BizBash Live

Bringing Event Ideas
& Inspiration to Life

CHICAGO, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 2012, MERCHANDISE MART

Speakers

Richard Aaron
Richard Aaron

President, BizBash Media

Former Broadway actor Richard Aaron has been hailed as a pioneer in creating the modern event profession and has been honored by numerous organizations as one of the most respected event professionals in the country. As president of BizBash Media, Aaron is responsible for numerous annual events, including the BizBash/M&C Event Style Show and the BizBash Event Style Award Show, and manages the sales and marketing strategy for the entire organization.

Before joining BizBash, Aaron was president of the meeting and events division of Mallory Factor Inc. where he produced thousands of innovative events nationwide for Fortune 100 corporations and associations with clients including Sony, IBM, Sun, GE, Dell Computers and Siemens. Aaron is a well-known event industry visionary-he served as founding chairman of the SEARCH Foundation, was the founding president of the International Special Events Society of New York, served on the board of directors of MPI International, and is currently a Trustee of the MPI Foundation. He was also on the advisory boards of Special Events Magazine and George Washington University's event program. Aaron serves on the Convention Industry Council Apex Board and was event co-chair of CEME, the New York Coalition for Conventions, Exhibitions, Meetings, and Events, which marked New York as a destination after 9/11. In 2002, Aaron was named MPI International Planner of the Year for his outstanding body of work in the meeting profession. In 2004, he was named one of the "25 Most Influential Leaders" in the meeting and event industry by Meeting News magazine. He was also selected as Event Solutions Magazine Visionary of the Year in 2001 by their readership. Other honors include The Gala Award of Excellence from Special Events Magazine and New Jersey's Governors Award as Volunteer of the Year for his community work. Aaron is an adjunct professor in event marketing at New York University's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism and Sports Marketing, where he teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes in event management. He currently serves as the founding president of the New York Center for Events and Hospitality. Aaron holds a masters degree in fine arts from Brandeis University.

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David Adler
David Adler

C.E.O. and Founder, BizBash

David Adler is founder and C.E.O. of BizBash, the source for essential information about event marketing, meeting and event planning, and business entertaining in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas,  Toronto and Washington, D.C. BizBash Media operates BizBash.com and publishes BizBash magazine. From 1994 until 2000, Adler was vice president of corporate communications for PRIMEDIA; previously, he held the same post at Macmillan Inc. from 1988 to 1990. In those positions, Adler was responsible for events, public relations, charitable giving, branding, and special chairman and C.E.O. projects including the Notre Dame University Conference on the Holocaust in 1998. Events projects included the 50th anniversary of Seventeen magazine, the 25th anniversary of New York magazine, the annual New York magazine awards, the 100th anniversary of the Daily Racing Form, and the annual Soap Opera Digest award celebration.

From 1990 until 1993, Adler was vice president of media relations and cause-related marketing, where he was responsible for development and execution programs such as the initial Avon Breast Cancer Initiative, the Reebok Human Rights awards, the Polaroid Missing Children Program, and the John F. Kennedy Library Profiles in Courage awards.

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Jenny Berg
Jenny Berg

Bureau Chief, BizBash Chicago

As bureau chief of BizBash Chicago, Jenny Berg oversees coverage of local events, venues, and industry trends; she also oversees the BizBash editorial for Boston and Toronto. Berg joined BizBash at the inception of its Chicago office in 2008. Prior to joining BizBash, Jenny worked as freelance writer covering the bridal industry for CS Brides and social events for CS Magazine. Jenny also wrote about a variety of lifestyle topics and venue openings for DailyCandy and SunTimes.com.

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Lauren Bettcher
Lauren Bettcher

Program Manager, Total Event Resources

Lauren Bettcher, a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a major in Hospitality and Tourism Management, first came to Total Event Resources as an intern. After graduating, Lauren worked at Hyatt Regency O’Hare as a Sales Administrative Assistant. Not able to escape the calling of detailed planning, creativity, and onsite production, Lauren returned to Total Event Resources as a Program Coordinator and now a Program Manager. Lauren has a can-do attitude and approaches each project with an enthusiasm aimed at achieving greatness. Lauren is active in ISES where she recently joined the Chicago Chapter Board of Directors.

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Donna Collins
Donna Collins

Senior Account Executive, Total Event Resources

Donna Collins has served Total Event Resources’ clients first in the production and logistics of their meetings and events and now in her current role as Senior Account Executive securing new business opportunities and maintaining client relationships. Understanding each program begins with listening and then identifying creative solutions for her clients’ goals and objectives. Perceptive and conscientious, dedicated to building strong and lasting relationships, Donna makes sure every one of her programs is right on point and each of her clients is well cared for. Donna has 25+ years of professional experience including 13 years in the meeting/event industry.

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Billy Dec
Billy Dec

C.E.O. and Founder, RockIt Ranch Productions

Billy Dec is an Emmy Award Winning TV Personality on ABC's Windy City Live & CEO/Founder of Rockit Ranch Productions owning & operating award winning venues like Rockit Bar & Grill, Underground, Sunda, Rockit Burger Bar, Dragon Ranch and more.

 

Dec is an alumnus of Chicago-Kent College of Law & The Harvard Business School. He’s received numerous awards including “Excellence in Business Award” from the State of Illinois, the Community Service Award from the Cook County State's Attorney's office, to name a few, and loves supporting philanthropic organizations like Make a Wish, Lookingglass Theatre & the Food Depository.

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Dahlia El Gazzar
Dahlia El Gazzar

Dahlia El Gazzar defines herself as a supplanner. As a CMP, and with more than a decade of experience in the meetings industry, Dahlia has been on the planner side as well as on the supplier side. Her passion? Simplifying life for event planners, and yet creating mindstamping experiences for all those involved in an event.

Dahlia has just launched her own consulting agency, Dahlia+, with a mission to have planners take advantage of new and innovative event technology solutions to simplify their planning process, break the status quo, create better communication within the event team, and take attendee engagement to a higher level.

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Jeffrey Foster
Jeffrey Foster

Senior Designer, Event Creative

After working in the fashion industry, Jeffrey discovered his passion for event design and has developed a reputation for being one of Chicago’s leading designers. He considers it an honor to work with clients such as The Steppenwolf Theater Company, Columbia College Chicago, The Lyric Opera and The Ravinia Women’s Board. Throughout his five years at Event Creative, he has been commissioned regularly to design fashion shows, experiential environments as well as permanent installations for both corporate and social clients.

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Howard Givner
Howard Givner

Executive Director, Event Leadership Institute

"With over 20 years of industry experience, Howard Givner is a widely recognized expert, thought leader & business consultant in the field of special events. He is the founder of Paint The Town Red, Inc., and the former CEO of North America for Global Events Group, the 13th largest event agency in the world, which acquired Paint The Town Red in 2008. During his tenure the company won over 30 industry awards. He is currently President of the International Special Events Society (NY Metro Chapter) and has served on the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine. He serves as an advisor to the board of directors of First Protocol, an event agency headquartered in London and NY. He is a columnist for Event-Solutions Magazine, a blogger on industry and event business insights at www.HowardGivner.com, and has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, National Public Radio, ABC News, The Apprentice, and USA Today, in addition to numerous trade media. This fall he will be launching the Event Leadership Institute, a joint venture with BizBash."

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Molly Johnson
Molly Johnson

Executive Chef, Calihan Catering

Molly Johnson is the Executive Chef at Calihan Catering in Chicago, Illinois. Born just outside of Detroit, Molly received her Bachelors Degree in English Literature at Michigan State University before her classic French culinary education at Schoolcraft College. Molly worked her way through Michigan restaurants, bakeries, and catering kitchens and, in 2005, relocated to New York to run Estée Lauder's corporate kitchens. In 2010 Molly received her Masters Degree from New York University’s Food Studies Program, where she focused on the cultural consumption of food and world food systems. Over the past year Molly has revamped the purchasing program and catered events at Calihan to highlight local vendors and seasonal produce. With her extensive education and experience, Molly leads her culinary team with a commitment to wholesome, thoughtful, and innovative cuisine.

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Kathy Miller
Kathy Miller

President/ Chief Creative Officer, Total Event Resources

Kathy Miller lives and breathes events. In fact, after 30+ years and countless projects with Fortune 1000 companies, major trade associations and not for profit organizations nationwide, she still thinks it’s fun. Her exuberance and sense of limitless possibilities are contagious. All who work with her are continually amazed that she never looks for shortcuts or rests on her laurels. She always has her eye out for the next “great idea.” Each new project is a challenge, a puzzle to be solved, a solution waiting to be discovered – or invented. But first, Kathy asks a lot of questions and from the answers, she helps each client determine their event strategy, which will guide every decision throughout the rest of the process.

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Noelle Provencial
Noelle Provencial

Senior Manager, Experiential Marketing & Events, Groupon

Since joining the fast-growing daily-deal site Groupon in 2010, Noelle Provencial has produced a 1,500-guest hangover brunch at South by Southwest in Austin, an 8,500-guest screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Wrigley field, and hometown holiday parties for more than 3,000 employees. Earlier this year, she conceived and produced Camp Groupon, a ticketed weekend-long “urban adventure” for 500 people. Before Groupon, Provencial co-founded PoorLittleRichGirls.com, a deal site for Chicago women. The Northwestern University graduate previously worked at the Fairmont Chicago.

Watch a video interview with Noelle Provencial here.

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Andrea Sullivan
Andrea Sullivan

M.A., BrainStrength Systems

Andrea Sullivan is President of BrainStrength Systems, a learning and performance organization providing presentations on brain-friendly meetings and training programs in leadership development and management skills. An expert in learning design and facilitation, Andrea brings current neuroscience into her work with meeting and learning professionals to produce effective, engaging learning events; with organizations to improve performance and culture; and with individuals to achieve their goals and dreams.

Andrea holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology, and has introduced brain-compatible training programs into many organizations, including Fortune 500 companies such as Merck, Aetna, and Northrup Grumman Corporation. In 2011, she was named by BizBash magazine as one of the most innovative professionals in the meetings industry, and she has been featured in several industry magazines, including Successful Meetings, Meetings and Conventions, Corporate & Incentive Travel and MeetingsNet.

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