The Top 55 Event Experience Leaders of 2022: Meet the Influencers
Event professionals are among the most innovative and forward-thinking folks in the world. Even among this talented community, some individuals stand out by consistently challenging the status quo and pushing the industry forward. From up-and-coming talent to established voices, these event influencers have emerged as the Top Event Experience Leaders of 2022 based on your votes.
Whether their title is event professional, event marketer, or event influencer, these leaders are redefining the events industry from top to bottom. They’re the movers, shakers, and all-around masters of their craft. And they haven’t escaped your notice!
In Q2 2022, we took to our social channels and your inboxes, inviting you to nominate Event Experience Leaders who deserve some extra recognition and then asking you to vote for your picks for the list. Based on your votes, and in no particular order, here are the Top 55 Event Experience Leaders of 2022:
Global Experiential Marketing Lead/Marketing Manager, Microsoft
Akosua Boadi-Agyemang is an event creative working to build global event experiences that empower attendees to not only “achieve more,” but to invite the attendee in, allow them to go on a journey of brand evolution with the brand and ultimately become fans. Akosua leads marketing/demand gen for Microsoft internal events globally as well as influencer programs for Microsoft flagship events. When not working on events, Akosua is an impactful storyteller who has created a lasting positive impact on the lives of the people viewing her content via social platforms globally (70+ million content views during the past three years) — through pioneering initiatives including “The BOLD Journey®” and Re-Envision Africa™ and more.LinkedIn | Twitter
CEO, The Vendry
Daphne Hoppenot is an entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience building local search technology. Most recently, she founded The Vendry, a community-driven marketplace that helps connect corporate event planners with venues and vendors for their events. The Vendry’s community comprises more than 23,000 event professionals who leverage The Vendry platform to network, share job opportunities, and post photos of recent events they’ve worked on. Daphne is passionate about supporting underserved professional communities with technology solutions. She spends all her spare time playing with her two little boys and trying to convince them to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.
Cofounder, Co-organizer, and VP of Content and Community, Podcast Movement
Jared Easley is a cofounder and co-organizer of Podcast Movement, the world’s largest international conference and trade show for the podcast industry. Podcast Movement features amazing guests such as Will Ferrell, Mark Cuban, Paris Hilton, and Questlove. Jared is also the host of the Starve the Doubts podcast featuring conversations about personal and professional development. Jared often appears in publications such as Entrepreneur, the Huffington Post, and the South Florida Business Journal and is a traditionally published author. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his wife and daughter.LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Senior Event and Field Marketing Manager, Dremio
Kelly Carlsted is an event marketing professional with more than 13 years of experience owning events ranging from 15 to 4,500 attendees and working on events up to 60,000 attendees. Currently, she leads the global event team at Dremio and their premier community event, Subsurface. Kelly has a wide range of B2B event experience working from startups to Fortune 100 companies. She holds her CMP and participates in industry organizations, including CEMA, where she loves to network and share ideas. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband and two kids at Lake Tahoe or taking classes at OrangeTheory Fitness.
Director, Experiential Marketing, VMware + Founder, Event Content Council
Allison Crooker currently manages the development and production of content for VMware’s annual global events. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Allison brings 25+ years of leading highly matrixed cross-functional teams to build the vision and agenda of global events. Allison has shaped industry trends by defining the strategic direction of thousands of sessions, ensuring agendas are aligned with the company strategy. Allison is also the founder of the Event Content Council. In her spare time, she enjoys fellowship with other believers in Jesus, experiencing the outdoors (camping and hiking), and the great indoors (HIIT and strength training).LinkedIn | Twitter
Chief Experience Officer, Captivate Marketing Group
Yvonne McNair, MBA, CSEP, DES, is Chief Experience Officer at Captivate Marketing Group and has more than 20 years of event production experience. She is a certified Entertainment Marketing Professional and a two-time Emmy Nominated Event Producer. Yvonne has a proven track record of conceptualizing and orchestrating small and large events, marketing campaigns, and programs to create business development opportunities and increase revenue and growth effectively. Yvonne is known as a powerhouse behind the scenes, closing deals and sculpting entertainment — one exquisite experience at a time. She has worked with some of the biggest names and brands in the entertainment industry, from grassroots organizations to Fortune 500 companies to A-List artists.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Global Marketing Leader, Signature Events and Experiences, Kyndryl
Douglas Hannan joined Kyndryl as Signature Experiences and Events Leader in 2021 in the spin-off from IBM. His focus is top account marketing experiences and events. He led the launch events strategy globally for Kyndryl, executing 16 events with country teams. During three decades at IBM, he held management positions in marketing and sales with award-winning accomplishments in campaigns, events, and digital marketing. He holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a BBA/Marketing and a BA/Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. Doug enjoys adventure cruise travel, logging more than 385 days at sea and visiting 77 countries.LinkedIn | Twitter
Director of Events, Haymarket Media, Inc.
Amanda Hassler is an events director with 10 years of experience producing events in the business media and medical space. She’s a home-grown talent at Haymarket Media, Inc., now leading the U.S. events team that executes more than 100 award-winning virtual/webcast and in-person events annually. Amanda is a passionate events professional, constantly striving to create unique and innovative experiences for audiences. Most importantly she leads her team with kindness, gratitude, and integrity. When Amanda’s not planning an event, you can find her boarding in Vermont or bumming it on the beach on Long Island.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Field Marketing, ONE
Rachel Russell is an award-winning event marketer, creating and executing memorable experiences for attendees. She runs Field Marketing at ONE, a fintech unicorn backed by Walmart. Previously, Rachel was a Senior Event Planner at Deloitte for seven years and worked for Sony Pictures at San Diego Comic-Con, MGM Studios, ABC, and Victoria’s Secret. Rachel has been named a Top Event Marketer in North America by Eventible and has been a guest speaker on the Building Awesome Events podcast. Fun fact: She was selected as one of 20 individuals for a “Weekend with Warren Buffett” at Berkshire Hathaway!LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Founder, The Event Strategist
Nicola Kastner is the Founder of The Event Strategist, a boutique consultancy firm that offers event strategy advisory services to global brands to help them successfully optimize their event experiences to drive bottom-line results. Before launching her consulting practice, she held roles on both the brand and agency sides of the business, including most recently as the Global Vice President of Event Marketing Strategy for SAP. Nicola’s passion for pivot tables borders on embarrassing, and once she emerges from her data-nerd state, she can be found in the vegetable garden.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
XM Producer, Diamond Integrated Marketing
Evan Babins is a trendsetting event producer with more than a decade of corporate and private event experience working on events worldwide. In his current role at Diamond Integrated Marketing, he is an XM Producer working on events for cutting-edge global brands. Evan has worked in agency and client-side roles making him an incredibly well-rounded event professional. When Evan isn’t producing international events, you can find him DJing or spending time with his wife and 2-year-old son. He loves hockey, The Bachelor, and watering the lawn to keep it looking extra fresh.LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Creative Director and Owner, Rose Gold Collective
Sarah Sebastian, the Creative Director and Owner of Rose Gold Collective, is laser-focused on elevating brand experiences in any event produced. Her experiential agency has grown nationally over the last seven+ years while building a remote culture. Sarah is passionate about supporting women-owned businesses and is a part of Rolling Stone’s Culture Council. Her love of the details and tablescapes always leaves a Rose Gold thumbprint on any corporate event or brand activation. When not busy flying to events, she enjoys vintage hunting, cooking, and art.
Senior Manager, Strategic Events and Field Marketing, Experity
Ashley Ronkowski is an Event Marketing professional with more than 10 years of experience, most notably in the software industry. She is a data-driven professional with a wide range of expertise in all areas of marketing and a deep passion for events in particular. She leads with positivity and enthusiasm. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from the University of North Dakota. She resides in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, 12-month-old twins, and mini goldendoodle.LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Senior Manager, Shows & Events + Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, SalonCentric, a Subsidiary of L’Oreal USA
Tika Woolley is Senior Manager, Shows & Events | Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, at SalonCentric Professional Beauty Partners. She demonstrates excellence in conceptualizing and executing inclusive and engaging experiences ranging in size from 3,000 to more than 35,000 attendees for industry-leading companies. With more than 10 years of experience, she is dedicated to curating immersive virtual and in-person experiences driven by innovative strategies that transform audiences. She is a member of the ILEA (International Live Events Association) and advocates for ending human trafficking. Tika also collects art from the African diaspora, is an avid runner, and enjoys attempting to dance to 90s hip hop on roller skates.
Naomi Clare Crellin
Founder and CEO, Storycraft Lab
Naomi Clare Crellin is an Experience Strategist and Designer passionate about using empathy to power enterprise in the events we create. She is CEO and founder of Storycraft Lab, an Experiential Engagement agency with expertise in audience design and strategic development. She consults with organizations such as NASA, Google, Intel, and more, on projects from product launches to pop-ups, education to enablement, creative to content strategy. Naomi loves teaching — she is adjunct faculty at NYU teaching engagement strategy — and is an artist whose work has been displayed as far afield as the Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin.LinkedIn | Instagram
Senior Director, Creative Technology, Cramer
Vincent Higgins is an event technology expert with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Currently, he leads Cramer’s Creative Technology team. Throughout his career, he has learned the importance of pivoting quickly to adapt to ever-changing technology. This has never been more important than in today’s environment. He has helped define Cramer’s technology offerings and manages a team of event technology specialists, providing solutions in virtual events, webcasting and streaming video, podcasts, event apps, and other experiential technologies that enhance the event experience — both online and inside ballroom.
Director, Ignited Boss Ladies
Grace Oggudah is an events coordinator with more than 20 years of experience planning private parties, conferences, and social and charitable events in the UK, USA, and Kenya. She is the Director of Mums Unwind, a group of seven women of African descent based in the UK who craft special events for mums. She is passionate about equipping women to forge their path, reconnect with their brilliance and take up leadership opportunities. Grace enjoys music, cooking, and traveling, which allows her to experience her love of connecting with other cultures.LinkedIn
Sr. ABX Manager, Corporate Events, 6sense
Angela Giglio is an event professional with experience ranging from 50 to 5,000 person events. Currently, she runs events at 6sense focusing on their annual customer conference and other large marketing and event activations. Her experience includes corporate events, trade shows, and non-profit fundraisers, with the past few years spent in the B2B tech space. She’s passionate about creating unique and memorable experiences, thinking through how each detail will impact the attendee. When not planning, she enjoys traveling with her husband and pup, exploring parks, and working out event-induced stress at her local Crossfit gym.
Manager, Live Learning and Event Operations, Project Management Institute
Julie Ho has always been behind the scenes making things happen. Growing up with a family restaurant and businesses, Julie’s attention to detail and providing the best attendee experience is what brought her to work with organizations when producing in-person and virtual events. As an event designer and content strategist, Julie leads the Events Team at the Project Management Institute (PMI). Her team was recently recognized by the 12th Global Eventex Awards for their work on PMI’s Virtual Experience Series.LinkedIn | Twitter
Head of Strategic Partnerships, Agorapulse
Mike Allton is a virtual event strategist, award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat. He is also Head of Strategic Partnerships at Agorapulse, where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers, and partner brands. He is the producer and host of The Virtual Event Strategist Podcast, helping brands make their first virtual event a success that they can scale. Allton is also the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing alongside Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson, and Eric Butow. Mike is particularly well-known for his love of all things Star Wars!
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Global Marketing Executive, Advisor, and Board Member
Jenn Artura is currently OOO, recharging, and planning for her next chapter. She is an award-winning global marketing executive whose superpower is transforming events into strategic assets that solve problems and inspire teams to create purposeful, human-centered experiences. Jenn loves the power of events to impact the way people feel, drive behavior, and change the world! She led strategy, sales, and marketing for B2B and B2C organizations, including Symantec, Veritas Technologies, Workhuman, and private consulting clients. Jenn is an industry adviser, a Planner Influencer board member for Destinations International, on the Editorial Advisory board for Smart Meetings, a founding member of the #EventMindsMatter community; a member of CHIEF; and a total hodophile!LinkedIn | Twitter
Event Producer, Viva Creative
Amanda Mack started off in broadcast producing documentaries and shortly found her way into live event production by designing lighting rigs. She has executed several aspects of event production from CAD creation, set design, show calling, and producing video content segments. With more than a decade of event production experience, her goal for every event is to create an unforgettable experience that exceeds client expectations. In her spare time, Amanda attempts to cook fine cuisine for her family and friends or serves her community.
Director, Event Tech Live and Event Industry News
Adam Parry is the cofounder and editor of the event industry’s global online magazine, Event Industry News (EIN). In his role as an avid technology enthusiast, Adam combined his 10+ years of event industry experience with his passion for the latest tech trends to co-create Event Tech Live London and Event Tech Live Las Vegas, the industry’s two shows devoted to event technology. Adam is also one of the co-organizers of the Sustainable Event Awards and the Sustainable Breakfast Briefing, which promote sustainable events and experiences.LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Head of Strategic Partnerships, Engamio + Board of Directors, MPI Toronto Chapter
Connie Cay-Santos has more than 14 years of corporate management experience and has thrived in startup entrepreneurial environments. She is a curator of strategic partnerships, building trust through a human-centric approach, operational excellence, and creative experience design solutions. Connie is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at Engamio, working in the current event ecosystem to build a community of partnerships and solutions that elevate audience engagement that drives business ROI. Connie was honored with the Future Leader of the Year award for her leadership and dedication to her MPI Toronto Chapter, where she currently serves as VP of Communication and Strategic Partnerships.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
CEO and Founder, Experience Epic, LLC
With 25 years in the events industry, Sarah Martin brings her firecracker energy in creating excitement and innovation to the private, corporate, and destination event industry. Her production/planning agency serves brands including NFL Super Bowl, U.S. Presidential Debate, Major League Lacrosse, and Casa de Montecristo. These events have drawn the likes of Ashley Graham, Ray Lewis, Black Dada, Jason Derulo, John Salley, Bryant McKinney, and Tyson Beckford. Her team boasts a combined $17,000,000 in sponsorships and events as large as 300,000 attendees. Sarah has been recognized by Bizbash as Event Producer of the Year and by Sun-Sentinel Newspaper as Top Workplaces.LinkedIn
Managing Partner, TBT Hospitality
Glenda Lee is a luxury and boutique hotel sales and marketing vet with 20+ years in the game. Glenda’s drive to ignite corporate and personal growth for others led her to create The Boom Theory™ — an integrated approach to building business expansion with a heavy emphasis on experience design. Leveraging this integrated approach, Glenda founded TBT Hospitality, the leading woman-owned and operated hospitality consultancy headquartered in Washington DC. As a conduit of good energy and creator of experiences, Glenda believes that events are far more than logistics and budgeted line items as they are the most magical moments in one’s existence. #LetsMakeMAGIC
Dahlia El Gazzar
Tech Evangelist + Idea Igniteur, DAHLIA+Agency
Dahlia El Gazzar has an OMG attitude about all things #EventTech and experience design. Dahlia is her own brand. With more than a decade of experience in the meetings and events sector, working on both the professional planning side and as an association collaborator, Dahlia is known as the coffee-fueled “go-to” source for trendsetting solutions #EventTech news and professional branding expertise.LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Senior Vice President, Magen Boys Entertainment
Lucas Gold is a self-motivated, diligent, and compassionate event producer who thrives in fast-paced environments. With more than 10 years of experience in the events industry, Lucas has produced hundreds of events ranging from 30 to 15,000 attendees. Lucas currently serves as the Senior Vice President at Magen Boys Entertainment. He is passionate about doing good for his community and bringing people together to celebrate. In Lucas’ spare time, he enjoys spending time up north, golfing, and watching the Maple Leafs.
Founder, VAR Events
Victoria A. Roberts has always had a talent for transforming spaces into captivating experiences. She is committed to finding those perfect, defining elements that set each event apart. Victoria has built a portfolio of stunning wedding receptions, dinner parties, and events to mark any occasion. From lavish to simple, from off-beat to traditional. Victoria answers each client’s unique hopes and dreams. She listens intently and uses her expertise to transform your vision into an unforgettable event.LinkedIn | Instagram
Julius Solaris is often regarded as the most influential person in the event industry. He is the founder of Boldpush, a management consultancy agency for the event industry. He founded EventMB (exit to Skift in 2019) and Showthemes (exit in 2018) and has worked for some of the most high-profile event technology companies. Julius has conducted some of the most groundbreaking research for the event industry, with more than 3,000 events reviewed and 15,000 event professionals interviewed. He has been the keynote speaker for events in 12 countries with more than 200,000 attendees combined.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
President and CEO, Soliman Productions
Sarah Soliman is the CEO of Soliman Productions, a video content firm specializing in all aspects of visual storytelling. Soliman Productions also specializes in hybrid and virtual experiences. Meetings and Conventions recognized Sarah as a Rising Star in 2019. She has also been recognized as an Industry Changemaker by MeetingsNet; Industry Trendsetter by Meetings Today; Smart Women in Meetings Entrepreneur; and a Connect Association 40-Under-40 honoree. In 2014, Sarah was IAEE’s Rookie of the Year. Sarah served as President of MPI’s Greater Orlando Chapter and is on MPI’s Global Board of Trustees.LinkedIn | Instagram
Stage Producer, D3g Productions
Ronald Marchena is a stream director and producer for D3G Production, producing content for viewership as few as 50 people to as many as 100,000+ attendees. No event is too small or too large. When Ron is not traveling the world managing streams and connecting virtual panelists to in-room participants, he spends his time working on his charity group Bad Habits Good Intentions.
Executive Producer – Senior Event Marketing Leader, Amazon Advertising
Joslin Witsil is an executive producer with more than 18 years of experience producing events and experiential activations for 20 to 35,000 attendees. She is an Executive Producer at Amazon Ads, leading Amazon Ads’s owned brand events, including unBoxed, Amazon Ad’s flagship conference. She previously held leadership roles at Axon, Google, Dropbox, and AWS. She is passionate about creating unique and inspiring experiences encouraging attendees to “think, feel, and do.” When she’s not busy thinking of creative ways to inspire new audiences, Joslin enjoys traveling, attending live music or sporting events [Go Seahawks!], and experimenting with new culinary delights.
Program Manager, Events and Recognition Content, REI
Deanna is a hostess at heart. With more than 20 years in hospitality and events, taking care of clients, members, and attendees is second nature and the driving force behind her work. A CMP since 2017 and DES recipient, Deanna is also an active member of Meeting Professionals International, previously serving as Director of Marketing for the Ohio Chapter, and a member of the RISE Awards committee globally. By day, Deanna is a program manager for REI Co-op, working on the employee events and recognition team. Outside this role, she is a budding content creator, specializing in everyday humor and uplifting messages. In 2021, she also launched the Experience Junkies Podcast featuring interviews with people across industries that seek the “joie de vivre” every day.LinkedIn
Executive Director, Audience and Community Marketing, Forbes
Chardia Christophe-Garcia is an award-winning marketing and events professional with more than 14 years’ experience in publishing and media. She is currently the Executive Director, Audience & Community Marketing at Forbes, focusing on audience development. At Forbes, she manages strategy, marketing, and delegate recruitment for 60+ ForbesLive events (virtual, in-person, and hybrid). Highlights include the Forbes Power Women’s Summit, The Forbes Under 30 Summit, The For(bes) The Culture Summit, and many more. She oversees a small but mighty team and works hand-in-hand with the VP of Audience Development to build processes and strategies across the entire marketing division.
Vice President, Global Conferences and Events, IBM
Colleen has more than 26 years experience as a marketing leader in the IT industry. She is passionate about data driven strategies and has a demonstrated ability to link event marketing strategy and execution to business goals and results. As Vice President, IBM events and experiences Colleen leads the event discipline which is responsible for executing more than 3,000 events around the world each year including the flagship IBM Think. Her focus is on transforming the way we think about event strategy and execution by taking attendee journeys to new levels through innovative end-to-experiences.
VP, Global Events and Experiential Marketing, HubSpot
Kat Tooley is VP, Global Events and Experiential Marketing at HubSpot. Before joining HubSpot, she was SVP, Experiential for VICE Media Group, where she led the experiential creative, design, and production teams for VICE Media Group’s partnership work and the development of their own branded events and experiences. Before joining VICE Media, Katherine spent 15 years at Superfly, leading the logistical and technical development of Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and Clusterfest, as well as the development of client experiential activations and creation of major events and tours for Verizon, Apple, Viacom, Youtube, Stubhub, Pabst, Life is good and Ben & Jerry’s.LinkedIn
Founder + CEO, Lesbians Who Tech & Allies
Leanne Pittsford is the CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech — the largest LGBTQ community of technologists in the world. Lesbians Who Tech is committed to visibility, intersectionality, and changing the face of technology. Before her work with Lesbians Who Tech, Leanne founded Start Somewhere, a design and technology agency. She also founded leanimpact.org, which was acquired by Lean Startup. Between 2006-2010, Leanne served as Senior Director, managing the data and building online fundraising tools at Equality California, the largest statewide LGBTQ organization behind the “No on Prop 8” campaign to fight back against Prop 8, which aimed to make same-sex marriage illegal — a proposition which was deemed unconstitutional in California in 2013.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Head of Global Events Center of Excellence, SAP
Mathias Sondermann leads the SAP Global Events Center of Excellence (CoE). The purpose of the CoE is to help teams run innovative events with an amazing – and on-brand – attendee experience. Using data-driven insights, the CoE provides teams from across the company with the event standards, guidelines, tools, and related services they need to succeed. Mathias’s work directly impacts hundreds of events – ranging from large flagship events to smaller events in the regions!Linkedin
Experience Marketing Lead, Pixelz
Aleksandra Panyukhina is an event marketing expert who has led events teams at companies such as Veeam Software and SEMrush. Panyukhina brings nearly a decade of experience in B2B event marketing, focusing on the marketing-first approach to digital and in-person experiences. She has built 50+ brand events across five continents and was one of Demand Gen Report’s 2019 Innovator Award winners in the B2B Vanguards category. When she’s not creating events, she is dancing salsa, practicing yoga, or running 10Ks.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Virtual Conference Producer and Platform Specialist, Women In Product
Arianna Black is the virtual conference producer and platform specialist at Women In Product, which supports a community of women building the future. She is an experience-obsessed event producer who is passionate about building experiential gatherings onscreen and off. 👩💻 Arianna is passionate about creating digital event spaces that go beyond the webinar and level barriers to information and community — and merging these with on-site experiences.LinkedIn
Liz King Caruso
CEO, Liz King Events and techsytalk
Liz King Caruso is an event speaker, strategist, and planner. While planning events for a range of corporate clients, she has built a community of 500+ event planners in the techsytalk Collaborative and 5,000+ #EventProfs in the techsytalk community. She is passionate about event experience and was recently named Top Event Innovators in Event Tech by Bizbash, Top 50 Virtual Meeting Innovators by Eventex, and Top 5 Women in Event Tech by MyQaa, among other awards. When the day of balancing work plus two little boys is over, Liz can be found binge-watching any cooking TV show and/or trying a new recipe!
Founder & Chief Event Einstein, Endless Events
As the founder of Endless Events, Will Curran has been named one of the most influential people in the meeting and events industry, one of the 40-under-40 event industry leaders, 35 entrepreneurs under the age of 35, and the highest customer satisfaction of any event company in the industry. Will has been producing in-person, virtual, and hybrid events since high school when he started his first company. He has worked on the management of large event clients such as Emerald City Comic Con, Anheuser-Busch, Warner Brothers, Morton Salt, and Uber. His team’s mission is to simplify the event planning process by creating the equation for an event’s perfect solution. From event management to business development to event strategy and design, Will has a diverse background in growing events and companies to the next level.LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Event Manager, DutchBros Coffee
Bio forthcoming …
Celebrity Event Planner
From humble beginnings in North Carolina to soaring above and beyond achieving her wildest dreams, internationally acclaimed event and interior designer Courtney Ajinça continues to turn fantasy into reality. She has created numerous installations for several high-profile celebrities and networks, including NBC, VH1, and BRAVO.. Ajinça is known for her over-the-top and heart-felt wedding proposals. Courtney is the star of VH1’s “My Celebrity Dream Wedding” and was recently featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, People Magazine, RollingOut, US Weekly, CNN, Sister Circle, and other publications that coined her as “the one to watch.” She is mom of two beautiful boys and wife of NBA player Alexis Ajinça.
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Chief Strategy Officer, emc3
Daniel Curtis is the Chief Strategy Officer of emc3, a creative agency that specializes in live and virtual event production and speaker management. Daniel also cofounded and serves as CSO of Dependable Forces, which provides safety, health, and security services for live events. He is also the CSO and cofounder of 5%, an event and education company, and community for early-stage entrepreneurs. Both Dependable Forces and 5% arose amid the COVID-19 pandemic.LinkedIn | Twitter
Wedding Planner + Principal Chief Executive Officer, Florida Events Academy
Indira Fodor is a luxury wedding planner who has orchestrated more than 900 weddings around the world. She is also the Director of the Florida Events Academy, an institute that trains professionals in the events industry, Director of the International Association of Wedding Planners IWEA Association, and producer of experiences for more than 20,000 people. Based in Miami, Indira is among the top event planners in Latin America and the Caribbean and is a proud wife and mother of two children.
Senior Director of Corporate Events & Employee Experience, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
Stefanie Ramirez became Senior Director of Corporate Events and Employee Experience for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises in September of 2019. In this role, Stefanie is responsible for conceptualizing, developing, and executing all companywide events domestically and internationally. Such events include the Billboard Latin Music Awards’ after party, Latin American Music Awards’ after party, telenovela premieres, and the Upfronts. Stefanie also supports cross-division initiatives undertaken by Telemundo’s parent and sister companies Comcast and NBC. In addition, Stefanie is responsible for all the employee-facing matters of Telemundo Center, including but not limited to its amenities and cafeteria. Stefanie has been a part of the NBC, Comcast, and Telemundo family for 21 years.LinkedIn | Twitter
Events – Director/VP, NBC Universal
Pauline Lord has been in the events industry for more than 17 years. She served as an event specialist for Viacom for nearly eight years and has been at NBCUniversal since 2014. She started as Director, Corporate Events, transitioned to Senior Director, Corporate Events, and has served as VP, Corporate events, since February 2022. With relentless attention to detail, she has produced everything from small executive roundtables to events surrounding the Olympics and Super Bowl.
Sasha is a content producer and stage manager extraordinaire who supports multiple organizations and large events (1,000+ attendees) per year. She is a force behind hundreds of sessions and main stage moments. Most recently, she supported Workhuman with its annual Workhuman Live 4-day conference. She masterfully planned and executed the content process for 100+ speakers and is a wealth of knowledge thanks to more than two decades of in-person event experience.LinkedIn
Head of Strategy, FTLive, Financial Times
Natasha Wood is an event and media strategist who honed her craft managing a multi-brand events division at Euromoney for more than a decade before setting up a consultancy business, Events ETC. Today, Natasha leads strategy for FT Live, the events division of the Financial Times, and is passionate about the hybrid opportunity, community building, and the evolution of data and technology in product design. Natasha is the author of a spy thriller, Ethereum, which she edited and published while traveling around Europe in a campervan called Myrtle. She is mum to one rambunctious 2-year-old, and — in what little spare time she has — she likes to run, read, and write.
Director of Global Events, AtScale
Nicole is the Director of Global Events at AtScale and has brought the CEO’s passion project and event Tech Tackles Cancer to life. She is also the founder of Nicole Francoeur Events & Consulting, where she plans and executes various events — from multi-day conferences to citywide outdoor festivals. She’s no stranger to the agency life, working on some of the largest events in the Boston area. Prior to that, she worked in the nonprofit space at the American Heart Association, where she spearheaded a corporate sponsorship-driven annual event bringing in more than $1M to the cause each year. She pushes the boundaries to develop year-round partnerships and create experiences that not only cause attendees to open their minds but also their hearts.LinkedIn
Executive Director, SOMOS Inc.
Bio forthcoming …
Director of Global Events, AceUp
Stacey Hinckley is a seasoned event professional who manages both third-party sponsored events and designs internal events to elevate AceUp’s brand in the leadership development space. She spent seven years at Workhuman, bringing their flagship event Workhuman Live to life and running their global executive forum program. Stacey’s strength and passion lie in flawlessly executing experiential events for the C-suite. She brings both grace and poise to every aspect of any event she leads. Stacey spends her free time with her two teenage daughters and as a certified barre, pilates, and group fitness instructor leading classes at her local studio.LinkedIn
Program Manager, Brightspot Incentives & Events
Brette Rainforth is a Program Manager at Brightspot Incentives and Events. She started out in the travel industry booking flights for group travel programs and quickly realized that planning events and working on incentive travel is where she wanted to be. Brette has traveled all over the world and operated many domestic and international travel programs. Brette’s passion and dedication to client success is what she strives for most. As an extension of her clients’ teams, being a trusted partner and resource is most important.
Are you as impressed as we are? If you want want to see some of these event influencers on this list in action, check out our Event Experience Summit on-demand now or head over to the Event Experience podcast.