LASSO Announces the Top Women in Events for 2019
Originally posted on https://www.lasso.io/lasso-announces-the-top-women-in-events-for-2019/
“The world needs strong women. Women who will lift and build others, who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.” ~ Amy Tenney
The event industry is both intense and competitive, but it is also incredibly rewarding. While it takes hard work and dedication, event professionals also get the unique opportunity to make the most exciting and lasting experiences come to life.
Many women are breaking through the industry’s glass ceiling and are paving the way for a more diverse and equal landscape. Things are changing. Women play an incredibly important role in this industry – driving both value and inspiration to ensure successful events. LASSO wants to take the opportunity to recognize these top performing, well-deserving women.
Last year, LASSO launched our first annual “Top Women in Events” awards where we aimed to recognize some of the most hard-working and talented women in the industry. Today, we are more excited than ever to announce the 2019 winners.
Similar to last year, this year we asked our network of the very best event companies for nominations on who they thought should be recognized. The response was inspiring. We received over 100 nominations of amazing women that make an impact on this industry day in and day out. It was difficult to narrow these nominations down to highlight the Top 50. We are excited to highlight these powerhouse women. They deserve to be acknowledged because of their positive impact on growth and the success of their teams.
Here are the Top 10 Women in Events for 2019. Please join us in celebrating these women and the other top nominees (in alphabetical order):
- Shea Ange, Office Manager, Innovative Event Services
- Linda Bizzelle, Operations Manager, Fourth Dimension Events
- Lauren Abreu De Freese, VP of Field Marketing, SoHo Experiential
- Maggie Glasser, Technical Producer, BlackOak Technical Productions
- Caz Lockwood, Deputy Director of Production, Set Creative
- Megan Muir, VP of Events, Edge Productions
- Jill Renninger, President, IMS Technology Services
- Michelle Segura, Director, Field Operations, Riverview Systems Group
- Leah Taylor, Vice President, Production, LEO Events
- Britt Whitfield, CEO, The Revel Group
Following this year’s Top 10 winners, we will be highlighting 40 additional inspirational women nominated this year that round out LASSO’s 2019 Top 50 Women in Events list. Out of over 100 nominations, we are excited to introduce you to the following 50 incredible women.
Highlights from our 2019 Winners:
Shea Ange, Office Manager @ Innovative Event Services
Shea Ange has been with Innovative Event Services (IES) for a little over three years. As the team’s office manager, she is responsible for the overall in-house organization of the company, and can always be found with a smile on her face as she tackles her ever-growing abundance of event folders. Thomas Smith, the Owner of Innovative Event Services had these amazing words to say about Shea; “Shea is the cornerstone of our company. She keeps the office in perfect running order by fielding orders and answering calls at all hours, scheduling the crew, and dealing with planners and brides – all while maintaining a bright and cheery smile and an infectious laugh. Without her, the wheels would fall off of this train.”
Shea specializes in event design and client communication. Because she is consistently pushing the limits of ‘the norm’, while providing new and exciting experiences for clients, we’re incredibly excited to feature her as one of the top 10 Women in Events for 2019! She is the MVP of the IES team and is most definitely considered their “go to girl”. Well, go girl! And, keep up the amazing work!
Linda Bizzelle, Operations Manager @ Fourth Dimension Events
Linda Bizzelle is the Operations Manager for Fourth Dimension Events, a Los Angeles-based technical event production company whose team is equipped with the knowledge and tools to bring extraordinary visions to life. Linda acts as Fourth Dimension’s troop leader and keeps the entire team in line. In everything she does, Linda brings a positive attitude, a nurturing spirit and an excellent work ethic.
“Linda, otherwise known and loved by our team as our “Shop Mom”, has been working in the industry since 2009,” said Alyson Clancy, Client Relations at Fourth Dimension Events. “She handles both equipment and people with abundant care and attention. She is 74 years old and hustles harder than anyone you’ve ever met. She is always the first to arrive, the last to leave, and always has the biggest smile. No one deserves this recognition more than she does.”
We are incredibly honored to announce that Linda is in the Top 10 Women in Events for 2019! The key ingredient to the success of any business is in not only having a passion for the industry, but a genuine love for the team that keeps that company going. It takes a passionate and hard-working woman like Linda to do just that. Congratulations!
Lauren Abreu De Freese, VP of Field Marketing @ SoHo Experiential
Lauren Abreu De Freese is the Vice President of Field Marketing for SoHo Experiential, an experiential marketing agency based in New York City. SoHo executes over 10,000 events annually ranging from consumer sampling events to trade engagements and large-scale experiential activations. Touching almost every piece of business across SoHo’s diverse client network, Lauren prides herself on being a collaborative voice and a foundation of empowerment
Nominated by Jeff Boedges, the Owner of SoHo Experiential, Lauren clearly stands out as one of the very best in the industry, which is why she is being recognized as one the Top 10 Women in Events for 2019! “On our executive team, we are fortunate enough to have a truly exceptional group of individuals. But, even among exceptional individuals, Lauren stands out,” said Jeff. “Lauren is an inspirational leader, hyper organized, and nearly tireless in her work ethic. As we continue to grow, Lauren has embraced her role as a change agent and is always looking to improve herself, her team, and the company at large.”
“I’ve been in Experiential for nearly 25 years and have been fortunate enough to work with several amazing women who have been instrumental in helping me grow personally by challenging me and inspiring me to greater heights,” continued Jeff. “Of those amazing women, I would rank Lauren right at the top.” In between the hustle bustle of the marketing world, this mom of two young children spends her time packing lunches and running school fundraisers. It’s for all of these reasons, and more, that we have the great honor of introducing Lauren as one of 2019’s Top 10 Women in Events! There is no question. This is more than well deserved.
Maggie Wood Glasser, Technical Producer @ BlackOak Technical Productions
Maggie Glasser, is a Technical Producer for BlackOak Technical Production, a design-focused and human-friendly technical production company located in Chicago, IL. Maggie supports her company & her clients through a wealth of knowledge in event marketing, event production, décor, and technical design.
Adam McCarthy, the Managing Director of BlackOak Technical Productions had this to say about Maggie, “Maggie is a hardworking, dedicated team member. No matter the size or scale of an event, Maggie equips our team with an abundance of tools for success and provides unwavering support to all who work with her. She is bold, kind, and relentless – which is apparent in her work from large-scale corporate events for 10k+ guests and when she transforms product launches into out-of-the-box, lasting experiences.”
It is because of this hard work and dedication that we are extremely excited to announce that Maggie Glasser is in the Top 10 Women in Events for 2019! Maggie’s ability to build dynamic client relationships and her commitment to creating lasting experiences for audiences ensure that Maggie is one event production professional that should be a role model for us all.
Caz Lockwood, Deputy Director of Production @ Set Creative
Caz Lockwood is the Deputy Director of Production at Set Creative. Set Creative creates Pop-ups, Brand Activations & Live Events for clients including Google, Heineken, Vans, Nike, and YouTube. Their experiences play to the crowd but look individuals in the eye – because that’s what moves people to talk, to reminisce, to share, and to make the moment live longer.
“Producers and leaders in this industry are often very strong personalities with a ‘take-no-prisoner’ and the ‘show must go on’ attitude,” said Martin Szymanski, Director of Technical Production at Set Creative. “Caz is the gentlest and most considerate version I’ve come across. Make no mistake, she’ll take no prisoners and the show must indeed go on, but the crew must also get rest, the client must be given a truly transparent partnership, and on top of that, the vegans will be accommodated, the trash will go into the proper trash receptacles, and bicycles will be peddled when possible. Not to mention that Caz has a great sense of production aesthetics and story. Caz is the whole package and the client, and our team get the very best out of any event.”
Caz has delivered live events internationally for over a decade in various freelance roles. Caz has been named in the Top 10 Women in Events due to the fact that she is a highly motivated, enthusiastic person, committed to building strong and healthy working relationships and both building & leading teams to ensure projects are delivered that exceed expectations.
Megan Muir, VP of Events @ EDGE Productions
Megan Muir is the Vice President of Events for EDGE Productions, an event production company that offers a full array of services for events of every size and type. From lighting and sound to video production and creative services, EDGE Productions delivers the next level of event production.
Megan has been in the event industry for over 14 years, having risen from the ranks of a backstage manager to the VP of Events and on-site Event Producer. Recently, Megan produced a successful event for over 22,000 high school students. The alley-way stage with half the audience on each side of the stage kept the experience more intimate for this vast audience.
“It is challenging to keep an audience of 22,000 high school students engaged for 2 hours, but Megan’s keen use of LED technology, music, and creative scripting took the show into the audience and kept the audience engaged,” said Jane Anderson, President of EDGE Productions. “Our sub-contractors on site continue to tell us of their appreciation for Megan’s organization and communication skills at every stage of our events. When not on site, Megan also gives back by serving on Young Professionals for Kids, which supports the Foundation of Oklahoma City Public Schools.”
Megan is also a Certified Meeting Planner and a member of MPI Oklahoma. Her goal is to ensure that she is always creating processes that streamline the pre-event planning. It was clear to us, as it should be to everyone in this industry why Megan is in the Top 10 Women in Events for 2019!
Jill Savoy Renninger, President @ IMS Technology Services
Jill Renninger is the President of IMS Technology Services, an award-winning provider of systems integration and event staging solutions designed to foster collaboration, productivity, learning, and business communication.
“Jill started IMS from her basement with the support of her husband and family,” said Paul Wedesky, COO of IMS Technology Services. “Jill focused IMS on Event Service Excellence first and foremost creating one of the best Event Staging Companies in the Mid-Atlantic.”
“In the past 5 years, Jill has been steadfastly increasing revenue and creating a great place to work for 100 plus employees,” continues Paul. “IMS is now a nationally recognized Event Staging Company that services the events of some of the largest companies in the world. Recently, Jill and her team put the first “all female” technical team together to produce the first AWE Association Women in Events conference. Jill is a great leader and her focus of Event Service Excellence has never changed.”
Because of her years of hard work and dedication to not only the event industry, but also to mentoring fellow women in the field, it was a no-brainer to include her in our Top 10 Women in Events. Her essential business philosophy is to “never let customers down, whatever it takes!” and to “Proactively refine business operations and procedures to create a culture that is based on performance and accountability.” Jill’s greatest job in business is in helping her employees develop to their full potential. It’s for all of these reasons, and more, that we are honored to congratulate Jill for being one of the best of the best women in events!
Michelle Segura, Director, Field Operations @ Riverview Systems Group, Inc.
Michelle Segura is the Director of Field Operations at Riverview Systems Group, Inc., a leading full-service provider of audio-visual resources. Riverview specializes in the rental, sale, design, installation and implementation of lighting, sound and projection systems for corporate and educational markets.
“Michelle is responsible for staffing all of our events, as well as the travel and logistics for each one,” said Evan Williams, CEO & Co-Founder of Riverview Systems Group, Inc. “We have 35 full-time traveling techs and dozens of freelancers that she has to take care of. We work all over the world, and she manages the chess game of show staffing better than I have seen or heard of anyone doing. She even comes out to major events and manages the dock, trucking, etc., to get out of the office. It’s a thankless job and she excels every day. She is my unsung hero!”
Michelle is a positive influence on her company, behind the scenes, day in and day out. Her positive attitude and willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary, and her commitment to excellence are just a few of the reasons why she is on this year’s Top 10 Women in Events! Congratulations Michelle and keep up the amazing work that inspires success in us all.
Leah Taylor, Vice President, Production @ LEO Events
As Vice President of Production for LEO Events, Leah brings over 20 years of experience in the meetings, live events, and entertainment industries. She is responsible for the simultaneous oversight of multiple projects, ensuring both in-house staff as well as outside resources are well-planned and seamlessly scheduled to result in the successful production of events. Throughout her career, she has produced programs ranging from consumer events, launch meetings, sales and marketing meetings, trade shows, shareholders meetings, and many more. Within the corporate environment, she has worked with clients such as Walmart, IBM, ExxonMobil, and Sherwin-Williams to name a few. In addition to the corporate space, Leah has been instrumental in many festivals, outdoor events, and entertainment-driven programs having worked on events such as KAABOO Music and Lifestyle Festival, The Nike Women’s Half Marathon Washington DC, “Hi Gorgeous!” Tour for O, The Oprah Magazine, and NBA All-Star Weekend, among others.
“Leah has built a magnificent portfolio of clients not only by delivering superb services, but by bringing compassion, kindness, and humor to everyone around her throughout every meeting and event she has produced,” says Cindy Brewer, Principal, LEO Events.
Leah’s tenure in the music industry managing three national touring acts and working with record labels and booking agencies provides strong insight and experience when working with key executive speakers and headline talent. When not producing a spectacular event, she can be found hanging with her dogs, brunching with friends or singing with her sisters.
We are excited to announce that Leah is in the Top 10 Women in Events for 2019! Please join us in congratulating her for this well-deserved honor.
Britt Whitfield, CEO @ The Revel Group
Britt Whitfield is the CEO of The Revel Group, an agency of independent, event-centric businesses. She has redefined the spirit of entrepreneurial success to include philanthropist, executive, and professional good time girl. As the CEO and a founder of The Revel Group in Chicago, she grew the company from one employee to 250; increased sales from $80,000 to $27 million; and established three off-shoot businesses and a nonprofit organization.
“Britt Whitfield, Founder and CEO of the only event-centric agency of brands like it in the country has changed the game and landscape for events not only here in Chicago, but around the country,” said Sarah Banasiak, CCO at The Revel Group. “Her commitment to always being first, best, and innovating what events can look like are unmatched. She, like Revel is one of a kind.”
“Britt is the heart and soul of this company and no one’s work ethic is stronger than hers,” said Ariana Paz at The Revel Group. “She serves as an inspiration to the young millennial workforce we have. She strives for excellence daily, and our team is so passionate about what they do and about creating experiences that their dedication goes unrivaled because Britt is that source of motivation and innovation.”
Britt attributes her success to an insatiable drive to succeed and rethinking how and where to apply some good, old-fashioned elbow grease. Britt is also passionate about giving back to the community that supported her success. Her support of numerous not-for-profits includes Cubs Charities, Urban Initiatives, and Cristo Rey schools. In addition, she serves on several boards including Rush University Hospital, Canine Therapy and The Pagano foundation.
In 2015, Britt joined Young Presidents Organization to continue to hone her leadership skills and the business’s successes have been recognized by INC 5000 the past 3 years, 50 Fastest Women Businesses by Fortune Magazine and as one of Crain’s 40 Under 40. Britt’s management and creative vision is an inspiration to her peers.
It’s no wonder why Britt made this year’s Top 10 Women in Events. Please join us in congratulating Britt, who absolutely deserves this honor for her entrepreneurship, innovation, and community leadership that she provides for many others in this space, and beyond.
The Following 40 Women Round Out LASSO’s Top 50 Women in Events for 2019:
We would be amiss if we didn’t acknowledge some of the other amazing women that were nominated for this year’s “Top Women in Events” awards. These 40 women should be celebrated alongside our Top 10 due to their years of experience, dedication, and the positive impact they have had on the event industry. Out of over 100 nominations of amazing women this year, please join us in recognizing the following women (in alphabetical order) who round our LASSO’s Top 50 Women in Events for 2019:
As we wrap up this year’s “Top Women in Events” awards and acknowledgements, we want to thank everyone that nominated these influential and inspirational top-performers. These women continue to shape the event industry for the better. We were blown away by the nominations that came through and it’s been an honor showcasing these fine women for you this year.
About LASSO: Built with and loved by the very best event companies.
LASSO helps live event companies automate labor workflows and better manage their contingent, project-based, mobile event crew or staff. LASSO’s end-to-end crew scheduling software, workforce management tools, and mobile app solutions cater to the specific needs found within the event and entertainment industry and offers all of the necessary tools within one integrated platform – from recruitment to electronic signature, onboarding, skill set management, scheduling, communication, time-tracking, travel management, vendor management, payroll, and more. Event companies, both small and large, trust LASSO to help them make more informed scheduling and event decisions as well as eliminate costly, labor-intensive crewing or staffing processes.
Learn more and Request a Demo at www.lasso.io.