Letter from the CEO – February 2024

February 14, 2024                                               

Dear NYWIFT Community:

Happy V Day!

For those of you that have participated in our NYWIFT raffle of the Harry Berry Signature “Michael” bracelet – thank you for purchasing your ticket to Muse. The winner of the bracelet is Laura Fieber-Minogue and we will be in touch with you separately to arrange the pick-up / delivery. Congratulations!

Honoree Danielle Brooks at the 2023 NYWIFT Muse Awards


MUSE 2024 is coming up in six weeks on March 27, celebrating Women’s History Month at Cipriani 42nd Street at 11 AM. Please attend and consider supporting a person by purchasing a second ticket to have them experience the show. MUSE Honorees will be announced shortly. Tickets are on sale here.

Today, everywhere we see images of cupids, hearts, flowers – even in classroom settings – and the Empire State Building in NYC is lit up in red. In my community, since the early morning you see boys and men carrying flowers – single roses and bouquets for their moms, daughters, and loved ones. In my family, as a child my dad purchased a little heart of chocolates for me and a very large heart for my mom. We would display them on the coffee table.

I do things a little differently now. I try to express my love all year long. When a friend is exhausted by working all the time at home, I take her to a nice meal and just listen to her and discuss the intensity and isolation of work. Or when my cousin was diagnosed with thyroid cancer during the pandemic, I dropped off a several bags of Trader Joe’s organic food. That is my definition of love – showing up when someone needs me and when they least expect it. I also send books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift cards – that say “sending you love…”

My best example of love (not on Valentine’s Day) was during the pandemic. I managed not to get sick the whole first year and then the second year I dropped hard – like a rock tossed in the middle of a lake. For days I could not get out of bed and NYWIFT Board Member and one of our NYWIFT attorneys Mary Miles left a warm delicious Greek meal and some baked cookies hanging from the doorknob of my apartment. This is the kind of love that I will never forget. Or if you are a grassroots organizer and writer like Eve Ensler, who fights to end violence against women… that is love to me.

In a post-pandemic world, how do you celebrate love and what does it mean to you?

During a recent staff meeting at NYWIFT’s meeting space at Neuehouse, I asked the team how do you think about Valentine Day and Love this is what they had to say …

Easmanie, Rashiek, and Katie on the beach


“The ancient Greeks divide love into several different categories. Agape, or love for everyone; eros, or sexual passion; philia, or deep friendship; ludus, or playful love; and a few others. This season I’m celebrating philia, the deep friendship I feel for my colleagues. Some of them pictured here in a photo we took during the Hamptons Film Festival this past year.”
– Easmanie Michel, Director of Artists’ Programs and Finance


Sara Tandoi (on the right) and friends


“To me, love is female friendship. I’m lucky enough to have a group of strong and supportive women in my life. These are women who show up even when schedules are packed, who pick each other up when one of us is down, and who will always be there to celebrate each other’s achievements.” – Sara Tandoi, Membership Coordinator

“Love to me is taking care of the people who mean the most to you. I isolated with my parents during the pandemic, anxiously waiting for vaccines to become available so they would be safe. Once they were, it was so hard to get an appointment. That was such a scary and frustrating time. But my best friend from high school had the magic touch! Even though she was masked up and working in-person as a math teacher, she stepped out of her classroom one day when the appointments went live and managed to get slots not just for her parents but for mine too. This photo is of me doing my NYWIFT work from home in the kitchen (business on the top, slippers on the bottom), holding my wild pandemic puppy, and talking on speaker phone to my friend – who I hadn’t been able to hug in more than a year – while she set up vaccine appointments for my parents at MetLife stadium.” – Katie Chambers, Senior Director of Community & Public Relations

“New York City is one of the great loves of my life, along with my husband. Our wedding was a celebration of the city complete with formal photos in Grand Central and black and white cookies. Even the New York City Fire Department stopped by to congratulate us. My Valentine’s wish for everyone is to take a moment on February 14th and appreciate wherever you are.” – Maud Kersnowski Sachs, Senior Content & Development Consultant


Sending love to you all,



Cynthia Lopez