NACE is extremely excited to introduce to you our new President Maria Panaggio-Phillips! We asked Maria a bit about her journey through the events industry, how she stays organized to get through all of life’s responsibilities and more. Enjoy getting to know her!
Maria was born and raised in Argentina and started in photography by taking classes in high school, falling in love being behind the camera. Now, she has been in the events industry for over 15 years and is excited to practice her passion taking photographs all over the world side-by-side with the love of her life, Brian Phillips, with their co-owned photography company Brian Phillips Photography.
Starting off helping Brian with the business portion of a growing photography company Maria grew to love photography even more and decided to become more involved. Although Maria rarely shoots alone, she finds it fun to work alongside her husband assisting him. Maria says the best thing about them working together is “that we can be honest with each other and that we have each other’s best interest at hand.” On the flip side, it can also be stressful at times. “When I first started shooting he was an amazing teacher but also a tough critic. Brutally honest so I learned quickly, but that’s a plus.”
Maria and Brian have photographed events worldwide including New York bridal runway shows, Fashion week, and numerous editorial assignments including one from Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine and more. We asked Maria which events she likes to shoot the most. “I am a sucker for weddings. I often tear up behind the lens during a first look…or when a bride is walking down the aisle. The most amazing wedding we shot was in a castle in Scotland. Truly a fairytale wedding!”
Not only does Maria spend her time behind the lens shooting brilliant images far and wide, she also has a full time job with Tufts Health Plan, co-owns and runs their business Brian Phillips Photography, is the President of NACE, a spectacular mother AND on her kid’s PTO board at school! When we asked her how she does it all she responded, “I have lots of lists and share a calendar with Brian for both our business and personal lives. Did I mention I like organizing? I have a great pin board with all the kids activities, homework, parties, etc. all organized. [Also] did I mention I drink wine?” All joking aside, Maria is a true NACE rockstar.
Maria initially joined NACE to network and to grow her business. She has thrived becoming a NACE Board Member and now President. What is her favorite benefit of NACE? The friendships. “I have been able to call on friends during times that we have needed them to help photograph and it was much easier because they were friends. I would do the same for them in a time of need. [At NACE] you really get to know people and can leverage their experiences, fails and success and can apply to your own career/business. You can never network too much.”
We asked Maria what was one important message that she wanted to get out to her fellow NACE members and she responded “I want people to come to NACE to learn and grow not just professionally but personally. I am always open to chatting with people and answering any questions about anything. We have an amazing board and I think I speak for them too when I say to please approach us and introduce yourself if we don’t already know you.”
At your next NACE meeting, make sure you introduce yourself to Maria, ask her more, and congratulate her on her new role as our President.
We at NACE would love to hear from you. In the comments below, let us know if you have any questions for Maria. Thank you for sharing!
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Ashley Kirouac has been an Event Sales Manager at Hyatt Regency Cambridge for three years, primarily selling and planning weddings along with other social events. She won Manager of the Year and was one of 100 Hyatt Hyachievers in Event Sales & Planning for 2016. A NACE member for 1 year, Ashley is now a proud Social Media Committee Member for NACE and enjoys blogging by uncovering knowledge and experiences from other NACE members. When not working she enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends and family. Contact Ashley with ideas for upcoming blog posts!