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Meet the 2022 Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40

Members of our first co-branded 40 Under 40 list are leading the way to a new generation of meetings and events.

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“Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40” is sponsored by VDA, an experiential marketing and event design agency based in Massachusetts that specializes in custom live, virtual and hybrid experiences.


Connect and BizBash have teamed up to introduce our first co-branded “40 Under 40” feature. This impressive list highlights 40 corporate and association planners, incentive organizers, sales managers, event designers, experiential marketers and other noteworthy event professionals who are making an early mark in the event and meeting industry.

The resilient influencers and innovators featured here have helped lead the industry through unprecedented times by thinking outside the box, acquiring new skillsets and forging unconventional paths to success.

Alecia May
Founder & CEO, Eventistry by Alecia

Alexandra Kirshner
Senior Manager of Partnerships & Experiential Marketing, 
SiriusXM and Pandora

Alon Alroy
Co-Founder, CMO & CCO, Bizzabo

Amanda Engler
CEO, Amanda V Engler LLC

Anais Disla
Director of Special Events, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Anca Trifan
Founder, Creator & Technical Event Producer, TreeFan Events 

Austin Bagwell
Director of Global Sales, MGM Resorts International

Brittany Coley
Convention Manager, Asian American Hotel Owners Association 

Carson Helms
Associate Regional Vice President, HelmsBriscoe

Cathy Mariano
Strategic Account Director, Bishop-McCann

Catie Duhon
President, International Meeting Managers Inc.

Chardia Christophe-Garcia
Executive Director, Audience & Community Marketing, Forbes

Charles Eide
Founder & CEO, EideCom

Cory Lewis
Senior Manager, Experiential Marketing, Dell Technologies 

Debbie Friedman-Hueller
Manager, Meeting & Event Operations, Land O'Lakes Inc.

Elke Opsahl
Director of Convention Sales, Visit Salt Lake

Gia Lowe
Product Marketing Manager & Cultural Moments Strategist, Meta
Co-founder & Director of Strategic Partnerships, CURLFEST & Curly Girl Collective

Harpreet Atwal
Corporate Events Manager, AlayaCare

Jessica Boskoff 
Founder & CEO, Twenty Three Layers 

Jitter Garcia
Senior Director, Event Marketing, Univision

Joan Barkowski
Sales Coordinator, Fort Myers—Islands, Beaches & Neighborhoods VCB

Johnny Boufarhat
CEO, Hopin

Katherine Frost
CEO & Founder, ORO Planner

Kayla Crowe
Event Manager, Yahoo

Laura Hess
Senior Sourcing Operations Specialist, HPN Global

Lindsay Carroll
Head of Marketing & Events, Robin Hood Foundation

Micaela Christophe
Vice President of Event Management, BNY Mellon

Michael Chance
Program Visionary Manager, 6Connex

Rishi Patel
CEO & Chief Creative Officer, HMR Designs 

Roger J. Whyte, II
Principal, RJ Whyte Event Production

Sahar Pearose
Director of Operations, 360 Destination Group

Selina Mullenax
District Account Executive, CORT Events

Semra Ergun
Senior Manager of Learning & Experiences, Society for Marketing Professional Services

Shawn (Yih-Hsiang) Cheng
Senior Strategist of Brand, Experience & Marketing, DAHLIA+Agency

Shawn Shapiro 
Event Planner, Redstone Agency

Simon Miller
Founder & Creative Director, Brand Activation Services

Stephanie Jayko
CEO, Knock Out Productions

Thuy Diep
Senior Experience Designer, Haute

Trey Weaver
Meetings Manager, American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Vanessa Loney
Head of Global Planning, Blue Ribbon Events


About the 40 Under 40 process: Nominations are submitted by colleagues and peers through BizBash and Connect's websites. They are then reviewed by our editors, and finalists are vetted before the final list is selected for publication. Honorees must be under the age of 40 as of April 1, 2022. Job titles and responses reflect the honoree’s status as of February 2022.

While our features may be sponsored by standout companies, to ensure the list remains impartial, sponsors do not have the ability to review or curate any part of the list themselves.