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Karen Kelly Project Communications Manager WB Engineers+Consultants

Karen Kelly
SMPS-NY brought a little bit of the South Pacific to Midtown East on August 6 when we took over the Crestron Showroom to throw a luau-themed extravaganza in appreciation of our members. With 291 members, the New York Chapter is currently the second largest in the U.S. More importantly, we have some of the most involved members, with over 40% of people actively participating on committees.

[expand title=”Click here to read more about the Member Appreciation Event…”] Tiki, palm tree, and coconut decorations gave the Crestron showroom a festive tropical ambiance for the occasion. Party guests helped themselves to an abundance of food and drinks, while wearing a colorful assortment of leis. Attendees were instructed to cast their ballots for the “Chapter Cheerleader,” “Most Connected,” and “Most Likely to Become CMO” awards, which were re-named to reflect this year’s Hawaiian theme. Longtime members and new members mixed and mingled as part of the celebration. (Courtesy of Alexis Newman, there was even an appearance by Marley the Rasta Banana—a “fun” award prize from last year’s carnival-themed Member Appreciation event and subsequent Communications Committee mascot.) Then it was time for a few words of thanks. Wearing a button that paid homage to Past President Sarah Hoff’s memorable speech from last year’s Member Appreciation Event, current SMPS-NY President Julie Pampuch thanked members for their contributions and enthusiasm. Julie introduced Tom Townes from the SMPS National Board of Directors, who gave the crowd the inside scoop on some important changes taking place at the National level. SMPS-NY Board Members then presented one member from each of their committees with a gift card in appreciation of their efforts this year. Next it was time for the “fun” awards to be presented:

•It was no surprise that Julie Pampuch won the “Chapter Cheerleader” award, which was re-named the “Don Ho” award in honor of Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha.” Even if Julie hadn’t previously been recognized as our “Quietest, Loudest Cheerleader,” she surely earned the cheerleader award by using the new SMPS selfie stick to take a selfie with every single person in the room! In recognition of her boundless SMPS cheer, Julie was crowned with a floral headdress and presented with a coconut ukulele.

•For the second year in a row, attendees voted Andrew Weinberg as the Chapter’s “Most Connected.” Since this year’s award was called the “Hukilau” award as a nod to the Hawaiian tradition in which people come together to haul in a big catch from the sea, Andrew was given a toy fishing set in addition to his ceremonial floral crown.

•The “Big Kahuna,” Kristin Liu, had left the building by the time she was announced as the winner of the “Most Likely to Become CMO” award, but we hope she will hang her “Big Kahuna” wall plaque proudly as a symbol that her fellow members recognize her potential to rise to the very top of the A/E/C industry.

Throughout the evening, our members demonstrated once again that, in addition to doing a fantastic job organizing and promoting the Chapter’s programs and events, we know how to celebrate our achievements and enjoy the camaraderie of our marketing peers and friends. See photos from the Member Appreciation Event HERE![/expand]