Happy Father’s Day!

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Happy Fathers Day the best dad in the world and all the amazing dads out there!

Thanks for putting up with all of my crazy antics and for joining me on some of them!

New York International Auto Show 2019

The 2019 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) has made it’s way to New York City at the Jacob Javits Center April 19 to April 28.

This year’s NYIAS will not let you down, featuring ton of new models and tons to see and do! Check out some of the upcoming models!

Some new models at the 2019 NYIAS include:

  • Jeep Gladiator

  • Toyota Supra

  • Jaguar XE

  • Audi Q8

  • Porsche 911

  • Mercedes-Benz GLD

  • Kia Telluride

My favorite new car of the show as the Karlmann King! This GINORMOUS SUV, looks like a high tech military vehicle on the outside, but a party bus on the inside!

With the Karlmann King

With the Karlmann King

Inside of the Karlmann King

Inside of the Karlmann King

I was able test drive the Jeep Rubicon (as a passenger) around a very rigorous course. Check out my video here: https://youtu.be/tj8uQizP09M

For more information about the NY International Auto Show, please visit: https://www.autoshowny.com/

Stepping Up & Judging

Perfect 10 for attire!

Perfect 10 for attire!

Today was the New York Edge's Annual Step Competition "Rhythmic Step," hosted at York College in Queens, NY. I had the honor of judging at this highly competitive step competition for the 5th year, one of my favorite events of the year to attend! For those of you who have never seen stepping in person, it is definitely something you must see in person - the energy and movement is simply amazing.

Stepping is a synchronized group movement, with lots of stomping and clapping. All of these students rocked the stage and impressed me, I definitely would not be coordinated enough to do what they do! One step team even stepped blindfolded!

While I am not a top notch stepper, I was able to judge on attire - right up my alley!

Check out some photo & videos from this year’s competition on my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwHigQ3AV4o/ Can’t wait until next year!

These ladies were stepping BLINDFOLDED!

These ladies were stepping BLINDFOLDED!

Winners of the advanced competition

Winners of the advanced competition

Sweatfest 2019, SUCCESS!

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Putting the pedal to the medal!

Putting the pedal to the medal!

I am so proud to Chair the New York Edge Young Professionals Council and that together, we were able to exceed our goal and raise over $20,000 at the 3rd Annual Sweatfest!!! Every penny raised from our spin class fundraiser will go toward funding after school programming for over 30,000 students across the Greater NYC area!

Thank you to everyone who supported us, my team, the Pedal Warriors and to my amazing board for pulling off a great event and raising a ton of money for New York Edge!

To learn more about the cause and New York Edge, please visit: https://newyorkedge.org/

 
My team, the Pedal Warriors! (L-R: Sam, Ian, Diana, Elizabeth)

My team, the Pedal Warriors! (L-R: Sam, Ian, Diana, Elizabeth)

 

Cycling for a Cause - Sweatfest 2019

Next week, March 23, I will be spinning to raise money for New York Edge, a cause near and dear to my heart.

New York Edge (formerly Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation) is the largest provider of free after school programming, serving over 30,000 students across 130 schools across the Greater NYC area!

Please consider making a donation here: https://newyorkedge.networkforgood.com/projects/69763-elizabeth-tam-s-fundraiser

 
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I have been involved with NY Edge since 2013 and am currently co-chair of the New York Edge Young Professionals Council! I love working with them and am proud of all the great opportunities they provide to students!

Girl Redesigned with New York Edge

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Today, I had the pleasure of volunteering with New York Edge at the annual Girl Redesigned, hosted at Adelphi University in Long Island. At this event, students designed, sewed and modeled their own designs! It was very impressive to see these K-12 students see their designs through from beginning to end.

The designs were very creative, as were the performances. Each school had a different theme, from what do you want to be when you grow up to athletic wear.

I am no designer, but I was able to assist the students with my runway experience and teach the students how to walk, pose and own the runway with confidence!

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In addition to volunteering with New York Edge, I also sit as co-chair of the New York Edge Young Professionals Council, which I also helped to co-found!

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, feel free to reach out or visit: https://newyorkedge.org/

Global Summit in Florida

TLS Global Servicing Leaders

Group Shot of the TLS Senior Leadership Team & Market Heads

This week I was in Florida planning and hosting a Global Market Head Summit for the Travel & Lifestyle Services (TLS) Division of American Express. I had 28 colleagues from across the globe come together to speak about best practices and leadership about the global servicing for TLS.

The 3 day summit was one of my first big projects I have taken on as Manager of Strategy & Business Planning aka Chief of Staff of the entire global organization AND the first time a global event like this had been held. In fact, many of the team had not met one another in person, which added to the impact and influence this event could bring. This conference was very high stakes and high pressure as it overlapped and followed the senior leadership team conference of my company - however I thrive in pressure and was up for the challenge!

Menu from our joint team dinner I planned at Shooters!

The Summit was a lot of work, but it was worth it and we managed to accomplish and learn a lot from one another. It was great to meet everyone and eye opening for the team to have a true global perspective in person.

While I can’t say what we discussed some global takeaways I would like to share for global teams:

  • Meeting in person vs online can really unite a team

  • What may work in one country may differ in another, keeping a global perspective is key

  • You are not alone, a challenge you have may be shared globally

After many late nights and hours, I am happy to say the event was a success! A 9.3/10 according to my survey, I’ll take it for my first global event! If anyone needs an event planner, let me know!

Sunset in Sunrise, Florida - Not a bad way to end my time in Florida!

Sunset in Sunrise, Florida - Not a bad way to end my time in Florida!

Up Close & Personal with the Times Square NYE Ball!

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As 2018 comes to an end, one of my favorite ways to ring in the new year is to watch the NYE ball drop in Times Square.

This year, I had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with the Waterford Crystal ball that drops every year on NYE at One Times Square!

Check out my interview with Waterford Crystal’s Tom Brennan, who was the lead in designing the amazing ball that is seen across the world on New Year’s Eve!

Fun Facts:

The Waterford Ball is:

  • Illuminated by 32,256 LED lights

  • 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds

  • 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules, attached to the frame of the ball

Surprisingly the ball was only located a few flights up from the 21st floor. However, this did not take away any of the allure or grandeur of the Waterford Ball. It is just phenomenal up close!

One of the Waterford Crystal Triangles

One of the Waterford Crystal Triangles

 
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

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This year I have a lot to be thankful for. I am so grateful for all of my family, friends and opportunities I have had this year.

I am thankful for my family and all the help they have given me with my move to my new apartment.

I am thankful to my colleagues at work for supporting and assisting me to get my new role at work and to my new boss and team for taking a chance on me by giving me this new opportunity. I am grateful for all of the travel opportunities that have arisen as a result of me taking this new role all of the great people I have met along the way!

And most importantly thank you to my family and friends for all of the love not only this year but throughout time!

I hope all of you take the time to cherish all that you have and thank those who have played a part in your life.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Happy National Dessert Day

  

 

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Hope everyone has a sweet day!!!

I just tasted these delicious cupcakes from Huascar & Co Bake Shop.  The flavors going clockwise were Nutty Fella (chocolate fudge cupcake with Nutella filling, Glanduja buttercream frosting with chocolate pearls toasted hazelnuts), Pink Lemonade (lemon sour cream and raspberry cupcake with raspberry buttercream frosting and raspberry chocolate curls) and Berry Champgne (pink champagne cupcake with strawberries baked in iced with vanilla-pink champagne frosting)! 

Huascar & Co had a bunch of fun flavors and other items in the store, such as spiked tres leches cake which is one of my favorite kind of cakes!  The cupcakes were pretty tasty, more dense than fluffy, the Nutty Fella even had a filling, which was delicious. As for the frosting, I thought it was a bit hard and too bitter tasting, however they did have interesting frosting flavors to go with the different cupcakes. 

Interview with John Isner, Tennis Pro

John Isner may not have won the US Open, but he’s still one of my favorite tennis players!

Check out my interview with John Isner on everything from training for the US Open to having a baby girl!

He was the one who suggested to do the interview standing up, to get the height disparity, LOL!

Little Havana Food Tour in Miami

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During my vacation in Miami, I wanted to more than just your typical beach and party routine.  After seeking out some recommendations from my new friends from Sunrise, Florida, my friend and I decided to take a food tour with Miami Culinary Tours.  They had a few tour options, but decided the Little Havana Food tour, would give us a new cultural tour in addition to some yummy Cuban Food!

Stop 1 - El Pub Restaurant

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Stop 1 of the food tour was at El Pub restaurant, they are best known for their beef empanadas & coffee, which exactly what we had and a great way to start the tour!  For those of you who do not know, an empanada is basically dough filled with something, such as beef.  Variations of empanadas exist in many different cultures, such as calzones and dumplings.  I also learned about the "colada," which is a Cuban coffee that is mean to be shared (you should not have a full cup, but rather a small little shot, the size of a creamer).

 
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Stop 2 - Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co.

Next we headed to the Cuba Tobacco Cigar Factory, where we learned how cigars were made and got to see it first hand.  Fun Fact - The owner of this factory was actually imprisoned for 20 years prior to starting this factory and was sitting on the couch in the front of the store.

 
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Stop 3 - Domino Park

Domino Park is where all of the seniors go to play, you guessed it... dominos!  The park is a social club and the place to be during teh day for dominos and chess (but gambling is not allowed). Don’t forget to bring your ID, because they will card you!

 
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Stop 4 - Old's Havana

We then headed lunch at Old Havana, where we had a delicious Cuban sandwich & croquette.  A cuban sandwich consists of pernil (one of my favorites!), ham, pickle and cheese, croquettes are basically fried sticks of food, usually consisting of potato.

 
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Stop 5 - Ball & Chain

We migrated to some live Latin music at Ball & Chain for some refreshing mojitos!  Ball & Chain is definitely one of the most lively places in Little Havana, with a fantastic live band in the front of the restaurant and a pineapple theme!   They also have a nice little patio area in the back, this may have been my favorite spot on the tour - I will definitely be back next time I am in Little Havana!

 
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Stop 6 - Yisell Bakery

On to Yisell Bakery for some guava filled pastries (pastelitos).  This little hole in the wall bakery, looked kind of small and run down, but had some great pastries, bread and was very busy with locals. The bakery was crowded in the middle of the day while we were there, which says a lot about a place.

 

Stop 7 - Los Pinarenos Fruteria

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This fruit stand has a variety of fruits that you would not find at your local grocery store, here you can find giant avocados, green plantains, lady fingers (baby bananas), dragon fruit, star fruit and fresh mangos to name a few!  Here we had a very fresh mango smoothie, which you could tell was made right on the spot, I could definitely use another one in this heat! 

Fun Fact: this is one of the only open air fruit stands left standing AND was featured in some movies.

 
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Stop 8 - Azucar

Time for dessert!  For the final stop of the tour we headed to Azucar for some mantecado ICE CREAM topped with guava syrup! This shop was created by a local who saw the need to create a place for tourists to enjoy the local culture, thus Azucar was born!

 

Along the tour, we saw many roosters, both statues and real ones, very depicting of islands in general.   

Needless to say my friend and I were STUFFED by the end of this tour.  I would definitely recommend taking this tour if you want to learn about the culture, while stuffing your face!

Toronto in July

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Earlier this week, I traveled to Toronto, Canada on my first work trip... ever!  It was a great experience and I learned a lot about my new team, Travel & Lifestyle Services (TLS).  I had not been to Toronto since the North American Debate Championships (Northams) in January 2010 at York University.

My boss and I were only there for 1.5 days, so needless to say it as pretty jam packed with meetings during this market visit.  However, I was able to find some time to catch up with one of my MBA grad school friends who recently started working for AMEX in Canada!

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During my stay, I stayed at the Shangri-La Toronto, a very swanky 5-star hotel chain with a gorgeous pool.  The room was so spacious, bathroom alone could have been a small studio apartment in NYC, which included a hot tub and TV built into the mirror.  The hotel concierge even left me a nice handwritten note and left me pound cake loaf to welcome me to the hotel.  I would definitely love to stay there again, can I afford it is the question!

 “Big Ass Steak” at Baro in Toronto

 “Big Ass Steak” at Baro in Toronto

After Day 1, all of the managers+ went to a team dinner at Baro, a delicious Mexican restaurant in downtown Toronto.  The food here was DELICIOUS and the menu had some great names of dishes.  My favorite dishes on the menu were the steak and the the tacos, but the most amusing dish names were "Big Ass Steak" and “Eat Like Jefe!” 

CN Tower

CN Tower

On the way back to the hotel from Baro, we had a great view of one of Toronto's most popular attractions, the CN tower.  For those of you who know me know I had to stop and take a photo. My new boss surprisingly followed suit and took a photo on Snapchat to send to his children.

The next day was filled with back to back meetings starting at 8:30 AM to 4 PM, which I then headed to the airport for my flight - delayed about 5 hours...  However, on my flight home, I sat next to someone who taught me a bit about meditation and turned about to be a new friend!

Can't wait for my next trip!

My First Work Trip!

New Role, New Team & New Country!

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On my first day in my new role in Travel & Lifestyle Services (TLS), I was able to take a business trip to Toronto, Ontario for a site visit with my new boss.  (Do not worry I did not relocate to Canada)  I would be lying if I said I was not a bit intimidated to be travelling with my boss my first few days on the job - what would I talk to him about, would we get along or would I do something silly or embarrassing in front of him?  Thankfully all of these concerns were mostly in my head as I think I hopefully made a good impression.

The trip was very quick as we had landed on Monday afternoon, around 2:30 PM, due to delays, and left by end of day on Tuesday, less than 48 hours later.  However, even in this short period of time I was able to learn a lot.  I was able to:

  1. See how senior leaders at my company thing
  2. Listen to a call into the call center from the view of a Travel & Lifestyle consultant
  3. Hear the mindsets of what is and is not working and how senior leaders viewed these matters
  4. View the company from an international perspective
Team Dinner at Baro in Toronto, Canada

Team Dinner at Baro in Toronto, Canada

As part of TLS, the team creates, fosters and manages the relationships with some of the most high end hotels, including the Shangri-La hotel where I had the pleasure of staying and Baco where had dinner on Monday night.  While we were at dinner, we learned it was the regional VP’s birthday, so of course we had to celebrate while we were there!

Sadly, while I did not have any time to explore, but I did get a much better understanding of my new team, TLS.  I excited for my new role and what the future may hold!

Check out my next post for a lifestyle focus on my trip to Toronto and stay tuned for more of my travel adventures! (Hopefully)