[insert-author-info] Ahhh, the holiday season is finally in full swing, and though there may not be any of that fluffy white stuff yet, the mild weather makes it nicer to be out and about! One of my favorite things about this time of year is reconnecting with friends–both personal and professional. I love engaging with other marketing peeps in a festive setting, and SMPS-NY offers numerous opportunities to do just that. If you missed our holiday party on December 3rd, you missed a lot! We had a blast seeing familiar faces and welcoming new ones. A special thank you to all of the companies who donated a raffle prize for our annual Mary Findlen Grant fundraiser. As luck would have it, David Golab and I were granted our own little fun exchange of our respective firms’ gifts, and a multitude of others received gift cards and treats galore. But the real winner was Rory McMahon, a dedicated volunteer on our Membership Committee who won five prizes, to the groaning dismay of the other raffle participants! (We swear, it was not fixed!) Kudos to Sarah Galus and her amazing Special Events Committee, who always work hard to create a fabulous, fun-filled time for us. Our Affiliates in New Jersey and Long Island offered a bit of their own holiday cheer with simultaneous Spirits events this past Tuesday. Spirits are held every other month, so don’t forget to do some targeted networking with these groups in the new year. The best part of the holiday season, though, is receiving visits from far-away friends, like Donna J. Corlew, FSMPS, CPSM, currently the Chief Whatever It Takes (WIT) Officer at C*Connect and formerly an SMPS National President. If you don’t know already know Donna from the “More Cowbell” presentation series, which also features two of our most infamous SMPS-NY members, you’ll know her after this week’s Leadership Lunch on Strategic Planning. A great way to start thinking about how your firm will pursue new business in the year ahead. And if you’re looking for a leg up on the competition in 2016, make sure you attend our first Cient Panel Program of the year: Principal’s Breakfast – Real Estate & Construction Market Forecast. This event is always a big hit with our members, and we’ll have some influential organization leaders in the room – including moderator Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, who will be the 2016 AIA President, and Michael Geary, the CEO of SMPS. Since firm leaders can attend at the member rate, bring along a principal or two, who will be able to see firsthand the real value SMPS brings to New York’s A/E/C industry. I hope you find lots of other ways to engage with SMPS-NY throughout the coming year. I wish each and every one of you Happy Holidays. May 2016 be prosperous and enriching for both you and your firms!