Each year, we challenge ourselves to make our Annual Awards & Charities Gala the best we’ve ever had. And I am pleased to report that, once again, we were successful in doing just that. Please forgive me if I’m repeating what I shared in my year-end letter last year when I wrote that we set a fundraising record because we did it again in 2023 by raising $233,500 for The Mariano Rivera Foundation, the largest amount we’ve ever raised at our Annual Awards & Charities Gala, thanks to the incredible support we received from our subscribers and partners across the dealer and vendor segments of our industry.
Special thanks to our generous sponsors for helping us achieve our goal, including our long-time Official Gala sponsor, Hytec Dealer Services, led by Eric Auman, and our first-time Official Gala sponsor, TD SYNNEX, and, specifically, Desiree Cruz and Dan Middleton. I would also like to acknowledge John Schweizer and ConnectWise, and Josh Braendle and Static Control, who came on board this year as Presenting sponsors, and give a shout-out to Tami Beach and John Whidden and HP, who returned as the official sponsor of the Gala’s Cocktail Reception along with Mike Pietrunti and Xerox and Chris Polek and Polek & Polek who once again co-sponsored the After Party.
Raising funds to assist The Mariano Rivera Foundation’s print technology education program is gratifying. This initiative will benefit the industry we have dedicated our coverage to since our founding 41 years ago. We were thrilled to welcome Mariano Rivera to the event and were delighted to see so many photos of our guests with him on social media! He is a gracious partner to work with, and I am happy to report that the autographed memorabilia he donated helped push us way over our goal this year.
The auction provided some great excitement, so don’t miss Scott’s spotlight about it in his recap of the Gala. Just one final note about Rivera: when he learned that Mike Marusic, Best Male Executive of the Year, bleeds pinstripe blue, he wanted to take part in Mike’s Frank Award presentation. Be sure to watch our video spotlighting our 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala on our YouTube channel. After watching the video, please mark your calendar for November 7, 2024, when we will host our 39th Annual Awards & Charities Gala.
We hope that this issue conveys the excitement of our Break on Through themed Gala. After reading about the Gala and enjoying the photos, flip it over and dive into our 2024 WatchList to get insights and intel on what we think will make headlines in the new year.
Happy holidays, and all the best in 2024!
President and CEO