Speakers

Dawn Abbott, CSEP

CEO and Owner of Fun Productions, Inc

Dawn Abbott, CSEP is CEO and Owner of Fun Productions, Inc., which she began in 1991. She is also the owner & the chief creative officer of Colorado Teambuilding Events and VIE Events which are the sister companies to Fun Productions, Inc. Life’s path has taken Dawn on a journey to find her true gifts; strengths and purpose in speaking, coaching, facilitation and training through her latest company Be Exceptional. Dawn Abbott, CSEP served for 2 years as the Western Regional Vice-President for ILEA and served 6 years on the ILEA Denver Board of Directors.  In 2011, she was inducted into the ILEA Hall of Fame as well as Colorado Meeting and Events Magazine Hall of Fame. Dawn has grown her small business from a tiny start up out of her home to a multi-office, 14,000 square foot warehouse and showroom with 40+ employees and multi-million dollar revenues.  She credits her lack of creativity but very strong skills in business planning and logistics, as well as being a good leader who engages and empowers her team for the success she has.

Rob Barber

Vice President, Atomic Design, Inc.

Since joining ATOMIC in 2010 as vice president of rental solutions, Rob has implemented fundamental changes in the scenic rental industry while staying true to ATOMIC’s “Packs small, plays BIG” mantra. At ATOMIC, Rob has introduced over 70 new products and several new patented product lines, including Modular SuperLever, FASTwall, and SuperZipper. In addition to world headquarters in Lititz, PA, Rob and his team have successfully launched locations in Los Angeles, Miami, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Singapore. 

Rob comes to ATOMIC with 25 years of executive leadership in technology and systems implementation and has developed the technology of printing on eggs, as well as, environmentally controlled poultry houses, and all sorts of other “really weird chicken things.” Rob claims to know more about chickens and eggs than 99% of the world’s population. He has a formal education in fine woodworking and business management…an oddly weird and perfect fit for ATOMIC. 

 

Lilli Black

Owner, Sweetly Paired

Lilli Black started Bella Calla, a high-end flower shop, in 2010 and started her path in the wedding business. Bella Calla went from 16 weddings in the first year to 125 their second season. The shop and the team she built rocked it and grew in size, as well as scope. In 2017, Lilli sold the floral business and moved into planning full time. In 2013 she began Sweetly Paired event planning and has planned many events in the mountains of Colorado. She specializes in Colorado's destination wedding market. Her team works in Vail, Beaver Creek, and Aspen often, and plan about 75 weddings a year. Personally she has planned, designed, and executed more than 1000 weddings in her career. 

In 2017 she purchased and re-launched www.coloradogayweddings.com - an online vendor listing site for vendors who are pleased to serve ANY type of client. She is passionate about the right of any couple to get married, and excited to help them find vendors who they don’t have to ask, “Do you take same-sex weddings?”

 

Jon'll Boyd

CEO, Completely Yours Events, LLC
Creater and Founder of The Planners Suite Conference

Jon’ll Boyd is the CEO of Completely Yours Events, LLC and the creator and founder of The Planners Suite Conference. Certified through the Lovegevity The Wedding Planning Institute, today she leads a team of three Lead Event Coordinators managing over 65 events each year. Boyd enjoyed a successful career in sales and marketing before embarking on her venture, and she is fascinated by this industry that she feels chose her. She actively seeks out new ways to give back to the industry by paying it forward and mentoring other starting and transitioning planners.

 

 

Nigel Collin

Founder, Game of Inches Co.

Nigel Collin created his first business at the age of twenty and sold it at twenty-one. He then went on to build Absurd Entertainment, one of Australia largest entertainment design companies in the events industry. He worked extensively on the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and holds the accolade of being show director for Australia's largest ever corporate event in 2005. He now advises his clients and speaks on driving consistent business growth step by step. In 2017 he was awarded 'outstanding contribution' to meetings and events by MEA in Australia.

In 2013, armed with a video camera, Nigel set off on an initiative to travel throughout Australia, solo on his motorbike, to discover ingenious Australians and share their stories. Through ‘Ingenious Oz Project’, his quest was to inspire the ideas of a Nation and as an ambassador of Start-up Australia, he has interviewed hundreds of Australia’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders. These initiatives and the unique research they offered led Nigel to establish Game of Inches Co. an organization committed to helping businesses grow through a tested and pragmatic process of small changes leading to big results.

Bobby Dutton

Founder and Director, GrooveBoston

Bobby Dutton created GrooveBoston in 2004, and set out to pioneer a new concert model, built on the statement that "music is no longer a spectator sport."  Bobby and his team have designed nine concert tours -- most recently "Proximity," with 30+ stops all over the US.  His team also takes on challenging projects outside of the music space, under the pseudonym "Mission Six."  Whether they're on stage, on a college campus, or on a mountain, the common goal is to make people happy through legendary events.  

 

Tahira Endean, CMP, DES, CED

Independent Event Producer

Event producer Tahira Endean is committed to the industry and has been recognized for a range of contributions. In 2016, she was named a MeetingsNet Changemaker, and nominated in Vancouver for Global Meetings Industry Day Influencer and MPI BC Chapter Mentor of the Year. In 2015 she was named one of the “Top 5 Women in Event Technology,”was inducted into the Meetings Canada Hall of Fame in the Big Idea category, and most recently was one of Canada’s 20 most Fascinating Women in events from Canadian Special Event magazine.

Driven by a fascination with what we are learning about neuroscience and the power of the five senses to enhance memory, knowledge retention and improve connections, she is continually seeking appropriate ways to design the most relevant meeting and event environments. An instructor at BCIT, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, she instructs both Special Event Planning and Sustainable Event Management. She is a frequent industry publication contributor, including several sections in the 9th edition of the CIC Manual which provides the framework for the CMP studies.


Richard Foulkes, CSEP

Independent Producer and Co-Founder of the Thought-Cake Institute

As an entrepreneur Richard started his first business at the age of 20 and sold at 21. In 2017, he was awarded ‘Outstanding Contribution’ to the Australian Business Events Industry, an alumni of Disney and a TEDx speaker.

Richard worked as a Board Director at the world’s largest independent creative agency, The Imagination Group, for over 25 years. Richard led global teams on brand communication programs for blue chip companies. He has extensive experience in project development and delivery across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 2012 Richard founded The Paradise Experiment a consulting business based on finding the perfect work life balance while adding value to its clients. He continues to search for Paradise.

Richard consults as a live marketing and business facilitator and as a speaker with a wide range of premium marketing agencies, businesses and associations worldwide.


Sandy Hammer

Founder, AllSeated

AllSeated founder Sandy Hammer boasts over 20 years of experience in the international events industry. She began as an entrepreneur establishing conferenceART, a company that produced corporate conferences, seminars, forums and brokerage events around the world for customers such as Orange Global, Telefonica and O2UK. Leveraging her events background, she created AllSeated to revolutionize and digitize the event planning process. Her position allows her to pursue her passion for educating and advancing the industry, and she enjoys being a highly sought-after national speaker. Under her leadership, AllSeated has been featured on BizBash, in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, She Finds, and Los Angeles Confidential, among other high-profile media outlets.

 

 

Fritha Knudsen

Creative Director/Executive Producer

Fritha Knudsen’s life in events began in the theatre, as a Costume Designer and Costume Director. The scope was big, the audience discerning and the budget small – all a perfect match for the transference of skills to corporate events.  Executive summits, user conferences, parties and product unveilings all employed these skills.  

She was the Director of the 1996 Swatch Olympic Project in Atlanta where she managed a $120 M sponsorship followed by the 2010 Vancouver Games as a Producer of the Official Olympic Film in 3-D.  Eco Seagate led her to New Zealand and Australia for 6 years to produce several events including the Executive Leadership/Adventure Race, a meeting with the Prime Minister of India for Google, a goodbye party for John Chambers at Levi Stadium for 40,000 people, and the creation of a park in San Francisco for the Salesforce event Dreamforce.

 


Lara McCulloch

Brand Consultant

A renowned, results-driven marketing expert with over 20 years as a Brand Consultant for multinationals like Cadbury-Adams, Unilever and Shell, Lara brings ‘Big Brand Thinking’ to small business.

Lara’s been touted as a pioneering force in the marketing revolution, founding one of the world’s first twitter communities, #eventprofs, which was featured in Tim O'Reilly's The Twitter Book and producing the New & Noteworthy Start Some Shift podcast. She’s travelled throughout the world as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, changing the way that companies think about their brands.

The culmination of Lara’s passion and experience has heralded leadership posts on numerous industry Advisory Boards, a monthly column for an international magazine and recognition by ILEA for dedication, spirit and leadership. She was named Top 40 under 40 by Ignite and Rejuvenate Magazines, honored with the Spirit of the Industry award by CEI and was esteemed with the title of Industry Innovator by BizBash Magazine.

 

Shannon Morrison

Owner, IM Creative

Shannon Morrison is one of the preeminent creatives working in events today. Just ask him! He is an owner of IM Creative, the global event design and production company of choice for clients including UPS, Intel, Pandora, Novartis, and more. Prior to his work in corporate industrials, Shannon was a producer of the Broadway musicals Legally Blonde, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Movin' Out and others. He holds a BA in Psychology and Theater Studies from Yale and an MFA in Musical Theater Writing from NYU. In addition to appearing in Inc., Forbes, the Queer Money podcast and The Silicon Review, he has been awarded numerous accolades within the event industry including best innovation, best industry contribution, best global non-profit event, best corporate event, and best multi-platform marketing event from organizations including the AMA, ILEA and IABC. He is not afraid to call you out, to state his opinion, or to break the rules. In fact, that is his job. His company, IM Creative, is certified diverse by the NGLCC and has been named to the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing privately held firms numerous times.

 

Donny Neufuss

Director, Digital Engagement, eSports Vertical Market Leader

Donny started his career working in the music industry late 2001. Today Donny works at Production Resource Group as the eSports Vertical Market Leader and Director, Business Development. Being a lifelong gamer, PRG asked Donny to lead a team dedicated to supporting the eSports market. Currently Donny and his team are supporting organizers such as DreamHack, ESL, ELeaugue, EA, UbiSoft, Activision and many more.

Donny also leads the Digital Engagement Team at PRG. This team provides the latest digital solutions for Association, Corporate and the Entertainment industry. Solutions that include content management systems, video streaming, digital signage, interactive touchscreen technology, data intelligence, custom online integrations, augmented and virtual reality, etc. Donny’s team seeks out the best in class tools to help organizations achieve their engagement goals with their attendees. And if the tool doesn’t exist,  the PRG Digital Engagement Team is able to build it.


Deborah Roth-Bush

Relationship Marketing Manager, Greater Giving

Debby Roth-Bush, Relationship Marketing Manager, Greater Giving, is responsible for recruiting the top U.S.-based auctioneers, event planners and consultants who have a passion for working with non-profits. Debby works with partners and key clients in coordinating on-going training to non-profit fundraising through the Greater Giving Working Smarter Webinars and seminar events. Prior to joining the company, she was the Channel Marketing Manager at Tektronix, coordinating partner activities and planning many of the large corporate training events around the country. She is an active volunteer with several local non-profits. Debby is a graduate of Mendenhall Auction School and has earned her Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS), Auction Marketing Manager (AMM), and Auction Technology Specialist (ATS) designations through the National Auctioneers Association. Debby’s professional memberships include the Association of Fundraising Professionals, International Live Events Association, and the National Auctioneers Association.

 

Julia Spangler

Consultant, Owner of Sustainable Events LLC

Julia Spangler helps organizations and event professionals reduce the environmental impact of their events in order to preserve our planet and deliver great guest experiences. Her services include recycling, composting, food waste prevention, and floral donation, as well as sustainability training and presentations. Julia has helped events at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Indiana Convention Center, and other major venues implement a zero waste planning process, resulting in waste diversion rates as high as 92%.Julia is a member of ILEA and MPI and is a Hoosier Environmental Council Green Business Supporter. She also serves as Editor in Chief of Fair for All Guide, a blog covering ethical consumer habits, sustainable living and more, with a focus on providing realistic, practical lifestyle tips.

 

*As of June 2018

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