The Southeast Alumni Organization (SAO) was established in 2010. SAO is not affiliated with PM USA, Altria, or any other organization sponsored by, or associated with, any Philip Morris organization. It began as a group of Altria / PMUSA co-workers who wanted to continue great friendships that developed during the busy professional years. Retirement is awesome! After many years of fostering relationships and helping each other, it was understandable that retirees were reluctant to lose touch; therefore, the Reunion Planning Committee was born. In April 2008 Jan Giovingo, John Clary and Michael Saunders formed a vision for SAO that would have members meeting annually in a destination to be determined. They did the preliminary work - diligently sending emails and making phone calls to compile a starting list of members.
In February 2010, the first meeting was held at the Regional office in Atlanta, GA. The original team included Jan Giovingo, John Clary, Sid Wood (first Chairperson) and his wife Sue, along with Trish Swiger, Joe and Sue Gaffney, Marjorie English, Cindy and Craig Payne, Ron Eaton, and Margaret Carden. There was strong behind-the-scenes help from Michael Saunders and Kathy Kalkines-Rhodes. From the onset, the committee included retired employees, spouses/partners and current or past employees in order to be a true representation of the organization. From this humble beginning was born the SAO. The planning committee sent out questionnaires to everyone on the list asking for: Organizational names; contact info; suggestions for reunion locations; and, what type of activities were wanted. From those early responses the organization began to take shape. The goal has always been that members have input in all decisions.
As a result, the first reunion was held in Charleston, SC (2010). From all reports, everyone had a wonderful time. It was an avenue to reconnect and put faces with names. The experience was so obviously enjoyable for friends and family that each year now a new Planning Committee is formed to continue and grow the fellowship. Good Times!
2018 brings the 8th Annual Reunion and the site selected is the beautiful city of Myrtle Beach, FL. SE Region Sales Force retirees and guests are invited to attend April 23 - 26 2018.
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