By Emily Reifel
I feel extremely lucky that I have been able to call The Plaza Hotel my “home” for a decade! I often like to refer The Grand Ballroom as my “living room”, which then makes sense that I refer to my teammates as “family”.
When you spend as much time together as we do, you certainly build a bond. In our business, there is no such thing as 9-5 business hours, so if you are going to work 15-hour days, it’s an added bonus to truly enjoy the people that you work with. As I look back, I can’t believe that CPS Events has been in existence for 10 years and it’s really amazing that there are five of us who have been together since the beginning. Like sitting on cardboard boxes while answering the phones because we were waiting on our office furniture, really the beginning. It’s not just the events here that we have truly bonded over, but many personal life events that have occurred for all of us during our time here. It doesn’t look like any of us are going anywhere in the next 10 years either; we must really love what we do. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the past 10 years and we are really looking forward to seeing what is going to happen in the next decade.
EMILY REIFEL, SENIOR SOCIAL SALES MANAGER
Chanel’s Night of Diamonds – It was the first party at The Plaza since the 3-year renovation. The building was still a hard hat zone but the party truly sparkled. I had never seen someone as gorgeous as Christy Turlington in real life and I will never forget that Candice Bushnell, the author of Sex and City, was there! It was my first time seeing a live step and repeat. I learned what a red carpet really looked like!
Meeting Paul McCartney – He was the uncle of the bride for a wedding I worked on. I escorted him in and was in awe over how friendly he was. Sir Paul told me I had a hectic job…. then sent me to his concert the next week!
A 60th Birthday Party for the Books – When Tom Jones, Natalie Cole and Julio Iglesias were ALL performing in one night along with a separate 35 piece orchestra and a 7-course meal. This client took entertaining their personal guests to the next level.
ROB ARANGO, DIRECTOR OF CLIENT DEVELOPMENT
The mod squad coming out of the Campbell Suite – Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker. As they walked by me I smelled my mother—Karl was drenched in Chanel #5, his aftershave.
Meeting Oscar de la Renta when he was honored by Carnegie Hall. He was the most elegant man ever. He said he loved the fish at dinner and I noticed his manners were impeccable.
Tastings with Mercedes Bass – She taught me how to place friends/donors at the host table; what lighting really does for a room; how she adds her own personal touch to our Chef’s first, main and dessert presentations; and that the eye catches everything first. She is the most elegant woman ever.
MIKE WARREN, DIRECTOR OF CATERING
SNL’s 40th Anniversary – Watching history in the making and seeing the impromptu performances on stage–Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Prince, etc. This party was the modern day black and white ball.
The Great Gatsby Premier – Working so closely with Baz Luhrmann on every detail of planning this event and witnessing his creative genius. The moment we instantly transformed the party into a speakeasy, with an entertainment moment that was like a scene from the movie and changing lighting and decor right in front of the guests was very special.
Tony’s Afterparty – Over the years we have created an iconic event that all of Broadway looks forward to and attracts so many A-list celebrities. The party is so much fun that most of the celebrities stay the entire night.
VINCENT PALUMBO, GENERAL MANAGER
Manhattan Children’s Center (MCC) – As a parent of a child with Autism, it was truly a privilege to being able to have this event at the Plaza.
SNL’s 40th Anniversary – I was just in awe of the guests that were here that evening. It was exciting watching Hollywood’s Entertainers being the ones entertained.
Grand Opening Party in 2008 – The night that started it all. I had no idea of the experiences, guests and events that the Plaza Universe would show me and the overall impact it has made to my life.
CELIO ROMERO, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
SNL Party in 2015 – The best party ever! With Jimmy Falon as the MC, everyone improvising on stage; Miley Cyrus on the keyboard, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift on the vocals and guitar, Bill Murray on the side performing the chorus and much more.
Fox’s Superbowl Party in 2014 – Started with a walk-through on September 2012 lead by our Wallis DiMatteo, then continued with preparations in the final quarter of 2013, and finally the event taking place on February. Also invited were lots of sports figures and TV personalities.
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ 40th Birthday Party – Another event with tons of celebrities. The funniest part was seeing P. Diddy doing his own setup through the whole day, moving couches around and having a blast.