ESPRIT AWARDS

Learn how exceptional creative event professionals improve and extend their achievements and drive continued innovation in the industry with ILEA’s Esprit® Awards. For over 20 years, the ILEA Esprit Awards program has been one of the most dynamic multi-disciplinary events industry awards programs, attracting an exceptional range, depth and quality of entries. Learn more about the Esprit Awards.

ILEA Live hosts the annual Esprit Awards Gala to honor the year's nominees and announce the winners. 

 

2018 Esprit Awards Gala

Friday, 17 August, 6:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Wings Over the Rockies
​Theme: Mile High Revelry
Attire: Formal; Black Tie Suggested

Celebrate the achievements of creative event professionals at Wings Over the Rockies. Join us for a glamorous cocktail hour, plated dinner, award presentation, and dancing and music from the Jordan Kahn Orchestra. Black tie optional but encouraged. Requires separate ticket purchase.

PURCHASE TICKETS

Master of Ceremonies: Jake Beaber

Emcee/DJ

For almost 20 years, Jake has been honing his craft as a master entertainer, from performing in the biggest clubs in Chicago and Las Vegas, to working on the radio and acting with Second City Improv.

His skill sets and professionalism are rarely seen in the talent industry and have quickly made him one of the best and most requested MCs and personalities in the special event arena. With the philosophy of always having “constant energy," Jake moves people of all ages and backgrounds with humor, class and musical creativity. Whether spinning the hottest dance tracks, MC’ing your corporate event, or making your dream day a reality, the mood never gets dull!

2018 ILEA Esprit Awards Nominees

Best Catered Event

40th Anniversary Gala
Shelby Sewell , Foodz Catering
ILEA Chapter: Seattle

La Catrina!
Art Menchaca, Rosemary's Catering/The RK Group
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Venkataraman Indian Wedding Celebration
Erin Greene, Two Caterers 
ILEA Chapter: Columbus

Best Culinary Innovation

Donut Hole Mural
Kelly Early, CSEP, Thomas Caterers of Distinction
ILEA Chapter: Indiana 

The Kitchen Community – Living Salad
Ingrid Nagy, CSEP, Catering by Design
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Timeless Taste
Cindy Walker, Mintahoe Catering & Events
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Event Filmmaking (Videography)

Dawn & Steve's Rustic Mountain Wedding
Chris Orwat, Pure Cinematography
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Illuminated
Justen Pohl, Enticing Entertainment
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis/St. Paul

Texas Ranch Night
Morris Goen, Goen South
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Best Event Photography

Theresa and Adam's Hometown Wedding
Jeannine Pohl, Jeannine Marie Photography
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis/St. Paul

Triangle Wine: A Food and Wine Experience
Kate Pope, Kate Pope Photography
ILEA Chapter: Raleigh Durham

WestJet Christmas Party The Steampunk Express
Stephanie Leblond, Leblond Studio Inc.
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Best Print Marketing/Design Collateral

Chinese New Year 2017 Year of the Rooster
Lenny Talarico, CSEP, MGM Resorts Event Productions
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Pure Imagination
Laney Hall, Platypus Papers
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Star Gala
Ryan Hanson, CSEP, BeEvents
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Matthew Trettel
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Industry Contribution

The Real, "Unreal" Wedding
Dona Liston, Lambermont Events
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Best Industry Innovation

AllSeated Brings Virtual Reality Experience For Event Planning
Sandy Hammer, AllSeated
ILEA Chapter: New York Metro

Raining Cats and Dogs
Rocky & Terry Toomey, Future Affairs Productions
ILEA Chapter: Boston

StretchSet Udon
Rob Barber, ATOMIC
ILEA Chapter: Member at Large

Best Event Logistics and Support Services

REINVENT
Barb Harris, CSEP, DMCP, CTC Destination Management
ILEA Chapter: Chicago

San Francisco Giant Race and Health and Wellness Expo
Antonia Lopez, Giants Enterprises
ILEA Chapter: Northern California

Turning Up the Heat for a New Year’s Eve Wedding
Kristen Hinton, CERP, All Occasions Event Rental
ILEA Chapter: Cincinnati

Best Event Solution

Destination Change: An Incentive Trip Surprise
Jason Sick, CMP, Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner 
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Deana Mitchell, Realize Colorado
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown Grand Opening
David Merrell, AOO Events
ILEA Chapter: Los Angeles

MAPFRE Gala Convención
Lenny Talarico, CSEP, MGM Resorts Event Productions
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Best Technical Production

Leading With Purpose: University of the Pacific Campaign Launch
Jim Hooker, Stratelyst Creative
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Raining Cats and Dogs
Rocky & Terry Toomey, Future Affairs Productions
ILEA Chapter: Boston

Target Commons
Todd Skinner, Production Canada
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Best Event Design/Décor (Under $25,000 USD)

Niagara Falls
Carolyn Luscombe, CSEM, CSEP, CMP, Eclectic Events International Inc.
ILEA Chapter: Toronto

The Birthday Bash - A Celebration of Wedding Professionals!
Allison M. Dunning, CBA (Certified Balloon Artist), Balloon Art by Merry Makers
ILEA Chapter: Denver

The Food You Bake Is Equal To The Love You Make
Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, Brass Tacks Events
ILEA Chapter: Portland

Marcela Bogado Dhar, TMFA, Malleret Designs
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Best Event Design/Décor ($25,000- $75,000 USD)

A Christmas Carol Celebration
Sharon Bonner, Bright Ideas Events
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Bronzed Summer Dinner
Cassandra Darling , ZenGenius 
ILEA Chapter: Columbus 

Race Against the Clock: A Secret IPO Celebration
Jason Sick, CMP, Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner 
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Best Event Design/Décor (Over $75,000 USD)

Gold Bar Gala
Sharon Bonner, Bright Ideas Events
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown Grand Opening
David Merrell, AOO Events
ILEA Chapter: Los Angeles

MAPFRE China
Lenny Talarico, CSEP, MGM Resorts Event Productions
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Best Entertainment Production (Under $25,000 USD)

Alice & Wonderful
Kelly Greenheart, CIRCUS PICNIC
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Electric Glow
Morris Goen, Goen South Events
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Illuminated
Justen Pohl, Enticing Entertainment
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis/ St. Paul

Best Entertainment Production ($25,000 - $75,000 USD)

An Extraordinary Evening at Sunset Station
Linsey Lindberg , Austin Oddities & Entertainment
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Freak Show
Justen Pohl, Enticing Entertainment
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis/ St. Paul

Give Kids the World Gala - A Night of Dreams
Cameron Rust, Hello! Destination Management
ILEA Chapter: Orlando

Janice Dowling, Hello! Destination Management
ILEA Chapter: Orlando

Best Entertainment Production (Over $75,000 USD)

Chinese New Year 2017 Year of the Rooster
Lenny Talarico, CSEP, MGM Resorts Events
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown Grand Opening
David Merrell, AOO Events
ILEA Chapter: Los Angeles

Reinvent the Night
Michael Brown, CSEP, Hello! Las Vegas Destination Management
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Best Corporate Event (Under $75,000 USD)

Race Against the Clock: A Secret IPO Celebration
Jason Sick, CMP, Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner 
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Simplicity Meets Style: An Abstract Koi Pond Awards Night
Casee Safford, Ultimate Ventures
ILEA Chapter: Dallas

The Food You Bake Is Equal To The Love You Make
Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, Brass Tacks Events
ILEA Chapter: Portland

Best Corporate Event ($75,000 - $150,000 USD)

A Christmas Carol Celebration
Sharon Bonner, Bright Ideas Events
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

A Luxe Havana Night with Gilded Group
Sue Jeon, CMP, DMCP, CSI DMC
ILEA Chapter: Greater Washington DC

A Vegas Hangover
Patrick Peel, Hello! Las Vegas Destination Management
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Best Corporate Event (Over $150,000 USD)

A Night at Star Hill Ranch
Lauran Grimes, Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner 
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown Grand Opening
David Merrell, AOO Events
ILEA Chapter: Los Angeles

MAPFRE Gala Convención
Lenny Talarico, CSEP, MGM Resorts Event Productions
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Best Event for a Non-Profit Organization (Under $75,000 USD)

Celebrate: A Festive Evening Toasting 25 Years of Saving Lives
Deborah Hermann, CWP, GhostLight Productions, LLC
ILEA Chapter: Cleveland

Under The Sea - President's Academic Awards Dinner
Charlene McWilliams, MBA, Sam Houston State University
ILEA Chapter: Houston

Renee Moran-Chavez, Magic Moments Parties and Events
ILEA Chapter: Houston

Best Event for a Non-Profit Organization ($75,000 - $150,000 USD)

CFAES Fall Scholarship Dinner
William Smiley, MBA, The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
ILEA Chapter: Columbus

Hearts Out 2017
Jessica Tkachuk, Boom Goes the Drum Inc.
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

The Bel Air Affaire 2017 - Jerusalem Nights
Joann Roth-Oseary, Someone's In The Kitchen
ILEA Chapter: Los Angeles

Best Event for a Non-Profit Organization (Over $150,000 USD)

Beauty Changes Lives
Kathy Miller, Total Event Resources
ILEA Chapter: Chicago

Leading With Purpose: University of the Pacific Campaign Launch
Jim Hooker, Stratelyst Creative
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Teck Acute Care Centre Premiere
Nancy Stoiber, BC Children's Hospital Foundation
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Best Event with a Legacy

Convocation 2017
Barbara Siska, CSEP, University of Chicago
ILEA Chapter: Chicago

Give Kids the World Gala - A Night of Dreams
Cameron Rust, Hello! Destination Management
ILEA Chapter: Orlando

Holding out for a Hero
Terry Toomey, Future Affairs Productions
ILEA Chapter: Rhode Island

Best Social Event (non-wedding) (Under $25,000 USD)

Great Gatsby Surprise 60th Birthday
Erin Bjorkstedt, Eventful Planning
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Best Social Event (non-wedding) ($25,000 - $75,000 USD)

Freak Show
Justen Pohl, Enticing Entertainment 
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Great GatsBEA!
Dustin Westling, CSEP, OneWest Events Inc.
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

The Last Dance
Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, Brass Tacks Events
ILEA Chapter: Portland

Best Social Event (non-wedding) (Over $75,000 USD)

50th Birthday Celebration
Cassie Brown, CSEP, TCG Events
ILEA Chapter: Charlotte

Cirque du Carolina
Billinda Wilkinson, Wilkinson Rhodes
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Fifty & Fabulous
Lori Hart, Silhouette Group
ILEA Chapter: New York Metro

Best Public Event

2017 Furry 5K
Gazala Uradnik, GFS Events
ILEA Chapter: Seattle

Band Together Bay Area Benefit Concert
Antonia Lopez, Giants Enterprises
ILEA Chapter: Northern California

UNVEILED - The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event
The Wedding Guys
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Wedding (Under $75,000 USD)

Anchors Away: The Paulina & Matthew Adventure
Stacey DeWine, Panache Event Group
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Capturing Romance in Lake Louise
Amy Nelson, Lynn Fletcher Weddings
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Best Wedding ($75,000 - $150,000 USD)

A Unique New York Wedding
Lori Hart, Silhouette Group
ILEA Chapter: New York Metro

Boho Meets Soho
Kristin Banta, Kristin Banta Events
ILEA Chapter: Los Angeles

Romantic Outdoor Wedding
Jessica Kirby, CSEP, CLINK
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Best Wedding (Over $150,000 USD)

Home Sweet Home
Gretchen Culver, Rocket Science Events
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Elizabeth Partyka, Avant Decor
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

MY HOME
Lynn Fletcher, CSEP, Lynn Fletcher Weddings
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Spiritual Ojai Wedding Celebration
Kristin Banta, Kristin Banta Events
ILEA Chapter: Los Angeles

Best Meeting/Conference Program (Under $500,000 USD)

A Masterful Reward in Music City
Marie Mitchell, Maple Ridge Events
ILEA Chapter: Nashville

Best ILEA Volunteer Collaboration

A Tricentennial Tribute: An Event 300 Years in the Making
Art Menchaca, The RK Group
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Linsey Lindberg, Austin Oddities & Entertainment
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Julie McGarraugh, McNay Art Museum
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Chris Koval, Future Sounds
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Marco Buenrostro, MBP Photobooth Co.
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Damian Williams, Sun Gold Photography
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Gretchen Hess Olivares, Aly Am Paperie Invitations & Gifts
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Margaret Garza, H-E-B Blooms
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Through the Wardrobe: The Vancouver Event Industry Holiday Party
Corinne Kessel, CSEP, Greenscape Design & Decor
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Alex Bickers, Elizabeth Stanley Event Design
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Mark Happeney, ShowKraft Productions Serviced Limited
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Rob Porter, Elizabeth Stanley Event Design
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Gemma Scott, Go2 Productions
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Todd Skinner, Production Canada
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Anthony Vade, FMAV
ILEA Chapter: Toronto

Steve Matthews, Innovation Lighting
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Jennifer Winter, Rebelux Creative
ILEA Chapter: Vancouver

Wonka's Gum Ball - an Awards Gala
Julie Gambrell, Linen Hero
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Allison M. Dunning, CBA (Certified Balloon Artist), Balloon Art by Merry Makers
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Danielle Hassell, Catering By Design
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Carol Lathrop, CMP, IMES Events
ILEA Chapter: Denver

Circus Obscura
Jordan Adams, Big Time Creatives
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Rachael Hall, Rachael Hall Photography
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Jerry Hayes, Jerry Hayes Photography
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Bert McLendon, McLendon Photography
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Kyle Hayden, CSEP, Strong Events
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Cristin Meehan, DMCP, Altared Weddings and Events
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Jenn Guthrie, Marquee Event Group
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Delores Crum, CERP, Premiere Events
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Cathy Northcutt, EPIC Event Design
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Carolina Moody Bear, Big Dog Pyro
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Rhoda Brimberry, Loot Rentals
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Claudia Lopez, Kitsch Event Styling
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Stacey Hoyt, CSEP, CMP, Stacy Hoyt Events
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Elisa Pederson, Pinkberry Austin
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Lori Schneider, The Cupcake Bar
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Linsey Lindberg, Austin Oddities & Entertainment
ILEA Chapter: San Antonio

Michael Lucas, Lucas Artists
ILEA Chapter: Austin & San Antonio

Mia Washington, CMP, Mia the Event Diva
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Best ILEA Team Effort (Under $75,000 USD)

The Food You Bake is Equal To The Love You Make 
Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, Brass Tacks Events 
ILEA Chapter: Portland

Marcela Bogado Dhar, TMFA, Malleret Designs 
ILEA Chapter: Austin 

Delores Crum, CERP, Premiere Events 
ILEA Chapter: Austin 

Shannon Ferguson, The Inviting Pear 
ILEA Chapter: Austin 

Lisa Hause, Lisa Hause Photography 
ILEA Chapter: Austin

Best ILEA Team Effort (Over $150,000 USD)

Celebrate
Dustin Westling, CSEP, OneWest Events Inc.
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Lisa Marks, CSEP, Shaw Communications Inc
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Diane Stetz, fuze Entertainment
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Jarrett Hartwell, Proshow Audiovisual
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Paul Webber, FM SYSTEMS
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Stephanie Leblond, Leblond Studio Inc.
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Molly Howlett-Sexsmith, CSEP, The Calgary Stampede
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

Todd Skinner, Production Canada
ILEA Chapter: Calgary

GEN BLUE
Michael Brown, CSEP, Hello! Las Vegas Destination Management
ILEA Chapter: Las Vegas

Jamie Oristano, Just Bars
ILEA Chapter: South Florida Caribbean

Jon Adcock, PTE Productions
ILEA Chapter: Orlando

Jonathan Archer, New Sense 
ILEA Chapter: Orlando

Home Sweet Home
Gretchen Culver, Rocket Science Events
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Elizabeth Partyka, Avant Decor
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Josh Reitan, AV For You
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Carly Van Veldhuizen, Girl Friday
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Michelle Smith, Rudy's Event Rentals
ILEA Chapter: Minneapolis-St. Paul

One World MIT Dance Parties
Wendy Segal, Radius Event Design
ILEA Chapter: Boston

David Fox, David Fox Photographer
ILEA Chapter: Boston

Kate Cole, PEAK Event Services
ILEA Chapter: Boston

Amy Zediana Dearth, CSEP, Consider It Done Events
ILEA Chapter: Boston

Chris Flynn, Advanced Lighting & Production Services
ILEA Chapter: Boston

Bobby Dutton, GrooveBoston
ILEA Chapter: Boston

Gayle Gilberto, Art of the Event
ILEA Chapter: Boston

 

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