At the core of our company’s success is a dynamic team of experts that are resourceful, results-driven and keep our client’s goals in mind with every step of the way. Meet The GA Team of professionals that are dedicated to exceeding your expectations.
Annette Summers knew at a very young age that she wanted to own her own firm. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, she always had a vision of owning a firm that would be a rewarding, fun and an exciting place to work. She wanted to create a place where employees were consistently recognized, had a sense of belonging, and enjoyed coming to work each day. Her vision was to create an environment where employees grow and develop and where relationships with clients are rewarding. The dynamic and supportive team environment found at GA is what she always envisioned. She recognizes Michael Giuffrida, the founder of Giuffrida Associates for the foundation he set for the success of GA. She credits him for his ongoing mentorship and wisdom that has been a large part in shaping her professional life today.
Annette’s vision for teamwork can be found throughout the entire corporate culture. The sense of passion and enthusiasm for exceeding client expectations stems from the internal drive threaded throughout the cultural signposts. Because the GA Team members are truly a part of the company, they take pride in the work they deliver. We are often asked, “How did you make this event look so seamless and turn out so perfect – yet again?” It was easy. Because everyone knows that highly effective teams, operating at their fullest capacity, by their own choice - will always achieve. The best part? We love what we do and we have fun doing it. And that shows in the work that we do.
For 15 years, Annette was a member of the leadership team for Maryland Leadership Workshops, a program that focuses on communication skills, diversity awareness, and leadership training for young adults. She was responsible for program design as well as training and evaluating a staff of 40, which delivers an annual summer program to over 300 young leaders.
In addition to serving as President of GA, Annette is instrumental for key organizations within GA. She manages GA’s Strategic Planning/Facilitation service line and enjoys routinely checking in with all clients and their goals. Annette serves on the Advisory Board for Axela, a Government Relations and Lobbying Firm. In 2005, she was selected as one of the top 100 women for Leadership America.
Annette has a degree in human resources and communications from James Madison University.
Annette’s favorite quote about teamwork:
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
~ Michael Jordan
Sheila Crowley, CMP
VP of Client Relations
When we celebrated Sheila’s 20 years with the company, she was surprised at how fast the time had flown. Sheila Crowley joined GA knowing that her key strengths were a perfect match for the company’s services. Today, twenty years later, Sheila continues to be a pinnacle part of GA’s success.
Sheila approaches every client, event and project with flexibility and ease. It is this flexibility and calming nature of Sheila’s that has made her so popular among her clients. This cool-mannered approach follows Sheila in even the tightest of deadlines or toughest of events, keeping the atmosphere calm wherever she goes.
Sheila received her Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) 10 years ago and pulls on the strength of this certification to guide her clients for all of their event and meeting planning needs. In addition, she has 15 years of association management experience where she has served as the Executive Director for multiple clients for over 10 years. In her capacity as Executive Director, Sheila prides herself on her ability to listen to a client’s needs and work with the team to provide an innovative solution.
Sheila’s expertise in association management and events, coupled with her team spirit, have been the foundation of her success at GA for the last 20 years.
Sheila has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and English from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, SI Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Sheila’s favorite quote on teamwork:
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
~ Helen Keller
Client Services Executive
Torrie’s passion to exceed her clients’ expectations in everything she touches makes her an obvious fit to the GA Team. With 10 years of experience servicing those of all ages in the recreation, sports and event management industry, Torrie is adaptable to any situation thrown at her, while maintaining a good sense of humor and smile on her face.
Torrie is a firm believer in the importance of customer service, and enjoys nothing better than delighting another client through the team’s attention and hard work. From her time running a customer service department for youth baseball camps for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, she took away valuable lessons on how to manage a wide array of customers, facilitate multiple communication channels and effectively achieve numerous cases of conflict resolution that she still incorporates into her every day life.
Additionally, as a member of the 2015 World Police & Fire Games organizing committee (a 501(c)3 mega international multi-venue, multi-sport event serving over 10,000 athletes), she learned how vital preparation and teamwork are to executing a 10-day event of that size. She credits the hard work of that entire team for pulling off such a successful Games.
Torrie is thrilled to display her talents as part of the GA team, who share the same vision and values, and is excited to contribute to their exemplary reputation.
Torrie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Torrie’s favorite quote about teamwork:
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
~ Andrew Carnegie
Member and Accounting Specialist
When you are fortunate to find an individual that specializes in accounting, with an additional expertise in databases and event planning, you have an individual that is the perfect fit for the GA Team.
Tamara Winns brings over 20 years of accounting experience to the GA Team. She specializes in all aspects of corporate and nonprofit financials, including managing all aspects of quarterly and annual budgeting, financial reporting, accounts receivables and payables. She has expertise in monitoring and filing all tax matters in addition to audit preparation and review.
Tamara’s passion for ensuring costs are monitored and that expenses are minimized is witnessed in the annual financial reporting she provides to clients and to GA. She is always looking for ways to negotiate a better deal and save additional money. In today’s cost cutting world, this adds up fast!
Aggressive monitoring on all outstanding invoices is another key way that Tamara adds value to all of our clients. She takes pride in careful follow up to ensure clients close out events with proper payment and by helping to assist with member retention with consistent follow up.
In addition, Tamara applies her same organizational ability and attention to detail to all client databases. She specializes in creating membership databases that are intuitive and always kept accurate. With her accounting background, she recognizes the importance of accurate information on all members and donors. Her dedication to ensuring all members are captured is the backbone to making all of our organizations so successful.
Tamara’s passion for exceeding expectations and willingness to always go the extra mile makes her a truly wonderful asset to any team. GA is fortunate to have her as a member of ours. Clients consistently sing her praises and our staff does as well.
Whether it’s managing our accounting, membership or registration databases, or helping to manage an event; Tamara brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that makes a positive impact for all involved.
Tamara’s favorite quote on teamwork:
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
~ Phil Jackson
Betsy is an Account Executive at GA, who is always there to provide associations and agencies with uniquely tailored solutions for successful trade shows, conferences, campaigns, and events. Before joining the team at GA, Betsy worked 8 years in the hospitality industry providing event management and marketing services for brands such as Hilton, Marriott, and IHG. She is also proud to be a founding team member and advocate in the opening of the first 'Canopy by Hilton' in North America; Hilton’s newest luxury lifestyle hotel brand.
Betsy has a big heart and she believes building lasting relationships is the key to providing unparalleled customer service. She helps her clients, which include the federal government, associations, and Fortune 500 companies, navigate the daily challenges of their businesses while helping to turn obstacles in to opportunities. No two organizations have the same needs and she enjoys providing a customized approach to her work.
Outside of the office, she quite literally, loves to be outside. Betsy and her husband Michael are always plotting for their next camping or backpacking trip. Of course she can’t forget to mention her fun-loving, rambunctious Boston Terrier, Reggie!
Betsy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a dual minor in Diversity Studies and Anthropology from Susquehanna University.
Betsy’s favorite quote about teamwork:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Program and Office Assistant
Sarah Blanco is the Program and Office Assistant at GA. She is the pulse of our team and she plays an integral role in keeping all departments running smoothly. Sarah interacts with our clients on a daily basis to ensure their wants and needs are exceeded. She also assists with client event planning and organization. Her favorite aspect of her unique role at GA is using her creative skills to design marketing materials for our clients.
Sarah recently graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Studies and a Minor in Art. True to Sarah’s ambitious and creative nature, she completed three internships while she attended Radford. She was able to gain experience in graphic design, event planning, marketing, and communications. Sarah’s passion for work and creativity coupled with her bright spirit make her a perfect fit for GA’s collaborative, team-focused culture.
An interesting fact about Sarah, is that upon graduation from Radford, she took a month-long hiatus to travel throughout Europe. Her adventures included over 9 countries and 10 cities where she was able to immerse herself in history, museums, ruins, mountains, art, food and local cultures.
Sarah welcomes the opportunity of new experiences, knowledge, and adventures with the team at GA!
Sarah’s favorite quote about teamwork:
“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”