As 2016 ended, SAAGNY was relishing in a banner year. Membership had risen, we completed a record number of networking / social events, and our three trade shows were more popular than ever. The effort of the Board of Directors has once again positioned SAAGNY as a regional association leader in the promotional products industry.
2017 began bittersweet as long-time volunteer, honorary SAAGNY life member and Executive Director Jonathan Riegel, MAS, stepped down from his position to pursue other career opportunities. Jonathan’s dedication to SAAGNY throughout the last two decades has played an integral part in the future success of the association. The SAAGNY Board of Directors and the entire membership thank him for his dedication and commitment to SAAGNY and the SAAGNY family and wish him the best on the next chapter of his life.
The search for a new Executive Director had begun. We received an overwhelming response from candidates, from both within and outside of the promotional products industry, which made this a very daunting decision. After reviewing countless resumes, conducting dozens of interviews and carefully considering all of the candidates, the search committee had found the best candidate to propel the association into the future. In February, SAAGNY welcomed Donna-Jean Plante as the new Executive Director. She came to SAAGNY with 20 years of association experience across many different industries. The Board of Directors is thrilled to have such an experienced candidate take the helm.
As we continue throughout 2017, SAAGNY will continue to provide the best professional opportunities. The annual Winter Show had increased attendance and the Summer Show is on pace to do the same. We have 40+ events on the calendar for 2017 offering a multitude of networking opportunities. We are excited for the new dates of PPAI Expo East and are optimistic these changes will lead to the success of the event and our constituents.
A special thank you goes out to the membership for the continued support. Without our members, we don’t exist. SAAGNY and the Board of Directors are here for you and your success. Thank you to the SAAGNY Foundation for continuing the benevolent efforts on behalf of the association. Thank you to Rocio Lainez-Monreal for the countless hours you have dedicated to SAAGNY and our members and the extraordinary work you do every day. And my personal thanks to the Board of Directors for the efforts you put forth. You are the glue that keeps the association together and moving forward.
Here’s to a very successful 2017 for you and yours.
John R. B. Cudahy, CAS