of Clear Creek Independent School District. These girls completely control the content of the site, and every nine weeks the students rotate, giving more girls to opportunity to show that smart girls really do rock!
I have also been fortunate to utilize my professional media experience in a consulting capacity. I am currently working with the Houston-based communication’s firm Shelton and Caudle, one of the country’s premier providers of business communication and training programs. This has also led to my involvement with the firm’s parent company, Vollmer Public Relations. It is so exciting to utilize my experiences to help companies make the most out of their communication’s efforts.
RR: You really seem to have it all! Any words of wisdom for your fans?
DS: I think it’s important for people to understand that you can have it all! It’s not easy! It requires hard work and dedication. You must be organized and most of all, find a balance between your personal and professional life.
Words to live by from a legend, a role model and a woman who continues to truly ROCK!
To learn more about our Woman of Steele and to get your own copy of Rock To The Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars, visit www.daynasteele.com.