Imagine an intimate candlelight dinner. Beautiful purple and white table cloths and linens that matched the chair covers, candles on the table and music to set the mood. Now, expand the scene to include over a hundred of your friends and colleagues. This was the setting for the Heartland Chapter Awards Banquet, installation of officers and live and silent auction held on February 5th.
It is no exaggeration that staff at the Marriott Downtown outdid themselves on both the room as well as the meal. The goal of the planning committee was to make the night feel special without a lot of other activity. This was tricky with a hybrid online auction going on, officers to be inducted by our special guest, Deborah Sexton, and award winners to be presented.
Smart phones were definitely in use, although subtly, as in the last 90 minutes alone the silent auction raised over $5,000, all electronically. With the goal of the auction to raise money for the Chapter and to support the kids of Operation Breakthrough it was important to keep the excitement high. Between the silent and live auction over $18,000 was raised which obliterated any previous fundraising record.
The highlight of the evening was recognizing those chapter members deserving of recognition. The following includes quotes from those that nominated the winners:
Emerging Leader of the Year: Priscilla Noland
“Priscilla is a shining example of how to get involved. She is quick to offer assistance on any project in spite of a very demanding career. By thoroughness and attention to detail, she has been instrumental in navigating PCMA projects and is taking on more and more responsibilities in our chapter.”
“Although a fairly new member to PCMA and Our chapter, immediately after joining, Priscilla jumped right in, serving on an active committee and became committee chair. Priscilla has done an amazing job recruiting and putting together a committee of rock stars. She has great plans for 2015.
Distinguished Member of the Year: Maria Arnone
“This last year PCMA changed how the chapter newsletter was to be designed and produced. Maria spent hour after hour learning the new PCMA web templates in order that our chapter could produce a digital newsletter vs. hiring a graphic designer. Maria was the driving force of the new look, the new content and the new branding of our chapter’s newsletter. She developed a schedule to keep the committee on track and on deadline. Whatever Maria leads our committee to do, is driven to enhance our membership. Maria is stepping down as committee chair and has found her own replacement and is having him shadow her. A very well laid plan.”
Distinguished Supplier Partner of the Year: David Kinney
“As an out-of-town member, David is amazingly present and supportive of our Chapter’s works. He not only serves on our Board of Directors, he assists as a generous sponsor of our awards banquet and this year served on the first annual golf tournament committee. He is generous with assistance to other members, readily available to help our student efforts and is enthusiastic in his representation of his employer, thus providing a terrific resource for our members who need information or assistance with that destination, whether for business or pleasure”
“He has flown in for more PCMA meetings than most local members attend. The time, dedication and resources he brings to our chapter are very impressive. His sense of humor, combined with an in-depth understanding of our industry, make him a terrific leader and an exception member.”
“He has been a devoted member of our chapter ever since he joined. He supports our chapter with his dedication and time. He supports our chapter monetarily, having sponsored our annual awards banquet two years in a row. He jumped right in and joined committees and was voted to the board last year. Now he is our President-Elect. He is on a fast track to lead our chapter. He never says no to anything our chapter asks of him. He supports and attends more programs than some of our local members and he lives in Chicago! Every time he comes to one of our chapter events, he is investing precious time and money to support us”
Distinguished Meeting Professional of the Year: Missy Johnson, CMP
“Missy deserves the Meeting Professional of the year award for all of the contributions made to the chapter including the past president’s reception, all while starting and building a business. She is someone that others look up to and continues to be a great representative of the Heartland Chapter.”
“Missy has had quite a year, in spite of starting her own business, she still takes time to support and dedicate her time to our chapter. From assisting with the nominating committee this year, the past president’s reception, and even facilitating programs. Missy is awesome and amazing! A very active Past President and a terrific role model for our upcoming leaders.”