2014-2015 ILEA Edmonton Board
Milena Santoro, MS Productions
Milena Santoro, CMP, CMM, PIDP, is an author, international speaker, global trainer and award winning certified meeting and special events professional who has earned many accolades managing events for corporations, international associations, social clients and not-for-profit agencies. She is the Creative President and CEO of MS Productions Inc., an international full-service People and Business Development company, with a focus on event management, workforce training and development and destination management, with offices in Canada and Europe.
Education is a passion for Milena. She is constantly helping to mold the future of our industry as a speaker, educator, and facilitator. Since 2000, she has been instrumental in the development of many industry related courses and delivered keynotes, seminars, workshops and lectures at various local and international industry conferences.
She is an active member of the volunteer community, serving in leadership roles for most industry associations such as International Special Events Society (ISES), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Association of Bridal Consultant (ABC), Professional Conference Management Association (PCMA) just to name a few. To learn more about Milena, visit www.milenasantoro.com
Alex Armstrong, Three Tall Women Design Inc.
Alex is the owner and creative director of Three Tall Women Design, a production design firm specializing in corporate events. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she worked as a set/lighting designer for shows at the Edinburgh Festival and touring productions through Europe. Back in Alberta, Alex combined her theatre design experience and love of live events and opened Three Tall Women Design in 1997. In 2006, she bought out her partners, incorporated the business and relaxed the height and gender policy. Alex is committed to industry eduction and is a sought-after presenter/instructor at NAIT, Red Deer College, Banff Center for the Performing Arts, Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT), Keyano College and the University of Alberta. Alex is one of the founding members of ISES Edmonton, serving as President 2013/2014.
Jennifer Bergman, Jennifer Bergman Weddings
Jennifer Bergman is the founder of Jennifer Bergman Weddings – an award-winning boutique wedding planning and design firm that has executed hundreds of weddings and events, from the Canadian Rockies to luxurious international locales including Scottsdale, Miami and Los Cabos.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in Marketing from the Alberta School of Business and is a Certified Wedding Coordinator. Prior to launching her company in 2008, she gained crucial event planning experience organizing large, multi-day conventions, and honed her creative and design skills working on national advertising campaigns.
Jennifer was part of the ISES Edmonton Formation Committee when the Chapter was first initiated in 2012, and now serves as VP Finance on the Board. As well, Jennifer served on the Board of Directors for the Alberta School of Business Alumni Association from 2010-2014, where she initiated an Alumni Mentorship Program for recent grads.
Janine Sebastian, faBLOOMosity
Janine fell in love with the floral industry in 2001 and has never looked back. Known for her creative flair and passion for all things glamorous and detailed, Janine pushes the boundaries of floral design on a daily basis. With strong emphasis on weddings and events, her designs have been published in numerous magazines, such as Wedluxe Magazine, Perfect Wedding Magazine, Wedding Bells Magazine, several issues and covers of Blush Magazine. She has also been featured in a number of wedding blogs such as Wedluxe, Grace Ormonde, Wedding Obsession, and Style Me Pretty, among many others. Her passion for floral design really shines through her numerous photo shoots and editorial work where she can do her thing and break all the proverbial rules.
Janine has been on the ISES Board since its developmental stages, and currently sits as the VP Of Membership for the 2014 / 2015 year.
VP Education & Program
Caitlin McElhone, CM Events
Owner and lead planner, Caitlin McElhone, is passionate about lifestyle, urban living and executing exciting events for her clients. Born and raised in Edmonton, Caitlin has been planning corporate events full time since 2006 – that’s over 75 events and counting!
Caitlin studied Marketing and Clothing & Textile Design at the University of Alberta where her passion for design grew and she was exposed to the event planning industry for the first time. From there she worked full time with one of Edmonton’s leading event planning companies, ComLinks Events, where she was fortunate to be involved with and lead planner on many incredible projects such as Gold Medal Plates, the Mazonkowski Heart Institute Opening, Canadian Culinary Championships and more!
Passionate about Edmonton and getting involved with the community, Caitlin is an active supporter of local arts, not-for-profit groups, festivals and the farmers market. She lives, works and plays in downtown Edmonton with her husband Scott.
VP Marketing & Sponsorship
Andrea Carroll Papirny, Two Hats Events Managements
Andrea started her professional career as a trumpet player both performing and teaching throughout Canada and the US along with working in the hospitality industry. Her career moved on to stage management while attending the University of New Brunswick, after which she attended Grant MacEwan University taking Theatre Production. Andrea has experience as a production stage manager in both the theatre as well as conferences, weddings, corporate events, live concerts and festivals.
For 5 years Andrea was the production manager at Allstar Show Industries, a production company providing audio, video, lighting, and staging for events and tours of all sizes. Andrea left Allstar to freelance as a stage manager, and run the rentals department at Long & McQuade while completing the special event management courses at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). After completing her training Andrea became the Event & Community Engagement Coordinator at the Brain Care Centre, a regional not-for-profit, and started her part time company Two Hats Event Management were she focuses on freelance contracts in production stage management, tour management, corporate event management, and education for a wide range of clients, and as a sub contractor to other companies and organizations. Clients include World Vision, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), and Live Nation – U2 360 Tour (Edmonton Show).
Andrea is currently the Events Coordinator for the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (LAO) where she enjoys planning Canada’s 2nd largest Canada Day Celebration, Family Day, Seniors Week and Celebrate the Season at the Alberta Legislature. In her spare time Andrea continues working as a freelance production stage manager, is an avid snowboarder and loves campfires.
Andrea is passionate about the events & entertainment industry! Andrea has been a member of ISES since 2012 and is looking forward to the continued growth within the Edmonton Chapter of ISES as VP of Sponsorship for the 2014-15 season.
Jenelle Gartner, Pinkpolka Invitations & Stationery
Jenelle is the owner and lead designer at Pinkpolka Invitations & Staitonery, a boutique design firm focusing on event stationery for weddings and corporate events. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Visual Communication Design and minoring in Business and Marketing. Before becoming a full-time entrepreneur, Jenelle gained crucial graphic design experience working as a professional designer at a large stock photography company in Calgary and a local design firm. With a fun and playful style along with a love for paper, it was a natural fit to specialize in event stationery.
Serving as a director on the 2014 ISES board, Jenelle plans to leverage her graphic design skills to elevate the organizations communication and marketing initiatives. With a passion for the city of Edmonton and a commitment to building its event industry standards, Jenelle hopes ISES Edmonton can grow to the success of our Canadian counterparts Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto!
Christina Ignacio-Deines, ID Bohemia Lifestyle, Events & Interiors
Christina Ignacio-Deines is a Partner in I-D BOHEMIA Lifestyle, Events and Interiors, where she designs captivating experiences and spaces for people and business. Formally trained in Fine Arts, she brings an artist’s eye to the business of events. Her unique ability to translate diverse ideas, objects, cultures and communities into vibrant, luminous reality has won her international attention and ardent praise.
Christina and I-D BOHEMIA have been featured in: Global News, CTV, CBC Radio, WedLuxe, Weddingbells, Style Me Pretty, Wedding Nouveau, Bridal Fantasy, Blush, The Edmonton Journal, Calgary Fashion, Fashion Magazine, and more. She was the first event planner in Edmonton to be invited into the prestigious WedLuxe Glitterati. Recently, Christina was one of only 33 event professionals chosen worldwide to attend an invitation-only presentation and evening hosted by Preston Bailey at his offices in New York.
With a diverse portfolio spanning events, weddings, homes and commercial interiors, Christmas and floral décor, fashion, editorial, fine art and custom jewellery, Christina’s warmth and passion shine through all she creates. She is a devoted fan of local arts, culture, food and music scenes, and she regularly donates her time and expertise to causes in support of children and the arts. She is proud to serve on the ISES Board of Directors as Director of Education. To Christina, Life is Art.
Karin Hoogland, Site 6 Events Ltd
Karin develops and executes special events with energetic drive and an extensive background in design and production. She is dedicated to bringing new ideas to event productions and realizing endless possibilities through collaborative work with other industry professionals. Karin has been in the Event Industry for over 5 years building her skill set in Special Event Management, Tourism Sales & Marketing and Catering Management. As the Owner and Creative Director of Site 6 Events, she has worked on corporate, private and social events of all scales and sizes in Edmonton, Calgary and beyond. One of the founding members of the ISES Edmonton Chapter, she is excited to join the ISES Edmonton board again as Director of Membership encouraging collaboration and growth of the Edmonton Event Industry.
Sara Scott, Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel
Sara joined the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel in May 2013 and takes care of the social catering market within the hotel, which includes weddings, holiday parties, fundraisers and other social events. Born and raised in Winnipeg, she began her career in the hotel industry in 2011 at the Fairmont Algonquin in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick. Once her summer contract was complete, she accepted a role as Sales Service Coordinator at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary before heading to Edmonton and embarking on a journey as Event Sales Manager for the brand new Renaissance.
Haley Shandro, Shandro Photography
Haley is one half of Shandro Photo, a boutique wedding photography studio in Edmonton, Canada. Haley and her husband Michael have been recognized for their strong business skills and practical approach to running a successful wedding photography business. Their photos have won national and international awards (Fearless, ISPWP, PPOC, PWPC), but their strength lies in business, organization, and efficiency. They have previously spoken at conventions in Canada and the USA. Anyone who has seen the Shandros speak can say that they have learned something, big or small, to change their business for the better.
The duo is highly sought-after for their unique style of art. They play with nature. Breathtaking colour and emotion are expressed throughout their photography portfolio. Most importantly their clients love working with them. They are travel addicts, food lovers, and workaholics!
Lars Erickson, Special Event Rentals
Lars Erickson is Director of Business Development at Special Event Rentals where he has worked for the past five years. Prior to moving to Edmonton he owned a catering company in Cold Lake. While Lars loves his job he does have other interests including traveling, fishing and reading.
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