Get to know Simone, Russell's executive assistant.
Q: What does it take to "run" Russell Simmons? A: It takes stamina. I have to remember to take care of myself (and my dogs) to the best of my ability so that I can be mentally and physically prepared to be completely present for a job that requires a 24/7 commitment. That means eating clean (vegan!), exercising and doing A LOT of charity work so that I can wake up in the morning feeling good about what's reflected back to me in the mirror.
Q: How long have you been working with Russell? A: Straight out of high school!
Q: Describe a typical day at work. A: I would describe it as an emergency room situation on most days. Russell is like the Chief of Surgery and we are the doctors orbiting around him putting out fires and sometimes, dare I say, even helping save lives through his philanthropy.
Q: How do you balance your work and professional lives? A: It's a struggle. I only adopt special needs animals and they require a lot of my time and attention. My email and phone is always on so there is never a time when I'm unavailable to Russell. However, even if I have one shoulder cocked to my ear on my blackberry talking to Russell and the other hand typing a blog for www.globalgrind.com, etc. I always carve out time to give undivided attention to my "kids".
Q: What would viewers be surprised to learn about you? A: Maybe that the high-pitched female voice on the chorus of the Beastie Boys song "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" is me or that I appeared in their early videos...with very 80's hair.
Q: If there were one thing that you want your fans to know about your life, prior to the show, what would it be? A: I would say that being a part of the animal rights movement has been something that has been in my consciousness since I can remember. I started my first activist club in grade school. It's an honor and a privilege to work with animal groups such as Peta, Mercy For Animals, Farm Sanctuary, Animal Acres, etc.
Q: What's the best advice Russell has ever given you? A: To smile and breathe!
Q: What's your own personal style like? A: I'm a vintage, rocker chick at heart.
Q: What do you think are wardrobe staples that everyone should have in their closet? A: A great pair of leggings, a fitted blazer, a classic black dress, David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust style boots and suicide heels.
Q: What can you never leave the house without? A: Blackberry, credit card, keys and aviators.