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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into marketing?   I was originally a theater major and had every intent to be a lighting designer.   When in grad school I interned for Moody, Ravitz, and Hollingsworth (Visual Terrain), a light design firm in Los Angeles.   My mentor, Jim Moody, suggested that after grad school I should work at a production house in rental/sales so that I had the opportunity to meet and learn from other designers and to begin to grow my network. My first big client was Robert Isabell who was responsible for designing the Met Gala and other high-profile events.   In conjunction with many concerts, movie-premieres, ...
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The ILEA Boston 2021 Heart & Soul Gala was held Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 at Lake Pearl Wrentham. Thank you to our Partners: Generations Cinemastories Lake Pearl Wrentham Kataram Studios Entertainment Specialists Your Love In Lights Spinner Music Productions PEAK Event Services BAM Events Consider It Done Special Events Traveling Beauty #Events #awards
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning?   I am an accidental event industry vendor. In one of my past professional lives, I owned an interiors company that sold and shipped furniture to clients all over the country.   We began getting requests to rent our pieces for events, but I worried about someone spilling red wine or a cocktail meatball on a sofa we were trying to sell.  After researching the market, I realized that, aside from the decor companies, there weren’t many other companies offering interior inspired rentals.  Bowery & Bash was born in 2014. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away?   I am obsessed ...
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Established music and entertainment company, PM Gigs, seeks dynamic individual for position of Entertainment Curator. The individual will interface daily with current company president, booking agents, musicians, bands, entertainers, and clients assisting with daily operations. Review job description here, Entertainment_Curator_-_Job_Description___-_FINAL.pdf This is a full time position starting immediately. Send resume and cover letter to [Email address hidden. Click Apply to start your application.]. We will only contact qualified applicants for an interview. Due to the nature of our business we are not able to accept phone call inquiries. APPLY ...
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As we move into renewal season for ILEA, the Chicago Membership team sat down with Lifetime, Long Term, and Past President members to hear why they are so committed to being a part of ILEA. Learn more about why these members are moving ONWARD with ILEA! How long have you been a member of ILEA? 10 years! I signed up on my own dime the second I entered the event industry and have never looked back. On day two of being an ILEA member, I joined a Committee, and that was the best decision I made to get involved right out of the gate. What did it mean to you to be the President of the Greater Chicago Chapter? I was so proud to be the President of the Greater ...
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As we move into renewal season for ILEA, the Chicago Membership team sat down with Lifetime, Long Term, and Past President members to hear why they are so committed to being a part of ILEA. Learn more about why these members are moving ONWARD with ILEA! How long have you been a member of ILEA? I have been a member and volunteer of ILEA for more than 19 years. I am very committed to the events industry and love to actively contribute to the professional advancement of its members. What did it mean to you to be the President of the Greater Chicago Chapter? I was incredibly excited to serve the ILEA Greater Chicago Chapter as president. I was grateful ...
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Who/ what inspired you to go into marketing? It wasn’t as much an inspiration as it was a gamble on trying something new; 3 of us started the company, but only one of us had background in the branding space.  10 years later, we are about to expand into our third space, so it was a good gamble! Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I am a Boston Red Sox fan, even though I grew up in Illinois.    What do you love the most about what you do? Interfacing with our clients.  I am on the sales side of the company, and it fits me well.   The printing and production sides are better managed by others here who like that attention to ...
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As we move into renewal season for ILEA, the Chicago Membership team sat down with Lifetime, Long Term, and Past President members to hear why they are so committed to being a part of ILEA. Learn more about why these members are moving ONWARD with ILEA! How long have you been a member of ILEA? Since 2009 / 12 years What did it mean to you to be the President of the Greater Chicago Chapter? My presidency was about legacy; I wanted to establish a strong chapter infrastructure so future leaders would be set up for success.  I always felt a tremendous amount of appreciation and support from the community, and it was important for me to give back ...
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As we move into renewal season for ILEA, the Chicago Membership team sat down with Lifetime, Long Term, and Past President members to hear why they are so committed to being a part of ILEA. Learn more about why these members are moving ONWARD with ILEA! Referral Program Have a new referral or closed piece of  business that came from another ILEA Member? Please complete our Referral Tracking Program, linked here , to help us track the ROI of membership! If you have questions, please reach out to the membership team at ileachicagomembership@gmail.com .
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? I was a banker when I helped a friend plan her wedding. I have had a thing for weddings since I was a kid is an understatement. Then she told another friend, and then I helped her. I talked about starting a part time business for months, till my now husband surprised me and installed a business line as part of my Christmas present. “Quit talking about, and do it!” Weddings and Events are truly my passion. The rest is history. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I am a very emotional and caring guy.   What do you love the most about what you do? Knowing I made a family’s special event ...
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As we move into renewal season for ILEA, the Chicago Membership team sat down with Lifetime, Long Term, and Past President members to hear why they are so committed to being a part of ILEA. Learn more about why these members are moving ONWARD with ILEA! How long have you been a member of ILEA? I have been a member for 40 years! Any important periods of time with ILEA stand out in your head? There was a seminar on “Keeping You Key” with speakers who dealt with Pension and profit sharing. Because of this, I established a pension and profit-sharing fund for my employees which has been very successful over the years. Did you meet any important people ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… How long have you been a member of ILEA? Next year will be 20 years. I’ve been an ILEA member almost half of my life. What did it mean to you to be the President of the Greater Chicago Chapter? I was incredibly honored to lead our chapter. The Presidents before me were such a positive influence on both my career and personal development. They made it an easy decision to step in and volunteer my time. That way I was able to pay it forward just as previous Presidents had. I still feel the same way today. Did you meet any important people of influence in your career through ILEA? Too many to count! I could talk about ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into events? After deciding I didn’t want to make working in theater my profession and not loving touring with an originals band from college, a working musician asked if I knew anything about weddings! My 21-year-old self sure didn’t. But one party in (with a guest having a heart attack on the dance floor-true story), I was hooked. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I went to an all-girl boarding school for high school, called Miss Porter’s. Not because I was a bad kid-promise. It was an incredible experience and a daunting one. Most kids don’t leave home at 13. But ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? The events industry found me like so many others. I spent over decade at AVIXA which is the trade association that represents the pro-audiovisual industry. In my various roles there I planned or oversaw events for the industry. I love the thrill of live and making visions into reality. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in different capacities for over a decade. I love the organization and have learned so much from building homes to lasting relationships. It has also turned into a passion for ...
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New Referral Tracking Program

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The ILEA Greater Chicago chapter has initiated a Referral Tracking Program to better assist our membership in tracking overall ROI. Through a very simple form, linked here , you can submit referrals and closed business that have come from other ILEA members! This form can be used for referrals from members of ILEA Chicago or other ILEA chapters. How will this help? Each quarter we’ll be able to calculate: How many referrals were passed between members The dollar value of closed business achieved within the membership group Average dollar value of closed business This information can then best inform how powerful our Greater Chicago ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself... Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? This will sound like a joke, but I was recently chatting with friends about The Love Boat. It reminded me that at a young age I wanted to be Julie the Cruise Director. While I had many influencers and support through the years, in my first job out of college as a trust banker, one of my managers encouraged me to make a change. He knew I had a knack and personality for other things. I quit the job and started my quest in the event industry. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I started playing the flute in 5th grade, and I still play today!   ...
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Looking back at my transition on paper, it seemed absolutely crazy. I was in a “cushy” logistics job that paid me a good wage & for the most part, was able to work 8–5p each day. And trust me, there have been (brief) moments (usually when everything seems to go wrong) during my entrepreneurial journey that I have deemed myself a fool for leaving such a sweet setup. But, at the same time, I know there is no other place I’d rather be. The journey is where the gold is. I’ve learned more about myself, about people, about business in these last 5 years, than I have in my entire life combined. This journey is definitely not for the faint at heart, but it provides ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? I grew up in a hospitality household. My father was a general manager for Starwood Hotels for 38 years. He encouraged us to travel and spend time learning about the industry. I started working in the kitchen when I was 16 years old and never looked back. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I am 6’-8” tall so you cannot miss me when we finally get a chance to meet and collaborate.   What do you love the most about what you do? Building relationships with my team and clients. Turning my customers into friends and meeting and exceeding their expectations. ...
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ILEA – Minneapolis/St. Paul is thrilled to introduce Natalie Morrow, the speaker for our February Master Series. Natalie is the Founder & CEO of Black Fashion Week MN, Natalie Morrow. In this intimate conversation, we’ll explore the impact of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on her experience in the events industry, as well as the planning process for the 2020 Black Fashion Week MN Fall Show. We’ll explore why Natalie promotes embracing BIPOC voices as a necessity in the creative world – and how to make space for everyone at the table. We sat down with Natalie to unpack that phrase – “make space for everyone at the table” – and how it shows up ...
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ReInventing ILEA - Episode 4

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Re-Inventing ILEA with Lisa Ware A new episode of Re-Inventing ILEA has launched! This week we are sitting down with Lisa Ware, Director of Business Development & Special Projects for Catering By Michael's. Learn more about our Greater Chicago Members discussing how they’re re-inventing  themselves and their businesses. In this episode, Lisa not only describes the devastation that was 2020 to the catering industry BUT how CBM really pulled out of the year by focusing on a "people-first" strategy. She also shares more about trends for the future and the forecast of events coming back! Thank you to ILEA Chicago Board Member   Patrick   Crosson, ...
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