It was in 2003 that I attended my first NEWH event, The Scholarship Awards Gala, held at the historical Fox Theatre in Atlanta. It was rich with industry professionals; sales reps, purchasers, students, designers and principals. I remember being enamored by the event and thinking to myself, “I want to be a part of this.” Having started as a purchasing agent in the early 1990s, I have grown up in this industry and NEWH has been an instrumental part of my development.

I am honored by the confidence you all are placing in me by allowing me to be the 2016 Chapter President.  It is truly a privilege to be able to give back in the industry that has contributed to my success in sales, in obtaining gainful employment and, most importantly, in forming lasting friendships. I absolutely love what I do and it is this passion that inspires my efforts every day. I am grateful to our Chapter’s founding members who built a strong foundation of professionalism and scholarship. I will do my best at being this year’s steward of the wonderful group they created.

Serving on the board for the past five years has been extremely rewarding. As Scholarship Director for two years, it was easy to become invested in our industry’s next generation of hospitality professionals. These gifted students fueled my desire to help grow our fundraising events and raise more money for scholarship. With three children to put through college, I can relate to the financial struggles student and their families face. I have loved getting to know these talented students and watching them become valued industry professionals. Such efforts come full circle as many of them give back to our chapter by actively serving on committees and/or the Executive Board.

In 2015 our Chapter hosted many valuable events upon which together we should continue to build. Last year’s highlights include a Student Portfolio event; the Sustainable Property Tour in association with IIDA; two (2) Hotel Renovation Tours featuring local design firms; Fundraising’s Golf Tournament and Bowling Event raising over 20K in scholarship dollars; NEWH Membership Appreciation Happy Hour offering its members free head shots; Community Service Sandwich Making and Shoe Collection; as well as the Scholarship Awards Gala and the Holiday Party. These events provided excellent opportunities for networking, education and entertainment, all of which add great value to being a member of NEWH.

Historically, NEWH has built lasting relationships and fostered skills for members to build successful careers, including mine. As the Atlanta Chapter, we will continue to carry this legacy forward. In the coming year, we will work toward enhancing the value of NEWH to our members by providing scholarships, education, leadership development, recognition of excellence, and business development opportunities.

Please mark your calendars for some popular upcoming events including the Regional Trade Show & After-Party on January 22nd at the Cobb Galleria; our Bowling Event on June 23rd; as well as the Golf Fundraiser on October 18th. Keep an eye out for this year’s NEWH newsletters or check the website for details on these and other events. Better still, like us on our Facebook page.

Representing you and working with me this year is a strong Executive Board. I very much appreciate that they have joined me to assist in our efforts this year. These talented professionals are:

Jennifer Loux, Past President
Meghan Bazemore, Executive Advisor
Kelly Bowen, VP-Admin/Delegate
Ashley Salzmann, Secretary
Mike MacFarlane, Treasurer
Nicole Higgins, Programming
Rebecca Coles, Hospitality
Jennifer Wellman, Scholarship
Dallas Bentley, Scholarship Co-Chair
Tony Lopez, VP-Development/Delegate
MaryKay Strickland, Membership
Christine Lakso, Strategic Alliances
Cathy Mansour, Marketing
Tara Hebert, Community Service
Elizabeth Moore, Community Service Co-Chair
Tara Headley, Internet Communications *NEWH
Scholarship Recipient
Joel Robinson, Public Relations
Megan May, Publications
Jordan Kirksey, Fundraising *NEWH Scholarship Recipient
Michael Uhler, Fundraising Co-Chair
Valerie Haase, Sustainable Hospitality *NEWH Scholarship
Lubi Dimitrova, Student Representative

If anyone asks you how or why should I “be a part of this”, encourage them to get involved and contribute. You never know, you might be talking with a future NEWH Chapter President!

Here’s to a successful 2016 for NEWH Atlanta!  I wish all of you the best this year and always!  I look forward
to seeing you often.

In the Spirit of Networking,

Stacy Costa, NEWH, Industry IIDA
Hospitality Specialist
Koroseal Interior Products