As we count down the days until we come together in Austin, TX, let’s get to know this year’s featured speakers. Get your calendar ready—there's a lot of great sessions coming your way!
Alyson Zildjian, Owner, Zildjian Catering and Consulting
Chef/Owner Alyson Zildjian has been working and creating in the food industry for over 35 years. Zildjian Catering and Consulting is in the 13th year of business in Sarasota, FL. She is a Johnson and Wales University graduate and studied classical style cooking at the Hotel Institute for Management in Montreux, Switzerland. You can find Chef Alyson in Sarasota appearing on Channel 7 ABC as a guest Chef on the news at Noon and The Suncoast View throughout the year. She loves doing cooking segments and educating the public with speaking engagements on such topics as Food is Medicine and the importance of adopting green business practices. She is also known for providing short talks and demonstrations on quick easy recipes using fresh local organic ingredients. Chef Alyson has been a contributing writer to Edible Sarasota Magazine, Woman of the West Coast, and local newspapers. She recently was invited to attend the World Economic Forum in NYC as a thought leader to discuss New Frontiers of Nutrition and what is Shaping the Future of Consumption. Her company Zildjian Catering won Best Cater for SRQ Magazine in 2019,2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 as well as a Sustainable Business Award for their green initiatives and recognition of their commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Chef Alyson's passion is to be part of a society that supports environmental sustainability and social justice by having a food system that is good, clean and fair.
Fast Chat: How to Have Fun Creating Green Events & Sustainable Business Practices
12:00 p.m. Thursday, February 15
This talk is intended to bring awareness and define what is a green event. Alyson will present the benefits of adopting sustainable business practices in your office and at your events. We'll discuss the trends and solutions for creating successful green events that are simple and easy to implement. Working with event planners, employees, and clients, we can all reduce our impact on the planet and leave it a clean and greener place.
Armando Seledon, CSEP, CTA, Associate Director of Member Engagement, Visit San Antonio
Armando Seledon, CSEP, CTA has 14+ years of event management, production, and event sales experience. He has worked on a wide scale of projects from weddings, social, and corporate events to large scale trade shows. Armando has won local, national, and international design awards in the industry for a variety of projects. Armando holds the prestigious Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation. He is one of only four in San Antonio and one of less than 600 in the world to hold this designation. He is also an avid advocate for tourism and holds a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) designation as well. His event experience includes years as the Special Events Manager & Producer of central Texas’ largest convention sized bridal show. He owned his own floral, planning, and design business for 5 years before closing it in 2017 to pursue his event career in corporate events as the Sales Account Manager for Capers Destination Management Company, and an Account Executive at Hosts Texas. Armando has also worked for Visit San Antonio as a Destination Experience Manager and now is the Associate Director of Member Engagement with Visit San Antonio. He has held a board position of International Live Events Association (ILEA) San Antonio Chapter for the last 8 years and now serves at the Southwest Regional Vice President for ILEA. Hailing from Chicago, Armando is a city guy and northerner at heart but now calls Texas home.
Randi Steinhart, CSEP, Owner & Event Producer, RS Event Productions
Randi Steinhart, CSEP is the owner and event producer for RS Event Productions in Dallas, a boutique event planning firm specializing in nonprofit, corporate and social events. Celebrating ten years in business, RS Event Productions has been honored with numerous nominations for Texas Star Awards and as an Esprit Award Finalist. Randi has had her CSEP for 8 years.
Stacey Hoyt, CMP, CSEP, Director of Events, KMFA Classical
Stacey Hoyt, CMP, CSEP is an event producer, venue manager, and educator from Austin, Texas. She is currently the director of events at KMFA Classical 89.5, a freelance stage manager, and an adjunct professor at Austin Community College and The University of Texas. She chairs the CSEP Committee for the International Live Events Association (ILEA), and she has served in multiple leadership roles for the ILEA Austin Chapter.
Fast Chat: Boost Your Marketability with the CSEP Certification
11:15 a.m. Wednesday, February 14
Hear from seasoned event industry leaders and CSEP holders about how their professional certification has increased their knowledge of the industry, given them access to new relationships, and elevated their marketability. Let them show you how you can harness the power of the CSEP, and relay what being certified means to your clients.