Putting on Santa’s Hat. Carmen Monroe, GBO Corporate Gift Specialist, Interviews Vanessa Voorham from SMT Shipping Company

I love hats. And I’ve gotten to wear a lot of them while working with Gift Baskets Overseas for almost 10 years. Although these days I wear the Director of Marketing hat most often, during the winter holidays I put on my Corporate Gift Specialist hat – like a toboggan full of Christmas spirit.

The company has grown, and with it my ability to delegate tasks, but I keep putting this hat on year after year simply because I love this part of the job. Being a Corporate Gift Specialist with Gift Baskets Overseas is the closest thing to actually being Santa that I know of – or at least Mrs. Claus. Plus, my corporate customers have become a sort of extended family, and my holiday season just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Every year, near the end of October, I do my best to work ahead on the holiday marketing schedule. I begin tinkering with the database – the modern version of the rolodex – and I call my corporate clients. Sometimes, one has moved on and I can’t find a way to contact them again. This always hurts a little, and I wish I knew where they went, how they’re doing – and if they’re sending gifts to anyone: if they need me.

But most often, my corporate folks are on the other end of the line, and they’re expecting my call. We catch up on the year: How’s your family? How’s business? What are you sending for the holidays this year? And most importantly: How can I help?

This holiday ritual of ours has become as important to me as putting up the Christmas tree and planning the holiday menu. So many of my customers have interesting jobs and incredible professionalism, but even more impressive is how kind, thoughtful, and understanding they are. For a couple months out of the year, we work together on a global gift delivery campaign, and – dare I say it? We nurture these professional friendships season after season.

This year, I want to deepen those relationships with my corporate customers and get to know some of them better. To do that, I’m interviewing them! Today I’m talking with Vanessa Voorham from SMT Shipping. Vanessa is one of the people who is always ready for my call; or perhaps she’s just always on the ball! We’ve worked together on holiday campaigns since 2015, and every single it’s an absolute joy to assist her.

GBO Corporate Gift Specialist interview with a long-time client

Corporate Gift Specialist interview: putting Santa's hat on during a holiday season!
Talking to our corporate gift specialist, Vanessa wanted to share the spotlight with Poppy, the sweetest Christmas sweater shredder you ever saw

NinaCarmen Monroe: Do you mind sharing a little about yourself? Whatever you’re comfortable with – a little background: education, family, pets, hobbies?

Vanessa Voorham: I live in New York City with my family and our dog Poppy. While I have had the great opportunity to live in many parts of the world, I am at heart a true New Yorker. I love all the things there are to do there – theater, dance, museums, food – and it is great fun to show the sights to our friends and family who are new to the city.

NM: Tell me about your company, and what you do there? What’s your favorite part of the job?

VV: SMT Shipping is a global maritime transport company with offices in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. My responsibilities include marketing and public relations, communication, and management consulting. We are a very tight knit group, and the best part of my job is the chance to celebrate great moments in the lives of my colleagues – marriages, new babies, anniversaries, etc. Gift Baskets Overseas has been a great partner to work with to make sure that our colleagues know we are thinking of them during these important milestones.

NM: When SMT Shipping sends gifts overseas, why are you sending them? For instance, are you sending gifts to customers for the holidays? Or sending employee birthday gifts? Something else?

VV: Gift Baskets Overseas corporate gifting service lets our company celebrate the holidays with our clients throughout the world. We now send gifts to more than a dozen countries over 4 continents, and with Gift Baskets Overseas we can guarantee that each of our clients will receive a gift of the highest quality. We also send gifts to our employees who work hard and travel the globe on our behalf. The Christmas gifts they receive from Gift Baskets Overseas allow us to say thank you to both our staff and their families for their continued dedication and support.

NM: Do you have any funny stories (or horror stories) about sending holiday gifts – or the holidays in general – that you’d like to share?

VV: Last year our family tried to put a Christmas jumper/sweater on our dog, Poppy. She was miserable and promptly shredded it when we finally set her free!

NM: What’s one gift or experience you’d like to send for the holidays, but haven’t been able to?

VV: I have always wanted to attend a New Year’s Concert with the Philharmonic in Vienna. That would be amazing!

NM: Thanks so much for your time, and your kind words. As always, it’s a pleasure.

I imagine Vanessa’s job at SMT Shipping is a difficult one, especially during the holidays when there’s so much happening! I’m happy to reduce some of the work of sending corporate gifts for Christmas, and to catch up with everyone when the busy season arrives.

Now you know more about a day in the life of a Corporate Gift Specialist, and about one of my favorite customers. What’s next?

And remember: our corporate gift specialists are always here to help you with your international corporate gifts!

NinaCarmen started simply with GiftBasketsOverseas, writing product descriptions for the online catalog, but true to GBO form, she has worked her way through a number of departments. Now, she’s our Director of Marketing and Business Development, helping to bring you exclusive promotions, expert content, and keeping track of customer experiences.