Special Guests Included Larry Weiss of Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office, Jerry Blaine of LDI Connect, Ed Carroll of TGI Office Automation, and Bob Goldberg of the Business Technology Association (BTA)
For the last seven years (with the exception of pandemic years 2020 and 2021), we have hosted our Elite Partner Dinner in May. It’s an event that allows us to say thank you to our most important clients and provides them with an opportunity to join together and enjoy each other’s company. The event also allows for unique networking opportunities, as several vendors have fostered meaningful connections at this event. This year, we also discussed the charity for our upcoming 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala, scheduled for November 2, 2023.
We are proud to be raising funds to support the Mariano Rivera Foundation at this year’s gala. Anyone who has ever held a baseball knows Mariano Rivera. For the few who may not, let me give you a thumbnail sketch of this amazing individual.
Born in Panama in 1969, he was signed by the Yankees as a prospect when he was a teenager. From 1995 to 2013, he pitched exclusively for the New York Yankees. For those 19 years that he wore a Yankee uniform, he was unquestionably the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019, the first player to be elected unanimously. He saved 652 games over his 19-year career.
What makes Mariano so special is his long-time commitment to helping young people make their way in life. He had only been a Yankee for three seasons when he began providing scholarships for those young people who were in need. He is also a deeply devoted man with a great faith.
Larry Weiss, president of Atlantic Tomorrows Office, was contacted by Mariano a few years after his retirement. He asked for his help to build a training center in New Rochelle, New York. Larry and his team, led by Luis Villa, have done an outstanding job of supporting the Mariano Rivera Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic. In 2022, the event raised $1,000,000. We attended the dinner at the golf outing, and it was more like an industry event supported by companies such as Konica Minolta, Ricoh, and EFI. We will be attending this year’s outing on June 26th. Larry was kind enough to discuss his relationship with Mariano and the Mariano Rivera Foundation at the Elite Partner Dinner.
Elite Partner Dinner Guest List
What makes our Elite Partner Dinner unique is the ability to bring competitors together to drink, dine, practice their shooting skills at our club’s rifle range, and share what is going on in their personal lives. Many of them have known each other for a long time, and they enjoy it immensely.
To give you some idea of how we bring this group together is how we arrange our table seating. We have four tables at the Elite Partner Dinner, each hosted by a member of our leadership team, including Carol, CJ, Scott, and myself. Sitting at my table this year was David Pohlman, GreatAmerica Financial Services; Eric Auman, Hytec Dealer Services; Moto Noguchi, Konica Minolta (who recently arrived in the U.S. from Japan); Oscar Sanchez, Kyocera; Moonsun Park, Sharp; Larry White, Toshiba; and Phil Buysse, US Bank.
The other three tables had guests from the same companies, plus ACDI, ConnectWise, Distribution Management, Epson, HP, Intermedia, Mars, Ricoh, and RISO. We had four special guests, Bob Goldberg, BTA; Larry Weiss, Atlantic Tomorrows Office; Jerry Blaine, LDI Connect; and Ed Carroll, TGI Office Automation.
Those last four guests attended our Elite Partner Dinner because we wanted to say thank you for all the support they have given to us, particularly for our annual Gala. Bob is our emcee, and the dealers are very generous donors and provide a host of services for us, from badges to posters and decorations that saved us a great deal of time and money. We must also acknowledge Sharp, who provides us with outstanding AV support.
We host our Elite Partner Dinner at our private club, Tiro A Segno of New York. We invited each client to send two senior executives to the Elite Partner Dinner, and it was our pleasure to welcome 40 guests this year. We can assure you that fun was had by all. That is the key to this special evening. We recognize this is a very competitive business, and we understand the rivalries in the industry. However, there comes a time to put aside competition. The camaraderie at the dinner means so much to us, and our clients tell us they share that sentiment.
38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala
The Mariano Rivera Foundation is the latest in a long line of charities we have raised money for over 25 years at our Annual Awards & Charities Gala. The key is that we do it together. Think of it in terms of the three dealers who joined us at our Elite Partner Dinner. They are competitors in one of the most difficult markets in this country. They come together to help us, each in their own way.
On November 2, 2023, we will host our 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala. The cost to attend is a donation of $800 per seat that goes directly to the Mariano Rivera Foundation. This is not, nor has it ever been, a proceeds event. Over the 25 years, we have raised close to $3 million, all going directly to the charities that we select.
CJ joined us 10 years ago, and after experiencing two galas that we paid for (100%), he said we need to get sponsors, and we cannot continue to do this out of pocket. To his great credit, he has done just that ever since. The result is that from raising an average of $60-$75K per event, we were able to raise $216,500 last year for the newly built Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine in Clifton, New Jersey. It will provide an initial $8,000 per year scholarship to a student in need.
The Cannata Report’s Annual Awards & Charities Gala has gone from 130 people to 250 of the industry’s leaders, including manufacturers, leasing companies, distribution organizations, warehousing and deliveries, software developers, and toner suppliers, as well as many of the leading dealers in the U.S. A special shout out to our Gala sponsors, Hytec Dealer Services, along with ConnectWise, HP, Xerox, and Polek & Polek.
It does not end there. The morning after the Gala, Carol Cannata hosts our Women Influencers Brunch celebrating our 2023 Women Influencers. The women executives who attended the Gala are invited to join this select event. This is indeed a very special event. Sponsored by GreatAmerica Financial Services and Distribution Management, the brunch will celebrate 10 years of our Women Influencers editorial franchise and the publication of our July/August 2023 Women Influencers issue.
More to come about the Mariano Rivera Foundation.
To become a subscriber, visit https://thecannatareport.com/register or contact email@example.com directly. Bulk subscription rates are also available upon request and included in our media kit.