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Rosie O’Donnell, John Legend Honor Cindi Berger at NYWICI Matrix Awards

Rosie O'Donnel, Cindi Berger at NYWIC 2011 Matrix Awards
(Photo courtesy of MaryAnneRussell.com)
This year’s honorees at New York Women in Communications’ (NYWICI)  annual Matrix Awards included PBS’ Gwen Ifill, Betty White, A&E president Abbe Raven, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and others, but it was PMK*BNC Chairman and CEO Cindi Berger who flexed the real star power.

First, Rosie O’Donnell presented Berger with her award, praising her as a “kick-ass” publicist and friend. “Without her, I don’t think I would still be around. I’d be on the macadamia nut farm with Roseanne Barr, wearing overalls, going ‘what the ____ happened?”

“What I learned from Cindi Berger is how to love, and how to be committed, and how the people that are in your life stay in for the long haul, because no one gets out unscathed,” O’Donnell continued. “Having to do it in the public eye is not always easy, but she definitely makes the ones doing it feel safe.”

The crowd also got a surprise treat when PMK client and Grammy-winner John Legend appeared behind a piano in the mezzanine and performed two tunes in Berger’s honor.

John Legend at NYWICI 2011 Matrix Awards

Watch a video of O’Donnell’s tribute after the jump, and see more photos from the event on FishbowlNY.

O’Donnell starts off explaining what happened when Berger asked her to be her presenter.

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