Social Media Association holds fantastic, informative meetings and fun networking events for the benefit of our members and guests. Expert speakers join us every month, bringing the latest goings-on in social, digital, and future media. We also have roundtable discussions, workshops, meetups and impromptu gatherings. Whatever SMA is up to, we hope it provides a valuable service in your business and career, and that you’ll join us at the next event!

Past Events: 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 |


Upcoming Schedule

Service Industry Uses Social Media and Digital Strategies to Rise Up

When: Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: New York Life – Training Lab – 520 Broadhollow Road, Melville, NY 11747. Click here to download the map of the building.

Please be sure to enter the door between the northwest and northeast entrance.

Pricing: SMA Members $20, PRPLI/LIVP Members $25, Non-Members $30, Students $15

Join SMA for a panel discussion featuring three experts of social media working in the service industry. Panelists Marissa Jacobs, Nicholas Renna, and Neil Foster will join moderator Donna Rivera-Downey as they discuss –

  • How to market locally with digital and social media strategies and tactics
  • Success stories and data analytics from seasoned professionals
  • Reward programs and how they are promoted with social, email marketing and mobile app marketing
  • Agency and corporate perspectives on the increasing roles of digital and social media within the hospitality industry

Speaker Bios:

Marissa Jacobs, WordHampton PR account executive, joined the team in 2013. With creativity, a clear understanding of media and a strong work ethic, Marissa delivers. Her daily responsibilities range from client communication and media relations, to social media strategy and digital marketing. Her results-driven approach has landed a diverse list of placements through various outlets including Time Out New York, Newsday, Long Island Pulse, Bella Magazine, Total Food Service and Verizon FiOS, to name a few.

Nick Renna, Digital Marketing Manager, joined Lessing’s Hospitality in 2013 as their Social Media Coordinator. Nick has developed the digital marketing program at Lessing’s to include Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram ads, and even a mobile app specific to their restaurant division. With an SEO frame of mind and technologically savvy attitude, Nick has brought Lessing’s up as a local industry leader in digital marketing tactics.

Neil Foster is a recruiter-by-day, and one day he and his wife created a Facebook group called Tri-State Restaurant Club for themselves because they were tired of going to the same restaurants over and over. This group has now grown to over 55,000 members. Based on that success, he recently launched Foodie Card, a card you can purchase that gives you 10% off at a growing list of restaurants.

Moderator Bio:

Donna Rivera-Downey, the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. Donna is known and well respected for her ability to bring together people and resources to accomplish tasks that benefit her employers and the community.

Donna leads all areas of marketing at Girl Scouts, from print to web to special events, and maintains direct connections to the girls in Girl Scouting through her management of the renowned Girl Scouts of Nassau County Chorus, Media Girls and Ceremonial Unit.

Donna was an early adopter of social media to connect with Girl Scout families, volunteers and alumns.  Girl Scouts of Nassau County was recognized with Social Networker Award: Best Use of Facebook at the 2011 Folio Awards.  In addition, Donna has been a  member of the Girl Scouts of the USA’s MarComm, a select leadership group of marketing professionals from Girl Scout Councils around the country, who advise and assist the national organization on messaging and communications issues.

Donna is a long time member of PRPLI currently serving as President. In 2015, she was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award. Donna is the past Co-President of the Social Media Association and currently serves as Co-Treasurer for the group.

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Previous Events

What To Expect In Marketing In 2018

When: Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Where: Blue Ocean Wealth Solutions, 2200 Northern Boulevard, Suite 200 East Hills, NY 11548

Pricing: SMA/PRPLI Members $20, LIVP/IABC Members $25, Non-Members $30, Students $15

Join SMA/PRPLI as we kick off the New Year with the razor-sharp predictions of Alex Sheidler Vice President of the Winterberry Group.

Sheidler will make sense of the major forces shaping our industry in 2018 and beyond. You can expect eye-opening insights including:

  • Recap of major events of 2017
  • Forecasts of 2018
  • Macro Trends that Drive the Media Mix (including social/digital)


Alex Sheidler is a Vice President with Winterberry Group, overseeing the firm’s analyst team as well as the research and creation of deliverables for the firm’s consulting practice. Mr. Sheidler joined Winterberry Group in 2013 and has completed 50+ consulting engagements. His work with the Firm includes supporting strategic planning, product roadmapping and development, and M&A target identification and qualification for a range of agencies, marketers, marketing service providers and private equity firms investing in the advertising/marketing services sector. Mr. Sheidler served as one of the key researchers on Winterberry Group’s point of view paper “The State of Consumer Data Onboarding: Identity Resolution in an Omnichannel Environment”

Prior to joining Winterberry Group, Mr. Sheidler served as a strategic analyst for the Education Advisory Board working with college and university CFOs on a wide range of process reengineering initiatives related to the delivery of student services, identification of alternative revenue streams, and optimization of university facilities and spaces.

Mr. Sheidler is an alumnus of Teach For America where he taught middle school social studies in Philadelphia. He holds a B.A from Pennsylvania State University and a M.Ed. with a focus on policy and law from the University of Pennsylvania.

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