Hi, SAAGNY Members,
Happy New Year! I am honored to be serving as your 2021 SAAGNY President.
In 2018 during our annual SAAGNY Board retreat, the Board developed a strategic plan where, a commitment to membership was made to lead forward, continue to grow and practice our mission statement - “SAAGNY creates an environment that advances business development of the promotional product industry through dissemination of product information, networking, and knowledge exchange.” We committed to move ahead with a strong vision and heart. The SAAGNY Board of Directors continued to establish tradeshows unparallel to many regionals, enhanced our value proposition for our members, and stayed focused at the job at a hand.
And then… 2020 happened. What we thought were our problems were sidelined by a need to simply change the air we breathe. COVID-19 has caused SAAGNY (as many others) to quickly change course, reevaluate our priorities, and turn to our members to help them emerge through a time of the unknown. Led by previous SAAGNY President Paul Sprunk and the talent from our Executive committee, to our Board of Directors, our Volunteer Committees, our Task Force, and of course our incredible Executive Director, I can confidently say, we did it! I am proud of all of those involved in challenging our ambitions and coming through to the other side, slightly unscathed.
SAAGNY Delivered Value to Its Members in 2020:
- Webinars – 100+
- 15 Virtual Tradeshows known as some of the most successful virtual shows in 2020
- SAAGNY website – news, information, events for YOU and YOUR business
- SAAGNY Member Directory
- SAAGNY Member App
- SAAGNY Coupon Book – new for 2021
- SAAGNY Life Newsletter
- Virtual Networking Opportunities
- And watch for exciting announcements for our 2021 offerings
However, as you know we cannot stop here. 2021 will continue to be a “challenging” year but we all know through challenges come remarkable opportunities. It is my goal to seize those opportunities and make sure SAAGNY continues its legacy of the greatest regional trade association in our industry. SAAGNY was founded in 1955, and through the years had incredible past presidents and members, who have forged a path that has led me here and the role of President, one that I do not take lightly and one that I will not disappoint.
Becoming President through a pandemic, taking back Promotions East, and truly entering a world of evolution that many of us have not experienced is the greatest challenge and I am prepared, excited, and more motivated then ever!
This is OUR time to evolve as an industry, as a regional, and will do so through the solid support of the current Board of Directors: Michael Reisbaum, Vice President, Christian Brandt, Secretary/Treasurer, Paul Sprunk, Immediate Past President, Sean Kurtzman, Natasha Jinks, and our newly appointed, talented Eric Levin, Joe Favre, and Jeff Jacobs.
I want to personally wish John Cudahy the very best as he exits as Past President. John has truly been an unbelievable asset to this organization. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Paul Sprunk, our current Past President, as he led us through a period that no one could have foreseen and did so with grace, patience, and leadership. I am grateful to have you still by my side.
I cannot end this note without acknowledging our right hand (and sometimes left), Donna-Jean Plante, the Executive Director of SAAGNY, who has been a sounding board, a voice of reason, our calendar, and the backbone of the organization.
2021 has come along so quickly and we have already started making plans. I will be sure to keep you apprised with all pertinent information, all the while staying committed and focused to the job at hand - leading SAAGNY through an evolution!
Thank you for putting your trust in me!