December 2016 Print

President's Report

Can you believe that Christmas is only days away? Crazy! As we begin to wind down this year I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped make 2016 so successful for Silicon Valley NACE. This year has been a banner year for our chapter and we would not have been as successful without the support of our amazing 2016 Board of Directors. As you know, being on the Board is strictly a volunteer position, and these people put in the hours and work to ensure that our chapter flourished. I am so honored to be working alongside these great people, and I am happy to report that they are all staying on for another year! We also have a couple new additions to the Board, Robert Kusters and Kevin Combs, and I am excited to get their input and support as we continue to serve our chapter in 2017.

Speaking of 2017, I'm excited to announce that the first meeting of 2017 will be our Best of the Industry Awards Dinner at the San Jose Marriott! The Marriott will be pulling out all the stops and we will be treated to an amazing dinner, so I hope you'll join us. CLICK HERE to register and I hope to see you there!

Interested in being nominated for a Best of the Industry Award? It's pretty simple- all you need to do is sponsor 1 event during the calendar year and you will automatically be nominated for an award in your category. Interested in sponsoring an upcoming event? Please let Gigi know!   

Again, thank you all so much for the amazing support through 2016! We are excited to keep this momentum going into 2017, and I look forward to serving you as President for one more year! Happy Holidays! 

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Upcoming Events

We are so excited to announce that we have events scheduled out for the first 3 months of 2017! Be sure to put the following dates on your calendar- we'd love for you to join us! 

January 17th, 2017 at San Jose Marriott- We hope you will join us for our amazing Best of the Industry Awards Dinner! Click here to learn more and register!

February 15th, 2017 at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club- more details to follow! 

March 15th, 2017 at Fairmont San Jose- more details to follow

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Say Hello to your 2017 Board of Directors!

We are so excited to announce that the slate we presented for our 2017 Board of Directors has been approved! We will be swearing in the board at our Awards Dinner in January, but in the meantime take a look at who will be leading our chapter next year! 

President: Kevin Dennis
Immediate Past President: Virginia Santa Ines
Vice President: Diana Cardenas
Secretary: Ann Ogden
Treasurer: Teri Schenkel
Director of Hospitality: Sandy Tijero
Director of Community Service: Kristan Shamus
Director of Membership: Jerry Schultz
Director of Marketing: Robert Kusters
Director of Communications: Lindsay Fogarty
Event Professional: Kevin Combs

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Community Service

With the season of giving already upon us we’d like to introduce you to a project near and dear to our hearts. This project is called Operation Christmas Child and it is the brain child of a relief organization called Samaritan’s Purse. Operation Christmas Child delivers Christmas presents to children all over the world and right here in the United States, spreading joy and love to those who need it most. Many of the children who receive these gifts live in war torn countries and live in extremely poverty stricken areas.

We’d love for you to help us bring love and joy to the lives of these very special children. See below to learn how you can help, with very little effort and expense, but with maximum impact in a child’s life. Be a child’s hero today!

About Samaritan’s Purse:

For over 40 years, Samaritan’s Purse has done our utmost in aiding the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. We are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance.

About Operation Christmas Child:

Operation Christmas Child is a project of the international relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse. Our mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.

The program was started in the United Kingdom in 1990 by Dave and Jill Cooke. Three years after this beginning, the Wales-based shoebox gift project merged in a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, allowing us to share 20 years of expertise in relief and aid work with the project, and expand the reach of the shoebox gifts to more than 28,000 children that year. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 135 million children in more than 150 countries and territories.

Since 1998, Operation Christmas Child has delivered over 558,000 shoebox gifts to children living in South Sudan. Samaritan's Purse staff continues serving in multiple locations across the country, providing food, water, medical care, and ministry in Jesus' Name. You can read about the work being done and donate to show the people of South Sudan they are not forgotten here.


How to Help in 4 Easy Step:



1.      Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. Feel free to wrap it, but be sure to cover the box and lid separately.

Quick tip: You can stop by your local Hobby Lobby and pick-up an official Operation Christmas Child box to hold your gifts! 

2.      Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. We suggest choosing a boy in the age category 10 – 14 as these children are often overlooked and are incredibly grateful when someone thinks of them. 

3.      Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal. Then add other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.

4.      Purchase a tracking label. Donate $7 online and receive a tracking label to Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox gift. Get your label here!



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Board Member Spotlight

Meet our Director of Community Service, Kristan Shamus! 


Life has a funny way of working out exactly how it is supposed to. I started my professional career as an executive assistant. The more successful I was in my career the less fulfilled I felt. I soon realized that I was no longer doing the parts of my job I loved to do: coordinating company events, so I decided to start moonlighting in event coordination.


I posted a letter on drawing parallels from my skills as an Executive Assistant to assistant wedding plannning. Luck was on my side; I was hired to assist on a gorgeous wedding at San Jose City Hall followed a week later by Nestldown. I remember limping to my car at the end of those first two nights absolutely exhausted, but on such a high. I was hooked!


That was in 2008 and I continued moonlighting as much as I could. In 2011 I quit my corporate job and went back to college full time. I joined Silicon Valley NACE and took ACPWC’s professional certification course while working for as many planners as I could. In 2012 I started my own business, Kristan Shamus Events & Design, while working in catering sales and taking every opportunity I could find to learn, network and grow. In May of 2016 I graduated from SJSU with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality with a focus in event management.


I now work as an event coordinator for a non-profit in Livermore while expanding my business to the Tri-Valley area. I serve on the SVNACE Board as the Community Service Chair and I continue to network, learn, and grow as I am just as hooked on this industry today as was I was on that fateful day in 2008.  You can contact me at

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