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TSE Featured Speakers: David Egan, David Merrell & More

Meet the speakers of Catersource + The Special Event!

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! 

David Egan, Consultant, 


For over thirty-five years, David Egan’s highly engaging, authentic style of presenting has brought people pretense-free, down-to-earth experiences that are superbly organized, fully researched, and easily accessible. David has lived and breathed weddings and events since 2002 at Chase Court, the event venue he owns in Baltimore, Maryland. He’s sat with thousands of couples as they planned their weddings, listening to what was said and what was unsaid, guiding and supporting them in making good decisions about their weddings. David writes a column on weddings for Baltimore OUTloud, Maryland's LGBTQ newspaper. While living in his native New England, David trained as an Emergency Medical Technician in basic and advanced life support and pre-hospital trauma life support and worked with several professional and volunteer ambulance services. He has served on the faculty of the Connecticut Emergency Medical Services Annual Conference; designed, staffed, and led emergency medical services for the American Lung Association of Connecticut’s multi-day bicycle-tour fund-raising events; and taught workshops on first aid and safety at major national bicycling gatherings. When he’s not doing something wedding (which is most of the time), David enjoys photography and pickleball. He loves primary colors, sports cars, and dark chocolate. David received a NACE One national award for Wedding of the Year in 2018 for a Harry Potter-themed wedding at Chase Court. 

Help!! Handling Medical Emergencies at Events, for Event Professionals 
2:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 

Medical emergencies can, and do, happen at events! How well event professionals are prepared to handle them makes all the difference between a great event (with a successful outcome for the patient) or a disaster. 

There's a lot to know. How do you approach and assess medical emergencies at events? How do you keep the event going at the same time? How do you make good decisions about patient care, and when do you need to call 911? 

David Egan brings you his extensive background as a pre-hospital emergency medical technician, emergency medical services educator, and twenty years as owner and operator of his own event venue. He'll take you through everything you need to know, in this energetic and entertaining session you won't want to miss. 

David Merrell, CEO, AOO Events 


David Merrell, CEO & Creative Director of AOO Events, has been instrumental in making the name AOO Events synonymous with innovative event design and production concepts. David’s inspiration and eye for design has been recognized with numerous awards including Best Event Décor, Best Corporate Event, and Best Wedding, among others. This diverse list of awards speaks volumes about the far-reaching talent and capabilities of David Merrell and the team he’s assembled at AOO Events. 

Personally, David has been named “Designer of the Year” by Event Solutions magazine and was awarded the prestigious Crystal SITE Award. Recent accolades include the 2017 Klaus Inkamp Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by the International Live Events Association (ILEA) and the 2019 Steve Kemble Leadership Award awarded at The Special Event 2019 global conference by the Steve Kemble Leadership Foundation. 

David frequently contributes articles to professional publications as well as speaks at national and international conferences on business, design, and event branding and marketing. David has also served on numerous industry boards. Until recently, he was on the ILEA (formerly ISES) board as president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter and sat on the boards of BizBash and Event Solutions. 

Susie Perelman, Owner, Mosaic 


Susie Perelman is the owner of Mosaic, Inc., a national linen and décor rental company based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Susie started her career after obtaining a foundation in the arts at Brown University. She worked in Washington DC and New York City in hospitality and developed a reputable career in marketing and communication. During this time she also traveled extensively and worked in her own art studio which enabled her to further fuel her creative soul while exploring and developing personal design solutions. 

Using decades of experiences and accomplishments, she started Mosaic in 2001. Collecting inspiration for design from sources around the globe, she brings a unique creative vision to the industry. Partnering with an extensive network of event professionals, Susie and her team have contributed to countless projects ranging from small and intimate to grand in scale.  Her philosophy, “collaboration is the key to success,” encourages vendors to contribute collectively to the whole. In so doing, the special events industry is able to provide clients with celebratory experiences that are both personalized and memorable. 

David Merrell & Susie Perelman Present: Current Trends in the Event Industry 
10:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 13

If you attend one seminar at CS+TSE, this is it! We need to know and understand that the post-COVID trend is that “trends” no longer apply to design. As the event industry stabilizes, the journey has been interesting—and busy. This presents new challenges and new opportunities. Come hear from David Merrell and Susie Perelman in this session, because no matter what, we will always want to stay ahead of our competition, and they have the goods! 

You can see David, David, and Susie LIVE at Catersource + The Special Event in Austin from Feb 12-15. 

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