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25 Young Event Pros to Watch 2019: Part 4

Meet more of the 2019 crop of young event pros honored by Special Events magazine.

We've shared Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our 2019 crop of young event pros to watch--please now enjoy Part 4:

Cindy Kapp
Cindy Kapp, 26, logistics and execution planner, East of Ellie, San Diego

Kapp oversees four major areas for this events agency, based in Shelton, Conn.: venue management, catering coordination, AV coordination, and furniture rentals. And she is ready to respond quickly. “Our clients come in fast and furious,” Kapp explains. “We do some events that give us time to plan, but some of our most successful--and favorites--take place in a matter of weeks instead of months. We push the saying ‘all hands on deck’ to its limit, and I’m so proud to be on this team!”

Her work is varied; recent projects have included “an indoor park in London, a fully functioning swing set from scratch in the heart of New York City, and an L.A. glam studio on a movie set backlot at Paramount Studios,” she notes.

She has a dream job in mind: “To own and manage a retreat-style venue that could host groups in a beautiful setting combining nature and functionality of an event space,” she explains. “I envision my venue located somewhere in Hawaii, perched hillside with amazing ocean views and an abundance of trees and greenery. By delivering a retreat-style experience, attendees are in the ultimate vacay-mode and being around that atmosphere every day would truly be a dream!”


Jeanenne La Bella
Jeanenne La Bella, 34, CEO and co-founder, La Bella Planners, New York

Employers often nominate members of their staff for “Young Event Pros.” But La Bella has been nominated by someone who works for her. La Bella event planner Jesse Calhoun says his boss “has a real passion for what she does, and she is able to run a thriving business while also being a wonderful mother to her two children. I think she is an amazing representation of the future of the events industry.”

La Bella herself credits her team for the support that enables her to spread her wings. “My team helps handle and execute the everyday dealings with all-things event, so that my time is free to come up with creative and cohesive design concepts that adds so much personal touch to each and every event we plan,” she explains.

She would like to spread her event wings around the globe. Her dream job? “Producing and designing intricate destination weddings and events around the world.”

Anthony Maggiore

Anthony Maggiore, CMP, 36, senior manager of meeting services, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Chicago

Maggiore’s role involves overseeing his association’s annual global conference, a massive affair that draws 43,000 healthcare IT professionals from all over the world. Then again, he cut his teeth on big events, serving as an events manager at Chicago’s mammoth McCormick Place.

His role rotates each year with two other colleagues between logistics, housing, and food and beverage/events. The F&B/events rotation also gives him the opportunity to plan the opening reception and other events. The rotation ensures that “I have a well-rounded perspective,” he explains. “With everything I do I am always focused on the customer and what their experience will entail. It’s so easy to get lost in the details when working in this industry, but I always have the big picture at the top of my thought process. I want to create an unforgettable atmosphere.”

Brady Miller

Brady K. Miller, CSEP, 37, academic events specialist, Unbricked Communications, Topeka, Kan.

When an event pro such as Jim Hooker of Stratelyst Creative refers to you as “one of the strongest strategic event experts in the industry”—and you’re not yet age 40—you are doing something right.

Miller, who provides freelance services for academic events and currently serves as creative director for Austin, Texas-based Stratelyst, credits the decade he spent working on university campuses with giving him insight into the special world of academic events. “Having an intimate understanding as to the inner workings--and sometimes politics--associated with academe gives me a unique insight as to how to best communicate with and produce events for academic clients,” he explains. “While higher education clients have much in common, I also appreciate and am excited by the qualities that make each campus unique. Finding creative solutions that best highlight a community’s distinctive attributes is what makes the projects in which I am involved both personal and successful.”

He already has his dream job, he says. “I work with several different companies and with a whole myriad of clients across the country, so my environment is constantly changing,” he says. “I feel like I add a unique contribution to the event teams with which I work. With most of my end clients being nonprofits and universities, I feel good about what I do. Helping these groups celebrate their ambitions and their successes is incredibly rewarding.”

Lauren Rodewald

Lauren Rodewald, 29, director of strategic hospitality, Centerplate, Stamford, Conn.

Rodewald’s job is a big one: She has direct responsibility for the project management of foodservice new-build and renovation projects at sporting facilities, entertainment venues and convention centers in North America. “Working closely with the joint management teams for Centerplate and Sodexo, I am a key facet of the design process for all of our venues and their event-hosting capabilities,” she explains, “ensuring that we are always raising the bar in the event hospitality and providing our guests with the best possible experience.”

Why she is good at what she does: “Managing the design of foodservice areas and kitchens that all need to work in sync to serve 70,000 people at a live event all at once is a complex logistical challenge,” she explains. “Architects, chefs, operators and construction teams all speak different languages and view challenges from different perspectives. In my role, I help to bring all the teams and their different visions together to make large-scale operations come together in a seamless way that enhances the guest experience.”

Her dream job goes beyond the one that comes with a paycheck. “I’d I hope to be a role model for future women who are looking to enter the industry,” she says, “especially in segments like sports and entertainment that do not have strong female representation.”

Do you have a young event pro—under age 40—we shoud consider for our 2020 list? Please let us know at [email protected]. Thank you!

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