EvEnt Innovators 2011 - Ready2Spark-ag

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					EvEnt Innovators

                   EvEnt Innovators 2011

                   the 68 moSt
                   event proS
                   As the event business sees an influx of new ideas,                                                 BrAnden ChApmAn
                   technologies, and engagement strategies, these                                                     Vice president of production and process management, the Recording

                   are the faces who are changing the face of the                                                     Academy, Los Angeles, 38 Claim to fame: Overseeing all live music initiatives
                                                                                                                      for the Recording Academy, including the annual Grammy Week events and

                   event industry.                                                                                    productions. While many award shows have struggled to stay relevant, the
                                                                                                                      2011 Grammys earned considerable buzz and their best ratings since 2001.
                                                                                                                      Launch pad: Volunteering for various charitable events when he first started
                                                                                                                      his career in L.A. Work philosophy: “Set out to accomplish only what you’d be
                                                                                                                      proud to have your name on.” Hidden talent: Chapman says it’s spotting the
                                                                                                                      potential in relationships, which has allowed him to surround himself with
                                                                                                                      the best team of employees, vendors, and partners. What’s next: “Expanding
                                                                                  AndreA e. SullivAn                  Grammy-branded entertainment internationally. We have exciting projects in
                                                                                                                      development in China, the U.K., and other international territories.”
                                                                                  Founder, LeaderStrength
                                                                                  Systems and BrainStrength
                                                                                  Systems, Philadelphia Launch
                                                                                  pad: A background in organi-
                                                                                  zational psychology inspired
                                                                                  Sullivan to apply scientific
                                                                                  principles to corporate                                                   ChArleS KhABouth
                                                                                  training and management                                                    Founder and C.E.O., INK Entertainment,
                                                                                  and found LeaderStrength                                                   Toronto, 49 Launch pad: Since open-
                                                                                  Systems in 2000. In 2007,                                                  ing nightspots Club Z and Stilife in
                                                                                  she began teaching meeting                                                 the 1980s, Khabouth has transformed
                                                                                  planners her secrets, present-                                             Toronto’s hospitality industry. He helped
                                                                                  ing under the BrainStrength                                                put the entertainment district on the
                                                                                  moniker. Big innovation:                                                   map, and introduced the city to his
                                                                                  “Most sessions involve a                                                   own brand of nightlife, complete with
                                                                                  lot of sitting and listening.                                              doormen, artfully designed interiors,
                                                                                  The brain really can’t take in                                             and venues that serve a multitude
                                                                                  information like that.” Shorter                                            of purposes. Claim to fame: While
                                                                                  presentations combined with                                                Khabouth’s myriad properties—
                                                                                  collaborative problem solving                                              including Tattoo Rock Parlour, Ultra,
                   BriAn AAron                                                                           retention,
                                                                                                                                                             and This Is London—appeal to a hip,
                                                                                                                                                             young clientele, he also has corporate
                   President, Aaron’s Catering, Miami, 30 Claim to fame:                                 along                                               events in mind with in-house plan-
                   Many chefs experiment with molecular gastronomy, but                                  with               ning capabilities and large venues like Koolhaus and the Guvernment
                   Aaron uses these techniques and other cutting-edge prepa-                             stimuli            Complex, which houses eight separate spaces under one roof. Career
                   rations throughout his entire catering operation. Launch                              like the           highlight: “My proudest achievement is the launch of the Bisha Hotel
                   pad: Aaron, who had a sales and marketing background,                                 smell of           and Residence brand. Everything I have worked toward has led to this
                   teamed up with his father to launch a paella catering                                 pepper-            project.” Hidden talent: “I believe that I sometimes have a crystal ball,
                   company. After the chef quit, Aaron enrolled at Le Cordon                             mint,              as I have a knack for being able to see ahead of the curve and foresee
                   Bleu, then went on to launch his own firm. Big innovation:                            dark               new trends in the event world.”
                   Creating a “molecular experience” for the masses, such as      chocolate, physical activities,
                   serving citrus orbs—edible capsules of orange juice and        and puzzles. Career high-
                   ginger—to 8,000 people at the 2011 Food Network South          lights: Sullivan presented at
                   Beach Wine & Food Festival. Signature dishes: Truffle mac-
                   and-cheese lollipops, and a “caviar” bar featuring a variety
                                                                                  the International Association
                                                                                  of Conference Centers’ annual
                   of juices frozen with liquid nitrogen. What’s next: Aaron      conference in March on how           Videos with our innovators talking about their biggest
                   recently launched his own molecular gastronomy food            food choices impact learning         mistakes, their career highlights, and their take on where the
                   truck and has a reality show in the works.                     and retention.
                                                                                                                       event industry is headed

                   44 summer 2011                                                                                                        Photos by Dan hallman for BizBash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       KArlA dASCAl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       President, Karla Conceptual Event
                                                                                                                    SAle StoJAnoviC                                                                                                    Experiences, Miami Launch pad:
                                                                                                                    Co-owner, 3B Productions, Miami,                                                                                   Dascal got her start in the 1990s
                                                                                                                    40 Launch pad: Stojanovic’s first                                                                                  with Roses by Karla, a floral import
                                                                                                                    multimedia company, Creative Web                                                                                   and delivery business. As demand
                                                                                                                    Studio, handled film projects for                                                                                  for her arrangements grew, she
                                                                                                                    various clients, who eventually hired                                                                              expanded her services into event
                                                                                                                    him to work on their events. Since                                                                                 design and created RBK Productions,
                                                                                                                    then, he has worked on high-con-                                                                                   which evolved into Karla Conceptual
                                                                                               cept gatherings for Maxim, MTV, and MAC Cosmetics,                                                                                      Event Experiences in 2005. Big inno-
                                                                                               among others. Claim to fame: Stojanovic (along with                                                                                     vation: Dascal worked with architect
                                                                                               Alain Perez of EventStar) created Funkshion Fashion                                                                                     Rene Gonzalez to create the Space,
                                                                                               Week, Miami’s biannual alternative fashion showcase.                                                                                    an event venue that doubles as her
                                                                                               Funkshion has attracted labels including Heatherette,                                                                                   headquarters in the Wynwood arts
                                                                                               Stella McCartney, and Yves Saint Laurent. “It is very                                                                                   district. The unique location, which
                                                                                               interesting and challenging, as you have about 10 to 13                                                                                 has won design awards, combines
                                                                                               sponsors and about 20 designers you need to accom-                                                                                      an outdoor palm and bamboo grove
                                                                                               modate in one venue and still be true to their branding                                                                                 with sleek interiors. Design philoso-
                                                                                               needs.” Style signature: Custom-made decor. “That is                                                                                    phy: “Simple, elegant, and cutting-
                                                                                               the only way to make an event different and have that                                                                                   edge.” Style signature: Dascal is
                                                                                               ‘wow’ factor.”                                                                                                                          known for clean lines, sculptural
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       florals, and architecturally minded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       details, such as Frank Gehry-inspired
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       pendant chandeliers and boxed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       floral centerpieces at the opening
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       gala for the New World Center.
photos: Mason hipp (sullivan), GeorGe aci (stojanovic), Dan hallMan for BizBash (all others)

                                                                                                                                                            pABlo oliveirA
                                                                                                                                                            President, Nüage Designs, Miami and
                                                                                                                                                            New York, 33 Claim to fame: Oliveira
                                                                                                                                                            brings a fashion-forward approach to
                                                                                               irA levy                                                     custom event furnishings, working with
                                                                                               President, Levy Lighting, New York, 47 Claim
                                                                                               to fame: Levy marries artistic lighting designs
                                                                                                                                                            the latest fabrics and color trends. Nüage
                                                                                                                                                            uses embroidered organzas, silks, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                         JAvier velArde
                                                                                               with seamless installation and cutting-edge                  hand-pleated fabrics to create beautiful     President and executive producer, Triton Productions, Miami,
                                                                                               technology to create innovative products like                and original looks for tables and chair      43 Claim to fame: Big-name brands including Vogue, Turner
                                                                                               motion-triggered projections. Launch pad: At                 coverings and offers a customizable line     Broadcasting, and HBO turn to Velarde’s company for splashy
                                                                                               Stonybrook University, Levy got involved with                of modern lounge furniture. Big innova-      product launches, upfront parties, and fashion and award shows,
                                                                                               the student-run concert committee, producing                 tion: “The marriage between our lounge       among other events. Velarde prides himself on creating detail-
                                                                                               shows for acts including U2 and Eddie Murphy.                furniture, linens, and accents which         oriented, immersive environments and handling complicated
                                                                                               Career highlight: “Developing iShadow, my                    allows for a cohesive use of a theme or      event logistics. Launch pad: A background in sports marketing led
                                                                                               line of interactive bars. It’s one thing to create           color throughout an entire event.” Style     to a job at Coca-Cola, working on big events like World Cup Soccer
                                                                                               something that lasts four hours, but this was                signature: Mix and match prints in bold      and the Olympics. “I fell in love with event planning, logistics, and
                                                                                               something I researched, developed, and built.”               hues like berry red, plum, and dusty         the behind-the-scenes role of producing something large.” After
                                                                                               Role models: Preston Bailey, Colin Cowie, and                rose. The company also has a way with        serving as director of marketing for Latin America at Discovery
                                                                                               Richard Branson. Favorite restaurant: The Palm               neutrals, using patterns and textures to     Channel, he formed his own firm. Career highlight: Producing an
                                                                                               in East Hampton. Major life goal: “Pursue an                 add interest to shades of black, white,      F-16 jet flyover at the 2010 and 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, the first
                                                                                               artistic side to my career, just done as art.”               and nude.                                    for a tennis tournament other than the U.S. Open.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  summer 2011 45
EvEnt Innovators 2011

                                                                                                                                                              rehAn Choudhry
                                                                                                                                                               Director of entertainment and special
                                                                                                                                                               events, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas,
                                                                                                                                                               31 Launch pad: Looking for a career
                                                                                                                                                               change from I.T. consulting, Choudhry
                                                                                                                                                               got his M.B.A. in marketing and was
                                                                                                                                                               recruited out of grad school by Harrahs
                                                                                                                                                               Entertainment. He became interested
                                                                                                                                         in festivals and city-wide events, eventually founding the
                                                                                                                                         Food Network Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival and a series
                                                                                                                                         of other high-profile events. Career highlight: Producing
                                                                                                                                         the Cosmopolitan’s showy New Year’s Eve weekend launch,
                                                                                                                                         with its Jay-Z/Coldplay concert. Big innovation: “Injecting a
                                                                                                                                         music-festival model into a resort has created a social and
                                                                                                                                         interactive guest experience that has had an overwhelming
                                                                                                                                         response in the city.” Childhood dream job: “Rock star. Every
                                                                                                                                         day I get to work with my team to pull together these big
                                                                                                                                         events of rock-star proportions.”

                               dAvid StArK
                               President and creative director, David Stark Design and Production, New York, 42 Claim to fame:
                               Clients such as Target, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the New York City Opera
                               request his colorful, larger-than-life installations, which combine an artistic sensibility with strong
                               brand marketing. Stark has built a reputation for using recycled materials and items that can be
                               repurposed. “I want things to become icons, to have a life beyond the short-term nature of events.”
                               Career highlight: Creating large sculptures made of $1 million of donated office supplies, clothing,
                               and food for the 2008 Robin Hood Foundation benefit. Design philosophy: “We are all about inven-
                               tion. I don’t want people saying, ‘There’s David Stark doing that thing again.’ We bow to clients who
                               are collaborators and can embrace a little wackiness and risk-taking.” Favorite place to get inspired:
                               The hardware store.

                                             Keith BAptiStA                                          tArA BACK
                                               Senior vice president of                               President, Jack Morton
                                               production, managing                                   Worldwide, New York,
                                               director, KCD Digital,                                 42 Launch pad: Back has
                                               New York, 41 Claim                                     more than a decade’s
                                               to fame: Baptista has                                  experience at the
                                               created innovative brand                               industry giant, in leader-
                                               campaigns and events for                               ship positions on two
                        some of the biggest names in fashion—Louis             continents. In 2008, she was named executive
                        Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermès, to name a few.            vice president and managing director of New
                        Launch pad: Baptista started producing photo           York and spearheaded a dramatic renewal                   youngSong mArtin
                        shoots at Interview magazine after college,            of the office. As president, she is in charge             Founder and chief designer, Wildflower Linen, Buena Park,
                        which led to event production for differ-              of Jack Morton’s New York, Los Angeles, and               California, 52 Claim to fame: A longtime fashion designer
                        ent designers. Big innovation: In December             Chicago operations. Big innovation: “Restruc-             and textile specialist, Martin recognized an empty niche for
                        2010, KCD launched a digital division run by           turing Jack Morton around creative ideas.”                higher-style, higher-quality table linens and chair covers.
                        Baptista and Rachna Shah. This arm of the              Career highlights: Producing the opening                  Career highlight: “I try not to let pride get in the way of real-
                        company will focus on social media and all             and closing ceremonies for the 2006 Com-                  ity. But I do take pleasure in hearing acclaimed event plan-
                        forms of online campaigns, positioning KCD             monwealth Games in Melbourne and the                      ners acknowledge I’ve redefined ‘designer linens’ in the rental
                        as a one-stop shop for traditional and digital         2010 Samsung 3-D LED TV launch, the biggest               field.” Style signature: “Fashion-forward luxury.” Childhood
                        PR. Early projects include the online launch of        product launch in Samsung history and the                 dream job: Opera singer. What’s next: “Selling trend-driven,
                        Nicola Formichetti’s first collection for Mugler,      largest event held in Times Square, outside of            Youngsong Martin-brand fabrics to interior designers, while
                        which included a Web-only video and new                New Year’s Eve. Style signature: “Black, with a           also extending my company’s product line with eco-friendly,
                        track from Lady Gaga.                                  reveal or edge of some kind.”                             100-percent-soy ‘Wildflower Candles.’”

                        46 summer 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jeffry roiCK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Director, McNabb Roick Events, Toronto, 45 Claim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  to fame: When it comes to corporate events, Roick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  has all the bases covered. He creates elegant party
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  decor for big-name clients such as Hugo Boss and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chanel through McNabb Roick, offers modern rent-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  als through his companies Signature Party Rentals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and Eventals, and is the managing partner of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Carlu, a landmark venue from the 1930s. Launch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pad: Roick developed his event planning skills
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  consulting at Daniel et Daniel, before he was hired
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Jim McNabb in 1987 to work in New York on a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  variety of international events. He went on to start
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  his own firm Roick and Associates, and merged
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  with McNabb in 1992. Big innovation: The Carlu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  restoration. “Being in the event industry for many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  years, I knew what elements were missing, and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  desire to have everything housed in one venue was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  very appealing.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     AdriAn SegAr                                AlAin perez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           President,            President, EventStar Structures Corp.,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Conferences           Miami, 39 Claim to fame: Perez’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           That Work,            company creates unique permanent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Brattleboro,          and semi-permanent structures with its
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Vermont               in-house team of designers, engineers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Claim to              architects, and fabricators. Perez is also a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           fame: The             co-founder of Funkshion Fashion Week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           author of             Launch pad: “I began at Diamonette
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Conferences           Party Rentals as a part-time job while in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           That Work:            high school.” Big innovation: EventStar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Creating Events That People Love            constructed Audi’s Art of Progress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     created “participant-driven”                Pavilion, a 45,000-square-foot temporary
photos: jeff Green (chouDhry); DietMar Busse (Baptista); sasha nialla (Back); new enGlanD stuDio, keene, n.h. (seGar), Dan hallMan for BizBash (all others)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     conferences, which replace long             space for the premiere of Audi’s A8 model
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     lectures with short attendee                at Art Basel 2009. The award-winning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     presentations on topics of the              pavilion contained an auditorium, art
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     group’s choosing. He designed               exhibition space, and an oceanfront
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and facilitated EventCamp East              outdoor lounge. Proudest moment:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Coast. Launch pad: Earning a                “Building the first temporary field hospi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ph.D. in particle physics and               tal for Project Medishare within 48 hours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     teaching computer science                   of the earthquake in Haiti.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     meant attending dull confer-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ences. Segar started producing
                                                                                                                                                              BArBArA herShenhorn                                                                                    the kinds of events he wanted
                                                                                                                                                              President, Party Barbara Co., Toronto Launch pad: Before she became “Party                             to attend and asked others for
                                                                                                                                                              Barbara,” Hershenhorn was an interior designer. After meeting Wayne Clarkson                           input, launching the peer-driven
                                                                                                                                                              (former director of the Toronto International Film Festival) in the mid-’80s, she began                concept. A-ha moment: In the
                                                                                                                                                              producing events for TIFF and has continued to produce events for the festival, as well                1980s, the rapid rise of personal
                                                                                                                                                              as other high-profile clients including Casino Niagara, TIFF Bell Lightbox, the World                  computers surprised the industry.
                                                                                                                                                              Conference on AIDS, and Luminato. Style signature: “Understated elegance, with a                       “There were no experts; that’s
                                                                                                                                                              touch of the whimsical.” Claim to fame: Producing—and reinventing—TIFF’s open-                         what catalyzed it. The only way
                                                                                                                                                              ing night gala for 25 years. Hershenhorn and her team have a knack for interpreting                    we could figure things out was to
                                                                                                                                                              themes through striking decor, like 2009’s underwater-meets-Eden party for Creation,                   get together and talk about it.”
                                                                                                                                                              or turning the Liberty Grand into an ice rink for Score: A Hockey Musical. Hidden                      What’s next: Segar will produce
                                                                                                                                                              talent: “I missed my calling as a detective.”                                                          Exhibit Camp in Washington
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     in August, replicating the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     EventCamp format for trade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     show managers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             Julie ShAnKlin
                                                                                                                                                                                                             President and C.E.O., Syzygy Event Productions, Washington, 52 Claim to
                                                                                                                                                                                                             fame: Shanklin’s boutique event design firm produces roughly 400 events
                                                                                                                                                                                                             annually with 25 full-time staffers. “We are not trying to compete with the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         BArBArA lynCh
                                                                                                                                                                                                             giants in town; we want our style to be custom, not cookie cutter.” Launch                  Chef and owner, Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Boston,
                                                                                                                                                                                                             pad: “Working in a flower shop in college, a local congressman’s wife saw my                47 Launch pad: “My home economics teacher
                                                                                                                                                                                                             work at a party and asked if I could travel with her to the Democratic National             showed me the world of fine dining in high
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Convention in 1992. I gladly accepted her invitation, and the next day I started            school, and I have known I wanted to be a chef
                                                                                                                                                                                                             my own company. I started with 10 events in New York for the convention.”                   ever since.” Claim to fame: The brains and talent
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Work philosophy: Last year Shanklin donated more than $200,000 worth                        behind five restaurants, one cocktail bar, a cater-
                                                                                                                                                                                                             of business, either offering her services for free or at cost. Syzygy’s modern              ing company, and a demonstration kitchen/cook-
                                                                                                                                                                                                             aesthetic could be seen at the Washington Ballet Jeté Society’s edgy Dance                  book store, Lynch has taken the Boston culinary
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Party and the Humane Society’s sleek Fashion for Paws runway show.                          scene by storm, most recently with the unveiling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         of her upscale, critically hailed restaurant Menton.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         In 2003, the James Beard Foundation named her
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         best chef in the Northeast. Big idea: “Bringing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 on                                                          three restaurants to one location in Fort Point.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Role model: “Daniel Boulud.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Links to follow these innovators on Twitter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     summer 2011 47
EvEnt Innovators 2011

                                                                                                                                                             lynn mCgee
                                                                                                                                                             & frAnK Clemente
                                                                                                                                                             Chief creative officer and senior
                                                                                                                                                             designer/producer, 50, and vice
                                                                                                                                                             president of creative arts and senior
                                                                                                                                                             designer/producer, 49, Conceptbait,
                                                                                                                                                             St. Petersburg, Florida Launch pad:
                                                                                                                                                             While working in fashion (McGee)
                                                                                                                                                             and interior design (Clemente), “We
                                                                                                                                                             started to experience the frequent
                                                                                                                                                             requests to pull together parties for
                                                                                                                                                             our clients,” says Clemente (right).
                                                                                                                                                             “We couldn’t find anything out there
                                                                                                                                                             that met our high-quality creative
                                                                                                                                                             standards, so we began doing things
                                                                                                                                                             ourselves.” Claim to fame: Conceptbait
                                                                                                                                                             not only designs award-winning
                                                                                                                                                             florals and event decor, the firm
                                                                                                                                                             creates everything in-house, including
                                                                                                                                                             flooring, and furniture. Big innovation:
                                                                                                                                                             “Our latest is the new Sparkle drape,
                                                                                                                                                             which is available in seven amazing
                                                                                                                                                             colors and when illuminated seems
                                                                                                                                                             like a giant, slippery wall of water,”
                                                                                                                                                             says McGee.

                                                                                                                                                                                    President, Fresh
                                                                                                                                                                                    Wata, Las Vegas,
                                                                                                                                                                                    35 Launch pad:
                        CArleen CAppelletti                                                                                                                                         “I started young,
                        President, Bounce-AEG, Los                                                                                                                                  with my mother’s
                        Angeles Launch pad: Cappelletti                                                                                                                             catering company,
                        started at the Television                                                                   CrAig WAldmAn                            father’s restaurant, and my sister Kay
                        Academy and Emmy awards,                                                                    Owner, 15/40 Productions Ltd.,           Dalton, who was flying me around at
                        where she moved into special                                                                Hawthorne, California, 49 Launch         a young age teaching me the ropes
                        events because “no one else                                                                 pad: In the late 1980s, Waldman          doing events for Fox, Paramount, and
                        wanted the job.” She went                                                                   founded a company that produced          MTV.” Claim to fame: Event produc-
                        on to produce events like the       CArA KleinhAut                                          events primarily for the hospitality     tion with a clever, techy twist, and
                        Governors Ball, and later the       Owner, Caravents Inc. Event Production &                industry. After developing strong        an inventory of unique rental items.
                        MOCA gala. Career highlight:        Design, Los Angeles and New York Claim to               relationships with major hotel           Style signature: “The perfect package:
                        “I was hired to design, develop,    Fame: Creative, bicoastal, full-service event           chains, he entered the Las Vegas         a shot of stylish design, an entertain-
                        and produce an event in Russia.     production for clients like Elle and In Style. Career   market, working with the casino          ing slice of interactive branding and a
                        I ended up taking 500 jaded         highlight: Producing Target’s Party for Good,           tournament and special event             splash of technology.” Big innovation:
                        A-listers to Russia, kept them      a 4,000-person event built over six days in an          departments to create high-roller        “I loved the large video projection ceil-
                        uniquely entertained over four      empty warehouse in Manhattan, where attend-             experiences and events. Big innova-      ing we rigged above the dance floor in
                        days, and all without losing        ees packed more than 150,000 meals in three             tion: “The transformation of the         Miami at the American Airlines Arena;
                        any of them, or my mind, in         hours to benefit Food Bank for N.Y.C. and Feeding       mundane red carpet arrival into          the overall design at the Sprint EVO
                        the process.” Hidden talent:        America. Big innovation: “Our interactive photo         a creative piece of art. Eight years     phone launch that combined a center
                        “Stamina. I just finished my        montage wall, never seen before in an event.            ago, we were asked to get into the       floating hologram, 81 plasmas, and 3-D
                        14th marathon.” Mentor: “Merv       This is not your average photo booth hooked up          arrival market by a client and I never   curtains; and the custom MapQuest 57
                        Griffin, whose company I helped     to a projection wall—our on-site graphic design-        would have expected it to turn into      Chevy air hockey table and gas pump
                        run for a number of years. For      ers mix photos live, as a D.J. mixes music, and         what it has become today. Now            computer stations.” Favorite gadget:
                        his career longevity, his sincere   layer with special effects and graphics to create       we produce over 80 arrivals a year.”     “My Sprint BlackBerry connected to Dr.
                        passion for his work, and his       an evolving, morphing photo collage wall.”              Favorite gadget: “I don’t know what      Dre beats.” Major life goal: Designing
                        constantly fresh take on a broad    Best place to get inspired: “Paris. Food, fashion,      I would do without my BlackBerry.        a boutique hotel or a Madonna
                        range of projects.”                 people, art, culture. Need I say more?”                 It’s sick.”                              concert. Next project: An iPad wall.

                        48 summer 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              mArlo fogelmAn
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Principal, Marlo Marketing/
                                                                                                                                                             philip dufour                                    Communications, Boston,
                                                                                                                                                             Principal, Dufour & Co. Productions,             39 Launch pad: A former
                                                                                                                                                             Arlington, Virginia, 49 Launch pad: “From        attorney with a masters
                                                                                                                                                             the time I was in high school, I seemed to       degree in international
                                                                                                                                                             be the one who coordinated events. That          relations, Fogelman left
                                                                                                                                                             interest in events—and politics—brought          law for PR, and in 2004
                                                                                                                                                             me to Washington through campaign                opened her own full-service
                                                                                                                                                             work.” Claim to fame: In addition to             PR and marketing agency.
                                                                                                                                                             owning his own catering company, over            Claim to fame: Fogelman’s
                                                                                                                                                             the years Dufour has worked on the Hill,         social media-savvy firm has
                                                                                                                                                             for a Cabinet secretary, and in protocol at      created strategic, integrated
                                                                                                                                                             the State Department, which ultimately           PR and marketing campaigns
                                                                                                                                                             led to his role as social secretary for Al and   for clients such as Starbucks
                                                                                                                                                             Tipper Gore during the Clinton adminis-          Coffee, Kimpton Hotels, and
                                                                                                                                                             tration. Now his company produces and            the James Beard Foundation.
                                                                                                                                                             manages events for clients like Huffington       Proudest achievement:
                                                                                                                                                             Post, BBC America, and MSNBC’s White             “Weathering the recent
                                                                                                                                                             House Correspondents’ Association dinner         economic downturn while
                                                                                                                                                             after-party. Big innovation: “Making the         keeping our team [of 15]
                                                                                                                                                             re-opening of the Georgetown Safeway             fully intact.” Big innovation: “Recognizing the need and value of what would
                                                                                                                                                             into one of the most talked-about events         become mainstream social media when we launched our monthly news-
                                                                                                                                                             of 2010.” Hidden talents: “I am a pretty         letter, Marlo Monthly, in January of 2005. It was our way of connecting our
                                                                                                                                                             good calligrapher and flower arranger. I         clients directly with the end user in a fun-to-read, quirky voice. We then
                                                                                                                                                             have put together many a floral arrange-         launched and to continually position MM/C on top of trends,
                                                                                                                                                             ment and hand-done many a place card             culture, events, and all things cutting-edge.”
                                                                                                                                                             in a last-minute crisis.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                              lArry ABel &
                                                                                                                                                                                                              rAymond mCCAlliSter
                                                                                                                  miChelle mAhoney                                                                            Partners, Abel McCallister Designs L.L.C.,
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Los Angeles and New York Launch pad: Abel
                                                                                                                  Director of worklife, Leo Burnett Chicago Claim                                             (right) was decor chairman of his high school
                                                                                                                  to fame: Managing seven to 10 events at a                                                   prom, moving on to campus events in college
                                                                                                                  time throughout the year, Mahoney designs                                                   and later starting the business. McCallister
                                                                                                                  functions that always incorporate the creative                                              “freelanced for a roommate’s event company
                                                                                                                  agency’s vision of corporate social responsibility.                                         once and was hooked.” Claim to fame:
                                                                                                                  Events have ranged from an internal candlelit                                               Producing experiential installations for big
                                                                                                                  cocktail reception to celebrate Earth Hour to a                                             brands including L’Oréal, People, and Netflix.
                                                                                                                  Thailand-themed brunch in the office building’s                                             Career highlight: Building an Oprah Winfrey
                                                                                                                  lobby—followed by a fund-raising ping-pong                                                  Show set entirely out of Godiva chocolate
                                                                                                                  tournament upstairs. Major life goal: “To meet                                              with a seven-day lead time. Style signature:
photos: liMeliGht photoGraphy (McGee & cleMente), Bryan hainer (costello), Dan hallMan for BizBash (all others)

                                                                                                                  the 10 billionaires who reside in Chicago. I’d                                              “Creative interpretation of bringing a brand
                                                                                                                  love to learn their philanthropy philosophy and                                             to life in a unique way that engages the
                                                                                                                  work with them to change some of America’s                                                  consumer without feeling like a trade show, or
                                                                                                                  major problems. I have some tangible ideas that                                             feeling forced,” Abel says. “Simple but impactful statements,” McCallister says.
                                                                                                                  include amazing events.”                                                                    Childhood dream job: Abel: “This is it.” McCallister: “I always wanted to be a
                                                                                                                                                                                                              superhero. They always had cool cars, awesome costumes, and don’t forget
                                                                                                                                                                                                              the cape. And they always lived in the coolest environments.”

                                                                                                                                                                    ChriStopher pegg
                                                                                                                                                                    Lighting department manager,
                                                                                                                                                                    Westbury National Show Systems,
                                                                                                                                                                    Toronto, 47 Claim to fame: Westbury                                                     tom WeBSter
                                                                                                                                                                    offers the latest in lighting technol-                                                  Partner and creative director, Mother
                                                                                                                                                                    ogy, as well as staging, video, and                                                     New York, 48 Claim to fame: Webster
                                                                                                                                                                    audiovisual production for some of                                                      and his partners have run cutting-
                                                                                                                                                                    Toronto’s biggest events, including                                                     edge projects for the award-winning
                                                                                                                                                                    LG Fashion Week, Nuit Blanche, and                                                      creative agency’s experiential division.
                                                                                                                                                                    the Power Ball. Launch pad: “My                                                         He has put big-name chefs in food
                                                                                                                                                                    start in event lighting came with an                                                    trucks and orchestrated a public
                                                                                                                                                                    invitation to light a fashion show                                                      stunt in Times Square to promote
                                                                                                                                                                    by friends from concert touring                                                         video game Dance Central with 600
                                                                                                                                                                    connections. I realized it was possible                                                 dancers, live performances by Lady
                                                                                                                                                                    to create high drama even with                                                          Sovereign and Ne-Yo, and video on six
                                                                                                                                                                    straight white light.” Big innova-                                                      LED screens. Mother also produced
                                                                                                                                                                    tion: “Bringing digital lighting into                                                   Virgin Mobile’s activations during Lady
                                                                                                                                                                    focus at my company and in this city.”                                                  Gaga’s recent tours. Style signature:
                                                                                                                                                                    Career highlight: For the opening-                                                      “Deep, strategic thinking.” Career
                                                                                                                                                                    night gala for TIFF Bell Lightbox,                                                      highlight: Illuminating the entire
                                                                                                                                                                    Westbury and Party Barbara Co.                                                          southern exterior of the Standard
                                                                                                                                                                    created an extensive lighting instal-                                                   Hotel with a rainbow of LED lights for
                                                                                                                                                                    lation and multiple video projections                      Target’s “Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular,” a public fashion show
                                                                                                                                                                    that illuminated the corner of King                        involving a performance by 66 dancers to an original score. Hidden
                                                                                                                                                                    and John streets.                                          talent: “I’m pretty badass with a yo-yo.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               summer 2011 49
EvEnt Innovators 2011

                                                                                     Bill heffernAn
                                                                                     Creative director,
                                                                                     Heffernan Morgan Ronsley,
                                                                                     Chicago Claim to fame:
                                                                                     Heffernan’s elegant
                                                                                     aesthetic has set the
                                                                                     decorative tone at galas
                                                                                     for iconic organizations
                                                                                     such as the Art Institute of
                                                                                     Chicago and the Chicago
                                                                                     Botanic Gardens. The firm
                                                                                     he started in 1979 has
                                                                                     merged with two other
                                                                                     local firms to form a design
                                                                                     collective with different
                                                                                     price points, specialties,
                        Arthur BACKAl                                                and points of view. In 2011,
                        C.E.O., Backal Hospitality Group, New York, 49 Claim to      Heffernan was the lead
                        fame: Owner of event management company State of             designer of Chicago’s most
                        the Art Enterprises and Backal Hospitality Group, industry   high-profile spring func-
                        veteran Backal has managed more than 20 venues, includ-      tion: a 900-guest tribute
                        ing the Plaza and the Waldorf-Astoria. Big innovation: His   to Mayor Richard Daley,
                        latest venture, Apella, is a high-tech, high-style meeting   for which he employed an
                        space that dispels the idea of a bland, corporate confer-    Andy Warhol-inspired look.
                        ence center. Backal played an important role in developing   Got his start in events:
                        many aspects of the venue, including its state-of-the-art    “Giving away free flow-
                        technology, branding, amenities, and smaller details like    ers on the street.” Style
                        staffing uniforms. What’s next: Backal plans to keep the     signature: “Dramatic good
                        event planning and production side of his business going     taste—well edited.” Work
                        strong while opening more meeting and event spaces in        philosophy: “Make it great
                        and around New York.                                         or why bother?”

                                                                                                                                                                   SeAn CAnnon
                                                                                                                                                                   C.E.O., Event Creative, Chicago
                                                                                                                                                                   Claim to fame: Canon and his
                                                                                                               mArinA BirCh                                        team thrive on logistical chal-
                                                                                                               Principal, Birch Design Studio, Chicago             lenges, having designed everything
                                                                                                               Claim to fame: With a background in                 from a 40-foot indoor volcano to
                                                                                                               interior design, Birch applies her unique           a 2,300-guest gala on a runway
                                                                                                               training to developing ornate, whimsical            at O’Hare airport. Event Creative
                                                                                                               event looks for such organizations as               also manages the event space
                                                                                                               the Chicago Botanic Garden. For a recent            Venue One, which hosted its
                                                                                                               benefit, she employed a moonlit-garden              first event, a fund-raiser for the
                                                                                                               theme replete with woodland nymphs                  Museum of Contemporary Art
                                                                                                               who pranced around and encouraged                   that had an indoor playground
                                                                                                               guests to bid in the silent auction. Birch          and a rock concert, in 2010. In 2011,
                                                                                                               designed the intricate costumes. Work               Event Creative steadily gained new
                                                                                                               philosophy: “Be present and involved in             business, and for the first time
                                                                                                               every step of each event. My father once            will design the Steppenwolf Gala
                                                                                                               told me, ‘The best fertilizer is the farmer’s       and the Joffrey Ballet Gala. Work
                                                                                                               shadow,’ and I live by that every day.”             philosophy: “Anything is possible.”
                                                                                                               Hidden talent: “Rock climbing.”                     Childhood dream job: “Superhero.”

                                                                                     BryAn rAfAnelli
                                                                                     Founder, president, C.E.O., Rafanelli Events, Boston Launch pad: “This really prominent, smart, successful, and
                                                                                     über-respected couple—Stephen and Roberta S. Weiner—took a chance on me.” Rafanelli launched his firm in
                                                                                     1996, producing just three events a year. Now the company has offices in four cities and produces roughly 100
                                                                                     events annually, which includes consulting on branding and fund-raising strategy as well as creating drop-dead
                                                                                     decor. Claim to fame: While he’s been hailed by media outlets both local and national (Town & Country, Modern
                                                                                     Bride, and The Wall Street Journal among them), Rafanelli was propelled into the national spotlight in July when
                                                                                     he produced Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s wedding in Rhinebeck, New York. Rafanelli had produced
                                                                                     several fund-raisers for the mother of the bride over the past decade. Proudest achievement: “Providing more
                                                                                     than 100 people with a nice place to work, and a good company to do business with.” Major life goal: “To be in
                                                                                     two places at once.” Design philosophy: “Learn to dream big and know when to edit.”

                          50 summer 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              lArA mCCulloCh-CArter
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chief brand storyteller, Ready2Spark, Toronto, 35
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big innovation: A former agency brand strategist who
                                                                                                                                                                                                              now runs her own consulting company, McCulloch-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Carter is at the forefront of social media for the event
                                                                                                                                                                                                              industry. She founded EventProfs, a worldwide commu-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              nity of event professionals who post under the #event-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              profs hashtag on Twitter. It created a new form of
                                                                                                                                                                                                              dialogue throughout the industry and spawned a series
                                                                                                                                                                                                              of face-to-face conferences created by members called
                                                                                                                                                                                                              EventCamp. Claim to fame: Major companies including
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Unilever, Shell, and Cadbury-Adams have turned to her
                                                                                                                                                                                                              for brand strategy and other services. She also runs a
                                                                                                                                                                                                              popular blog about marketing and the event industry,
                                                                                                                                                                                                              and maintains a busy international speaking schedule.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Favorite apps: “Evernote, to clip interesting articles and
                                                                                                                                                                                                              images; Informant HD, the most extensive to-do app
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I’ve found; and TripIt. to keep track of my travel sched-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ule, hotel and flight confirmations, and plans.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 André WellS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Owner, Events by André Wells,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           lee Kite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Washington, 38 Launch pad:                Director of distinguished events, American Cancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Something of a man about town             Society, Illinois Division, Chicago Claim to fame:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 in Washington, Wells started as a         Kite plans the American Cancer Society’s annual
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 buyer for the May company, became         Discovery Ball, which has consistently exceeded its
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 a meeting planner, and in 2004            ambitious fund-raising goals by raking in more than
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 launched his full-service event           $2 million for the past three years. Having employed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 production firm. Claim to fame:           IML devices at the 2009 gala, she was the first local
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Wells has become one of the top           planner to use electronic bidding. Kite also serves as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 planners in town, producing roughly       a national event leader and trainer for the society,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 80 events annually—in his signa-          helping to inspire and shape colleagues across
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ture lush style—for the likes of BET,     the country. Her day in three words: “Start your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Capitol File, Dell, and members of        engines.” Best place to get inspired: “Just pay atten-
                                                                                                                                                              pAul SCott                                                         Congress. Proudest achievement: “I        tion. Inspiration is everywhere.”
                                                                                                                                                               General manager, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin               thrill myself in the delight of helping
                                                                                                                                                               Hotel, Lake Buena Vista, Florida Claim to fame: Formerly          others. I have had many opportuni-
                                                                                                                                                               Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ North American vice president        ties to help so many corporations,
                                                                                                                                                               of food and beverage, Scott came to the Swan and Dolphin          associations, and individuals achieve
photos: courtesy of tjM coMMunications, inc (scott), Dave lieBerMan (Goyal), kelly Mckeon (Dahl), Dan hallMan for BizBash (all others)

                                                                                                                                                               in 2009, raising the hotel’s meeting and convention events.       their targeted goals.” Design philoso-
                                                                                                                                                               For the 2010 International Pow Wow, a travel conference,          phy: “I am very into details, aesthet-
                                                                                                                                                               he transformed one of the property’s courtyards into an           ics, and functionality. I think some-
                                                                                                                                         Italian-themed theater, with surrounding guest-room balconies as stages for an          thing should not only look good, but
                                                                                                                                         intimate opera concert. Big innovation: Wanting to get in on some of the action         it has to work. It needs to provide
                                                                                                                                         during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, Scott launched the Food & Wine       a function.” Hidden talent: “If the
                                                                                                                                         Classic in 2010, drawing crowds to the Swan and Dolphin for a weekend of live           band doesn’t show up, I can sing.”
                                                                                                                                         music, tastings, and seminars. Work philosophy: “I believe in the balance between
                                                                                                                                         accountability and fun—if you have one, I find it is best to have the other.”

                                                                                                                                                              mAneeSh goyAl                                      King dAhl
                                                                                                                                                                 Founder and presi-                               Executive director of
                                                                                                                                                                 dent, MKG, New York,                             event design, MGM
                                                                                                                                                                 36 Claim to fame:                                Resorts Events, Las
                                                                                                                                                                 Goyal’s experiential                             Vegas, 49 Launch pad:
                                                                                                                                                                 agency has stepped                               Dahl began as a prop
                                                                                                                                                                 up its game over the                             designer and fabricator
                                                                                                                                                                 past year with a new                             in 1982 with Cheryl Fish
                                                                                                                                         SoHo office and a wide range of events that        at It’s the Main Event in Southern California.
                                                                                                                                         incorporate social media and cutting-edge          In 1992, he began King Dahl Event Design at
                                                                                                                                         technology, such as the architecturally            the Malibu Conference Center. Claim to fame:
                                                                                                                                         mapped video projections for Ralph Lauren,         Since taking the role of leading the design and
                                                                                                                                         and Delta’s fan zone in Madison Square             sales teams at MGM Resorts Events in 2003,
                                                                                                                                         Park, which doubled the airline’s Facebook         he designs and produces more than 700
                                                                                                                                         followers in one day. Launch pad: “I finished      events per year with his team of 50. Style
                                                                                                                                         grad school, moved to New York, and was            signature: “Large, dramatic productions.”
                                                                                                                                         working at a great nonprofit. But I had            Design philosophy: “I believe in 100 percent
                                                                                                                                         this sinking feeling that if I didn’t change       collaboration with my team, whether in the
                                                                                                                                         something, I would have a job as opposed           studio or with my creative partners from all
                                                                                                                                         to a lifestyle for the rest of my life. I did      disciplines of event production. I speak to
                                                                                                                                         some soul-searching to figure out what             groups throughout the world on building a
                                                                                                                                         makes me tick and all the things that go           high-performing event team, and I live by the
                                                                                                                                         into events—logistics, planning, creativ-          principles of empowerment and collaboration.
                                                                                                                                         ity, drama, putting out fires—define me.”          I never design totally alone.” Role models:
                                                                                                                                         What’s next: “Deepening our West Coast             Miles Davis and Pablo Picasso, for the way
                                                                                                                                         presence, including further penetration of         they kept reinventing themselves and their
                                                                                                                                         the entertainment industry.”                       styles, “always looking forward, never back.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     summer 2011 51
EvEnt Innovators 2011

                                                                                                                                  Jennifer Blumin
                                                                                                                                  President, Skylight
                                                                                                                                  Group, New York, 34
                                                                                                                                  Claim to fame: Blumin
                                                                                                                                  has built a reputation for
                                                                                                                                  transforming underused
                                                                                                                                  spaces into premier event
                                                   liz neumArK                                                                    venues. Her projects
                                                   C.E.O. and founder, Great Performances, New York, 52 Launch pad:               include penthouse-
                                                   Trying to make ends meet as a photographer, Neumark founded                    turned-event space Sky
                                                   Great Performances in 1979 as a staffing service for private parties.          Studios and Skylight West,
                                                   It evolved into an award-winning, full-service catering company                a formerly abandoned
                                                   with a 60-acre organic farm and nonprofit that promotes child-                 parking garage. Career
                                                   hood nutrition. Style signature: 100 Mile Menus, which source                  highlight: Launching
                                                   ingredients near New York City. Career highlight: “Making a farm               Skylight One Hanson in
                                                   before the green movement.” Hidden talent: Boxing. What’s next:                the former Williamsburg
                                                   Launching a food truck, releasing a cookbook, and expanding                    Savings Bank, a Brooklyn
                                                   culinary education programs for New York City children.                        landmark. “It is an icon of
                                                                                                                                  the city’s past and it was
                                                                                                                                  an honor to blow the dust
                                                                                                                                  off and bring it back.”
                                                                                                                                  Work philosophy:
                                                                                  trAviS threlKel                                 “Fly by the seat of my
                                                                                  Chief creative officer, co-founder,             pants.” What’s next:
                                                                                  Obscura Digital, San Francisco, 38              Blumin wants Skylight
                                                                                                         Claim to fame:           Group to become a one-
                                                                                                         Obscura special-         stop industry resource for
                                                                                                         izes in impactful        event planners, not only
                                                                                                         and immersive            for its three properties,
                                                                                                         branded environ-         but for venue and vendor
                                                                                                         ments created            recommendations.
                                                                                                         with the latest
                                                                                                         from architec-
                                                                                                         tural and video          riCK dAviS
                                                                                  mapping, to interactive displays
                                                                                                                                  President, Amaryllis,
                                                                                  and 3-D cameras. Recent projects
                                                                                                                                  Washington, 44 Launch pad:
                                                                                  include projecting video onto the
                                                                                                                                  “I got my degree in green-
                                                                                  Guggenheim Museum and Sydney
                                                                                                                                  house management, moved to
                                                                                  Opera House for YouTube, and creat-
                                                                                                                                  Washington, and the closest
                                                                                  ing a holographic touch screen for
                                                                                                                                  thing I could find to do was floral
                                                                                  Heineken. Launch pad: “I started doing
                                                                                                                                  design.” Claim to fame: Davis
                                                                                  projection installations as a teenager
                                                                                                                                  joined Amaryllis in its inaugu-
                                                                                  and got more and more obsessed with
                                                                                                                                  ral year in 1989, and took over
                                                                                  it. My first professional job was really
                                                                                                                                  the ownership in 2002. Today a full-service floral and event design
                                                                                  an art installation for an award party,
                                                                                                                                  firm, Amaryllis produces roughly 350 events annually for clients like
                                                                                  and that just kicked it off.” Not-so-
                                                                                                                                  Exxon Mobile. Proudest achievement: “Being able to work in the
                                                                                  hidden talent: Threlkel is a former
                                                                                                                                  White House.” Hidden talent: “Raising Heritage breed animals on
                                                                                  guitarist for neo-psychedelic band the
                                                                                                                                  my farm.” Big idea: At an ISES luncheon years ago, Davis opted to
                                                                                  Brian Jonestown Massacre. Design
                                                                                                                                  include live baby ducklings in a spring garden tablescape—a move
                                                                                  philosophy: “I should be impressed by
                                                                                                                                  that he still gets comments about today.
                                                                                  the project, or something’s wrong.”

                                                                                                                              tom BuSSey
                                                                                                                               Founding partner, Production Glue, New York, 41 Launch pad: “I was too
                                 denniS remer                                                                                  shy to dance as a kid in middle school, so I set up the speakers and one
                                 Production designer and account representative, Frost,                                        thing led to another.” Claim to fame: Brands turn to Bussey and his team
                                 Chicago Claim to fame: Combining intricate lighting                                           when they need to bring complicated ideas and designs to life, as well as
                                 schemes with audiovisual tropes ranging from videos to                                        for set design and execution, technical direction, and other services. Projects
                                 atmospheric projections, Remer has created immersive envi-                                    include the Virgin Galactic launch in the Mojave Desert, a holiday pop-up
                                 ronments at big-name events such as Macy’s Glamorama.                                         installation for Bank of America, and the opening party for the Hearst
                                 Remer has an innate skill for quick, efficient work—for the             Tower. Career highlight: “Time and again we hear, ‘We’re so happy Production Glue is part of this
                                 Joffrey Ballet’s Couture and Cocktails benefit, Remer and               project,’ from production partners, venues, and crew. Client praise is important, but hearing that
                                 his team had less than three hours to erect a fully built-out           from other integral people involved makes me incredibly proud.” Best place to get inspired: “It’s
                                 runway in the lobby of the Palmer House Hilton, and less                that very first brainstorm/pitch meeting, where limitations aren’t part of the conversation
                                 than an hour to dismantle it. Signature style: “Theatrical              and conceptive creativity reigns. Navigating uncharted territory keeps me coming back for
                                 and transformative. Over the top, but never out of control.”            more.” Childhood dream job: Astronaut. “I almost came full circle working on the Virgin Galactic
                                 Hidden talent: “Don’t challenge me to a dance-off.”                     SpaceShip Two launch.”

                        52 summer 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dAvid roCKWell
                                                                                                                                                                                                               dAvid                                    Founder
                                                                                                                                                                                                               miChAel                                  C.E.O.,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               riCh                                     Group,
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Senior vice                                  New York,
                                                                                                                                                                                                           president,                                   52 Claim
                                                                                                                                                                                                           strategy and                                 to fame:
                                                                                                                                                                                                           planning/                                    Rockwell’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                           worldwide,                                   award-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           George P.              winning architecture and
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Johnson                design firm focuses on a
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Experience             diverse array of high-profile
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Marketing,             projects. Recent work includes
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Boston                 Andaz Wall Street and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Launch pad:            Cosmopolitan Hotel, staging
                                                                                                                                                                                                           “I was a               for the 2010 Academy Awards,
                                                                                                                                                                                                           professional           and the sets for the Broadway
                                                                                                                                                                     magician in theaters, night clubs, restaurants,              show Catch Me If You Can.
                                                                                                                                                                     trade shows, and on TV in my late teens and early            Launch pad: “It all began when
                                                                                                                                                                     20s. It’s given me a way of thinking about how to            I was quite young, when my
                                                                                                                                                                     engineer experiences to move audiences to action             brothers and I would create
                                                                                                                                                                     that’s been invaluable.” Claim to fame: Rich                 fantasy Halloween environ-
                                                                                                                                                                     began working for George P. Johnson, one of                  ments and magic shows in our
                                                                                                                                                                     the country’s largest event marketing firms, in              backyard and garage.” Design
                                                                                                                                                                     1999, and Cisco, Motorola, and I.B.M. are among              philosophy: “I always make
                                                                                                                                                                     his clients. On the road 50- to 90-percent of                sure my designs foster connec-
                                                                                                                                                                     the year, Rich is also a frequent speaker, whose             tions, push boundaries, explore
                                                                                                                                                                     engagements include being a moderator at the                 new materials and techniques,
                                                                                                                                                                     Forbes Insight C.M.O. program on Engagement                  and embrace both handcraft
                                                                                                                                                                     Marketing, guest lecturing at Columbia Business              and state-of-the-art technol-
                                                                                                                                                                     School, and speaking at dozens of event and                  ogy. What’s next: Current and
                                                                                                                                                                     marketing-related conferences. Proudest achieve-             upcoming projects include
                                                                                                                                                                     ment: “Building the first and largest strategic              the Nobu Hotel in Las Vegas,
                                                                                                                                                                     marketing practice in the event industry, and                Untitled restaurant at the
                                                                                                                                                                     through that helping our client I.B.M. win the               Whitney Museum of American
                                                                                                                                                                     first-ever EX Award for Best Business-to-Business            Art, and W Hotels in Paris and
                                                                                                                                                                     Event Marketing program.”                                    Singapore.

                                                                                                                                                                     elizABeth henderSon
                                                                                                                                                                                             ity strategist,
                                                                                                                                                                                             Launch pad:
                                                                                                                                                                                             After a stint
                                                                                                                               iSABel ChAttAS &                                              as director
                                                                                                                                                                                             of corporate
                                                                                                                               SAndrA novAS                          social responsibility for Meeting
                                                                                                                               Co-founder and chief operating        Professionals International,
                                                                                                                               officer, and co-founder and chief     Henderson joined with a partner
                                                                                                                               creative officer, Siinc Agency,       in 2010 to form Meeting Change,
BlanDon Belushin (rockwell), MaGelle’s photoGraphy (henDerson), Dan hallMan

                                                                                                                               Miami Launch pad: Former media        which helps companies imple-
photos: rien van rijthoven (threlkel), courtesy of proDuction Glue (Bussey),

                                                                                                                               buyer Novas (right) partnered         ment sustainable practices in
                                                                                                                               with Chattas, who handled             meetings and others parts of
                                                                                                                               marketing for several compa-          their business. A-ha moment:
                                                                                                                               nies including IMG, in 2008 to        After reading a book about
                                                                                                                               launch Siinc Agency, which offers     virtual games, Henderson real-
                                                                                                                               event design, production, and         ized they were an exciting and
                                                                                                                               management to big-name clients        green way to engage attendees.
                                                                                                                               including Nokia, Audi, Discovery      “I thought, ‘I bet we could apply
                                                                                                                               Networks, and Microsoft. Big          this to a conference. They can get
                                                                                                                               innovation: Siinc collaborated        a little boring.’” Big innovation:            roBert Wennett
                                                                                                                               on the concept and design, and        As chair of the Green Meetings                President, UIA Management, Miami, 50 Claim to
                                                                                                                               handled event management              Industry Council’s 2011 conference,
                                                                               ritA guteKAnSt                                  for Audi’s Art of Progress Pavilion   Henderson created “Game On,”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   fame: Wennett has made a career out of conceiv-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ing and developing urban environments, including
                                                                               Co-owner, Limelight—Food Illuminated,           during Art Basel 2009. Style          an app- and Web-based game for                New York’s meatpacking district and Dupont Circle
                                                                               Chicago Claim to fame: Working with busi-       signature: Chattas: “Clean,           the 253 on-site and 60 remote                 in Washington. His latest project, 1111 Lincoln Road,
                                                                               ness partner Marguerite Lytle, Gutekanst        easy, problem solving.” Novas:        participants, in which randomly               is a parking garage/minimalist art piece designed
                                                                               brings upscale, farm-fresh fare to high-        “Sophisticated, whimsical, chic.”     chosen teams competed to solve                by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Big
for BizBash (all others)

                                                                               profile events ranging from Lollapalooza to     Career highlight: “Fighting for       meeting sustainability challenges.            innovation: While the decidedly industrial space
                                                                               the Steppenwolf Gala. Proudest achieve-         Grace Jones to perform at the         What’s next: Henderson will chair             houses high-end retail shops and provides parking,
                                                                               ment: “Catering Obama’s election night in       Florida Room for a client event       the G.M.I.C.’s 2012 conference                the building’s dedicated top-floor event space has
                                                                               Grant Park in 2008.” Childhood dream job:       that blew the house down and          and build on the gaming tool,                 become one of the hottest spots to throw a party
                                                                               “Country-singing superstar. But I can’t sing.   had the best guest list in town in    which garnered nearly 20,000                  in Miami. Style signature: “Quality design.” What’s
                                                                               And I’m not Southern.”                          2009 and since,” Chattas says.        pageviews.                                    next: “Bringing South Beach to the next level.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                         summer 2011 53
EvEnt Innovators 2011

                        JAyne SAndmAn
                        Director, BrandLinkDC, Washington, 31 Launch pad:
                        After graduating from American University, Sandman
                        landed at Washington Life, scooping up the newly
                        created marketing director position. Next stop was
                        Capitol File, where she helmed—and grew—the
                        magazine’s annual White House Correspondents’
                        Association dinner’s after-party. Work philoso-
                        phy: “Because we’re a public relations, events, and
                        marketing company, we’re constantly thinking of
                        every event aspect and how it will positively affect
                        the client—from the messaging we need to relay to
                        each attendee to how it is going to play in the media
                        landscape.” What’s next: “The Week magazine’s 10th
                        annual Opinion Awards. It’ll be hard to top last year’s
                        combination of top-tier politicos: Rahm Emanuel,
                        Joe Scarborough, and Tina Brown to namedrop just
                        a few.” Also: Raising son Owen, born just weeks after
                        her portrait sitting.

                                                                                    mArC hAll                                  miChAel nedeAu
                                                                                    Principal, Marc Hall Design, Boston,       President/C.O.O., PBD Events,
                                                                                    53 Launch pad: In 1987, Hall began         Braintree, Massachusetts, 38                dAn mAthieu
                                                                                    working as head designer for a             Launch pad: “I started at Party by          Co-owner, Max Ultimate Food,
                                                           dAvid                    floral boutique on Newbury Street,         Design in 1995 when I was looking           Boston, 52 Launch pad: After work-
                                                                                    where he produced small parties.           for a studio to create sculpture            ing on events in the ’80s in Los
                                                           SolSBery                 He says of the experience, “I was          and paintings in.” Today the                Angeles, Mathieu launched East
                                                           Executive design         hooked.” Hall moved to the city’s          firm, now known as PBD Events,              Meets West Catering in Boston
                                                           director, Hargrove,      premier florist, Winston Flowers,          produces roughly 400 events                 before selling it in the ’90s to go
                                                           Lanham, Maryland,        as creative director in 2003, and          annually for clients like Cisco             into restaurants. He returned to
                                                           49 Claim to fame:        then launched his own event and            Systems and TV show Style Boston.           catering in 2001, launching Max
                                                           Since landing at         garden design firm just last year.         Claim to fame: Last year, Nedeau            Ultimate Food with partner Neal
                                                           event management         Proudest achievement: “One of              produced high-profile events                Balkowitsch. Today the firm caters
                                                           firm Hargrove in         them was being part of the design          including The Fighter’s hometown            roughly 400 events annually.
                                                           1998, Solsbery has       team to produce the wedding                premiere, as well as the multi-             Claim to fame: “Max is known for
                                                           worked on dozens         of Chelsea Clinton and Marc                venue I.C.A. Gala. Design philoso-          innovation in food and presenta-
                                                           of high-profile          Mezvinsky.” Big idea: “To launch           phy: “Keep the design simple and            tion. We tend to be the catering
                                                           events, including        Marc Hall Design, a comprehen-             let the lighting, texture, and shapes       company people come to when
                                                           the 2008 presiden-       sive design firm that conceptual-          create valuable impact. Bring in            they are looking for an event that is
                                                           tial inauguration at     izes every aesthetic either inside         pops of color through botanicals or         not traditional and where you can
                                                           the Capitol. Launch      or outside, where people enjoy             objects d’art.” What’s next: “We are        expect the unexpected.” Proudest
                                                           pad: “At 24 I started    and celebrate life’s moments.”             expanding our custom offerings,             achievement: “Creating Kids Can
                                                           working part-            Major life goal: “I just achieved          and are building new design collec-         Cook, an after-school cooking
                                                           time for a theme         it—married the man I love.”                tions twice a year.”                        program.”
                                                           party decorating
                                                           company in San
                        Jose, California. We did stage sets, theme decor, floral,
                        weddings, bar mitzvahs. My specialty was scenic
                        painting and prop design.” Proudest achievement:                                Jeff hurt
                        “Designing several G20 summits. It was a great                                  Director of education and engagement, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, Dallas Claim to fame: In addi-
                        honor to be an adviser to the South Korean govern-                              tion to co-founding the EventCamp series of participant-driven industry gatherings, Hurt consults
                        ment during their preparations for the 2010 summit.                             with organizations ranging from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to BlogWorld. Launch
                        Creating plenary rooms and sets, meeting spaces,                                pad: This former kindergarten teacher turned his observations about how the brain retains informa-
                        dining rooms, briefing rooms, lounges, almost entire                            tion and responds to environmental cues into a 20-year career in nonprofit and association planning,
                        cities inside exhibition spaces for the world’s leaders                         including forays into hybrid, peer-led, and unconference formats. A-ha moment: At a 2007 conference
                        and press is a great challenge and an amazing expe-                             for 500 C.E.O.s, Hurt let attendees talk to the speaker via text. “We saw a dynamic where, suddenly,
                        rience.” What’s next: “We’re part of the team produc-       the audience had a new toy. Little did I know at the time, that was our entry into using social media.” Big innovation: For
                        ing the memorial dedication and official events for         the Professional Convention Management Association’s annual meeting in January, Hurt created a small-group forum for
                        the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.”          3,000 attendees, carving the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino’s Garden Arena into more intimate spaces.

                        54 summer 2011                                                                             Written by Jenny Berg, lisa CeriCola, alesanDra DuBin,
                                                                                                                                              Courtney thomPson & martha C. White
                                                                                                                                                                                                       BoBBy tAylor
                                                                                                                                                                SuzAnne goin                           Owner, Taylor Creative Inc., New York, 47
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Claim to fame: Taylor created a niche in the
                                                                                                                                                                   Chef and owner, Lucques
                                                                                                                                                                                                       crowded rental market with an inventory of
                                                                                                                                                                   Catering, Los Angeles, 44
                                                                                                                                                                                                       high-end contemporary furniture custom-
                                                                                                                                                                   Launch pad: Goin began as
                                                                                                                                                                                                       manufactured in the U.S. or imported from
                                                                                                                                                                   a restaurant chef and added
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Europe. Launch pad: Before he got into events,
                                                                                                                                                                   catering when customers
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Taylor worked in marketing for fashion brands
                                                                                                                                                                   told her team they wanted
                                                                                                                                                                                                       including Joseph Abboud, Calvin Klein, and GQ,
                                                                                                                                                                   to experience the same food
                                                                                                                                                                                                       as well as merchandising and events at Saks
                                                                                                                                                                   at home and at events. Her
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fifth Avenue. Taylor also worked as a stylist for
                                                                                                                                                                   group catered the Hammer
                                                                                                                                                                                                       national advertising campaigns, catalogs, and
                                                                                                                                                                   Museum’s annual gala for
                                                                                                                                                                                                       retail brands. Signature products: Moooi horse
                                                                                                                                                                   500 and the luxe SAG Awards
                                                                                                                                                                                                       lamp, Pucci chair. Career highlight: Attending
                                                                                                                                                                   dinner, which requires both
                                                                                                                                                                                                       the Milan furniture fair in 2002. “It introduced
                                                                                                                                                                   camera- and tastebud-friendly
                                                                                                                                                                                                       a world I’d never seen—the marriage of high
                                                                                                                                                                   fare. Career highlight: “No
                                                                                                                                                                                                       art and commerce.”
                                                                                                                                                                   matter how many chef jobs
                                                                                                                                                                   I’ve had or how many restau-
                                                                                                                                                                   rants I have opened since then,
                                                                                                                                                                   when the doors opened at
                                                                                                                                                                   Lucques and I had my very own
                                                                                                      restaurant, it was definitely the most intense and monumental time in my work expe-
                                                                                                      rience.” Style signature: “Rustic, local, chic.” Big innovation: “When we opened A.O.C. in
                                                                                                      2002, it was revolutionary. We took the idea of a tapas bar and made it something that
                                                                                                      spoke to a modern American audience. It was a watershed moment in the Los Angeles
                                                                                                      culinary scene, and it hasn’t stopped since, with others emulating our model here and
                                                                                                      around the country.” Role models: Alice Waters and Alain Passard.

                                                                                                   Bill homAn                                           eriC miChAel
                                                                                                   Partner, Design Cuisine, Washington                  Owner and creative director, Occasions
                                                                                                   Launch pad: After catering private events            Caterers, Washington Launch pad: A cater
                                                                                                   during graduate school, Homan launched               waiter in college, Michael founded Occasions
                                                                                                   Creative Edge Cuisine in 1980 with two               with his twin brother, Mark, in 1986. Today, they
                                                                                                   partners, then changed the name to Design            cater roughly 2,500 events annually. Claim to
                                                                                                   Cuisine in 1983. Claim to fame: Catering             fame: Last year’s highlights ranged from the
                                                                                                   some 3,000 events annually, Homan is the             Opera Ball’s Fabergé egg-inspired cakes to Frito
                                                                                                   creative force behind Design Cuisine, where          pies at MSNBC’s White House Correspondents
                                                                                                   he’s worked with clients like Bloomberg              Association dinner after-party. Michael also
                                                                                                   (producing the company’s high-tech White             produces the massive Corcoran Gala. Proudest
                                                                                                   House Correspondents’ Association Dinner             achievement: “Presidential inauguration                                               SAmuel J. Smith
                                                                                                   after-parties in 2007 and 2008), AOL, Vogue,         2009. In addition to managing one of the offi-                                         Managing director, Interactive Meeting
                                                                                                   and the White House. Work philosophy:                cial tribute dinners for 1,200, we catered dozens                                      Technology, Minneapolis Claim to fame: Smith
                                                                                                   “Never say ‘no’ and always come up with              of events over a three-day period, [serving]                                           co-founded and ran EventCamp Twin Cities,
                                                                                                   workable solutions to decode reality.”               more than 25,000 guests.” Biggest idea: “My                                            created hybrid events for financial services
                                                                                                   Childhood dream job: “I have it.” What’s             brother and I saw a need in technology and                                             and medical corporations, and produced the
                                                                                                   next: “To create a better relationship with          helped conceive and create CaterXpert, a soft-                                         award-winning Boston Scientific Minnesota
                                                                                                   our planet. Nature is a source of inspiration        ware program for off-premise caterers that has                                         CVR Experience. Launch pad: The Ford Motor
                                                                                                   for exciting images and ideas.”                      become the standard for the industry.”                           Company and 3M veteran got into the meeting technology business
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         five years ago in Europe, when he signed on with the company that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         developed Spotme, a device to help attendees locate colleagues at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         large events. Big innovation: At EventCamp Twin Cities in August, 580
photos: courtesy of jeff hurt, courtesy of saMuel j. sMith, Dan hallMan for BizBash (all others)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         remote participants joined 75 on-site attendees for the daylong event.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Smith used a remote moderator and a virtual M.C., Skype, and Twitter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to give virtual attendees the feeling of being there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             domeniC ChiAromonte
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Owner and chef, T2 Resto-Lounge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and Events, Toronto, 38 Launch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             pad: After making a name for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             his “modern Canadian” cuisine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             at Match Restaurant and Tazza,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Chiaromonte launched a catering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             arm, emphasizing cutting-edge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             culinary techniques and presen-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             tation. Claim to fame: Artfully
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             presented party food that goes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             beyond the typical mini burgers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and spring rolls. For an event for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             HGTV, he shaped salmon into
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             pairs of lips covered in beets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and served them with sundried
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             tomato and bacon butter in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             lipstick tubes. What’s next: A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             cooking show, My Favorite Dish,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             for the Rogers Network.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           summer 2011 55

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