Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 Los Angeles Organizing Awards Round Up

The most glamorous night in the organizing industry lived up to its name! I attended the multi-part evening at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City Saturday night. I was also part of of the event planning committee, and it was so exciting to see all the hours of hard work come out successfully.

The first part of the evening was the Gala Industry Exchange. I was helping at the registration booth and it was so fun to see the big names in organizing all come up and get their tickets - everyone from Elizabeth Hagen to Monica Ricci to Peter Walsh. At the Exchange, there was an elaborate booth set up by the presenting sponsor OfficeMax, plus a fun closet installation from The Container Store, and a whole new range of products at the Office Depot booth. Fujitsu, PODs and ICD were there, too. At one end of the room, the photographers had the red carpet photo op running smoothly, and at the other, Fox 11's Carlos Amezcua interviewed the attendees about their businesses. I was really impressed with the video crew covering the event. They seemed to be everywhere at once and I'm looking forward to seeing how the coverage turns out.

The hit of the exchange, besides the great raffle prizes (I won a NeatDesk scanner!) was definitely OfficeMax's HD Photobooth. They had this high tech photo area where you could pose and get your photo taken, then instantly watch it shoot out of a printer and get to take it home. The quality was great - something about the lighting and the black and white made everyone who stepped in front of the thing look  fantastic. Check out the entire set of photos from the event here.

Erin Haas and me, strict professional organizers!
After the raffle, we all headed up to the 21st floor to the Starview room. It was really beautiful, with twinkling lights in the ceiling to give the ballroom a festive atmosphere. NAPO-LA chapter president Katherine Macey gave a warm welcome to us all, then actress Lisa Ann Walter came out and gave a funny intro about how when working with a professional organizer for the first time, her a-ha! moment came when the organizer mentioned clear boxes. All 24 awards were given out as efficiently as possible, and it was fun to hear the remarks of both the presenters and the winners. Everyone who won seemed to be really appreciative, and it is nice to know that the recognition one can get from the award can really help someone's business grow and thrive. I was also elated when one of the award recipients named me in her acceptance speech!

The evening was brought to a heartfelt climax when Jean Furuya, truly one of NAPO-LA's most beloved advanced organizers, was presented with the Leading Edge Award. That was followed by two of our committee members, Carla DeLauri and Shari Richardson, who coordinated sponsorships and donations, receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award. Donna Rosman, the woman who made the event possible with her tireless drive and leadership was presented with the Raising the Bar Award, and then she and her co-chair, Robyn Reynolds, were given two of the most gigantic bouquets of flowers I have ever seen.

Kathryn Masci (Registration Coordinator),
Carla DeLaurie (winner of Volunteer of the Year Award) and me.
Some went on to after-parties or In N Out, but I took my goody bag (more on that later) and went home to sleep! I wanted to be fresh for the President's Brunch at the Hard Rock Cafe the morning after, which was a fun way to catch up with my friends and colleagues I'd missed the evening before.

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email lelah@lelahwithanh.com


  1. Great photos. And so descriptive. What were you mentioned in the acceptance speech for?

  2. Thanks, Lena! I was thanked by the winner of the Green Award for Most Eco-Friendly Organizing Service for helping with her PR for the event, which was lovely.