Monday, November 15

Kelli Dawson

Adapting Your Live Event Programs for Data Privacy, Contingency Planning and Staffing

Kelli Dawson, Implementation Consultant, Enterprise Professional Services, Cvent

Kelli is an Implementation Consultant on the Enterprise Professional Services team at Cvent where she consults clients on their unique strategic meetings management goals and ensures the successful implementation of technology solutions. Kelli has an extensive background in the meetings and events industry having spent 18 years working for third party meetings management companies prior to joining Cvent. Her experience includes sourcing and meeting planning, account management, and operations leadership. Kelli is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). She has been part of the Arizona Sunbelt chapter since 2010 and served on the board of directors for two years.  When Kelli is not working, she loves to travel and explore new places near and far.

Susie Molinich

Adapting Your Live Event Programs for Data Privacy, Contingency Planning and Staffing

Susie Molinich, Senior Account Manager, Enterprise Solutions, Cvent

Susie Molinich is a Sr. Account Manager, Enterprise Solutions with Cvent.  She has years of experience in the hospitality and meetings & events industries with over 20 years in cumulative global meetings & events leadership and account management.  Susie stays involved in the industry, keeping up on trends and building strong relationships.  She has her certification in Strategic Meetings Management as well as her Certified Meetings professional designation. Susie resides in sunny Arizona with her husband, three kids and two pups.  If she is not working, she is most likely out at one of her kids sporting events or going to the gym.

Joshua L. Grimes

Gear Up: Risk & Compliance “Must Knows” as You Contract Your Next Event

Joshua L. Grimes, Esq., Grimes Law Offices LLC

Joshua L. Grimes, Esq., of Grimes Law Offices based in Philadelphia, is a leading attorney in the association, nonprofit, meeting, and hospitality industries.  He is a specialist in all matters relating meetings and conventions, as well as association & nonprofit governance. Mr. Grimes’ expertise includes preparing and negotiating all types of meeting industry contracts.  He also advises clients on avoiding liability risks.  In addition, many organizations rely on Mr. Grimes to aggressively represent their interests when disputes arise, including in litigation, mediation, and other resolution procedures. During the COVID-19 crisis, Mr. Grimes is advising meeting planners and event hosts on legal strategies for a safe return to in-person meetings, dealing with health and safety concerns, hybrid meetings.

Stephanie Angelo

Leading the Pack: How a Culture of Learning Puts You Ahead

Stephanie Angelo, SPHR, SCP, CVP, Company Culture Trainer & Consultant

Stephanie works with organizations that want to create a great Company Culture to outlive, outlast and outperform their competition. With her training, speaking and consulting she helps her clients develop strong cultures by establishing customized in-house programs to create Traction not Transaction™ which helps employees do better on their jobs, decrease turnover and create a high engagement organization that’s a magnet to applicants.

In 2020 Stephanie invented the popular board game Company Culture - a Game of Workplace Traction not Transaction™ which is an exclusive element in her company culture workshops in analog and digital versions. She has worked with companies like Faist GreenTec, Intel and Raytheon and has spoken to numerous conferences and associations such as IFMA and ASIS and SHRM. She has 30 years’ experience working with companies like Doubletree Hotels, Scottsdale HealthCare and CopperPoint Mutual to grow and thrive. She has written a book, invented two board games, and spoken all across the U.S. and in Europe.  

Jannifer C. Squeglia

FICP Chat LIVE! Reconfiguring Housing and Specs, Transportation and Incentives With 2020 Hindsight

FICP Chat LIVE! Expanding Your Team's Talent Pool and Skills to Address the Changing Role of Meetings Professionals

Jennifer C. Squeglia, CMP, Independent Contractor, Boston Private

As head of RLC Events, Inc. since 2007, Jennifer has the privilege to partner with clients from the financial and insurance industries – to include Boston Private, Providence Mutual and Fidelity – as well as defense and health care. Jennifer collaborates with her business partners and colleagues working on their event strategy to meet their goals and objectives for the best possible event outcomes. She has led teams from 2 to 50 producing events throughout the country and has been a proud and active member of FICP since 2000 and became a member of the Board of Directors in January of 2019 and is delighted to become FICP Chair in 2022. Jennifer’s career started in the hospitality industry over 35 years ago, specializing in operations, catering, and conference services. She transitioned to corporate meeting professional in 1999 moving to Boston and working on the great planning teams at John Hancock and Fidelity Investments.

Kelly Bishop

FICP Chat LIVE! Reconfiguring Housing and Specs, Transportation and Incentives With 2020 Hindsight

FICP Chat LIVE! Expanding Your Team's Talent Pool and Skills to Address the Changing Role of Meetings Professionals

Kelly Bishop, CMP, CMM, Director of Leadership, Sponsorship and Customer Programs, Meeting and Event Strategy, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Kelly Bishop is Director of Leadership, Sponsorship and Customer Programs within Meeting Management and Event Strategy (MMES) for Liberty Mutual.  In her current role, Kelly enthusiastically inspires and leads a team of six in strategically designing the ultimate attendee experience throughout their meetings and events projects – whether face to face or virtual.  Through 14 years with Liberty Mutual, she has designed lasting, impactful and memorable events; such as dinner on the Sydney Opera House stage, to activation of the company’s Team USA sponsorship – which integrated Legacy Olympians into high end programs.  Kelly is dedicated to helping others better and develop themselves.  She led a mentor program within Liberty and is currently the MMES team sponsor for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey guiding 40 people to understand and gain a comfort level through open conversations to “try on” other’s perspectives and share “below the waterline”.  A current goal within the MMES team is to create playbooks, “For the Greater Good”.  Kelly is leading the creation of the DEI playbook, aiming to incorporate ideas and a mind shift for business partners as her team strategized on the objectives, scope and what the exceptional experience will be with a new perspective. Within the DEI space, Kelly also is an Equity Task Force member within the EIC.  Kelly is also the driving force and strategic leader behind the Liberty Global Events Peer Community team.  As a leader, Kelly is a coach, mentor, cheerleader, people developer and driver of positive team culture, honest communications, and the building of business partnerships and relationships.  She is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School program, Leading with Purpose through Organizational Leadership.

Victoria De La Garza

Accounting for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) During the Planning Process

Victoria De La Garza, CMP, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Events, NEXT Financial Group

Victoria De La Garza, CMP, has been with NEXT Financial Group, Inc. since 2010. Her role at the firm requires her to organize 15-20 events per year that range from 30 to more than 500 attendees. Recently, Victoria has lent her expertise to other members of her new events team to help unify events throughout the enterprise. When she isn’t coordinating NEXT’s many meetings and national conferences, Victoria enjoys living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and CrossFit. A native Houstonian and UTSA graduate, Victoria was born and raised in the Lone Star State.

Raquel “Rocky” Dufauchard

Accounting for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) During the Planning Process

Raquel “Rocky” Dufauchard, Director, National Accounts, New Orleans & Company

Raquel "Rocky" Dufauchard, CMP, Director, National Accounts, New Orleans & Company has served in the Hospitality Industry for 32 years.  Raquel began her career at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in 1989.  After 10 years, she joined the convention sales team at New Orleans & Company where she has worked for the past 22 years.  Rocky is responsible for the Financial & Insurance Market as well as Associations and Corporations in the Northeast.

Rocky serves as a Board Member for the New Orleans Public Library and as a Commissioner for New Orleans Recreation Department.  She is also a member of FICP’S HPAC.

Sherri Lindenberg

Accounting for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) During the Planning Process

Sherri Lindenberg, Senior Vice President, Marketing Communications, Crump Life Insurance Services

Sherri K. Lindenberg sits on the executive team and is the senior vice president of marketing for Crump Life Insurance Services, a leading life insurance brokerage general agency in the US. She leads a team of marketing, communications, and event management professionals to strategically design and deliver creative internal and external marketing programs and events. Working closely with the business units, the team provides high-quality, compliant programs, tools, and processes to position the company and its brands, grow sales, and retain clients. Sherri has been with Crump since 2003 and plays a pivotal role in championing the company’s brands and its user experience vision for interactions with clients in all venues – from in-person and virtual meetings and events to print and electronic media, working closely with the company’s sales and leadership team, along with collaborating with the parent company to implement operational efficiencies and drive revenue. She recently was appointed to serve as the executive sponsor for Crump’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group. An active member and recent board member of Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP), Sherri launched its influence committee, designed to strengthen the strategic role of meeting planning professionals within the industry. She recently chaired the Symposia Committee, which organizes educational and networking events for FICP members and hospitality partners, in intimate/high engagement settings, and previously was involved with the education committee and the annual meeting design team.

William Adams

Accounting for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) During the Planning Process

William Adams, National Sales Manager of Destination Group Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Bill Adams is a National Sales Manager for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.   He has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and meetings & events industry, primarily in the Washington, DC market. He current presides of the Northeast market out of the LVCVA offices located in Washington, DC.  Bill is very active in almost every industry organization from MPI to PCMA but prides himself on being a member of FICP.  Bill stays involved in the industry by keeping up on trends and building and maintaining strong relationships with both his customers and his hotel partners. Bill currently lives in Bowie, Maryland just outside of the states capitol of Annapolis.  When he’s not traveling for work, you can find him on the grill or the Basketball court. 

Shari Wallack

From Hell to Challah: Rising From Fragile to Fearless, One Grain at a Time

Shari Wallack, President, Buy The Sea

Shari Wallack is the Founder and President of Buy The Sea, a cruise and all-inclusive brokerage company based in Plantation, Florida.  She is most proud to have been a very active FICP HPer for the past twenty-one years.   Shari says that her solid relationships with both meeting professionals and hospitality partners has been extraordinarily rewarding.

Shari has made her career in incentive travel, however she has always had a passion for story-telling.  Although writing a book had been on her bucket list for years, she never felt she had the right topic…. until the COVID pandemic hit, propelling Shari into a deep depression and a few days in a mental hospital.  She is thrilled to share her story with you about how she journeyed – both literally and figuratively -  from despair to joy, in the hopes that you will find your own “challah” when disaster strikes.

Sustainable Meetings: The New Expectation

Mariela Mcilwraith, VP Sustainability and Industry Advancement, Events Industry Council

Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA is the Vice President Sustainability and Industry Advancement for the Events Industry Council. Representing more than 30 member organizations with over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 organizations, the Events Industry Council promotes high standards and professionalism in the events industry. Mariela is also the co-author of Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Meetings and Events Industry, a part of the Wiley Event Series, is the Executive Editor of the Events Industry Council Manual, 9th Edition, and co-author of Meet Better: 167 Easy Ways to Make Your Events More Environmentally and Socially Responsible.

Will Curran

Technology Tools and Trends Driving Engagement, Collaboration and Innovation

Will Curran, Chief Event Einstein, Endless Events

As the founder of Endless Events, Will Curran has been named one of the most influential people in the meeting & events industry, 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 in-person and virtual events since high school when he started his first company and has now worked in the production of large event clients such as Emerald City Comicon, Anheuser-Busch, Warner Brothers, Morton Salt & 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

Technology Tools and Trends Driving Engagement, Collaboration and Innovation

Brandt Krueger, Technical Producer and Consultant

Brandt is a technical producer and consultant based in Minneapolis, MN, and is the highly acclaimed instructor for the Event Leadership Institute’s Virtual Event and Meeting Management certificate course. He has over 20 years experience in the industry, has spoken at events and conferences all over the world, been published in numerous magazines and websites, and is ranked among the most influential people in the events industry. More information at

Tuesday, November 16

Rutger Hoorn

Destination Trends and Best Practices

Rutger Hoorn, CIS, CITP, DES, Vice President Global Sales & Strategic Partnerships, Ovation Global DMC

Rutger Hoorn is an accomplished event industry professional, content creator, relationship builder, explorer, and father of 3. Traveling throughout the year to connect and build lasting relationships, Hoorn ensures that memorable event experiences are created for his 100+ Ovation Global DMC destinations, as Vice President Global Sales & Strategic Partnerships.

Laurie Fitzgerald

Destination Trends and Best Practices

Laurie Fitzgerald, CMP, Senior Meeting Manager, Allstate Insurance Company

Laurie Fitzgerald is a Senior Meeting Manager and Event Strategist for Allstate Insurance Company, a leading property and casualty insurance company.  Her ability to create memorable “experiences of a lifetime” for her company while providing strong management, financial and strategic skills in which to deliver these experiences, allows Laurie to inspire both the participants as well as collaborate with her teams in a true partnership fashion.  A lifelong industry advocate, Laurie enjoys the day to day challenges the hospitality industry brings to create and exceed expectations for her clients.

Prior to her work at Allstate, Laurie worked as a Convention Manager for SmithBucklin as one of the few managers hosting international meetings and events for her clients.  She cultivated client relationships and programs across the Globe as well as developed strategies for international planning.  She started in the hospitality industry working for Four Seasons Hotels and Resort in a variety of positions, including developing the first Convention Manager position for the company.  She has been a member of FICP since 2002, volunteering on the Strategic Leaders program for the 2nd year, involved as a member of PCMA, including serving on their national board of directors and the chapter board of directors as well as a variety of volunteer committees within PCMA, including the Annual Meeting Chair for the first international PCMA annual meeting.  Laurie holds her Certified Meeting Professional designation (CMP), Digital Event Strategist (DES) and a certificate as a Pandemic Compliance Advisor (PCA).

Jennifer Attersall

Destination Trends and Best Practices

Jennifer Attersall, CIS, Director, Incentive Travel, Destination Canada

Jennifer Attersall joined Destination Canada (DC) in January 2020 as the Director of Incentive Travel. Jennifer joined the Business Events Team with credibility and a proven track record of building relationships and driving revenue. Recently, Jennifer led the developed and implementation of a global incentive strategy, and assisted in integrating the incentive segment under the Successful Economic Sector Strategy.

Prior to joining DC, Jennifer held a number of high performing roles in Calgary including her work with Meetings & Conventions Calgary and as the International Business Development Manager at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC).  A career-defining moment for Jennifer was travelling to St. Petersburg, Russia, with the World Petroleum Canadian bid committee for the 2023 World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. Months and months of lobbying internationally, working daily with the bid committee, industry partners and securing Calgary’s Mayor to co-present in St. Petersburg to ensure Calgary’s bid was ready for the WPC international council came to fruition when Jennifer and the Calgary team won the bid by a narrow margin over Baku, Azerbaijan. At that moment, the win solidified the success and importance of the Calgary Champion Program that Jennifer had conceptualized and nurtured over the years.

Chris Ruane

Destination Trends and Best Practices                                                   

Chris Ruane, Vice President, Meetings and Events, Accor

Chris Ruane currently serves as Vice President, Meetings and Incentives for Accor Hotels.  Based in Toronto, Canada, Chris oversees the Global Sales Organizations M&I team for the Accor’s North & Central American Region where he plays a key role in developing and executing the strategic direction, deployment and productivity for this important market. 

Chris has been working in hotel sales and marketing for 32 years including his last 26 years with Accor (FRHI/Fairmont Hotels). 



Melissa Lamson

Ingredients for Managing Expectations and Generating Executive Buy-in

Melissa Lamson, Executive Partner, Lead with DEI

Melissa has built and run companies both in Europe and the US. She has partnered with successful leaders and companies across all industries around the world. Her portfolio of clients include: Accenture, IKEA, Linkedin, MTV, Porsche, Ripple, SAP, Space X, Unity Point Health and WalkMe. She has served as interim Head of Global Diversity. Melissa has her Masters in Intercultural Relations, specializing in Diversity Management, and has authored six books with D&I subject matter. Melissa has a vested interest in Lead with DEI.​​

Desi Whitney

Onsite Risk Factors to Consider in the “New Normal”

Desi Whitney, President & Co-Founder, Emergency Concierge International

Desi Whitney brings almost 20 years of meetings industry expertise to Emergency Concierge International (ECI). She Co-Founded ECI after identifying a great need in the industry for expert emergency planning & management. Together, Desi and the team at ECI bridge the gap between emergency speak and the meetings industry. Desi’s role within the organization focuses on strategic growth. She is dedicated to promoting the brand through marketing efforts, sponsorships, and brand experience. Desi’s focus on industry partner support, and relationships are a hallmark of the experience ECI provides. Desi has an incredible attitude, dedicated work ethic, and welcomes the challenges that come with leading ECI in a progressive, industry leading organization.

Chris Gasbarro

SHIFT: Emerging and Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Meetings

Chris Gasbarro, Owner and President, Ember

With 20 years in the meeting & events industry, Chris energizes some of North America’s most unique and powerful meetings. As Owner of Ember, a forward-thinking gathering agency, he helps to influence the meeting and event portfolios for wicked awesome brands that include Costa Sunglasses, Saucony, Footjoy, Titleist, Wolverine Worldwide Inc, Hanover Insurance, and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. From a humble beginning as a touring guitar tech, Chris now focuses his time on events like shutting down Wall Street for an IPO event or collaborating with Taylor Swift, Keds, and Nordstrom to launch a new shoe for her 1989 Tour. Chris has been lucky to assemble and lead a team of some of the best meeting and event producers in the industry. Ember is a boutique creative gathering agency based in the small seaside city of Newburyport, Massachusetts who exists to amplify brand passion through extraordinary gatherings.

Jenna Jorge

Virtual Is Here to Stay — How Are You Evolving Events, Site Visits, Remote Teams and More?

Jenna Jorge, President, Goodman Speakers

Jenna is the President of Goodman Speakers. She has worked for the company for ten years in sales and business development roles, buying the company in 2018. She is an HPAC member for FICP and an active member of IASB. Jenna is proud to keep Goodman Speakers woman owned after 40 years of business. Goodman Speakers is a leader in the speaking industry and Jenna is widely respected for working with only the best speakers on the circuit, with an emphasis on diversity. She is married and lives in Massachusetts, the proud mother of two, an autism awareness advocate, and loves hot yoga and travel.

Lindsay Berding

Virtual Is Here to Stay — How Are You Evolving Events, Site Visits, Remote Teams and More?

Lindsay Berding, CMP, Senior Meeting & Events Planner, Western & Southern Financial Group

With over 20 years of events management experience and over 8 years as a Senior Meeting & Events Planner with Western & Southern Financial Group, Lindsay uses her trademark skills of problem solving, creativity, and flexibility to help clients produce corporate events and meetings. She excels at logistics and operations, and her attention to detail means that events and meetings go smoothly from concept to completion.

Lindsay holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University.  When she’s not traveling, she loves playing tennis, cooking, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.  She resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, Jeff.