Get to know the members of the Edmonton Chapter of the International Live Events Association
Alexandra Armstrong, NAIT Conference and Event Services
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.
Chris Baker, Encore Global - Edmonton
For the past 13 years I have had the privilege to be a part of the special events industry in Edmonton. During that time, I have done everything from lighting design to production management. Currently I am the General Manager of FMAV in Edmonton, and work with a fantastic and creative team! Six years ago, I was asked to be a part of the formation committee for the ILEA Edmonton chapter and am the current Chapter President. I was, and still am excited by the opportunity to be a part of an organization that focuses on education, collaboration and building a community of event professionals within the City of Edmonton. When I am not working, I love traveling with my wife Rebecca and taking our dog Shelby for walks through the river valley.
Shandel Barr, invert720 Productions
Shandel is the Logistics Coordinator at invert720 Productions and past 2019/2020 VP of Education & Programming for ILEA Edmonton Chapter. With over 10 years of experience working and volunteering in the Events Industry, Shandel is a true team player with resolution focus; priding herself on service excellence. She has a passion for creating those memorable moments and leaving a positive impact on all involved - from stakeholders, contractors, entertainers to guests. Shandel has a Bachelor’s of Business Degree with a major in Marketing and welcomes all opportunities to further grow as an event professional. When Shandel isn’t helping with local events, she can be found mapping out her next travel destination or snowboarding the Rockies!
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.
Michael Cristello, Live it Up Lifestyle Adventures
My name is Mike and I have been known to be a Swiss Army Knife in the events industry. Over the last 17 years, I have produced hundreds of events, managed thousands of volunteers, built sponsorship proposals, drafted RFPs, booked talent, raise thousands of dollars for not for profits and much more. I have a diverse portfolio that has allowed me to gain the skills and knowledge that has helped advance my career in this field. I joined ILEA because I was looking to connect with other like minded people and build my skills further in this ever growing/changing industry. When I am not getting paid to plan events, I organize outdoor adventures with my circle of friends. Hiking, backpacking, ice climbing, scuba diving, whatever!
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.
Dayna Herr, Eventrix
Meet Dayna Herr, from Eventrix. Dayna began her career in marketing, and that expertise now underscores her event management work. With 20 years of experience, Dayna can focus on the big picture and still keep a sharp eye on the details, so everything is done right, on time and within budget. This cross-functional expertise means she is in demand by corporate clients to organizing festivals, galas, grand openings, media events, golf tournaments, product launches, fundraisers, sponsorship activations and more. Dayna’s approach is to work closely with clients to understand their needs and then do whatever is necessary to exceed their expectations. This has earned her many long-term clients and has also built strong working relationships with a wide range of suppliers who also appreciate her client focus and professionalism. Dayna’s passion for the business extends to every corner of her life – she even met her husband at a charity event. Dayna believes a rising tide lifts all boats, and sees ILEA as a great opportunity for event professionals to meet, share knowledge, and work together as advocates for the industry. She knows that ILEA’s work benefits everyone by advancing high standards.
Roy Jackson, Roy Jackson Design
Roy is the owner of Roy Jackson Design and has been doing stage lighting for 40 years (where does the time go?). From touring with bands to designing for theatre and industrial clients, he have done everything from outdoor festival stages to custom set designs for conventions and trade shows. Currently RJD is focusing on large format outdoor illumination; lighting prominent buildings such as the Alberta Legislature, Leduc City Hall. We are also a major provider for the Zoominescence at the Edmonton Valley Zoo Festival of Light. Also we have some very cool special effect items that that are new to the city! Roy would love to show them to his fellow ILEA members. And when not at work I can be found at the EDKRA racing my Go Kart.
Nela Kovacovic, A+ Events
Nela has a Master of Arts degree in Production Management, holds a CSEP (Certified Special Event Professional) and CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designations and has many experience producing live events in Europe and Canada. She is an Esprit Award recipient and current President Elect for our ILEA Edmonton chapter. She loves connecting with event profs and building new relationships - and that what ILEA is all about!
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.
Eryne Sarabin, Tycoon Events
Founder and lead strategist of Tycoon Events, part of The Event Estate Inc., an award-winning, full service event planning company that specializes in corporate event planning, community/non-profit events, conference management services, event styling and event consultations. I have pioneered the events and marketing industry for over 15 years. I have experience working with numerous local and international organizations, where I also spent a year in London, England’s events and culinary industry working alongside Gordon Ramsay! I take great pride in my work, always look for chances to offer professional development opportunities, and strive to provide dedicated attention to every project. My experience, passion, understanding, industry dedication, and attitude help to create and execute flawless, stress-free projects with the help of an amazing, dynamic, and talented team of tycoons. My flair for creativity, marketing, and agility aids in bringing new and innovative ideas to each project while managing client’s goals, budget, and needs. My passion for community, people, and our city also keep me in tune with local events and trends, while also being able to manage Tycoon's Community Partnership and Sustainability Program.
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.
Robert Tinga, Visible ID
I am the owner of Visible ID, a company that specializes in helping people identify who is in their building or at their event using visible identification solutions. I love being able to help my customers find solutions to their problems and making their lives easier. My business has allowed me to support my family of 6 while giving me the flexibility to make my own schedule. That being said, I could really use a vacation! I have always had a creative side and a detail-oriented personality, which, when mixed with my perfectionist bent, makes for some pretty high standards that I set for myself. But it also allows me to be organized, and stay on top of the tasks at hand. I joined ILEA 2 years ago after meeting Courtney at a trade show that she was organizing. She invited me out to an event and I was impressed, not only by the quality of people that are part of ILEA, but also by the event production that goes on! So it opened a door to a market that I not spent a lot of time pursuing but has led to new business and new friends and business colleagues. Something you might not know about me is that I love Lego and am now reliving some of my childhood memories with retro sets I have purchased at garage sales and online. If you stop by my business you will see a number of unique Lego sets on display, all with a story behind them. Stop by sometime (by appointment of course) and say hi - I would be happy to see you.
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 is currently a Portfolio Lead with NAIT Conferences and Event Services, focussing on Client and Culture. Hannah joined ILEA in 2017 and spent two years on the Board as VP Communications for the Edmonton Chapter. She has truly valued getting to know her community.