BizBash Live

Bringing Event Ideas
& Inspiration to Life

SOUTH FLORIDA, APRIL 10, 2013, FT. LAUDERDALE CONVENTION CENTER
BizBash Idea Fest

Speakers

David Adler
David Adler

C.E.O. and founder, BizBash

David Adler has been a lifelong media executive as well as an expert in the event and meeting industry. David is the founder and C.E.O. of BizBash, an innovator and resource hub for the event and meeting industry with its web site, magazines, and trade shows. David is also an advisor to the State Department in areas of protocol, events, and diplomacy and was most recently the co-chair of the Patron's of Diplomacy program. David has also been instrumental in helping former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton use the tools of hospitality and collaboration as one of the important aspects of diplomacy and soft power.

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Riki Altman
Riki Altman

Editor In Chief, Modern Luxury Brides South Florida & the Caribbean; Senior Contributing Editor, Miami Magazine

Freelance writer Riki Altman is president and founder of Wordstar Ink., a Miami-based company that produces and edits copy for Web and print. Though still a begrudging bachelorette, she graciously accepted the position as editor in chief of Modern Luxury Brides South Florida & the Caribbean, a glossy magazine that launched in June 2012 and is a sister publication to Miami magazine, where she serves as senior contributing editor. In recent years, her work has been seen in Ocean Drive magazine, The New York Times, Biltmore magazine, and more.

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David Beahm
David Beahm

Founder, David Beahm Designs

Known for his inventive work and trademark over-the-top flower creations, David Beahm has designed countless weddings for high-profile clients including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, as well as a host of celebrity and Fortune 500 corporate events. His corporate client base includes Target, the Discovery Channel, Champagne Perrier-Jouët, Van Cleef & Arpels, and more. He has also designed parties for New York's top nonprofit institutions, including the Whitney Museum, Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, Hackensack University Hospital, and Lincoln Center. He also designs events for clients around the world: His David Beahm Destinations collection features some of the most luxurious and exclusive properties in the world.

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Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez
Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez

President, Event Industry Marketing by BeatCreative

With more than 10 years of experience in advertising, marketing, and promotions, Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez has worked at a boutique advertising agency in New York, an international ad agency, and a nationally renowned magazine, and she has experience in marketing for a celebrity film production company and an event supplier. She has coordinated, managed, and developed new creative campaigns for clients including Hitachi, ANA Airlines, Panasonic, Nickelodeon Family and Suites Resort, Hilton Grand Vacations, and more. She freelances and consults for many event industry-related companies. Her company's client portfolio includes many influential event planners and suppliers in central Florida and beyond.

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Laila Brock
Laila Brock

Director of Events & Team Operations, Orange Bowl Committee

Laila R. Brock is responsible for the implementation of the majority of the Orange Bowl Committee’s nearly 100 annual ancillary events and team-related functions. The committee is a self-sustaining, independent organization that supports and produces events that enhance the image, economy, and culture of South Florida. She oversees the host hotel operations, transportation, hospitality, and social functions for the teams participating in the Orange Bowl. She is also responsible for the planning, management, and execution of the committee’s festival and community outreach events. Previously, she served as the academic counselor for the Florida Atlantic University football team. In 2004, Brock began her career as the assistant director for the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program.

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Megan Buell
Megan Buell

lead generation manager, Eventbrite

Megan Buell is a marketing manager at Eventbrite, where she focuses on driving leads to Eventbrite's world-class sales team through thought leadership content. She believes that the most effective and genuine way to engage Eventbrite's audience is by creating content that helps event organizers grow their events and simplify event management. What Buell loves most about marketing is being able to leverage data and trends to execute effective marketing strategies. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in international business.

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Warren Dietel
Warren Dietel

president and owner, Puff 'n Stuff

A native of Trinidad, Warren Dietel began his career with Puff ’n Stuff Catering in 1985 when it was owned by his parents, Susie and Glenn. Back then, he worked in the kitchen, drove the trucks, and served the clients. But he paid attention. Warren left the company in 1994 on a mission to broaden his experience and hone his business savvy, which he did through successful tenures at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, the Disney Institute, and Scott Kay Platinum. But in 2002, he came back.. In February 2003, Dietel purchased the company from his parents, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Nick D’Annunzio
Nick D’Annunzio

principal, TARA Ink.

Nick D’Annunzio brings more than a decade of strategic marketing, event coordination, product development, and public relations expertise to his position as co-principal of TARA Ink., a public relations, special events, and creative marketing firm with offices in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. Founded in 2001, TARA Ink. has serviced top-tier national clients, including Cadillac, Louis Vuitton, and Sony Ericsson. In 2012, D’Annunzio was named one of BizBash’s Event Innovators.

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Dahlia El Gazzar
Dahlia El Gazzar

Owner, Dahlia+

Dahlia El Gazzar defines herself as a “supplanner.” As a C.M.P., 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 while creating mind-stamping experiences for everyone 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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Howard Givner
Howard Givner

founder and executive director, Event Leadership Institute

With more than 20 years of industry experience, Howard Givner is a widely recognized speaker, thought leader, and business consultant in the field of special events. He is the founder and executive director of the Event Leadership Institute, which provides best-in-class training and education for event professionals. Givner is also the creator of the award-winning mobile app Super Planner. Previously, he founded event company Paint the Town Red Inc. and served as C.E.O. of North America for Global Events Group. During his tenure the company won more than 30 industry awards. Givner, a frequent speaker at industry conferences, has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other media outlets.

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Fred Gonzalez
Fred Gonzalez

editor, Miami.com

Fred Gonzalez, editor of Miami.com, has been calling the shots for The Miami Herald’s events, entertainment and lifestyle website for the past four years. Miami introduced him to a vibrant events and social scene longing for coverage. Gonzalez jumped into that realm with his columns Red Carpet Huddle (interviewing celebrities on the red carpet about sports topics) and The Dating Game (about life as a newly-single guy in the Miami dating scene). Currently Gonzalez oversees the Miami.com website that has 17 freelancers who cover events ranging from nightlife to food to shopping. He has helped expand the reach of the website with key social media and search engine strategies, as well as current and topical content.

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Rebecca Grinnals
Rebecca Grinnals

Owner, Engaging Concepts

Rebecca Grinnals is the founder and president of wedding and honeymoon industry consulting firm Engaging Concepts based in Celebration, Florida. She has been a featured guest on The Early Show, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, and more. She serves as the chairperson of the Leadership Advisory Board of WIPA. In 2008, she and Kathryn Arce created an innovative series of luxury wedding business summits called Engage, which twice a year bring together 250 wedding industry influencers, thought leaders, and tastemakers from around the globe. She also co-founded Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons for the Walt Disney Company, where she directed the complete branding, development, and implementation of the program.

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Rachel Gross
Rachel Gross

SVP, Event Marketing, Univision

Rachel Gross is the senior vice president of event marketing at Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America. She oversees corporate events for Univision and manages client-focused experiences at major events and franchises, such as Premios Juventud, Latin Grammy, and the FIFA World Cup. Prior to Univision, she served as vice president of corporate events and community relations at AOL and held posts at L’Oréal and MCI Worldcom. She has been a BizBash Style Award winner and a finalist for BizBash Corporate Event Planner of the Year, and BizBash named her one of the most innovative people in the event industry in 2012. A graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, Gross is active on its alumnae board and recognized with the college’s Distinguished Alumnae Service Award.

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Jeremy Katzman
Jeremy Katzman

Manager of Media Relations & ePhilanthropy, Miami Children's Hospital Foundation

Jeremy Katzman joined Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation in 2010. His primary focus is to enhance the foundation’s message and reach out to new supporters. He manages MCH Foundation’s online fund-raising program, including the organization’s Web site and social media presence. He also serves as the primary media contact, spokesperson, and copywriter. He previously served as an account executive at O’Connell & Goldberg Public Relations in Hollywood, Florida, and he was a member of the Pediatrix Medical Group marketing department. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and a longtime volunteer for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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Brandt Krueger
Brandt Krueger

Director, Video & Production Technology, MetroConnections

Brandt Krueger was hired by MetroConnections to help build its event decor fabrication shop and to manage the company’s growing event rental inventory. He quickly branched into a technology role, building the company's first Web site and designing interactive game shows for teambuilding events. His role has continued to evolve over the years, and now he's "the man on the headset" for most of MetroConnections' large-scale meetings and events, calling the show for hundreds of productions; he continues to call two to four productions a month. When not calling shows, he leads MetroConnections' content creation services, providing presentation development, opening and closing videos, and on-site editing services.

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Anita Mattner
Anita Mattner

executive director of special projects and events, University of Miami

With more than 20 years of experience in the event industry, Anita Mattner is currently the executive director of special projects and events at the University of Miami. When she joined the university in 1999, Mattner and her team established the events management office for the advancement division. The team played a lead role in the original Momentum fund-raising campaign, planning and executing all special events in support of donor recognition, cultivation efforts, and all strategically planned events. Previously, she worked at Junior Chamber International Inc.

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Mona Meretsky, CSEP
Mona Meretsky, CSEP

president, COMCOR Event & Meeting Production/COMCOR Consulting Services

President of COMCOR Event & Meeting Production and COMCOR Consulting Services, Mona Meretsky is an award-winning full-service producer of special events, corporate meetings, and incentive programs. Founded in 1984, COMCOR has established itself by creating customized, one-of-a-kind productions. When Meretsky found the need for consultants for the industry, she established COMCOR Consulting Services in 1999. Meretsky has been honored with industry awards including Event Planner of the Year (from both BizBash and Event Solutions magazine) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Special Events magazine. She is one of approximately 329 Certified Event Professionals worldwide.

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Bruce Orosz
Bruce Orosz

C.E.O., ACT Productions

Bruce Orosz expanded the travel business he owned into a full-service production company, ACT Productions. ACT facilitates the careers of models, photographers, actors, and musicians and provides production for events, global advertising campaigns, and television shows nationally and internationally. ACT’s clients have included MCI, Coca-Cola, M&M Mars, Canon, and more. Live events clients include the Inte Awards, Clio global advertising awards, Art Basel, Miami Beach Polo World Cup, and the Orange Bowl’s pregame and halftime shows. ACT Productions, founded in 1981, now is a multidimensional communications entity with bases in New York, Phoenix, and Miami Beach.

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Tracy Wallach
Tracy Wallach

event lead, Executive Incentives & Travel Inc.

Tracy Wallach has been an event planner for JM Family Enterprises Inc. for more than nine years, handling all aspects of a program with a can-do attitude and attention to detail. Tracy joined South Florida Meeting Professionals International in 2006, and in 2009, she served as chair for the Southeast Educational Conference and was named Meeting Planner of the Year. In 2010, she won the President’s Award.

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