NEW YORK Arizona-native Nicholas Ferrando joined the Food Bank for New York City in February and now oversees more than 20 events annually, including the Can-Do awards dinner and the Lunchbox Auction. Ferrando also manages third-party partnership events, such as Taste of Tennis and the upcoming Wine & Food Festival in New York.
Ice Sculpture Design: “Okamoto Studio does not do your typical swan, duck, or punch bowl. They can freeze just about anything, be it oranges or a real fish, tennis balls and a racket, or Crocs—all things they designed for us this year. Shintaro Okamoto will come back with renderings very quickly, and he does exquisite work every time, which is why we have used him for the last four years and will continue to do so.”
Photography: “Donjé is a longstanding partner of ours. I started working with the husband-and-wife team, Scott and Nichole Allinson, in February, and they have done everything for us, from photographing our events from both a product and sponsorship perspective to working in the field to doing people shots, like the one of our C.E.O. in the newsletter.”
Flowers: “Design Fusion's Jerry and Edwin envisioned the florals for our Can-Do Awards this year. They fashioned 86 tables with more than 50 orange pavé roses that surrounded the ice sculptures. They complemented the visually stunning arrangement with an opulent silver overlay.”
Venue: “Pier Sixty has held our Can-Do awards for the last two years and we will be back in 2009. Meredith Barsky goes above and beyond, more so than any other venue I’ve worked with. For the event, we occupied every square inch of the place, and they were wonderfully accommodating. To complement the traditional desserts and for our honorary guest and vegan, Gwyneth Paltrow, they also created an entire vegan dessert station.”
Event Management: “Event Management Group is run by Jennifer Kunin and Jenny Bierne, an unbelievable team that assisted me at the Can-Do Awards with the pre-planning, on-site management, and wrap-up. We have already signed contracts to work with them again. Their response time and method of problem solving are always up to par. We had an unexpected challenge with our journal this year, and they saved the day by administering the designer and printer and the layout of the 140 pages.”