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ISES Pages September-October 2013

ISES Pages September-October 2013

The latest news from the International Special Events Society, including the 2013 Esprit Award winners

A Great Organization, Made Better

By Kathy Miller

As ISES’ outgoing president, I want to thank you all members of ISES for the privilege of allowing me to serve this past year. The opportunity to share my experience and express my ideas across the globe, while working with exceptional professionals to make a great organization even better, has been inspiring.

I have learned one thing this past 12 months: The International Special Events Society is well on its way to becoming the most highly respected events organization in the world.

I sought to make significant movement in five key areas this past year:

  • Marketing and branding
  • Technology
  • Chapter efficiencies
  • Information
  • Education and member services

We have formed increased strategic partnerships within the industry and increased our visibility.

We accomplished a lot this year. We took a well-crafted, three-year strategic plan and condensed it into one year. When I reflect on our planning sessions, I have one word that stands out: WOW! We are now more than 5,500 members strong, representing more than 50 disciplines, including event producers, communication companies, event designers, entertainment producers, linen and decor experts, marketers and a host of other creative event disciplines. Our global footprint continues to expand.

I’m impressed by all that has been accomplished in such a short time. It would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication and passion of our international board and hundreds of volunteers who are incredibly passionate about ISES and about the live event industry. Thank you, ISES, for making this year such a great experience.

Make it another eventful year!

Name: Kathy Miller
Company: Total Event Resources
Address: 1920 N. Thoreau Drive, Suite 105
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: 847/397-2200


Northeast: Kelly Coronel (Hampton Roads)

Southeast: Kelly Smink (Atlanta)

Midwest: LaTonja Thomas (St. Louis)

West: Dawn Abbott (Denver)



Jennifer Poyer, CSEP (Los Angeles), Chair

Raye-Dawn Acheson, CSEP (Dallas)

Alex Gorriaran, CSEP (Rhode Island)

Karl Heitz, CSEP (Denver)

Ken Kristoffersen, CSEP (Calgary)

Tanya Posavatz, CSEP (Austin)



Ryan Hanson, CSEP (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Chair

Sally Webb Berry, CSEP (Greater Triangle)

Debbie Bueckman, DMPC (St. Louis)

Marie Caci, CSEP, CMP, CPCE (New England)

Kristjan Gavin, CMP (Dallas)

Rosemary Prince, CPRP (At Large)

Sue Werb, CSEP (Philadelphia)

Keisha Wilson, CSEP (Atlanta)



Kathy Newby (Napa-Sonoma), Chair

Victoria DeSilvio (South Florida)

Jenny Fustino (Rhode Island)

Sandy Sobczak (Chicago)

J.C. York (Orlando)



Kevin White, CSEP (New York), Chair

Dave Buckley, CSEP (Philadelphia)

Jodi Collen, CSEP (Minneapolis--St. Paul)

Gwen Helbush, CWC (At Large)

Sara Hunt, CSEP (Northern California)

Terry Shields, CSEP (Dallas)

Steven Way (New England)



Jennifer Trethewey (Melbourne), Chair

Canada: Karen Eluck, CSEP (Toronto), Charlene Roth-Diddams (Calgary)

EMEA: Andy Callin (London-UK)

United States: Dawn Abbott (Denver), Kelly Coronel (Hampton Roads), Kelly Smink (Atlanta), LaTonja Thomas (St. Louis)



Caroline Sewell (Greater Triangle N.C.), Editor

Christina Currie (Chicago)

Carol Roleder (Los Angeles)



Judy Brillhart, CSEP (New England), Chair

Joella Hopkins, CSEP (Los Angeles)

Rick Jobe (Columbus)

Kevin Kowalczyk (Denver)

Ruth Moyte (At Large)



Morgan Connacher (New York), Chair

Shane Cochran (Atlanta)

James Riley (Columbus)

Craig Tolliver (Los Angeles)



Terry Singleton, CSEP (Atlanta), Chair

Kate Cole (New England)

Morgan Doan, CSEP (Northern California)

Richard Foulkes (London)

Melissa Jurcan, CSEP (Seattle)



Kimberly Crawley (Rhode Island), Chair

Jim Bailey, CSEP (Chicago)

Dana Macaulay (Napa-Sonoma)

Rachel Mangal (Toronto)

Cindy Scott (Pittsburgh)

Next Page: ISES Esprit Award Winners


2013 ISES Esprit Award Winners

Best Event Solution

Mattress Domino World Record
Paul Creighton, CSEP
T. Skorman Productions Inc.
Raymond Ramsay
Raymond Ramsay & Associates Inc.

Best Event with a Legacy

Philanthropic Youth Awards
Leigh Anne Elliott
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis


Best Industry Innovation

Social Tables Pro
Dan Berger
Social Tables


Best Industry Contribution

Best Industry Contribution
Hala Bissada, CFRE
Hala Events & Communications Inc.


Best Entertainment Production Budget under $25,000 USD

A Texas-Sized Grand Opening
Kelly Smink
Amusement Masters


Best Entertainment Production Budget $25,000 - $75,000 USD

Jim Beam Global Innovation Night 2012
Patrick Peel
Hello Las Vegas


Best Entertainment Production Budget over $75,000 USD

The Night That Never Ends
Debbie Meyers-Shock, CSEP
BRAVO! Productions Entertainment Inc.
Jocelyn Flanagan, CSEP
e=mc2 events


Best Technical Production

Swan and Dolphin Holiday Lighting
Jonathan Adcock
PTE Productions


Best Event Support Services

Grand Opening Celebration of the Topfer Theatre at ZACH Theatre
Damon Holditch, CSEP, CERP
Marquee Event Group


Best Catered Event

Olympic Hospitality Centre, London 2012
Laura Davis
Smart Hospitality

Best Event Design-Decor Budget under $25,000 USD

Urban Masquerade
Karin Hoogland
Site 6 Events Ltd.


Best Event Design-Decor Budget $25,000 - $75,000 USD

SMS Equipment Wine Auction 2012
Events with Vizability


Best Event Design-Decor Budget over $75,000 USD

JP Morgan Chase "Millionaire's Backyard"
Holly Steinebronn
Hello Florida Inc.
Mark Wells
Hello Florida Inc.


Best Marketing/Design Budget under $25,000 USD

Inaugural Cleveland Police Foundation Gala
Deborah Hermann
Ghostlight Productions LLC


Best Marketing/Design Budget over $25,000 USD

Puerto Rican Pizzazz
Rick Jobe
Jobe & Associates


Best Event Photography

Indian Dream
Tiffany Stoner
Nathaniel Edmunds Photography


Best Event Filmmaking

A Love Story Shared through Videography
Ryan Kelley


Best Public Event

UNVEILEDThe Ultimate Wedding Planning Event
Matthew Trettel
The Wedding Guys®


Best Corporate Event Budget under $75,000 USD

Tag! You're It!
Lisa Marks, CSEP
POP Kollaborative Inc.


Best Corporate Event Budget $75,000 - $200,000 USD

David Merrell
AOO Events Inc.


Best Corporate Event Budget over $200,000 USD

Evening with the Arts
Heather Phillips, CSEP
AlliedPRA Northern California


Best Meeting/Conference Program Budget under $250,000 USD

Designing Cities Conference: Leading the Way to World-Class Streets
Debra Eder
Debra L. Eder Consultants


Best Meeting/Conference Program Budget over $250,000 USD

Discovery 12
Rachel Gilmour, CSEP
aNd Logistix Inc.


Best Event for a Nonprofit Organization under $75,000 USD

The Future of Yesterday
Helen Apple
Sterling Events


Best Event for a Nonprofit Organization $75,000 - $200,000 USD

Dancing with the Stars Wood Buffalo 2012
Events with Vizability


Best Event for a Nonprofit Organization over $200,000 USD

The Book Lover's Ball
Hala Bissada, CFRE
Hala Events & Communications Inc.


Best Social Event Budget under $75,000 USD

Garden Art Birthday Party
Jeff Ware
Catering By Michaels


Best Social Event Budget over $75,000 USD

Paul Hardy Design 10th Anniversary Celebration
Derek MacDonald
Boom Goes the Drum


Best Wedding Budget under $75,000 USD

Railway Romance
Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
Events of Distinction/Cal State University--East Bay


Best Wedding Budget $75,000 - $200,000 USD

Love on the Lake
Gretchen Culver
Rocket Science Weddings & Events


Best Wedding Budget over $200,000 USD

Bling Exponential
Lynn Fletcher, CSEP
Lynn Fletcher Weddings Inc.


Best ISES Team Effort Budget under $75,000 USD

WOW Awards Program

Rick Jobe
Jobe & Associates

Julie Hill
Jobe & Associates

John Bibbo Jr.
Event Source

Tracy Moran, CSEP
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Bill Ferguson, CSEP, CERP
Event Source

Jim Riley
Ohio Historical Society

Amy Huggins, CMP
Greater Columbus Convention Center

Best ISES Team Effort Budget $75,000 - $200,000 USD

Age of Aquarius

Carolyn Luscombe, CSEM, CSEP, CMP
Eclectic Events International

Simon Rayment
Pandor Productions

Julie Brunjes
Stardust Events

Carol Mair
Balloon Corporate Events

Stacy Wyatt

Best ISES Team Effort Budget over $200,000 USD

Did you hear the news? Gala

Ashleigh Dorfman, CSEP
Posh Productions LLC

Dave Fritz
CORT Event Furnishings

Dave Edwards, CSEP
Dave Edwards Events Inc.

Mike Ostrow
Entertainment Exchange Inc.

Sheila Graham, CSEP
DatocWitten Group Inc.

Vincent DiGiorgio
Digital Lightning

Lois Finley
Event Digital Photography Inc.

Kevin Olivera
Olivera Music Entertainment

Ray Bialek
Bialek's Music Ltd.

Joann Chae
Atlantic Valet

Heidi Berger
AFR Event Furnishings

Holly Star
CPR MultiMedia Solutions

Next Page: New Look, New Programs


New Look, New Programs: ISES Is Evolving 

By Brian Acheson, CSEP, 2013-2014 ISES President

I’m extremely honored to be selected as President of ISES. I made a commitment to ISES years ago when I pledged to serve on the ISES Dallas Board. My commitment at that time was to serve as vice president of membership, and I had no idea at that time where the initial assignment would lead.

As you can imagine over these 16 years, I’ve seen lots of changes with ISES. I became involved in the organization when it was a collection of local event planners and their related partners who had a vision for what could be. ISES has transitioned from a group of “party planners” to a true, defined profession with a significant economic impact. Now, beginning our 27th year, I look toward the future with enthusiasm and optimism. 

Our profession is continuing to evolve. The special events profession is now more integrated with corporate marketing than ever before, and coming out of the recession, our social event businesses are more focused on outcomes and educating our buying publics. Our visibility within the hospitality industry is at an all-time high. We are now viewed as a critical component to a successful marketing campaign, a visible part of a fundraising effort and a much-appreciated component to a social milestone or celebration. This progress cannot be understated! 

Along with our profession, ISES is changing as well. We have a new look, a new public face and new programs to offer our constituents. Our ISES brand characteristics of creativity, inspiration, teamwork, education and fellowship have never been more apparent than they are right now.   

In the year ahead, I’ll be working with the ISES international leadership on a laundry list of project related to the five impact areas that the organization’s leadership identified a few years ago: 

·        Technology

·        Chapter efficiencies

·        Marketing and branding

·        Information

·        Education and member services

We have a full plate of work this coming year in each of these categories. I remain 100 percent committed to helping shape the future of ISES in a positive way—as president and beyond. As we grow, I will keep our focus on our first priority—our members.


Name: Brian Acheson, CSEP
Company: VIP Events
Address: 381 Casa Linda Plaza, Suite 153
Dallas, TX 75218
Phone: 972/203-8003

ISES Editorial Team and Staff

ISES Editorial Committee
Caroline Sewell

Volunteer Editor
Encore Events
Greater Triangle N.C.
[email protected]

Christina Currie
Christina Currie Events Inc

Stacy Heit
America's Promise Alliance
Washington D.C.

Carol Roleder
Craig's Crew Inc.
Los Angeles

ISES Staff
Kelly Rehan

Managing Editor
[email protected]

Kevin Hacke
Executive Director
[email protected]

Kristin Prine
Operations Manager
[email protected]

Lauren Rini
Senior Coordinator of Specialty Programs
[email protected]

Tom McCurrie
Chapter Services Senior Associate
[email protected]

Caitlin Cusack
Membership Services Associate
[email protected]



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