Posted by: Eric Dachman | October 29, 2014

In Focus: Shannon Sabatini of MDA Taste of the Town


Meet Shannon Sabatini, the Fundraising Coordinator at Muscular Dystrophy Association and the creative genius behind Taste of the Town. “Taste of the Town? That sounds exciting! What is that?!” is what you may be asking yourself right now. Shannon filled us in on some behind-the-scenes tidbits from the successful event.

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1. For those that may not know, what is Taste of the Town?

Taste of the Town is a food, beer and wine festival held at the Scottsdale Quarter to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Attendees have the opportunity to sample fine cuisine from all over the Valley, as well as beer and wine from local stores and wineries.  At the event, we have live music, this year it was provided by Elvis Before Noon! We also have a photo booth, silent auction and Wine and Jewelry raffle. All proceeds from the event go right back into helping local families who suffer from muscle disease.

2. How long has this event been running?

The event had been running for 14 years!

3. Which vendors participated this year?

Tanzy, Nothing Bundt Cake, Angels Envy Bourbon, The Capital Grille, Alliance Beverage (Baileys and Wine), TK’s Urban Tavern, True Food Kitchen, Press Coffee Roasters, Fogo De Chao, Hensley Beverage Company, Brio Tuscan Grille, Lucille’s BBQ, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Trader Joes, Barefoot Bubbly & Refresh, OHSO Eatery & Distillery, Sushi Brokers, Sol Mexican Cocina, Stingray Sushi and Bennett Lane Winery

4. How much did you raise to benefit the MDA?

We raised over $52,000 this year.

5. How did you get into this line of work?

I only started with MDA 3 short months ago! I stumbled into the non-profit world and am incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity. I moved from Boston to Arizona in 2012 to open an office for an IT Consulting Firm. After being with them for 3 years I decided I would follow my passion in event planning. I started working part time for MB Events doing weddings and smaller events.  Little did I know, I could plan events AND help raise money for an amazing cause. I was introduced to MDA and fell in love with the job in my first interview.

6. What’s the best part of this job?

The BEST part of this job is getting to meet the children and families that our hard work helps every day. Some weeks are long, 6 day work weeks with 14 hour work days, and sometimes it’s exhausting. However, the second you get to meet these kids and hang out with them, you realize that every minute you put into this job is worth it.

7. What’s your favorite taste?

I am a true Italian – anything homemade with sauce and cheese makes me happy. If I had to pick one item it would be Chicken Parmesan!

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Posted by: Lauren Mendoza | October 27, 2014

Facing Your Social Media Fears

It’s officially Halloweek and in 4 days, there will be thousands of Captain Americas, Elsas and your occasional Marilyn Monroe skipping through the streets, sacks full of candy in hand. Along with the cute-as-a-button costumes, there will be plenty of ghouls, vampires and monsters dressed to scare, because that is what Halloween is for. But what about Twitter birds and Facebook thumbs? Yes, studies have shown that social media can in fact be quite scary too.

While one might not generally consider social media to be frightening,  recent reports indicate that the Internet and social media can cause social anxiety and fear- there is even such a thing as ‘Pinterest Stress.

From Ebola and online privacy to embarrassing viral photos and high fructose corn syrup, the Internet and social media have fueled fears and spread them around well, like a virus. The good news is that since Halloween is the time to embrace fears, we’ve come up with a few ways for brands and PR pros to combat online spooks, and also avoid a frightening fail.

Check, Double-Check, Triple-Check

Oh, the accidental-post-mistake. Grammar errors, tagging the wrong @handles and plain-old misspellings are among the list of cringe-worthy fails. We’ve all been their there and we know how embarrassing it can be. It’s easy to overlook simple mistakes when 140-character inspiration strikes, but by checking, double-checking and triple-checking your posts, you’ll be perfectly fine! And don’t worry, it couldn’t possibly be worse than some of the social media fails out there. *Cue StubHub’s Happy-F-bomb-Friday employee tweet, or KitchenAid’s Obama’s-grandma-insulting employee tweet.*



Hashtags are probably one of the greatest assets to social media optimization. For brands, customized hashtags make perfect branding labels for campaigns and products. However, many a company have used trending hashtags to jump into viral conversations without reading the context of the hashtag first. And I mean MANY. Talk about scary. The easy solution to this? Simply learn the context of trending hashtags before you insert them into a post! Take DiGiorno Pizza for example, who in September used a hashtag about domestic violence to sell pizza. Talk about a big DiGior-no-no.Digorno

 Digorno apology

Keep Calm, and Sit and Wait.

If it’s breaking news or a real-time crisis, don’t jump on the first tweet or article you read and take it to heart. Take a breath and wait it out before sharing it with others. Chances are reporters and news outlets are scrambling to access information- as well as release it- as fast as humanly possible. Mistakes are bound to happen. Like when NBC reported that last year’s LAX gunman was shot and killed by police, and then later tweeted a big “JK” for the mistake.



Posted by: Katie Zinn | October 23, 2014

Beckett’s Table Fourth Anniversary

Beckett's Table 338

Beckett’s Table will celebrate four years on Sunday, Oct. 26 with a four-course pairing menu with Four Peaks Brewery for $40++ per person.

To say it’s been a big year for the crew at Beckett’s Table would be quite the understatement. The acclaimed Arcadia-area restaurant has earned national praise in outlets like USA Today and Thrillist, garnered numerous awards including the Arizona Restaurant Association Foodist Top Chef, Ripe Class of 2014 and its third consecutive Wine Spectator Award, and to top it all off – it welcomed a new sister to the family just this past spring. Not bad for a toddler, eh?

This weekend, Beckett’s Table will celebrate all of these accomplishments and more at its 4th Anniversary Party and luckily, we’ve all scored an invite. On Sunday, Oct. 26th, head over to Beckett’s (3717 E. Indian School Rd.) for a special four-course dinner paired with Four Peaks brews for just $40 plus tax and gratuity! You can also win prizes throughout the night by opening up the ‘four’tune cookies that come with each meal; as if great food and beer at an awesome price wasn’t winning enough.

Beckett’s Table opened in 2010 to critical acclaim for Chef Beckett’s innovative comfort food and the restaurant’s outstanding, genuine service. The restaurant is owned by Beckett, his wife Michelle and partners Scott and Katie Stephens who also serve as the in-house sommeliers. The two couples have worked tirelessly to get this Phoenix gem to where it’s at and they look forward to celebrating alongside the people made it happen. For reservations, visit or call 602-954-1700.

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