[insert-author-info] With so many great things to celebrate this year, SMPS-NY decided to throw its members a South-of-the-Border-themed fiesta in appreciation of everyone’s contributions and participation. The Inscape Showroom provided a terrific venue for the event, with ample indoor space for our colorful, Mexican-themed decorations and build-your-own taco station, as well as a large balcony where attendees could venture out to enjoy the view of the surrounding Meatpacking District on a nice, warm August night. Members of our Chapter were able to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation and merriment after our successful calendar year full of rewarding, informational, educational and social events.
After the designated time for networking and enjoying the food and beverages (and voting for this year’s “fun” awards—more on that later!), it was time for SMPS-NY Chapter President Alicia Koledin to say a few words. Alicia congratulated members for the Chapter’s success—with 300 members and counting, we currently rank as #1 or #2 among the largest chapters in the country. More importantly, over 100 members are active volunteers, helping with everything from recruiting speakers to planning food and decorations to keeping our website up to date and making sure that everyone knows what’s going on in our chapter. Alicia encouraged all members to volunteer, noting that the more you put into SMPS, the more you’ll get out of your membership. And then, to reward dedicated committee members for their hard work throughout the year, Alicia presented gift cards to this year’s outstanding committee members:
  • Communications – Erika Capek
  • Leadership – Kyle Fisher
  • Membership – Kristin Liu
  • New Jersey – Kristy Cerullo
  • Professional Development – Carrie Villani
  • Programs – Lisa Thide
  • Public Relations – Olivia Farquharson
  • Special Events – Sara Cook
  • Sponsorship – Brian Ferry
  • TME – Keith Kennedy
  • Westchester – Ashley Higgins

Next, it was time for Sarah Galus, Director of the Special Events Committee, to announce the results of the votes for the “fun awards.” For the past few years, Membership Appreciation event attendees have been encouraged to vote for the “Chapter Cheerleader,” “Most Connected,” and “Most Likely to Become CMO,” categories that are re-named to reflect the year’s party theme.

  • This year’s “Chapter Cheerleader” prize was called “Animadora,” the Spanish word for cheerleader. Our winner Alexis Newman was presented with maracas, which coincidentally were perfectly color coordinated with Marley, the stuffed rasta banana that Alexis had collected as a prize during our carnival-themed event two years ago, and who has been the Communications Committee mascot and Membership Appreciation event attendee ever since.
  • The “Most Connected” prize was re-named the “Jimador” award, in honor of the agave farmers who bring us tequila. (After all, tequila has been responsible for fostering connections between people for centuries!) Michelle Santoro won this coveted prize—a bottle of Patron.
  • Next we had the “Most Likely to Become CMO,” or “Head Honcho” award. Okay, we’ve learned that “head honcho” is a term technically derived from Japanese rather than Spanish, but “honcho” still does rhyme with “poncho,” which is Mexican, and which was Kristin Liu’s award for being voted the winner in this category. (Congratulations, Kristin for winning in this category two years in a row! And thanks for proudly wearing your head honcho poncho for the rest of the evening!)

All in all, it was a fun event to celebrate the contributions of all of our fantástico members who have helped our chapter grow and thrive. Gracias!