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Megen, Your SMPS friends love you dearly and hope your 30th birthday is as amazeballs as you are! Here you'll find 30 tidbits for your 30 years. We answered the questions: 1) What words capture the spirit of Megen? (See cover for answers!) 2) What's a Megen memory, story or picture that makes you smile? (Turn the page!) 3) Tell me your reasons that Megen deserves to be celebrated! (Keep reading!) 4) What song best represents or reminds you of Megen? (You'll get the personalized cd very soon!) We love you and can never celebrate you enough to reciprocate what you do for everyone else every single day!

Contributors: Megan Muter Brie Yaksic Matthew Rebro Kate Mullaney Joseph Cushing Nolah Nasser-Gertner Kathleen Stilts Scott Stelzer Betsy LaSalle Sarah Hill-Matthiesen Anne Kulick Derek Ward Steve Nargang Tim Padgett Roshanna Tokh Rachel Yas Sloan Watson Ines Feiereisel Tom Petermann Amanda Rackow Brad Thurman Tina Myers Mary Cruz Holly Bolton Jason Vesuvio Andrew Weinberg Sarah Hoff Sarah McGillicuddy

Shelley Finnigan

We Love Y!, Me"n!!

I have so many wonderful thoughts of Megen. I'll never get over the 40th birthday video she made for me. I'll never be able to say thank you enough for the gift she gave me in nominating me for CPY. It has already made such a difference in my life in SMPS and beyond. And all the cards and cupcakes she's brought into my life, both in happy times as well as times I needed something to sweeten my day. And of course the pepper cubs skybox where she agreed to be my right and left hand, and take on the leadership of the chapter! My funniest memory is at Matt Rebro's 40th birthday and she went right up thru my sleeve to help me fix my bra strap and keep everything together!!! True girl friendship!! I want to celebrate Megen because she always puts everyone else first. She'll stop at nothing to make someone else happy, or successful. Quitting is never an option. She makes everyone feel loved and appreciated and amazing. She makes me feel special and I adore her! Kate

Megen and friends threw me the most beautiful baby shower. All the special Megen touches were everywhere, every detail was perfect. She always puts in the extra effort to make moments special! No matter if we are stepping up at the AON Center, celebrating at Paris Club, cheers with champs on NYE, buying wine from a OC housewife, sitting on Santa's lap, or putting together our Stella & Dot arm candy; you are always a friend I can count on and make me smile every day. Thank you for being you and I wish you the best birthday! Love MM :)

Megen is continually giving to her family, friends, community, firm, industry and her profession without every asking for anything in return. She absolutely should be celebrated!! Megan

I want to celebrate Megen because she can multi-task like no other, always gives the best advice, calms me down, needs to stop offering to buy (everything). She makes everyone around her feel special‌.. because who doesn't like a party and she celebrates everyone like a rock star! She deserves the biggest event ever! Brie

I celebrate Megen because she has an encouraging, positive personality that inspires those around her to give and do their best. And also because she is just a lot of fun to be around! Sarah

I love her taste in Red wine! One night she already drew the line to stop drinking, had already had her fill . . . a few of us decided it was time to celebrate the Holidays early ( it was the 1st week of November). We broke out a lovely bottle of Promis Italian wine by Gaja. Megen took a little sip, just to try it, then 2 sips, turned into 2 bottles later - - - The Holiday was upon us! Joe Cush

Megen Briars is the real deal!! I've had the pleasure of working alongside her and she is: Classy, clever, respected, meticulous, smart, impressive, genuine, sincere, valued, willing, compassionate, beautiful, amazing, passionate, brave, capable, surprising, considerate, silly, genuine, connected, witty and warm. Rebro

I remember Pam O'Deen and I having lunch with Megen to tell her about SMPS...what the programs and professional development opportunities could mean to her personally and as well as her firm. We extolled the fun and benefits of joining a committee and really getting involved in the chapter. From that time on it Megen has taken charge of many projects bringing her creativity, talents and enthusiasm to the task. Can't wait to see what she has planned for this year. Happy Birthday to our President Megen!! Nolah

Megen and I became friends in a stairwell. Really. We knew each other a bit from SMPS. I was living in a 29 story high rise, and I would do stair workouts in the dimly lit, dingy stairwell. As I was huffing and puffing down the steps one day, a blond girl was headed up. We both did a bit of a double take. "Scott?", she said. I looked up and, sure enough, Megen from SMPS also lived in the building and also was a stair worker outer. Nothing was the same after that day.... ;-) Happy birthday, Megen! Stelz

Megen is so diligent – she seems to have so many ‘balls in the air’ and she can balance them all. And she is so warm – she is so very kind and approachable! Happy Birthday, Megen Tom Petermann

Megen, what a pleasure it has been working with you on SMPS graphics / ads / logos / you name it for nearly 3 years now! I am continually impressed by your energy, your ability to develop streamlined processes and your talent for getting everyone rowing in the same direction! Oh, and you are better at putting personality into your emails than anyone I know; I love the expressions use .... It’s not every day that someone tells me I rock, but I can count on it from you! :) It has been so wonderful to get to know you as a colleague and now a friend. Anne

After joining the Board of SMPS, I made an effort to arrive early to my first several Board meetings. Always beating me there was Megen. I mentioned this to her and she said she 5 minutes early to a meeting is already late to her. I always knew Megen was dependable, but in this small moment I gained a lot of respect for her. When she commits to something, she is all in. She is mature beyond her years and an incredible asset to our organization and the industry at-large. Megen is a rockstar. Always on top of her game and pushing the bounds of creativity. When she accomplishes in one week, most couldn’t do in one month. On top of all that, she is one of the kindest and most generous people I know. Let's celebrate Megen! Amanda

One of my favorite memories of my life is when Megen asked me to be her co-chair for life. What an honor! I can't believe she picked me! Ines

In 2009, I participated in an industry charity event known as Stitch. Stitch is a Charity event thrown by International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Chicago. OKW Architects was one of the firms that designed and created an outfit which Megen Briars was kind enough to model at the event in front of hundreds of spectators in the industry. She looked stunning as these pictures show! Roshanna

My favorite memory? When Megen told me that I looked exactly like her friend who is a meteorologist and then I told her that I once predicted a tornado, and that’s she’s the 3rd person who’s told me I look like a weatherman! I absolutely admire Megen for all she takes on, and does so with such a positive attitude without ever losing focus. Furthermore, you can tell she does everything she does in the best interests of others rather than to boost her own interests. It’s rare to come across someone as selfless as her, and her self-sacrifice is something to be celebrated in an era where people are worked to the bone and have little time for extra-curricular and charitable endeavors. I need to take a few pages out of her book! She’s amazing. Thanks for the tickets and getting me and my buddy backstage to meet Jana! Happy Birthday! Derek (D$)

Megen, When you do your birthday shot, this photo illustrates the proper form! Happy Birthday! Steve

Megen is smart, creative, accomplished, funny...and apparently a terrific photo bomber!! Tim

Megen is always perfectly bejeweled and accessorized. And I have 2 words to sum up my memory of Megen: stick puppets (mine is on my desk)! and I celebrate her simply because she rocks the hizzy!!! Katie

Megen is someone I couldn't be more grateful for meeting, and I would like to celebrate her amazing personality. I love how she can read a situation and determine the best course of action to address problems calmly and with a smile. Her self-deprecating humor and interest in having fun bring a brightness to every interaction I've had with her. She's wise well beyond her years, and when she shares suggestions, you never feel judged. Megen is the type of person you can't help but want to know better - to not only have a great friend, but also to have a great role model. Shelley

My favorite memory of Megen is the love and joy in Megen's outreach to create something special for Kate's birthday. She is always doing something for others. I'm so proud she is a Conductor! I want to celebrate her warm heart and kind and old soul, and to celebrate all that she has achieved at this young age. Andrew

Megen makes me think of the Buddhist concept of anatta or "no self". From my unique vantage point, she was more than selfless; beyond putting of others before herself. Her actions and behaviors revealed someone who saw no distinction between people and acted out of pure kindness. Kind of amazing. Vesuvio

I remember Megen giving me a warm welcome (with wine!) when I was in Chicago on business. It was so great to hang out and get to know her! Holly

Megen is creative, fun, dedicated, smart, beautiful. Let's celebrate Megen BECAUSE SHE IS AWESOME . . . and awesomeness needs to be celebrated. ;-) Tina Meyers Megen is Clever! Thoughtful! Dedicated! Polished! Mary Cruz

I reached out to Megen to inquire about strategic planning. Immediately she followed up with a response and offer to connect. We chatted on the phone and her warm personality immediately struck me. She shared numerous documents with me that aided in my own strategic planning. She really helped me out. What I do know about Megen so far I love! I hope she has an amazing 30th! She is a beautiful soul. Sarah McGillicudy Megen is awesome!! We owe you a pickle back! #conductors4ever Sarah Hoff

I wish I had one funny/embarrassing story to share about Megen, but I guess that is the story – she is always on her game. Megen is the girl that puts others (charities, friends, professional organization, heck strangers) before herself, yet she always manages to maintain friendships, by keeping lunch/coffee/dinner dates and hosting fabulous get together. Just when you think she has done the sweetest thing for you, here she comes with a bottle of champagne to top it off!

Outside of being a truly wonder person & friend, I see her (because our offices are near each other) on a random Tuesday in the rain, still looking FLY.


Megen's Top 30 Birthday Playlist

30 Songs for 30 years.........

1. Birthday

1. Kings of Leon

2. Girls Night Out

2. The Judds

3. Pocketful of Sunshine

3. Natasha Bedingfield

4. Just Another Day in Paradise

4. Phil Vassar

5. Hell on Heels

5. Pistol Annies

6. Good Feelin

6. Flo Rida

7. Get the Party Started

7. P!nk

8. American Girl

8. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

9. These Are My People

9. Rodney Atkins

10. If it Makes You Happy

10. Sheryl Crow

11. One Woman Army

11. Kate Earl

12. Sexy Back

12. Justin Timberlake

13. Good Time Comin On

13. Jana Kramer

14. The Dynamo of Volition

14. Jason Mraz

15. How You Like Me Now?

15. The Heavy (sung by Tony Luca)

16. Stronger (What Doesn't kill you)

16. Kelly Clarkson

17. Don't Stop

17. Fleetwood Mac

18. Fastest Girl In Town

18. Miranda Lambert

19. Round Here

19. Florida Georgia Line

20. Bulletproof

20. La Roux (sung by Melanie Martinez)

21. Extraordinary

21. Liz Phair

22. Hey, Soul Sister

22. Train

23. Strong Enough

23. Sheryl Crow

24. The Girl from Ipanema

24. Astrud and Joao Gilberto

25. In Love with a Girl

25. Gavin DeGraw

26. A Little Bit Stronger

26. Leighton Meester

27. Bulletproof

27. Steel Magnolia

28. You've Got a Friend in Me

28. Rand Newman

29. I Have You to Thank

29. Gavin DeGraw

30. God Gave me You

30. Blake Shelton

Happy 30th Birthday, Megen!  
Happy 30th Birthday, Megen!  

Your SMPS friends love you and are so grateful for you! We hope you have an amazing birthday and feel as special as you make all of us feel....