Queen for the Day

Who: Pookie Melberg
Company: Strategic Communications
Age: 35
Has held title for: 2 1/2 years
Previous title: VP, Chase Manhattan Bank
Degree: BA, University of Michigan

All-purpose communications specialist Pookie Melberg creates product brochures, writes annual reports, and devises marketing strategies for such high-powered clients as Oracle and the Baan Co. She also drives a BMW Z3 Roadster, wears diamonds to client meetings — and goes by the title Queen for the Day. Her opulent style is a reaction against Silicon Valley’s casual culture: “There are just too many people walking around in Dockers and sensible shoes.”

How did you choose your title?

At Chase Manhattan, there was an executive VP who was a fantastic, dynamic, effective lady. People called her “the queen.” When I became a free agent, I thought, “I can’t be the queen, but I can be queen for the day. As a free agent, you wear what you want, work with clients that you choose — it’s liberating.”

Have your queenly ways won you a royal reputation?

Here’s the funniest compliment that I’ve been paid: Three different people have said to me, “I hear you wear only Chanel.”

Do you wear only Chanel?

No, I also like Armani and Versace.