Monday, May 16, 2011

Matt Cabrey Welcomed Into PPRA's Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, May 10th Matt Cabrey was inducted into PPRA's Hall of Fame. Each year PPRA hosts a luncheon to honor the new inductee making it an annual signature event. Matt is a part of Shire Pharmaceuticals’ international corporate communications team but his public relations talents and passionate demeanor goes well beyond his role at Shire. 

The Rittenhouse Hotel's grand ballroom was filled with Matt's friends, families, colleagues and fellow PPRA members.  Some guests knew Matt better than others but everyone left feeling a deeper connection with him because of the intimate setting.  Before lunch was served he even made his way around the room greeting each table to welcome them and thank them for being a part of this monumental day.

Fittingly, Karin Phillips, Community Affairs Director of KYW Newsradio1060, was the emcee for the program.  She and Matt both are consistently making an impact on the community helping locally based charities find a voice and putting visions into actions.

Guests at the luncheon were invited to donate can goods for Philabundance and children’s socks and underwear for Cradles to Crayons, two local charities that Matt is extremely involved in.  This also goes along with PPRA’s philosophy of making connections and bettering our community. 

The honorable Michael A. Nutter, mayor of the city of Philadelphia, was among the many who paid tribute to Matt’s dedicated work in the city of Brotherly Love.  Mayor Nutter presented Matt with a citation of the city thanking him for all of the charity work making the city a better place.  Ironically, just before mayor Nutter arrived to the luncheon he received 30 donated laptops at City Hall from Shire’s team that Matt leads.  The laptops are for student programs that are in need of them to meet their goals. Mayor Nutter shared his gratitude with everyone.

Angus Russell, CEO of Shire Pharmaceuticals, was the keynote speaker who praised Matt for his humble efforts in bettering Shire Pharmaceuticals and the global community.  Shire Pharmaceuticals has grown so much since Matt began working there in 2004.  When he joined the team he was one of 43 employees working at the Shire Chesterbrook campus and today it is home to more than 1,000 employees.

Making connections was the topic of many of the remarks made by the guest speakers including Allison Grove, Principal of g2 Communications, Mike Troupe, Vice President, Facilities of YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity and Lisa Cetroni, Matt’s former elementary school teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes.  Several weeks ago Matt invited each of them to make remarks because the connections he made with them at different stages of his life and career made a lasting impression.

Long before his career began he was already making positive impacts in his community in the Overbrook neighborhood of Philadelphia. Lisa Cetroni’s remarks stood out from the others on Tuesday because of her unique connection with the young Matt Cabrey.  She had the honor to be his elementary school teacher in both 4th and 7th grade at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. Lisa currently is a teacher at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Virginia and traveled back to Philadelphia just for this occasion proving how highly she thinks of Matt.  She shared fond memories of Matt being a role model in his class.  Lisa even recalled his “endearing uni-brow” and pastel leisure suite he sported for his class portrait. Matt ended up being the valedictorian of his elementary school in 8th grade making Lisa very proud. 

A very exciting moment took place near the end of the program when Eddie Bruce performed a surprise rendition of the song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”.  The lyrics were altered by to fit Matt’s personal experiences and his warm personality.  It was a big hit and Matt was so pleased to have his close friend Eddie there for him.

The program concluded with Beth Archer, PPRA president along with Hall of Fame Luncheon Co-chairs Sharla Feldcher and Larry Rubin presenting the official Hall of Fame plaque to Matt.  He is now a member of the legendary group of Philadelphia’s finest professional communicators, the PPRA Hall of Fame.

2011 Matt Cabrey
2010 Lisa Simon
2009 Ellen Toplin
2008 Nina Zucker
2007 David Brown
2006 Bonnie Squires
2005 Ike Richman
2004 Anne Klein
2003 Dan Circucci
2002 Nessa Forman
2001 Joanne Calabria
2000 Brian Tierney
1999 Shelley Picker
1998 Dr. Jean Bradey
1997 Larry Rubin
1996 Judith Garfinkel
1995 Sharla Feldscher
1993 Richard A. Doran
1992 Harry R. Belinger
1991 J. William Jones
1990 Anthony P. Zecca
1989 C. Allan Laferty
1988 Abe Rosen & Allen Sommers
1987 Charles F. Schalch
1986 Sally Berlin
1985 Stephen R. Lawrence
1984 Shirley Bonnem
1983 Thelma Gray
1982 Gloria Hochman
1981 R. Mitchell Thomas
1979 Martha A. Gable
1977 Clifford Brenner
1976 Sylvia Kauders
1975 Christian T. Mattie, Jr.
1973 Milton A. Eisenberg
1972 Reginald E. Beauchamp

Thank you to the committee who helped plan this wonderful event!

PPRA Hall of Fame Committee
Sharla Feldscher, co-chair
Larry Rubin, co-chair

Kera Armstrong
Emily Berish
Shirley Bonnem
Lisette Bralow
Michael Cavacini
Christina Crews
Ellen Feist
Ricki Greenwood
Sylvia Kauders
Nina Scimenes
Lisa Simon
Bonnie Squires
Mark Tarasiewicz

Below are a few photos from the day's event:

Beth Archer, PPRA President, along with Hall of Fame Co-chairs Sharla Fleldscher and Larry Rubin present the Hall of Fame plaque to Matt Cabrey

Mayor Nutter presents Matt citation from the city of Philadelphia photographed with Beth Archer, PPRA President, Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060 along  and Angus Russel, CEO of Shire Pharmaceuticals
PPRA Hall of Fame members at the luncheon along with inductee, Matt Cabrey

This blog post was written by Nina Scimenes. She has been an active PPRA member since 2005 and is currently a part of the Hall of Fame Luncheon committee. After graduating from Cabrini College with a Communications degree in 2006 Nina went on to do PR at various organizations and now she is the temporary Marketing Manager of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. This year Nina has also been a PR Consultant for Rock to the Future, a local non-profit that is benefiting from pro-bono PR from PPRA members. When she is not immersed in PR work she is blogging on her new blog, Always a Brunette, and training for her next triathlon. Last year she completed her first triathlon in Philadelphia and is brave enough to go back from more including a swim in the Schuylkill River.

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