Thank you and Goodbye to Silvana

Wed, 27 Mar 2024

Gabrielle Parent, Communications Lead

As March ends, we bid farewell to Silvana Martinez, who has contributed greatly to our team over the last year. On behalf of all of us at SFU Public Square and the partners whose events we’ve helped support, I wanted to take the time to thank Silvana and recognize all that she’s accomplished as our Events Lead.

Silvana joined us in March 2023, following a year in the non-profit sector. Within days of joining, I knew that her positivity and care for others was going to bring a cheerful energy to the office. And that first impression has been confirmed again and again during our time together. I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know Silvana over many cups of tea, lunches, team projects, and events. Her joy, passion, and laugh are infectious, and every day without fail, she has brought light and compassion to our team.

This passion is also evident in her work, as Silvana took on the challenge of reinvigorating SFU Public Square’s student engagement efforts. Under her leadership, the Volunteer Program was restructured and relaunched to better suit the needs of students and SFU Public Square staff. We’ve had a remarkable year with volunteers joining us at events and in-office, all of which wouldn’t have been possible without Silvana. As Events Lead, Silvana was also a vital part of the nearly 25 events we’ve hosted in the past year. Bringing upbeat energy, bubbly extroversion, and invaluable flexibility to the team, Silvana was a key part of the success of these events. 

When I was asked to write a farewell piece to Silvana, I knew that it would be a challenge. How am I meant to put into words the ineffable energy that Silvana embodies? In the face of that impossible challenge, I asked my colleagues to try and sum up their favourite thing about Silvana.

Here is what a few of them said:

"It is nearly impossible to choose just one of my favourite things about Silvana, but I would have to say that her ability to bring herself to work with care and compassion is one of them. Silvana is unequivocally one of the most genuine people I know, and she is always making space to celebrate the people around her. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work with, get to know, and learn from Silvana. We will miss you!"-Seth Erais, Program Manager

"My favourite thing about Silvana is her energy! She lights up every room with her positive vibes, dance movies, and ever-ready suggestions for new music you might enjoy." -Nola Mellon, Design Lead

"For me, my favourite thing about Silvana is her enthusiasm, even for the smaller details! It makes her love for event planning contagious." -Athena Samonte, In-Office Volunteer

"This has to be the worst part of my job, saying goodbye to incredible folks that joined our team. I can’t think of a moment when Silvana wasn’t positive, encouraging, supportive and buoyant, even in the face of personal and professional challenges. I will never be able to hear the term 'slay' again without thinking about her and the way she cheered the rest of us on. Silvana, you will be missed and remembered. Thank you for being a part of our team and community." -Janet Webber, Executive Director

Thank you and farewell

Ultimately, these quotes and this blog only scratch the surface of the magic of Silvana Martinez. But what our team is really trying to say is that she will be missed. All of us at SFU Public Square feel grateful to have worked with and learned from Silvana, and we wish her the best in the incredible things she does next.