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David Adler, BizBash

David Adler, a lifelong media executive, is the C.E.O. and founder of BizBash, the leading trade media for the event and meeting industry. He has also been an advisor to the State Department (USA) in areas of protocol and events. Previously, he was vice president of corporate communications for Primedia and Macmillan Publishers. Upon graduating from American University, he founded, operated, and successfully sold a society and political magazine for the nation’s capital (USA) called Washington Dossier.

Michael cerbelli, cerbelli creative

Michael Cerbelli is the very definition of international events. For over 40 years, Michael has done more than change the paradigm of prestigious happenings – Michael has become the paradigm.

If you have been one of the fortunate invitees to a Cerbelli creation, you know who he is. But more importantly, you have experienced first-hand Michael’s breathtaking creativity and mad technical expertise. His success is the result of more than just his mind-blowing concepts, it’s also because his events go off with a military – yet transparent – precision. Though a fixture in the New York City events scene, Michael’s influence is worldwide; from the Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to a birthday party for the King of Morocco, to a signature event at the palace of Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg, Russia, Cerbelli Creative’s events are legendary.

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Alex Plaxen, little bird told media

Alex Plaxen is President and Founder of Little Bird Told Media, a consulting firm for strategic digital communication and engagement for events. He graduated with a Master’s in Tourism Administration with a focus on event and meeting management from George Washington University. Alex is actively involved in leadership roles in the meetings and events industry, most recently sitting on the MPI Potomac Chapter Board of Directors. He has been recognized as a top social media influencer at conferences such as Hubspot Inbound and Dreamforce. Alex was most recently named to the inaugural BizBash Top 500 People in Events in 2018.

Dustin Westling, OneWest Events

Dustin Westling, CSEP, is the owner of Calgary-based OneWest Event Design & Logistics. A self-described ‘Senior Millennial,’ Dustin brings his tongue-in-cheek humour and engaged energy to his role as commander-in-chief of OneWest, where he leads a team of talented and talked-about event profs to collaborate with clients and partners on over 300 innovative and award-winning projects each year. Dustin’s breadth of experience in roles at hotels, convention centres, and public attractions gave him an inside knowledge of special events that ultimately laid the foundation for building a one-of-a-kind events company. He successfully achieved a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation, and is consistently recognized as an industry leader. A curator of talent and creativity, Dustin is passionate about driving the events industry forward, and currently serves as Affiliate Chair for ILEA Canada.



Heather reid, Planner Protect inc.

With more than $8.25 million tracked in actual savings and avoided risks, Planner Protect Inc. is a first-of-its-kind Canadian event contract review agency. Heather Reid, Founder and CEO of Planner Protect Inc., draws on her 25+ years as an independent event planner to support event hosts and event industry professionals in negotiating balanced contracts. Planner Protect’s education opportunities, consulting services and on-stage presentations help Canadian and international event hosts protect their finances, their reputations and quite literally – their events! 

shannon boudreau, The lazy gourmet

Shannon has worked in Food and Beverage for over 15 years, getting her first “taste” of the industry at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel when she was 18 and she hasn’t turned back since. Starting at The Lazy Gourmet as a junior event planner, her passion, knowledge and “thirst” to create a memorable event experience based on food and beverage quickly had her promoted to Director of Sales and Events and now Partner. She can be seen as a regular, cooking up storm in the kitchen at CTV Vancouver or on her online Video Blog for BC Living Magazine. Shannon also volunteers in classrooms for Growing Chefs, helping kids in inner city schools to grow and then cook with plant based foods. In Vancouver she is also upcoming president for ILEA Vancouver Chapter. When not working or volunteering you can find her sipping red wine, planning her next travel adventure or next meal.

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will curran, endless events

As founder of Endless Events, Will Curran has been named one of the 40 under 40 event industry leaders, 35 entrepreneurs under the age of 35, and Inc Magazine’s Coolest College Start-up all before graduating college. Will has been producing events since high school when he started his first company and has now worked in production of large events for clients such as Emerald City Comicon, Anheuser-Busch, Color Run, Morton Salt and Uber. His team’s mission is to simplify the event planning process by creating the equation for an event’s perfect solution.

They also relentlessly seek to be the name in customer service in the events industry. From event logistics to business development to technical production, Will Curran has a diverse background in growing events and companies to the next level.

BRANDT KRUEGER, event technology consulting

Technology is part of Brandt's DNA. Combine that with a degree in Technical Theatre and a core in Psychology, add in over 20 years of experience in the meetings and events industry, and you get a powerful event technology cocktail. In addition to being featured on numerous websites and in industry magazines, he’s spoken worldwide, including MPI’s WEC, FICP’s Education Forum, CMP Conclave, IMEX America, RCMA, IBTM World, Eventex, Connect, Event Camp (London, Chicago, and Middle East), and even a one week intensive for government ministers and guests in Turkmenistan.

He currently provides freelance technical production services to a variety of corporate and association clients, teaches public and private classes on Technical Meeting & Event Production, and is the owner of Event Technology Consulting, an appropriately named meeting and event technology consulting company.


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Cory christopher, cory christopher design

An entrepreneur & lifestyle personality, Cory Christopher is the creative force behind the striking and imaginative designs produced by the his namesake design studio. Offering clients a breadth of experience that spans event, floral, wedding, seasonal styling and landscape design, a Cory Christopher experience goes far beyond a beautifully decorated space. His love for art in all its forms, is evident in all he creates, and he is continually seeking new ways to share this passion and engage with new audiences.

Over the years, the Cory Christopher Design has been honoured to work with numerous organizations on engaging designs & events, and many unforgettable couples on one of the most important days of their lives - all while hosting private functions and workshops. Cory is a regular presence on local television & radio in Edmonton & Calgary sharing smart design tips and fun project ideas.