Seven months before, Edwards had received a surprise summons to Duff-Bloom's office, and after she had taken a seat in the capacious quarters , she was doubly surprised. "Got a special job for you, Carol. It's an LPGA event where W. R. speaks. Like a Catalyst conference for golf. Theme is access, inclusion, fair shot for women. The LPGA brings in advocates like the Women's Sports Foundation, plus a bunch of corporate women and apparel and equipment vendors . But no retailers." She smiled. "Except us." Edwards knew that Duff-Bloom loved getting the drop, loved exclusivity whenever she could get it for huge but homey JCPenney. "He'll be speaking to five-six hundred."
"So he's speaking on inclusion?"
"With a sports theme. And we want this real edgy. He says things you don't usually hear. So let's fly solo on this, pick and choose who we want, and not go through communications. We don't want a lot of people to know beforehand and worry and have meetings and fuss and send memos and hold things up for a century."
"Wow," Edwards said, loving this woman 's insouciant clout.
Duff-Bloom smiled and said, "Yes, ˜wow. Doesn't it sound like fun? "
"Yes. And I run this alone?" Edwards asked.
"You're working for me on this, yes," Duff-Bloom said. "First off, I'll work with the writer, then you follow up getting it polished and then making the other arrangements. Here's the file, including some notes I just rattled off."
Edwards glanced at the pages and then ventured an idea. "Gale, the LPGA can't possibly have our resources, so maybe we should also volunteer to produce their screen support and help get their general session together. Make them look good leading into W. R."
"Done. Great idea. So you watch over that, too. Their producer's in the file. Okay?" Duff-Bloom rose.
"Okay," Edwards said, also rising . Then, "Uh, where is this?"
Duff-Bloom laughed infectiously. "Oh, good heavens, small detail! You get to go to Pebble Beach , which I hear is just fabulous." Duff-Bloom then reached to shake Edward's hand; said "Thanks, Carol"; and returned to her credenza, where she picked up the phone.