CEO & Creative Director
GDR Media Group
Daizy Gedeon, CEO & Creative Director, GDR Media Group, and Founder of film production company Dream Creations International.
Working with A Purpose
For Daizy Gedeon, CEO & Creative Director of GDR Media Group, self-belief is where it all starts. “Without the inner belief that I was “ENOUGH” and up to the challenges of business, life, society and humanity, I would have remained an employee working to help someone else achieve their dream and would never have ventured beyond my comfort zone to establish two businesses,” she says.
The pioneering leader is always pushing the limits and extending because “it is that which I don’t know I don’t know” that continues to motivate her. This mindset lifts her to continue to seek and understand the mission that Daizy believes she was brought to this world to fulfil.
When Daizy joined GDR in 2000 it was a fledgling direct mail business with a turnover of under $100,000, but over the next two decades she expanded it into a multi-million-dollar, multi-media marketing agency. “It is my belief that if we don’t have compassion for others and step into their shoes, then we are unable to truly serve our clients and deliver the service they are seeking,” she explains. “This is true in business and in life and even more so as a filmmaker producing documentaries and stories that serve to deliver the voice of the voiceless to a global audience. If you don’t have empathy, you are unable to reach the souls of the millions that need to be touched for change to happen.” The way Daizy innately inspires and empowers team members starts during the interview process. The first rounds are conducted by her colleagues, and Daizy joins the final round to talk to potential new recruits about company values and the importance of ethics.
The steadfast leader reignites in them what life and other employers may have beaten out of them – that THEIR VOICE MATTERS! “People don’t need much to be inspired and empowered. The most important thing I have discovered any person needs is that YOU BELIEVE IN THEM,” elucidates Daizy. “In both my companies I employ people not to fulfil a task, but to contribute meaningfully, individually to the organisation. They are key members of the team no different to a football team or any sports team. Every position has a role and is critical to the effective operation and success of the whole. When I speak like this and they can feel my authenticity, they are inspired.”
Armed with such a brilliant ideology, Daizy has been taking her companies to new heights. She realised that with each contract GDR won and the more work they brought on, they needed more staff to complete the work, which was eating into their profit margins. She searched for different platforms and systems that could manage their type of workflow but there was nothing suitable out there.
The price was also prohibitive with the cheapest software costing around $120,000 for the first year plus modifications, on top of an annual fee of around $80,000. Instead, she decided to find a developer and build her own system, which GDR affectionately calls BoB (Back of Business). It cost around $110,000 and took two years to build but after implementing it, they were able to improve efficiency by 50% and reduce head count by at least two. “I returned the cost of the system within one year and it is still operational and running our business today. It revolutionised the way we work in a particular stream of our industry and helped us win and manage huge contracts across the entire country, being able to manage hundreds of people at any one time,” she says.
Another big achievement for Daizy has been the recent success she has experienced through Dream Creations International, her film production company, and the making of her new film: ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour. In 2017, after witnessing the growing dysfunction of Lebanese society and disintegration of public institutions and infrastructure as a result of corruption and incompetence, she decided someone needed to expose the truth and give the people a voice.
“I left GDR in the hands of my then-CEO and began work on my documentary. This meant I had to travel back and forth to Lebanon and around the world for the next few years making this film,” says Daizy. “ENOUGH! was released in June 2021 premiering at the Marche du Film at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Movie That Matters Award and has since gone on to win more than 19 international film festival awards and has been invited to more than 31 festivals globally.”
If Daizy’s primary value is self-belief, her penultimate value is honour. “If we can’t look ourselves in the mirror and respect the person staring back at us then we are merely a shadow masquerading on a vanishing stage,” she states.
CEO & Creative Director
GDR Media Group
At GDR Media Group we combine passionate storytelling with local area marketing know-how to unleash your business’ growth potential.