I recently hosted NycWIT's (New York City Women in Technology; www.worldwit.org) 3rd event at beautiful, downtown hotspot, Chateau (some of you may know it as the former Moomba) which was packed to the rafters with our members. ZYR Vodka (www.zyrvodka.com), the high-end sipping vodka, which is starting to pop up all over town, sponsored the event, along with Vidal Sassoon (thank you Carol Cho! - www.vidalsassoon.co.uk) and Personal and Career Coach, Janine Schindler (http://www.jascoaching.com/). Our terrific party planner, Jackie Goldstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) was the first person I saw there and she was on the move - helping with gift bag stuffing tips, moving boxes, and generally making sure things were running smoothly.
In honor of our 3rd event, WorldWIT founder, businesswoman extraordinaire and new mom (for the 5th time!), Liz Ryan, flew in from Colorado just to attend the event, bringing along her sister, Janet Ryan (www.ryanwhiteman.com) and the newest member of the Ryan family, Darrien, decked out in a black t-shirt in honor of NYC nightlife. (Liz had to turn around at the crack of dawn to fly to Chicago for sister list, ChicWIT's event and an interview with Time Magazine.) Even though we had an address glitch (it's 7th Avenue SOUTH, not 7th Avenue), that didn't stop the slew of NycWIT-ters from descending upon the party. (NycWIT-ter, Marghretta McBean, displaying some fast thinking, posted a sign at the 7th Avenue address pointing our members 8 blocks South to Chateau.) Some of the other wonderful NycWIT-ters who volunteered their time to help me with set-up and stuffing gift bags were Virginia Mulvaney, Yelena Darsky, Lauren Dohr, Vineeta Arora, Carol McGee, Chun Hua Zheng, Jeanette Plante, Randi Urban, Carla Legendre, Lise Endro, Lisa Carley, and Stacey Rachels. Stacy, who works for videogame company, Infogrames, and I discussed the holiday season and what the predicted hit videogames would be. Vicky Moy, Phillipa Heyman, Torie Zinsmeister and Beverly Cooper greeted guests, helped with name badges and handed out gift bags at the end of the evening. "Old-timer," Deb London,and Mary Reagan, a geophysicist at Columbia University, were also at the event until the very end, helping out.
Chateau, which looks dull and a bit dive-y in the daylight, transforms itself into a atmospheric, comfortable, trendy lounge at night lit by candles. I reserved the 2nd floor and loft area for our event and the size seemed perfect for our event of approximately 100 people. "Rhino" of Chateau was our deejay for the evening and spun low-key, lounge-y music for the guests' pleasure. The event was 2 hours long and the members showed up at a fast clip. The crowd went from 15 volunteers and I, to about 100 people within the span of about 40 minutes. The energy level grew briskly as well, as new and old friends connected.
I was introduced to Mitchell Bain, of ZYR Vodka, who was amused when I told him how I had changed my name for the evening from Danielle Cyr to Danielle Zyr in honor of their sponsorship (worn proudly on my name badge). Faithful members, Nancy Schena and Bronwen Stine arrived and updated me on their professional lives. I almost did not recognize Bronwen who was sporting a new, short, attractive hairstyle. Later on, we found out that we live a block away from each other and decided to get together for coffee in the neighborhood. I spoke to Valeria Bueno (www.qoolmedia.com) and Emily McHugh (www.casauri.com) and greeted old friend, Peter Corrigan (www.mcguirewoods.com), who arrived late with his client, Peter Dugre of Sub-Media (www.sub-media.com). The "Peters" talked about Dugre's company which projects photo stills on the walls of subways so that when the train is moving, the stills become a 20-second, motion ad. It will probably depend on the entertainment quotient of this type of ad for me to not place this in the "no, do not put cell service in the subway cars - let me have some peace, please," category.
Marlene Brill of Digitask (www.digitask.com), which provides system integration and management, came over to say, "Hello." Towards the end of the event, Denise Coultas (www.c-2-c.org) waited patiently to chat while I introduced attendees to each other, said, "hellos," and "goodbyes" to others. When I finally had a chance to catch my breath, Denise described to me how her company helps individuals and companies communicate more effectively. Dulce Estrada (www.paetec.com), Dimple Anand (love those names) and Jay Ranade (yes, NycWIT has members who are men, too!) all stopped by on their way out the door to briefly chat before departing.
I was very pleased with the event and the connections that were made and business cards that were exchanged. Judging from smiles on people's faces and the responses I have received, others were as well.