Get to know the members of the Edmonton Chapter of the International Live Events Association
Alexandra Armstrong, JR Shaw School of Business
Event Design goes far beyond crisp linens and lovely florals - I produce exciting, memorable and most importantly, effective live events for corporations, organizations and non-profits. Matching people with resources is one of my specialties. Education is key to elevating any industry and I am proud to be an instructor of the Event Management program at NAIT. I also teach production workshops and classes at Red Deer College, the University of Alberta and the Banff Centre. Mentoring and teaching builds the skill sets of emerging professionals and supports the overall growth of the event industry. Joining ILEA has honestly been the best business decision I have ever made. The Edmonton community is supportive and generous and the education is top notch. I love re-connecting with my national and international ILEA friends at conferences and I know they are there to offer support whenever I call.
Kimberly Beaune, CMP CSEP, Creative Twist Inc.
An accomplished industry professional with over 25 years’ experience in special events, Kimberly brings a wealth of knowledge to her work as an event producer. She loves helping her clients tell their stories through curated shared experiences…(aka Events) After receiving her Hospitality training at Red Deer College, she began her career in hotel sales. It didn’t take long for Kimberly to fall in love with the magic of event design and go on to explore that passion through senior roles in off-site catering, destination management, décor & design and entertainment. While building her foundation in events in Toronto, she also began to create, produce, direct and design theatre projects for her award-winning theatre company Keystone Theatre. As her worlds of events and theatre began to blend, a passion for telling stories through design and event animation grew. Kimberly continued to hone her design aesthetic and established her approach to event storytelling by leading the concept, creation and design of hundreds of unique projects across Canada. She has served as an industry mentor and leader and spoken internationally regarding event design and logistics. She has twice been named one of Canada’s “Most Influential Event Professionals” by Bizbash Magazine and recently was nominated by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Canada East chapter as “Inspirational Planner of the Year”.
Courtney Coulombe, Planit Events
The passion Courtney has for the events industry is years in the making. It stems from many family gatherings where she would help with the abundant amount of food, the scheduling, and the décor. Even when she was little, she cherished each event as it brought people and loved ones together. After many different experiences along her journey, she had her “Aha!” moment in 2014 while working at a trade show where she thought, “I love being here, so why am I not doing this full time”. Knowing that she wanted to have some education behind her she completed the Event Management certificate through NAIT. Prior to that she completed the Fashion Design and Apparel Production Diploma through Marvel College. These two programs gave her the creative edge, and the management skills needed to produce events throughout Alberta. In 2015 she created Planit Events Inc. to serve the local community, and in 4 short years she was named Outstanding Professional, Event Planner in 2019 at the Edmonton Event Awards. Courtney is known for her logistical skills, and she is dedicated to each client to ensure their vision is a reality and she is devoted to Making Your Event Memorable.
Ashley Cruz, University of Alberta
Ashley worked as an interior designer for 3 years before realizing her true passion for planning special events and weddings. As a result, she is now a NAIT Event Management graduate as well as a WPIC Certified Wedding Coordinator. She recently began working as the Events & Administrative Assistant with the Biomass Energy Network based out of the University of Alberta, and she is also actively involved with the ILEA Edmonton Chapter as a Director. She joined ILEA in 2017 as a student member in order to take advantage of the valuable continuing education and networking opportunities offered by the association. During this time, she was able to meet many incredible event professionals and secure her place as an "up and comer" in the Edmonton events industry. When she was asked to join the Board of Directors in 2018, the answer was a resounding "yes"! She can't wait to continue her ILEA journey and give back as much as she has received. When she isn't dreaming up a special event or wedding, you can find her doing yoga or drinking wine - sometimes at the same time!
Rowena Cui, PlanIt Sound
My name is Rowena Cui and I am the COO/Co-Founder of PlanIt Sound Inc. We are a production company based in Edmonton and we specialize in videos, anthems, and events. I have been producing events for over 15 years and I am currently the VP Finance and President-Elect for 2021-2022 season. I chose to be an ILEA member as I wanted to enhance my network of event professionals who shared my philosophies around creativity, building community, and ongoing industry education. Despite what you may see on my social channels, I am an introvert and carve regular time for solitude and white space.
Nela Kovacovic, NAIT Conference and Event Services
Nela Kovacovic has a Master of Arts degree in Production Management, holds CSEP (Certified Special Event Professional) and CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designations, and has extensive experience producing live events in Europe and Canada for over 10 years. She is an Esprit Award recipient and ILEA Edmonton chapter Past President. Her current role is with NAIT Conference & Events services as the Event Lead. She is also an instructor for the Event Management Certificate at NAIT.
Stephanie MacDonald, Unforgettable Days
As the owner of Unforgettable Days we focus on meaningful personal celebrations. Anything from weddings, celebrations of life, birthdays, anniversaries, anything that could be celebrated we can help with. I choose ILEA because it is an amazing community that supports each other no matter what.
Caitlin McElhone, CM Events
Caitlin McElhone, Bsc., CMP
Owner & Logistics Queen @ CM Events
Passionate about lifestyle, urban living and executing memorable experiences through events, Caitlin is known for her leadership, creativity, hyper-organizational skills and passion for the events industry. Caitlin studied Marketing through the School of Business and Clothing & Textile Design at the University of Alberta where her passion for design grew and she was exposed to the events 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 locally, Nationally and Internationally. Since opening CM Events in 2011, Caitlin has coordinated & executed many incredible events for local not-for-profits and corporate clients in Edmonton, including: Global TV Woman of Vision Luncheon, Parkland School Division Milestone and Merits, Rotary Roast for Mayor Mandel, numerous conferences and workshops for NAIT, Brian Webb Dance Company Art Auction, RISE Awards for EMCN and the award-winning CASA Carnival Gala just to name a few. Awarded Planner of the Year by MPI (Meeting Planners International) Edmonton Chapter and winning Edmonton’s Best Fundraising Gala two years in a row (Edmonton Event Awards), Caitlin is known for creating outstanding event experiences that raise necessary funds needed and keep guests coming back! She was also instrumental in forming the ILEA (International Live Events Association) Chapter in Edmonton and sat on the ILEA Board for over seven years (including as President). Caitlin has also developed four courses for the NAIT Event Management program (EVMT) and enjoys teaching and sharing her experiences with students and industry professionals. Passionate about Edmonton and getting involved with the community, Caitlin is an active supporter of local arts, festivals and the farmers market. She lives, works and plays in downtown Edmonton with her husband Scott and their two sons.
Jody Paulson, Ringmaster Events
Jody is a skilled event professional with over 20 years experience in the planning, management and development of high quality events. She has expertise in creation of project plans, budgets, marketing, promotions and communications for events ranging in size from 40 - 1,000 participants. With experience in both not-for-profit and for-profit sectors as well as working with board of directors, advisory committees and ad hoc committees, Jody offers her clients a well rounded knowledge of the business of events. Jody has a proven track record of building and maintaining positive relationships with key stakeholders and is dedicated to achieving strategic objectives. She has an ability to demonstrate a high touch style of execution with professional and effective communication, marketing and leadership skills. For the past six years, Jody has been working with four Faculties at the University of Alberta managing Centennial celebrations. Jody takes great pride in providing customized campaigns for all of her clients and is able to manage the end to end process from inception and conceptualization to execution and implementation. Jody became a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) in 2014 and has been a member of ILEA since that time. Jody is currently the ILEA Edmonton Chapter Past President.
Alicia Powers, Health Technology Assessment International
Alicia (Ali) is an event organizer with over 17 years of experience in every aspect of events management, including large and small conference management in national and international locations, workshop development, and annual gala productions. Ali’s experience also includes event work with professional sports teams, universities, hospital foundations, and health technology startup organizations. Before joining HTAi, Ali held a position in the Corporate Communications and Marketing department at Alberta Innovates. She has also executed over 60 weddings over the past decade and was recently shortlisted in the “future leader” category at the Edmonton Event Awards.
Amanda Sigaty, NorQuest College
Amanda Sigaty is the Event Coordinator for NorQuest College but has been creating fun and unique events for over 20 years. Amanda’s background working with government, non profit organizations and post secondary institutes has been instrumental in her experience and success in both event planning and program management. Amanda is a Volunteer Management graduate and enjoys DIY projects for both home and work. Amanda has a passion for interior design and loves opportunities to incorporate design elements in events which tell a story and offer interesting experiences for attendees.
Hannah Whittaker, NAIT Conferences and Event Services
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Hannah has called Edmonton home since 2009. She has a degree in Design for Theatre and Television and over fifteen years experience in arts administration and event management with stints at CiEvents, Citadel Theatre, and Fringe Theatre Adventures. Most recently Hannah was the Events Specialist at Edmonton Public Library where she was responsible for the award-winning Grand Opening of the revitalized Stanley A. Milner Library. She also acted at the Program Lead for the Holy Mass at Commonwealth Stadium during the Pope's 2022 historic visit. She is currently a Portfolio Lead with NAIT Conferences and Event Services, focusing on Client and Culture.