meet our new york board

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Amira R. Gertz

Vice President of Programs

Amira Gertz is the Director of Catering for Rosa Mexicano Restaurants. Her department is responsible for the sale of all onsite group and private dining, as well as off-site catering and the development of B&I catering accounts. Amira joined the Rosa Mexicano team in 2013, helming sales for the New York region and was promoted in 2014 to oversee the division nationally. Prior to joining the team at Rosa Mexicano, Gertz was the director of private dining at City Hall Restaurant, where under the direction of Chef Henry Meer she grew the private dining department to a premier wedding and corporate venue in lower Manhattan. She began her career working in off-premise catering, planning and catering events all over NYC including the New York Public Library, Radio City and the Museum of the City of New York. Ms. Gertz is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality and actively donates her time to City Harvest, Temple Shaaray Tefila and the Fresh Air Fund. She holds a BS from New York University and has continued her food and wine education at the New School.  

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Shira Spiewak

Vice President of Communications

Spiewak began her career by re-opening Goldbar. She then launched Sweetwater Social as well as Bleecker Kitchen & Co. Spiewak expanded her profile as Sales Manager for Gurney's Montauk and Seawater Spa, where she was brought in to rebuild its sales office during commencement of a management partnership with LDV Hospitality. Since then, Spiewak has launched her own business as a private event and hospitality consultant. She has cultivated clients throughout Manhattan, the Hamptons, and several other major US cities, customizing their event sales portfolios, smoothing transitions, increasing sales, and improving customer satisfaction. With her company, Dandy Life, Spiewak currently specializes in curating and developing event sales programs for newly opened or in-need venues; organizing and launching event sales and operations, generating hype, and implementing new event management systems. Spiewak sits on the NYC board of SERV, Society for Event planners Restaurant Venues, and works to organize educational panels and mentor restaurant event sales managers throughout New York City.

Marisa Colangelo

Vice President of Membership     

Marisa Colangelo is a seasoned New York City director of sales and private events, having spent the last 10 years working with an impressive roster of hospitality groups and private event firms. She found her niche in helping brands grow and in opening new properties. Marisa has been instrumental in streamlining the events departments of restaurants all over the country including Miami, Las Vegas, Boston, Los Angeles, and more. She is currently the Director of Events at Zuma where she leads her growing department and has established the first private dining department in the company’s 15-year history.

Raised by an Italian family just outside Boston, Marisa grew up with a love of hospitality, entertaining, and an appreciation of great food. She nurtured these skills while at New York City’s Fordham University, where Marisa acted as the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) President, and she successfully held the inaugural St. Jude’s Carnival Fundraiser. She graduated in 2008 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration.

Marisa began her career at Francesca Events where she quickly elevated to Executive Producer executing multi-million dollar corporate and private events such as Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef party. In 2010 Marisa joined ESquared Hospitality as an event sales manager for their BLT properties, where she doubled year over year sales. Her talents for mentorship and organization were recognized early, and her role quickly evolved to include hiring and training, creating operational procedures, and opening new properties. Marisa joined A VOCE Restaurant in 2015 as Director of Private Dining where she developed marketing initiatives to increase revenue resulting in the company’s highest yearly sales to date.

In 2016 Marisa began recruiting her contacts with the intention of establishing a community that focuses on continuing education and professional development. She connected with the Founder of SERV, Lisa Flores. The New York chapter was created shortly thereafter where Marisa serves as the Vice President of membership. SERV is the society of event planners with a focus on restaurant venues that provides support and ongoing educational seminars, structured networking opportunities, vendor relations and marketing -- all pertaining to the private events industry.