2015 DEMA Convention “Going Global” Recap
by Beth Siegmann – Events Coordinator
Photos courtesy of John David Helms Photography
The countless hours of visualizing and planning DEMA’s 4th Annual Convention was well worth it. Not sure how the DEMA team does it, but these events keep getting better and better every year…just like a fine bottle of wine. This year was full of exciting changes and growth for DEMA. Moving into a new larger office space, allowed them to add more dynamic team players to the DEMA family. Amazing things are happening at DEMA!
Another fabulous growth DEMA experienced was adding new chapters abroad. By having a presence in Europe and the United States, we are able to better assist, educate and network with more Private Service Professionals. So how fitting to make this year’s convention theme “Going Global.”
Back by popular demand, we started our “Going Global” weekend with Career Day & Job Fair. With over twelve of the world’s best placement agencies, this helped give employed and unemployed Private Service Professionals the knowledge and confidence to continue down this career path. After a short break, our various speakers like Donna Shannon, Ian Lubcke, Andrew Lowrey, Jason King, Charles MacPherson and Bonnie Low-Kramen captivated attendees with key points about job hunting, certification and international market.
Our Friday night Welcome Reception Event, hosted by Peak Technical Institute was the perfect opportunity for old friends to reunite and new friendships to be forged. It was the perfect event to help kick-off our fantastic weekend. Attendees knew then, they were in for a life-changing weekend.
Participants were in for a treat Saturday morning with Bonnie Low-Kramen starting the day off with her knowledge and success of staying relevant, marketed and employed. Kris Coleman of Red Five Security followed with his presentation about security issues associated with social media. His presentation was an eye opener for many of our attendees. The cyber threat is real and can do so much harm to a family.
The day continued with various workshop sessions for attendees to choose. There were a vast variety of topics from Table Settings featuring Charles MacPherson to Mike Branch of Leading by the Reins sharing the seven characteristics of a good leader and communicator. Attendees came away with information to grow personally and professionally no matter which workshop they attended.
To conclude our day, we were honored to have Susan Bigsby speak about dressing for success. Susan shared her wisdom and insight about outer appearance and how it can affect your professional advancement. It sometimes can be the smallest detail that makes all the difference, especially with your self-image and confidence.
With the educational portion of the program having concluded for the day, it was time to celebrate the industry and recognize the professionals who have made significant contributions to the industry. A lovely dinner was served while attendees enjoyed each other’s company and appreciated the amazing butter cream centerpieces representing famous landmarks from around the globe. Thank you to the very talented Chef Becky Wortman of Cream Jewel for sharing your fabulous works of art.
Over the past 3 years DEMA has recognized those who excel in the industry with an awards ceremony sponsored by DEMA vendor and national affiliate Christofle, manufacturer of fine silver flatware and home accessories. This year was no different as nominations came in from the United States and abroad. Receiving one of these awards truly distinguishes the recipient as an exemplary member of the private service industry. This year the award categories included: Agency of the Year, Educator of the Year, Vendor of the Year, Chapter of the Year, Private Service Professional of the Year and the highly coveted DEMA Lifetime Achievement Award.
And The Award Goes To…
Agency of the Year: Aunt Ann’s Agency
As one of the oldest Domestic Referral Agencies in California, the office specializes in staffing Baby Nurses, Nannies, Family Assistants, Housekeepers, Private Chefs, Butlers, Household Managers, Personal Assistants, Domestic Couples, Chauffeurs, and Estate Managers.
Educator of the Year: Bonnie Low-Kramen
Bonnie Low-Kramen’s career for 25 years was as the Personal Assistant to celebrity couple Olympia Dukakis and Louis Zorich. Bonnie is the co-founder and former President of New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA), a networking and support organization for New York-based celebrity assistants. As an author, Bonnie wrote the bestselling book about the profession, “Be the Ultimate Assistant.”
Vendor of the Year: Red 5 Security
Red Five Security, LLC, is a concierge security company committed to delivering bespoke security solutions that meet or exceed their clients’ needs. Red Five’s personnel have extensive experience in security operations and intelligence, security design and engineering, threat and vulnerability assessments, investigations, and have trained corporate and government security professionals around the globe.
Chapter of the Year: New York Tri-State
For a second year in a row, the New York Tri-State Local Chapter of DEMA was named Chapter of the Year! This prestigious award is presented to the DEMA Chapter that consistently meets deadlines when coordinating speakers and venues. Other criteria needed for winning the award, is how many new members join throughout the year, overall attendance at monthly chapter events and chapter representation at the national convention.
Private Service Professional of the Year: Gary Cockerham
This award goes to the Private Service individual who has set him or herself apart as an exceptional DEMA member. Laudable professional skills, past and ongoing training and efforts in mentoring others have highlighted the recipient’s life. Leadership on a local level and support of DEMA work in tandem to make this person an asset for the industry. The recipient strives for professionalism in all areas of his or her life and has set an example of devoted service to others – professionally and privately.
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Charles MacPherson
Charles is the founder of Charles MacPherson Associates Inc. and brings over 24 years experience in Household Management as the Major Domo for one of Canada’s most prominent families as well as his role as Founder and President of Charles MacPherson Associates since 1996. In 2009 Charles opened North America’s only registered school for Butlers & Household Managers in Toronto, Canada.
Congratulations to all the 2015 DEMA Award Recipients.
Sunday morning came early as the energy level carried over from the day before. Our guest speaker, Christopher Ramey of The Home Trust, mesmerized attendees with his keys to success and how living a life of abundance has nothing to do with what you own or how much money you have. The remaining of the day included more workshop sessions and raffles.
Speaking of raffles, our Exhibitor Marketplace this year was filled with incredible sponsors and vendors. A big thank you to all that helped make our Marketplace an opportunity of networking and learning. A special thank you to our break sponsors, Ultra Lifestyle and William C. Huff Companies. We closed out the Exhibitor Marketplace with a fun and competitive raffle. Some amazing prizes were won, like a trip to London!
As in years past, we had the unbelievably talented Paul Joachim, The Chocolate Genius. His take on DEMA Batman was fascinating, thank you Paul and team for sharing your talent with us! It was fun to pop into the Marketplace to see your progress.
DEMA would like to thank all of those who took time out of their busy schedules to attend this year’s convention. To our sponsors’, your support for DEMA and this beloved profession is greatly appreciated. Your generosity helped make “Going Global” a huge success!
Until next time, continue attending your local chapter events and take advantage of the many resources and tools on the DEMA website. Be sure to review the updated convention website for more details about the next DEMA Convention coming to Scottsdale, AZ in August 2016. Join us as we discover ho to “Become an Agent of Change.”
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