• Meet Julie Sawitz, Lunches for Legends and Dinners for Divas

     
    FROM THE Winter 2019 ISSUE
     

    It’s all in a day’s work for Julie Sawitz, the 21 Club’s director of private dining.

There are restaurants and then there is the 21 Club. This iconic Midtown Manhattan restaurant has been a club of sorts for everyone from movie stars and business tycoons to American presidents. There are 10 private dining rooms within the 21 Club, but the restaurant is most famous for its Bar Room, notable for the toys suspended from the ceiling reflecting the various companies run by regular patrons. The room has graced the silver screen many times, but it’s the legendary wine cellar, once a speakeasy during Prohibition, that remains the most buzzed-about space.

Presiding over all of this is Julie Sawitz, 21 Club’s director of private dining. Despite it being a “six days a week kind of job,” Sawitz clearly loves what she does. It’s a good thing too, since she handles around 2,000 events a year. “I’ve done everything from product launches and movie openings to board dinners, financial company roadshows … you name it.”

Sawitz has been with the 21 Club for 25 years and she’s planned events for just about anyone who is anyone. While there are very few celebrities she hasn’t met or planned an event for, Sawitz is particularly adept at making everyone feel like an A-lister regardless of their social standing or bank account. “My job is to make memories for people.” Indeed, Sawitz’s personal touch is not only palpable, but keeps a steady stream of clients coming back for more. Some have become friends over the years. “I’ve actually attended weddings of the children of clients,” she says.

In an often transient industry, Sawitz’s 25 years of service is indeed impressive, but it’s clear she could never leave. Whether it’s planning a top-notch event or showing off the wine cellar (accessed through an unassuming but heavy brick door secured with a meat skewer) she never tires of the pace—or the place. “Sure, I’ve seen the wine cellar a million times, but that reaction people get when they first push open the door and get a peek inside … it just never gets old.”

League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry. 

 

To paraphrase a signature Frank Sinatra tune, “It’s time to make a brand new start of it in old New York.” NYC & Company, the official destination and marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs, has launched a record-breaking $30 million global multimedia effort with the message “It’s Time for New York City.”  Unfolding in several phases, the campaign will include television, digital, outdoor media and partnerships.

 

Event planning and experience design go hand in hand. Just ask Maria Moyano, experience designer for the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC), based in NYC. “I think that everything is an event. You can go have coffee, and that’s an event. Everything is also an experience. You feel happy, and that’s an experience. It’s about what you are trying to get out of the event—and then how does an experience elevate it,” says Moyano.