Los Angeles, California USA
At the helm of Sequoia Productions is Cheryl Cecchetto, who has made a name for herself in the industry as a top event producer and business owner. She is often interviewed for her expertise on shows like Good Morning America, Canada AM, CNN, E! Entertainment, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and many others. Cheryl and the Sequoia Productions team have also been featured in The Los Angeles Times, InStyle, The Robb Report and many other print media outlets.
Cecchetto believes that her company’s success stems from old-fashioned values, hard work, risk, and maintaining great communication with the client. “I work from the foundation of a relationship with all my clients. It’s our job to assist them in realizing their vision and nothing is more satisfying than seeing that vision become a reality,” she comments. Cecchetto and her staff attend to each element of the production with an eye for balance. “Everything is important,” says Cecchetto. “Every option is treated as if it were a once–in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Cheryl is a multi-tasker who balances her work life with her home life to keep her motivated, energized and supremely creative. She believes that the love and support of her husband and two children have helped propel her and her company to where it is today, an innovative leader in the field of event production.
Former Executive Pastry Chef of the White House 1979 - 2006
Longest Serving Chef in the History of the American Presidency
Born into a family of nine children in the tiny village of Bonnay, France, Roland Mesnier discovered his vocation by accident on a summer day at the age of twelve. Apprenticing to his older brother Jean, Roland began working at the local patisserie in exchange for room and board. From there he was hired as the pastry sous chef at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London, then was hired as the Executive Pastry Chef at what is now the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. He then spent nine years at the legendary Princess Bermuda resort where he met his wife, Martha. Chef Mesnier came to the U.S. in April 1976 as Executive Pastry Chef at The Homestead, a venerable resort hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia.
Hired in 1979 by first lady Rosalyn Carter, Roland Mesnier became the first ever non-American to serve in the White House and went on to become the longest tenured chef ever – pastry or culinary - in the history of the White House.
He developed and taught the first professional Pastry Arts Program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, MD – currently ranked in the Top 10 Culinary schools in the U.S. Chef Mesnier has won 18 Gold medals, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze for his pastry creations in competitions around the world. He is a member of the Academie Culinaire de France and the recipient of many awards and accolades which include: the French Legion of Honor in 2005 – the highest honor bestowed on a French citizen; that same year he was inducted into the Chocolate and Pastry Hall of Fame. He was awarded a Doctorate of Culinary Arts from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in South Carolina. He is the author of three books, Dessert University, Basic to Beautiful Cakes and All the Presidents Pastries: A Memoir. His fourth book, A Sweet World of White House Desserts, was released in the fall of 2011 by the White House Historical Association.
While Chef Mesnier retired from the White House in 2006, he still travels the U.S. and around the world giving speeches, judging pastry competitions and participating in fund-raising events and book signings.
Visit his website www.chefrolandmesnier.com for more information and pictures of his work and to subscribe to his monthly newsletter.
VIP Events, President
Dallas, Texas USA Brian Acheson CSEP is a certified, award winning producer of corporate meetings and special events throughout North America. A well-respected leader with 28 years of industry experience, he has been part of more than 20 award winning event teams including Esprits and Galas. Brian has provided over 30 lectures around the country, and has been featured in publications such as Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Special Events Magazine and the book Corporate Event Project Management.
He is an expert on large-scale, logistically complex meetings and events.
Brian is a past president of ISES Dallas, served eight years as an Executive Officer on the industry non-profit SEARCH Foundation, and three years on the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine. In 2012-2013 Brian will be in his 10th year on the ISES International Board of Governors serving as President-Elect.
Social Sami, Founder
Chicago, Illinois USA Sami hosts “tweetups” to bring Chicago's social media community together without the restrictions of 140 characters. With the help of social media marketing, he plans, markets and hosts these “tweetups” at carefully selected venues to create an exceptional experience for attendees. He grew these tweetups events from dozens in attendance to as many as 250 over a span of months, attracting attendants ranging from C-Level professionals to entrepreneurs and VP’s of PR and Marketing.
Sami has consulted with organizations about the importance of bringing online communities offline and recently worked with brands like Monster.com, Sofitel and the Japan America Society of Chicago.
An advocate for social media for social good, Sami raised over $12,000 to aid the Japan Tsunami and Earthquake Relief Fund by hosting a social media powered fundraiser.
The Simplifiers: Event Planning, Owner & Senior Event Planner
Austin, Texas USA Mary Baird-Wilcock, founded The Simplifiers (a full service event planning + personal concierge firm based in Austin, TX) in 2003 and has one goal with this company…to help people simplify their lives. Whether you’re taking your business to the next level or just need a little help with the daily grind, Mary created The Simplifiers in response to the overwhelming feeling that life is moving at lightning speed these days and well, we all need a little help now and then.
2011 recipient of the international ISES Espirit award for “Best Meeting/Conference Budget under $250,000” and 2012 “Best of” winner from The Knot for wedding planning, Mary has a passion for event planning and a knack for getting things done. Every event she plans reflects her acute attention to detail, from a full logistics analysis to the very personal, individual touches in the event decor that reflect the client’s wishes…She believes no event should be cookie-cutter.
The Simplifiers specialize in planning non-traditional events with an edge (corporate, weddings, celebrity events and social). She is the current 2011-12 President for the ISES Austin Board of Directors and runs a highly competitive Apprentice Program for her company. For more information on The Simplifiers, please visit www.thesimplifiers.com.
Onstage Systems, President
Dallas, Texas USA Hyacinth Belcher, CSEP and her company, Onstage Systems are an award winning technical production supplier for the special events, corporate and concert industries. As a certified professional Hyacinth holds over fifteen years in the industry and is a recognized leader in her field. Hyacinth’s keen ability to uncover her client’s true needs coupled with her understanding of logistically complex events allows her the freedom to work on many large-scale events in the industry. Her work currently includes designing, staffing and supplying turn-key production solutions for charity galas, ½ time football game performances and other sports events, multi-day general sessions and finally national music festivals from City events to large scale electronic dance music events.
Hyacinth served four years on the ISES Dallas Board and often speaks at lectures in and around the Texas region. Hyacinth continues her commitment to ISES and the special event industry by serving on committees, donating time to charities and speaking at events. Recent events include the ISES Esprit award and multiple Texas Star awards, and has been a nominee for the Event Solutions Spotlight award. She has also accepted the Parnelli Award for best audio company in the Nation.
Melbourne, Victoria Australia Gian Blundo is from down under and is the ISES President of the Melbourne Chapter,and the Director of Decor It, an event decoration and management company. He is also the General Manager of the wedding venue Ascot House Receptions.
Gian had completed a BA in Catering And Hotel Management and a Post Grad in Marketing.
In over 20 years, he has gained considerable knowledge in the events, hospitality and entertainment industries. His duties have involved the evaluation of businesses, implement new business strategies, marketing and human resources.
He loves wine and food and is a 'fixture' within the Victorian Events Industry.
Amazing Industries LLC, Media Designer
Dallas, Texas USA Sean Cagney was born and raised on Long Island, New York. Son of a New York City stagehand, he's been around the business his entire life, standing offstage and sitting in control booths around New York City with show operators as long as he can remember.
Sean started his career in a lighting shop, and after learning how to fix and program lights he was transferred to the audio/video division where "media servers" (computer video servers driven by a lighting console) were the new technology no one seemed willing to learn. Sean embraced a software called "Hippotizer" thewhen it made it to the US from london, and proceeded to implement them into theaters, rock tours, cruise ships, fashion shows, corporate events, parties, and anywhere else he could make one fit (His living room often enough).
Sean has worked in every facet of the industry, and all over the world, but in 2010 Sean moved here to Downtown Dallas, where's he's here to stay. While continuing to do projects everywhere, he's finding plenty to do here in Texas. Sean and his business partner Elizabeth Howard are Amazing Industries, where they provide both artistic and technical design and integration of video and lighting systems for any type of show, event, or installation around the world.
Marc joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts last May of 2011, in a newly created position for the company, and has strategic responsibility for the Conference Services and Catering discipline globally. Marc is primarily focused on ensuring that exceptional, consistent service is provided across the Brand, as well as enhancing the overall Meeting Planner experience, while also supporting the hotels and helping them leverage the qualities that make them original and a true reflection of their locales.
Prior to joining Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Marc worked nine years with Starwood Hotels, where he was Director of Catering & Convention Services at the Westin Charlotte. His role at the Westin Charlotte included regional responsibilities, overseeing 15 hotels in the Southeast US region. During his tenure at Starwood Hotels, Marc was twice awarded National Catering & Convention Services Director of the Year (2005, 2009) for North America, as well as earned four consecutive Platinum Sales Award recognitions.
Prior to joining Starwood, Marc worked for the Walt Disney Company in Orlando for four years, holding the positions of Theme Parks Catering Director and Leisure Group Services Director at Walt Disney World, Director of Catering & Convention Services at Disney’s Learning Campus – The Disney Institute, and additional Catering & Convention Services positions at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. While at Disney, Marc was the youngest Theme Parks Catering Director in Walt Disney World’s 35 year history.
Prior to his Disney career, Marc worked for Hilton Hotels Corporation at The Palmer House in Chicago, having transferred from The Anaheim Hilton where Marc spent the first six years of his hospitality career working in Catering, Restaurants and F&B Purchasing.
Marc earned his MBA at University of North Carolina, Charlotte with a concentration in Management. He also holds a B.A. in Hotel & Restaurant Management from The Hospitality School at Michigan State University.
Nalu Creative, President
Volcano, Hawaii USA Rebecca has been in the live meeting and special event industry since 1986. She has received numerous awards, serves on key industry associations, advises influential publications and has been a spokesperson at major events.
From 1995 until 2005 she managed the new business development for Extraordinary Events as Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. At EE she honed her production skills, learned to love the live show and built lasting relationships with vendors and clients alike. She created events large and small from Gala dinners to new product launches and even managed the Olympic Torch Relay from Mexico City to Montreal in partnership with GPJ/Samsung. She produced multiple headline acts including Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Don Henley, Stevie Wonder, Santana, The B-52’s, Jonny Lange, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, and Jay Leno just to name a few. Her clients included, Carlson Marketing Group, DaimlerChrysler, Dell, GPJ, Porsche, Interval International, BB&T and Mattel.
From 2005 until 2010, Rebecca served as Executive Vice President of Southern California based Ethos Design and Lounge22. She was charged with managing the sales teams of both companies, developing new business and creating strategic alliances. She was able to develop her creative skill sets while learning the exhibit and fabrication industry. She focused on strategic marketing, meetings and brand engagements. Her clients included Ubisoft, Qualcomm, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Carlson Marketing, Ogilvey/Healthworld, Public Storage, Bluehole Studios and Starwood Hotels Worldwide.
In 2010 she launched her own firm, Nalu Creative LLC, (Hawaiian for "wave") to create momentum in the area of experiential marketing, meetings and events. Nalu is the culmination of 20 years’ experience and provides clients with the perfect balance of creative solutions, design expertise and value.
Among her industry awards and activities:
Rayce PR and Marketing, President
Long Beach, California USA
Rhonda Couchigian is the founder of Rayce PR and Marketing, a boutique public relations and marketing firm representing clients in the special events industry. Graduating with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota was just the beginning of her career in special events.
Rhonda began her career as the Creative Director at the Design Group in Minneapolis, to VP of National Sales and Marketing for Chameleon Chairs and currently as founder and President of Rayce PR and Marketing.
Her past and present client list is impressive and includes Walt Disney Studios, Sony Studios, tic-tock Couture Florals, Revelry Event Designers, and Wildflower Linen. Rhonda’s wealth of experience in the special event industry combined with her talents in design and social media, logistics, sales, business development and public relations allows her to create superior brand recognition and reputation for her clients.
Finesse Enterprises, CEO & Chief Trendsetter
Las Vegas, Nevada USA Demont Daniel is Co-Founder & CEO of Finesse Media, an innovative marketing firm, specializing in brand management, creative services, and event management based in Las Vegas, NV. He is also Founder of Linked Las Vegas, the largest Las Vegas group on LinkedIn.
Finesse Media has organized and produced events including:
Oakland, California USA Eric Ernstrom is a principal at artchitecture.com, the creative agency practicing the art of live display. His rich and extensive background encompasses the many dimensions of the live events industry.
He discovered his passion one night in San Francisco while in his late teens. His current steady took him to a show by George Coates Performance Works called Actual Sho. His mind was captivated by the immersive visuals that defined the environment onstage. He decided then that he wanted to practice this art and he wanted to work with George Coates.
His illuminating experience in the late 80s at George Coates Performance Works, a San Francisco Performance Group known for its innovative use of projection for scenery and effects provides the foundation for his work today. Ernie worked with GCPW on two productions. Right Mind, a co-production with ACT and The Architecture of Catastrophic Change, a production about the Loma Prieta Earthquake that closed Right Mind which was running at the Geary Theatre at the time of the earthquake.
With a solid handle on computer graphics and a mastery of the machines that make them spin, Ernie’s research has demonstrated the ability to cohesively integrate the delivery and control of the entire visual experience.
“I am focused on covering as much surface as possible with projected imagery. Architectural Mapping is the most challenging application for the visual artist which also means it’s the most fun.”
William Angliss Institute, Direcor/Teacher
Melbourne, Victoria Australia Sharon Hebdon has been working in the events industry for over 16 years in Australia's Special Events capital, Melbourne.
Sharon was the co-founder of Events Tourism Research, Melbourne's first business dedicated to working with Special Event managers to develop events into marketable products, capable of attracting key sponsorship partners through a strong understanding of their target audience.
Sharon currently heads up the Event Management course at William Angliss Institute (WAI), Australia's leading specialist college for Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary training. Intake into WAI's range of Event Management courses has doubled in the time Sharon has been there and she is currently working on developing new courses aimed at existing Events industry professionals who hold no formal qualifications.
Sharon is a judge for the annual Exhibition & Event Association of Australia Awards, she is a critical reviewer of higher education Events industry text books, she chairs the Victorian Tourism & Event Educators Network and she is passionate about the development of future Events industry professionals through high-quality, industry-based education.
President, Where To Start, Inc. Wedding and Event Management
Newark, California USA After spending several years planning corporate events and meetings for a large national department store chain; Gwen planed her 1989 wedding and quickly realized just how difficult and stressful the experience can be for the anxious bride and groom. Determined to be of service she began researching wedding planning, reading everything she could find. Taking classes and volunteering to assist established planners and others to learn all she could. Gwen founded Where to Start in 1991; since then, she has planned hundreds of weddings, private and corporate events ranging from relatively simple gatherings to some of the most lavish wedding receptions in the Bay Area. Gwen has been a proud member of ISES since 1999.
A recognized leader in the field of event planning, Gwen has been interviewed by television and print news reporters, and her exceptional events have been cited by publications like Special Events magazine. She has served as Vice President of Education, Vice President of Membership and Vice President Finance for the Northern California Chapter of the International Special Event Society, local area networking group leader for the Association of Bridal Consultants, and she was chair of the 2003, 2004 International Special Events Society Western Region Excellence Award planning committees and a member of the 2009-2010 ISES International Esprit Committee. Gwen is currently the 2010-2012 ISES International Esprit Committee chair. In 2000 Gwen Co-Founder of The Bay Area Wedding Network, a networking group whose mission is to encourage wedding professionals to build relationship to strengthen the Wedding industry.
Gwen received her certification as a wedding consultant from San Francisco State University in 1992. Gwen is proud to have received the International Special Event Society Western Region Excellence Award 2004 for ISES Allied or Team Event over $100,000, to be the first recipient of International Special Event Society Northern California Chapter Spirit of ISES Award 2005, and the International Special Event Society Northern California Chapter President’s Choice Award 2005, International Special Event Society Spirit of Excellence Award International Volunteer of the Year 2011 and to be a 2008 International Special Event Society Esprit Award Nominee for Best Wedding Budget $75,000 - $200,000.
Gwen divides her time between Where To Start, the Bay Area Wedding Network and speaking engagements at industry conferences and meetings. Speaking engagements give her the opportunity to share her knowledge with others. With the goal of improving the quality of service provided to the clients by helping the event industry better understand what client’s really need from event professionals.
Although she formally launched Where to Start in 1991, Gwen has been involved in event planning for as long as she can remember. “My parents always had parties; preparing for these parties was a huge part of my childhood,” she recalls. As she grew up, Gwen put her talents to work planning various functions in school and later in her corporate position at Mervyn’s, one of the nation’s leading retailers. The management skills she learned in the corporate world serve her clients well. Gwen’s training in broadcasting and theatre also plays an important role in shaping her skills. Her eye developed for the camera and stage help her provide the kind of look and feel that set her clients’ events apart.
Gwen enjoys the creative challenge of each new event. Gwen has manages Where to Start with one basic principle: “Give the client what they want.” doing just that, personally managing each event the company stages, using her staff to insure every detail is flawless. This personalized service and attention to detail is what makes her work so rewarding and her client’s events truly special.
The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa, Director of Catering & Conference Service; 1st Vice President of NACE National
Houston, Texas USA Lisa’s catering career began in 1989 at the McCormick Center Hotel in Chicago as a Catering Manager. In 1992, she was promoted to the Director of Catering. In August 1993, she became the Director of Catering and Convention Services at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Charlotte. She returned to the Midwest in March 1995 as the Director of Catering and Convention Services at the historic Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, and was promoted to the Director of Sales and Marketing position in November 1995.
Lisa arrived in Texas in May 1996 and returned to her catering roots in 1998 at The Houstonian Hotel as the Director of Catering and Conferences. At The Houstonian, a member of Preferred Hotel and Resorts Worldwide, she oversees the sales and service efforts of seven service managers, $13 Million dollars of revenue annually, and personally handles several high profile events, including the Share our Strength Taste of the Nation Party, and the Hotel’s holiday events.
Lisa also joined The National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) in 1999 and served as the Houston Chapter President from 2003 until July 2007. After serving as the Region IV Vice President on the NACE National Board in 2007/2008, Lisa served a one year term as the Chair of the Chapter Presidents’ Council. In 2009/2010, Lisa was the chair of The National Membership and Chapter Relations Committee and served on the 2010 Leadership Summit Committee. She was elected First Vice President to the NACE National Board in 2010, and was also honored with the 2009 NACE Caterer Member of the Year Award. Beginning in July 2012, Lisa will serve a two year term as the NACE National President.
Lisa earned the Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) designation in July of 2002, and the Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) designation in July of 2006. She was also honored with the Houston Chapter of NACE 2004 Caterer of the Year Award, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in January 2008. In December 2010, the University of Houston NACE Student Chapter also gave Lisa the first Cougar Advocate Award for support of their efforts.
Lisa has been a frequent lecturer at the University of Houston’s Hilton College of Hotel Restaurant Management’s Hotel Sales Class, has participated with her Houstonian Hotel colleagues in “The Best of the Best” Series at the U of H, and also been a panelist and moderator for The Hall of Honor Industry Think Tank Sessions. She also was a featured speaker at the Catersource 2009 and 2010 Conferences, NACE Experience! 2009 and 2010 Conferences, The Special Event 2010, 2011, and 2012 Conferences and the Greater Seattle, Charleston, Philadelphia/South Jersey/Delaware, Charlotte, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, South Florida, and Omaha NACE Chapter Meetings.
Principal & CMO, Six For Gold
Alicia Kan is the principal and chief marketing officer of Six For Gold. She believes the best marketing doesn't only connect people to product, but tells a story that resonates with, delights and surprises its audience.
(That's her at three, telling a story to the wall decal.)
Alicia's lived and worked in her native Manila, Hong Kong, Chicago and Dallas. Her last corporate job was head of global communications and marketing for an international market research firm. Her rebranding of that company in 44 international markets was featured as a rare B2B case study in Phillip Kotler's Principles of Marketing.
Alicia is experienced in designing and leading local or global rollouts of technology-driven solutions. She is also established and active in the digital space. A former journalist, her last editorial position was media editor for the Hongkong iMail, an English daily.
Creative Coverings, Inc., Director of Sales
Reno, Nevada USA
Director of National Sales, Kate joined Creative Coverings with over 15 years experience in restaurants and hotel/casino catering and convention services. In her current role, Kate oversees the growth of the rental and sales division and has recently played a key role in opening the first satellite show rooms in Las Vegas, Seattle and Phoenix with another three locations in the works. Working closely with the design team to stay ahead of fashion and décor trends has contributed to this rapid and successful growth of the company. Creative Coverings has recently been named Business Partner of the Year by NACE.
Previously, Kate worked in the catering industry in Western New York, Las Vegas and most recently with MGM Mirage/Eldorado Corporation at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino where she was responsible for large-scale conventions and the sales of social catering events. She also assisted with the opening of the Reno Ballroom for the Tri-properties and the City of Reno.
As Creative Coverings Director of National Sales, Kate helps represent Creative Coverings as Director at Large/Speaker Liaison for the Napa Sonoma ISES Chapter along with being involved with NACE as a National Business Partner, President of the Reno-Tahoe Chapter, Experience! 2011 Co-Chair and is on the National Sub-Committee for Membership Benefits. She has also been nominated as the 2012 Saleswoman of the Year by the Professional Saleswomen of Nevada and is a proud member of the International Caterers Association and Weddings of the West.
VP, Marketing, Eventbrite
San Francisco, California USA Tamara leads marketing for Eventbrite; focusing on customer acquisition, retention, and branding. She is passionate about spreading the good word for Eventbrite and the magic of bringing people together through events. She is equally obsessed with the power of social media and believes that technology changes everything.
Prior to Eventbrite, Tamara was a senior analyst with Forrester Research, an independent technology research and consulting firm. As an expert on eCommerce technology, multichannel retail, and trends in how consumers integrate technology into shopping, Tamara authored research reports and worked with both retailers and technology vendors to help them shape their strategies. She spoke regularly at industry events, sat on the advisory boards of several industry associations, and has been quoted in top newspapers and journals.
Tamara is a graduate of MIT Sloan School of Management and received her bachelor's degree in comparative literature and economics from Wellesley College.
Bravo! Productions Entertainment, Inc., President
Dallas, Texas USA Debbie Meyers designed her first entertainment production at age 12; creating an amusement park out of cardboard moving boxes and donating the proceeds to the Red Cross. From there it seems she was destined to be in the special event and entertainment industry! Now she is recognized as a leader in the entertainment production field.
Debbie founded BRAVO! Entertainment in 1994. Since then her work has consistently has received accolades from industry institutions and organizations worldwide. BRAVO! Entertainment specializes in procuring and producing entertainment and has produced shows all over the world including North America, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, China and Japan.
Earning her Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) status in 1999 Debbie is proud to be one of the first CSEP’s in the entertainment industry.
BRAVO! Entertainment continues to be recognized annually for excellence in entertainment productions. With FOUR Special Event Magazine Gala Awards, TWO Event Solutions Magazine “Spotlight Awards” including the 2009 Entertainment Company of the Year Award! BRAVO! has received EIGHT Esprit Awards, a Canadian Special Event Award, Biz Bash Canada Style Award, an EVIE Award and over FIFTEEN Texas Star Awards. With ten industry awards in the past 24 months BRAVO! is one of the most lauded entertainment production companies in the world.
Recognized by her peers as a leader in the industry Debbie was appointed in 2007 a member of the Special Event Magazine’s Advisory Board and is a regular contributor to the magazine.
Debbie is also a Past President of the International Special Event Society (ISES) Dallas Chapter and the Society of Talent and Entertainment Professionals of Texas (STEP). She has also served on local and national boards of the National Association of Catering executives (NACE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and the International Association of Corporate Entertainment Professionals (IACEP).
Someone’s in the Kitchen, President
Tarzana, California USA Joann Roth-Oseary began her catering business, Someone's In The Kitchen, over thirty years ago (www.sitk.com). Her lively sense of thoroughness and party-giving fun has put her on the California map, recognized as a premier Catering and Event Expert dedicated to exceptional service.
Her first catering ventures were greeted with such enthusiasm; she expanded her services, by propelling Someone's In The Kitchen from a one-woman operation to one of the largest and most successful catering companies in the country.
Her creative flair for food, mixed with her professional business experience, have given Joann the ability to expand her gourmet catering into a full-service event planning corporation with over thirty-five in-house kitchen and office workers, and an additional part-time party staff of over two-hundred. Someone's In The Kitchen offers two additional full service divisions under the umbrella of Someone’s In The Kitchen: 5-Star Kosher Catering and SITK Design Services.
Joann’s believes in giving back to the industry by mentoring through lecturing and sitting on panels where she offers her experience, leadership and expertise to peers in the field of hospitality.
Joann's meteoric rise is due to what one admirer called, "operating with a business punch and a very loving hand." She has a vast VIP list of Celebrities, Social, Corporate and Philanthropic Foundation clientele who continuously utilize the services of her company, SITK.
Another testimony to Joann Roth-Oseary’s appeal lies in her tireless work within the community. Joann has worked above and beyond the call of duty in volunteering her time, efforts, and professional services to the community. In addition, her charitable efforts spurred citywide trends in helping and supporting the homeless. She has spearheaded actions that resulted in closing off 4 blocks around “Skid Row” and fed 4,000 indigents as well as distributing over 10,000 garments of clothing and essentials. This thoughtful and generous gesture has since become a popular tradition in the City of Los Angeles.
Her highly personal approach has earned Joann recognition as a community leader. She is a strong public proponent of child care development and a tireless, very personal behind the scenes activist on behalf of many civic and charitable causes, including Aids Project Los Angeles, LA’s BEST, Institute for Cancer and Blood Research, the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, The Los Angeles Childcare and Development Counsel, as well as Planned Parenthood, The Fred Jordan Mission, and The Sunshine Mission. The “Dome Village, Homeless USA” is often a recipient of Joann’s attention and she has served on its Board of Directors.
Joann currently serves as the 2010-2012 Chairwoman of the S.E.A.R.C.H. Foundation, an industry-based charity dedicated to raising funds to assist event professionals in times of crisis. She has further served on the Boards of The Special Events Magazine, S.E.A.R.C.H, ISES, and ICA.
Joann Roth-Oseary has received a plethora of honors and awards for her dedication to both the special events industry and community service. Her list of achievements includes:
• Los Angeles Business Journal for Women Making A Difference
• Numerous Industry Awards including: Best Food Presentation, Best Event for a Private Individual, Best Off-Premise Catered Event
• Lifetime Achievement Award from The Special Event Magazine
• Who’s Who in Los Angeles
• Top 100 Women Owned Businesses
• Professional and Humanitarian Award from the City of Hope
• Humanitarian Award from both the Mayor of Los Angeles and from the City of Los Angeles
• Spirit of Life Award from the County of Los Angeles
• Merit of Achievement from The Governor of the State of California
• Appreciation Award from USA for Africa
• Appreciation Award from The Creative Arts Temple
• Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young
As Owner and President of her nationally renowned company, Joann has never compromised her ideals or ethics, nor lost her terrific sense of humor and loving warmth, the necessary ingredients for success.
CCP Events, Inc., President/COO
Atlanta, Georgia USA In 1993 Terry founded CCP Events, an entertainment and special events production company, in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010 they added EventScapes a design and décor company focused in the social market which is a compliment to their corporate market segment. Celebrating their 19th year in 2012, Terry attributes the company’s success, in great part, to her involvement in ISES.
Terry’s joined the International Special Event Society in 1996. After four years of board service, for the Atlanta Chapter, in 2000-2001 she served as President; that same year, Terry completed the requirements for certification as a Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP). In 2003 she was elected to serve as the Southeast Region Vice President. For two years she served as a resource and mentor for ten chapters and one in-formation. Under Terry’s leadership the region was honored in 2004 as “Region of the Year” at Eventworld, the annual ISES educational conference.
Continuing to serve the organization, Terry is currently serving as the ISES International President and is committed to stay active on both the local and international level after completing her serve on the Board of Governors.
Balancing her career with a personal life Terry proudly spends time with her twin nineteen year old granddaughters, thirteen year old grandson and her seven month old granddaughter. Working side by side with her daughter Rachel and her son-in-law Shane, she credits them, along with her amazing staff, with her ability to give back to the industry that has given her and CCP Events/EventScapes so much.
Smithson Martin, CEO
Toronto, Ontario Canada Alan Smithson is the CEO of SmithsonMartin Inc. the company that invented touch screen DJ'ing with Emulator and has taken the product to the next level by making it work with any and every music and professional lighting software. Their expertise in Multi-touch technology have led them to expand globally and currently have sponsored huge artists from around the world. Alan was President-Elect for ISES Toronto, but having taken over the company in September 2010 had to step down. Alan has twice been nominated Entertainer of the Year in Canada and won the Best Use of Lighting Award in 2008.
Their software Emulator won the 2011 DJ Mag Innovative Product of the Year and was recently featured on Discovery Channel's Daily Planet and WIRED Magazine.
Alan is a father of two amazing children, Abi (7) and Holly (3) and is married to event professional, Julie Smithson. They currently live in Mississauga, Ontario Canada.
Sasha Souza Events, Design+Concept
Napa, California USA Sasha Souza is a nationally recognized wedding designer, top innovator and trendsetter in her field, and author of the highly praised Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design (Beaufort Books, January, 2010) which was winner of the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2011 Gold Award. With offices in Southern and Northern California, Sasha Souza Events is revered as one of the premiere wedding design companies in the country. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sasha was raised by a flower-child mom who encouraged her daughter’s flair for the dramatic. Cultivating a background in the theater arts, Sasha emerged as a businesswoman with a gift for theatrical styling and, after helping numerous friends and family members plan their weddings, she opened her first event design firm called The Whole Shebang! in 1995.
Souza has received many prestigious event industry awards including one of the highest honors in her industry, the Event Solutions Spotlight Award Winner 2006 “Designer of the Year”. She was also the 2006 Winner of three WESTIE Awards (Best Dining Table, Best Wedding, Best Social Event), Special Event Magazine’s Triple Gala Award Nominee and winner for “Best Dining Tabletop Design”, and in January 2005, she chaired and hosted The Special Events Show Wedding Luncheon, a prestigious and coveted position in her field.
In addition to currently being a regular contributor to Bridal Guide magazine, Sasha was profiled as one of the “Top 25 Trendsetters” in the bridal industry by Modern Bride magazine. Because of Souza’s unique and often colorful style and her exceptionally beautiful and creative designs, Souza and many of her events are frequently featured in prominent publications such as In Style, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Bride and Better Homes and Gardens, among many others. Sasha and her work are also often featured on television programming including ABC’s “Primetime” wedding series special, CBS “Early Show”, “Inside Edition”, “Eye on LA”, “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?”, and “In Wine Country”, among other shows.
Believing strongly in giving back, Sasha recently took on the role of Founding President of Wish Upon a Wedding http://wishuponawedding.org/, the only national wedding wish granting non-profit for couples facing terminal illness or other life altering circumstances. She is also the Events Chair of the Search Foundation http://www.searchfoundation.org/ which helps planners in the events industry who have faced catastrophic loss and illness.
Sasha’s book Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design is a stunning, hard cover wedding design book featuring beautiful photography of all aspects of wedding design including never before seen Sasha Souza Events real weddings. Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design provides brides, event planners and florists with unique wedding design inspiration and is the first book of its kind to offer details on event design ranging from color couture to creating inspiration boards.
In 2006, SuperClubs® Grand Lido Resorts named Souza their national spokesperson and designed a Sasha Souza SuperClubs® wedding resort package, inspired by Souza’s design. In 2005, Souza was a national spokesperson for Amarula cream liqueur.
Souza is one of only a handful of wedding designers who have been named a Master Bridal Consultant, the highest designation given by the Association of Bridal Consultants. Souza is regularly an honorary celebrity speaker at Modern Bride’s esteemed Wedding March events. Sasha Souza Events is a distinguished member of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC).
Sparks Agency, Talent Broker
Wills Point, Texas USA
Sparky Sparks began his career booking musicians and college entertainment in 1977, and has grown The Sparks Agency into a full service Audience Management company. If a live audience is involved – from 30 to 30,000, Sparky has the knowledge and resources to provide complementary services for the event from tents to port-o-lets, from interactive games to team building and from solo musicians to national acts as varied as the Golden Dragon Acrobats, George Jones and Aerosmith. In five days, Sparky provided musical entertainment, sound and lights for guests of the President of the United States in Crawford one day, facilitated team building activities for a Fortune 50 company the next day and officiated Armadillo Racing by the end of that week. Because of his stellar reputation for audience satisfaction, Sparky is the go-to guy throughout Texas.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Director of AIDS Lifecycle
San Francisco, California USA Greg Sroda is director of AIDS/LifeCycle, the seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The event is the largest annual AIDS fundraiser in the world, bringing in millions of dollars annually to support the HIV-related services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
Sroda oversees all fundraising, logistical, and marketing aspects of AIDS/LifeCycle. He has13 years of direct experience with event and its predecessor, the California AIDS Ride. He’s participated as a cyclist, volunteer “roadie,” and rest stop captain. Sroda brings a deep passion for AIDS/LifeCycle and the amazing community that makes it a success every year.
Prior to becoming director of AIDS/LifeCycle in 2011, Sroda spent 17 years in the private sector at companies like Gap, Crate & Barrel, and Accenture, where he had a strong track record of boosting sales and revenue while reducing operational expenses.
In addition to his experience with AIDS/LifeCycle, Sroda has participated in AIDS Walk San Francisco, Boston/New York AIDS Ride, and Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. He has a history of volunteerism with San Francisco non-profit organizations including Project Inform, PAWS, San Francisco Food Bank, and National AIDS Memorial Grove.
Red Button TV, Preisdent
Dallas, Texas USA Sam Stanton – Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and Button Pusher @ redbutton.tv
Less than 1% of your audience is on site at your event…are you engaging the other 99+% socially? *Metrics provided by BUZZcontrol
Sam Stanton has been on the cutting edge of event marketing, production and technology for over 20 years. Throughout the 90’s, he and his team were some of the first pioneers to stream video over the web. In the past decade Sam’s company, redbutton.tv, has been the leading digital event production company, capturing events with customized technology and solutions, enabling guests to share their fantastic experiences instantly. Engaging, entertaining, and reinforcing unique experiences at events is what redbutton.tv does.
In the last year alone, redbutton.tv’s BUZZcontrol and BUZZcrew have been activated for events the likes of: Super Bowl, massive conventions, politics, fashion, stadium concerts, PGA, NFL, NBA, NHL, product launches, SXSW, global charities, world celebrations for clients including: Coca-Cola, Visa, Ford, Vogue, Bacardi, VHA, HP, Chevrolet…etc….and were awarded best use of Social Media for any event or launch globally by Ford, and best social activation for all events by the PGA in 2011.
E&J Gallo Winery, Director of Sales
Houston, Texas USA
Venue Operations & Event Production Manager
Los Angeles, California USA
Renatta Tellez loves to take red tape and tie it into a bow. Her unique blend of experience building teams and systems from ground zero in both the real estate and event industries offers a creative perspective on collaboratively working with government, vendors, and consumers to create win-win situations under the pressures of budget and time. As the former events and operations manager for Vibiana, Renatta expanded their booked dates from 40+ events in 2007 to more than 150 today.
At the heart of Renatta’s success is her focus on customer service and community development, which is couple with her uncanny love for special events permits and logistics. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University.
The JT Group, Managing Director
Melbourne, Victoria Australia Jennifer has had a diverse career spanning over 25 years within the Tourism, Retail, Events and Marketing Industries. In addition to her role as Founder and Managing Director of The JT Group marketing, events and project Management Company - she is Chair of the ISES Australasian Affiliate, councilor with the Australian Marketing Institute Victoria and a Life/Business Coach for many profile clients and individuals. She is a seasoned authority on marketing and developing brands as well as having a proven track record in managing large corporate and government business.
Jennifer has achieved success for many clients including Coles Myer Department Store Group, Macquarie Bank Leisure Trust, ANZ Trustees, CFA, AMI, Miele and The Drysdale Institute of TAFE. These profile clients are a testament to her understanding and knowledge of the corporate and government market place. Her credibility and profile within the Australian business space is highly regarded and her high standards of business practice plus levels of professionalism place her in a class of her own.
KSL Resorts, Regional Director of Sales, Northern CA & Pacific NW
San Francisco, California USA Megan’s intrinsic desire to connect all those who she meets whether it’s over a business luncheon, or on a ski mountain chair lift in the Sierras, has served her well in the resort hospitality industry.
Megan was introduced to the hospitality field while being educated in Switzerland. She was afforded the experience of international travel and exposure to new cultures. The Hotel and Restaurant field was a natural fit for this yearning.
Being a native of Northern California, her return to the San Francisco Bay Area during the burgeoning California Cuisine movement enticed her to start a career in catering. Being a solid cook but by no means an artistic chef, she then ventured into the operations side of Food & Beverage. The behind the scenes of operations wasn’t fulfilling her craving for instant gratification. The journey from Banquet Cook, to Corporate Catering, Conference Services, National Sales, Director of Sales and now as to her current position as the Regional Director of Sales for KSL Resorts has been her natural progression for a true understanding of the success & nuances in resort group business.
Megan’s history includes some of our nations most celebrated resorts, The Claremont Hotel in Berkeley CA, La Quinta Resort & Spa in La Quinta CA, La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad CA and currently represents The entire KSL Resorts collection, a unique Collection of Memorable Golf, Spa and Ski Resorts.
Her success in this industry has been the ability to foster long standing partnerships with her internal and external clients, build of base of integrity and trust, to learn and grow with the ever changing economic climate, to embrace change and continue to learn for the future in the hospitality field.
The time is now – connect those dots…
Affiliations include; MPINCC, CEMA (Corporate Executive Marketing Association), GMIC, CalSAE and the VIP Network.
Simply Elegant Events, Inc., President
Hockessin, Delaware USA Sue serves as President of the company she founded in 2003 shortly after attaining her CSEP designation. Her company is a full service, award winning event planning firm producing primarily corporate and social events. Sue is the recipient of two Liberty Awards, three Esprit Awards and two Gala Awards.
A member of ISES since 2000, Sue held several positions in the Philadelphia Chapter including President. She then served as Regional Vice President for the Northeast Region. In addition she has been a member of several ISES International committees including Certification, Finance, Nominating and the Education Council. In addition, she was Education Chair for ISES Eventworld 2011.
Currently, Sue continues as a member of the Education Council, is Chair of the Non-Dues Revenue Task Force and Co-Chair of Boot Camp, ISES Eventworld 2012.
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