Grace L.P. Beason is the Owner and Lead Consultant at Grace Leisure Events LLC, which she founded in late 2005. She has over 13 years of experience in planning social events, fundraisers and weddings, and previously worked as a planner for The Catering Company of Chapel Hill, NC and Marcy Blum Associates, Susan Bell Special Events, and The Knot Inc., all in New York City. Grace is a member of the Triangle chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives and was recently awarded with the title of Best Wedding of 2011 (having previously won the same award in 2009.) She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in the History of Art from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
Jon Campos, CMP
Jon Campos is Manager of Conference Operations at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in Durham, NC. Previously Jon worked as Assistant Director with the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and as Meetings Director at the North Carolina Bankers Association. He has a Master of Science degree in Textiles from North Carolina State University and has over 15 years of conference planning experience. After serving as a graduate teaching assistant while attending NC State, Jon became interested in conference planning while working on technical programs for the textile industry. Since then he has managed events of all sizes throughout the United States and has also worked in Europe and the Caribbean.
Ashley Feit has 15 years of corporate experience in public relations, communications and marketing. She earned a B.A. in Mass Communications with a focus on public relations and an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing from the University of South Florida. Ashley recently moved to the Triangle area from Florida and works for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. She was previously a Marketing Manager for BASF and for Richmond American Homes where she was responsible for developing and implementing marketing plans for new products, trade shows and brand awareness as well as planning special events. Career highlights include being named a President’s Award winner at BASF and having two of her articles featured as cover stories in industry magazines. She is an active member of the Triangle chapter of the American Marketing Association and volunteers with the Cary Creative Center.
Lyn Gleasure, CMP, CPCE
Lyn Gleasure is the Conference Sales Manager for Biltmore ®, a National Historic Landmark that includes Biltmore House – America’s Largest Home –Inn on Biltmore Estate, and the Biltmore Winery. With more than 14 years of hands-on experience in the event sales, design, and catering industry, Lyn has managed a multitude of corporate, association, and non-profit events. Lyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida and is active in the Charlotte chapters of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and the International Special Events Society (ISES). She has also been nominated for numerous awards including Special Events Magazine Gala Awards, ISES Evie Awards, and ISES Esprit Awards.
Blair Cox Hofmann is a Catering Manager and Executive Meeting Manager at Embassy Suites Raleigh/Durham Research Triangle, located in Cary. Blair has been in the hospitality industry over thirteen years with a background in restaurant management and operations working with Rocky Top Hospitality. Since 2007 Blair has been with both Marriott and Hilton branded hotels; while with Marriott she was certified in Event Planning, Event Operations, and Green Meetings. Blair has experience in sales, catering and event management with Association, SMERF, Corporate and Sports markets. Blair graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in Psychology.
Matthew Marcial, CMP
Matthew Marcial, CMP is a meetings & events professional with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He currently serves as Director of Meetings & Education for NAFA Fleet Management Association in Princeton, NJ. Matthew has also previously led the meetings & events department at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. He also has a background in hotel & resort management, previously holding positions as National Sales Manager, Convention Services Manager, and Director of Reservations. Matthew holds an MBA from Florida International University, and holds the CMP designation. ConventionSouth Magazine recently honored him with a 2012 Meeting Professional to Watch Award. Matthew is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is serving on the 2012-2013 Marketplace Advisory Council.
Kathy Norris, CMP, CMM
Kathy Norris has been a customer service manager, an association executive, an event planner for the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and most recently a corporate meeting planner for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Kathy has experience planning a wide variety of meetings, conferences and events and has earned both the CMP and CMM credentials and the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Kathy currently serves as Chair of the Education Committee for the Carolinas Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and is a past board member. She was named the chapter’s 2010 Meeting Planner of the Year and her work on the education committee recently earned her the chapter’s Pat on the Back Award. She volunteers with North Carolina Theatre, USO of North Carolina, The Woman’s Club of Wake Forest and Relay for Life.
Elizabeth Peeler, CMP
Elizabeth Davis Peeler gained experience during her 15 years planning for corporations such as Progress Energy and First Citizens Bank before going out on her own in 2003 as an independent meeting planner and event consultant. She started D-P Planning Meetings & Events and began managing meetings and conferences for companies around the Triangle and beyond. Elizabeth is a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, SC, where she earned a BA in English.
Caroline Sewell has enjoyed over 13 years of success as owner of Encore Events, Inc., designing events for social and corporate clients. Growing up enjoying the excitement of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the pomp and circumstance of Washington, D.C., Caroline always knew she wanted to create memories for others to cherish. She has held many positions at the local and international level of the International Special Events Society (ISES) and is currently the Volunteer Editor of ISES Pages found in Special Events Magazine. Caroline holds a B.S in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech and enjoys the opportunity to encourage those interested in seeking a career in the event industry.
Katie Shepherd is originally from Jamestown, NC and joined NC GreenPower in 2008 as Marketing and Communications Manager. She serves as a liaison between NC GreenPower and the public, media and contributors, and she brings to the position 12 years of design and marketing expertise. A graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she holds a BA in graphic design with a concentration in Spanish. Katie then spent a decade at an established downtown Raleigh advertising agency, creating collateral, print and television ads for high profile clients such as Leith Automotive, Wakefield Plantation and Centex Homes as their Creative Director and real estate Account Executive.
Cord Silverstein holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hofstra University and has been working on the Internet for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Ignite Social Media, Cord worked with a number of top brands including Dell Computer Corporation, IBM and MetLife. As Director of Strategic Innovation, Cord Silverstein provides guidance to clients on how to effectively engage with their target markets through social media channels. He guides social media strategies for national campaigns for Chrysler, Verizon Small Business and Samsung. In his role, Cord understands the target markets and client expectations to develop strategies that exceed program success metrics. Cord is an avid and exciting speaker who has spoken at events and industry conferences across the country for organizations like the American Marketing Association and Public Relations Society of America among others.
Sally Webb, CSEP
Sally Webb is CEO of The Special Event Company (TSEC), with offices in North Carolina, USA and London, England. Sally founded TSEC in 1986 from a background in sports PR and marketing as one of the first dedicated event management companies in the UK. Her personal accolades include International Event Producer of the Year by Event Solutions Magazine in 2004, Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Special Events Society (ISES) in 2008, Business Leader Magazines Top 50 Women Extraordinaire Award in 2010 and Special Event Magazines Top 25 Greatest Industry Influencers of the past 25 years in 2011. Sally is a founding member and former President of the United Kingdom Chapter of the International Special Events Society, and past Regional Vice President for the Euro-Africa Region. She currently sits on the Certification Committee for ISES and was the first European to obtain the Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP) designation.