THE PLANNERS 



 

Tanya Zuckerman
Senior Manager of Meetings and Events, Bayer CropScience
Specialties: Strategic meeting management; meeting policy; ROI

As a leader of the meetings and conventions efforts of one of the most successful multinational agricultural science companies, Tanya is a master of logistics, structure and strategy.



 

Joan Eisenstodt
Chief Strategist, Eisenstodt Associates LLC
Specialties: Inclusion; ADA; ethics; expert witness; meeting design; training

One of the most influential people in the industry, Joan has served as the unofficial mentor to a constellation of meeting professionals, and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of all things meetings.



 

Tess Vismale
Conference Center Manager, Atlanta Technical College; Senior Event Lead, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Specialties: Digital events; sustainability; inclusion, event execution

Tess has a lot on her plate. Besides her “day jobs,” she’s on the board of the GMIC’s Atlanta Chapter, co-chair of the Curriculum Committee for MPI (Georgia chapter) and served as a board member of Hospitality Industry Professionals of Atlanta.



 

Shawna McKinley
Director of Sustainability, MeetGreen
Specialties: Sustainability; education

As director of sustainability for perhaps the most-respected green meetings and events firm going, MeetGreen, many herald Shawna as the go-to green expert in the meetings industry. She also helps a variety of organizations via sustainability training.



 

Bill Reed
Senior Director of Meetings, American Society of Hematology
Specialties: Strategy; citywides

When it comes to large citywides, Bill is the man to see. His American Society of Hematology (ASH) attracts about 23,000 delegates and 300 exhibiting companies for its annual meeting and exhibition. The ASH’s portfolio of events includes 120 meetings per year. Prior to ASH, Bill was a senior vice president at Experient.



 

Paul Salinger
Vice President, Marketing, Oracle
Specialties: Sustainability; strategic meetings management

Paul has been a key leader in the sustainable meetings movement both in his work at tech giant Oracle and as a board member of the Green Meeting Industry Council, where he is currently president-elect.



 

Mariela McIlwraith
President, Meeting Change
Specialties: Sustainability; CSR; ethics; strategic meetings management; education

A jack-of-all-trades in the meetings industry, Mariela’s latest claim to fame is as the author of the Convention Industry Council Manual, 9th Edition. She also is a frequent speaker on the meetings circuit, covering topics that truly span the profession.



 

Niesa Silzer
Creative Director, Details Convention & Event Management
Specialties: Event design; strategic events

Following a stint as client experience architect for Tourism Toronto, Niesa recently returned to Calgary, Alberta, to work for Details, where she uses her experience as a touring Broadway production stage manager to craft show-stopping events for a range of clients.



 

Phillip Ridley
Meeting and Special Event Manager, American Society of Anesthesiologists
Specialties: Meeting design; faciliitation and training; ADA; ethics

Active in industry associations such as PCMA, Phillip delivered a series on ethics for the association, and is also part of the team that plans the ASA’s 16,000-attendee Annual Meeting.



 

Sandra Wood
Manager, Annual Meeting, Canadian Medical Association
Specialties: Sustainable F&B

This Ottawa-based planner has served on the board of the GMIC and published numerous articles about incorporating sustainability into events. Sandra is currently spearheading a campaign to end food waste in the meetings industry.



 

Garland Preddy
Director of Education and Training, Society of Government Meeting Professionals
Specialties: Government meetings; education

Another trendsetter recognized because of her work in the embattled government meetings segment, Garland parlays her experience of nearly 35 years managing events for the federal government to educate planners.

Sekeno Aldred
Event Manager, Goodwill Industries International
Specialties: Nonprofits; charity events

Giving back seems to be what Sekeno’s all about. Working in conjunction with Goodwill, she has organized donation drives resulting in job training services and other programs for people with disabilities, those who lack education or job experience, and others facing challenges finding employment.