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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? I have been in sales my entire career, so it was just another transition.  I can’t say that there was anything that inspired me but it turned out to be the best decision! Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I adopted a baby from China, 24 years ago. What do you love the most about what you do? I love to see the results of all the planning that go into the events.  The wow factor when people come in and see the incredible view from the 99 th   floor – and see the city from a totally different perspective. We live in an incredible ...
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1.       Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? I actually went to school for and worked in Special Ed for many years and was starting to need a change. Around that time, the Event Coodinator at the restaurant/bar I bartended at on the side decided to leave her position for something new. They approached me with the opportunity, I said yes, and the rest is history :) 2.       Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? Writer's block on this question ... feel free to ask me this question at the next ILEA event! 3.       What do you love the most about what you do? I love all the amazing people I get ...
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1.     Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? A long time ago, when my two oldest kids were small, I bought one of those cheap Little Tikes bounce houses for them. It ripped within 2 days and had me wanting to buy a commercial-grade unit instead. A day later, I saw a van for a small bounce house company pass through my subdivision . Realizing that I lived in a big new development filled with young families, that was my “a-ha” moment. I bought 8 different types of inflatables a short time later and Jiggle & Giggle was born in 2008. I quickly realized that inflatables were a seasonal business and started adding year-round attractions ...
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Who/what inspired you to go into event planning? I spent about six years as a freelance theatre producer, actor, and director before moving into events. I have always been inspired by individuals and relationships, and I thrive working on a team of varied perspectives and backgrounds. Also, I watched the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding so much growing up that I wore out two VHS tapes before they released the DVD… destined to work with couples and weddings from a very early age, I’d say. Thanks, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, and Dermot Mulroney! Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I love Japanese botanicals. I’m not ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? Really not a specific thing or person, just my natural personality. I instinctively plan things out to hopefully create the best possible time. Whether it’s for me, me & my husband, friend & family or clients.  I guess you could say, I got it from my momma lol. She would plan our routes in Disneyworld to maximize our time and make sure we all got to go on all the rides we wanted and have time to make it to the other resorts like Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Islands of Adventure...I digress.  Tell us one thing we might not learn ...
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Tell us a bit about yourself… Balloons By Tommy started over 20 years ago when I was learning my craft in high school.  Over the course of the past 6 years, we have had some amazing growth that has allowed our company to expand throughout Chicago and Southern California while still maintaining top quality art in our field. Who/ what inspired you to go into Balloon Decor I have always loved the magic of balloons.  When I was a child, my parents took me to a convention that featured balloon professionals from around the world.  I was so inspired by the artists and work that I knew it would be my life’s calling, at about 8 years old. Tell us ...
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? I planned events long before I started doing it professionally. Growing up in Germany, I was always the one planning elaborate trips and parties for my friends and I. When I moved to the U.S. and started hanging out with more magicians, it was natural for me to start a magic themed party. It quickly became obvious that planning an entertaining show was something completely different than planning an amazing party, and luckily we've been able to merge the two at every single Magic Penthouse experience. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I am half German and ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? Oprah! Yes, you heard that right. I used to work for OWN Network and when Harpo Studios was closing down in Chicago we were all trying to figure out next steps for our careers. I had already lived in Los Angeles for previous jobs and really wanted to stay in the Midwest so after a convo with Oprah and my other co-workers I realized I needed to use my detail oriented skills and love for logistics to transition into an event planner. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I can tweet like a bird! What do you love the most about what ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? About a century ago, when one would still apply for positions through newspaper classifieds (just before Missed Connections, Births and Obituaries) I saw an opportunity to try out for an account management role with an international trade show organizer. The inspiration within the advert included: International Travel opportunities! Hey presto 16 years later – I’ve moved from Australia to the U.S.A. and still in the events industry. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I’ve traveled 22 countries of the world and 22 of the United States ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… What inspired you to go into event planning? Most of my professional career I have worked in high-end restaurants and hotels. I have done everything from serving, bartending, training, and opening new restaurants. The process of opening a new restaurant or planning unique events has always been where my interest and expertise lies. Event planning allows me to be able utilize my artistic side as well as organizational skills. Every job in the hospitality industry has led me to this career. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I have a bachelor’s degree in photography from Columbia College ...
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In the hustle and bustle of a busy holiday season, it was super fun to spend a night with all our industry friends at the new Fairlie Chicago , where we got to sit down for a wonderful menu curated by Danielle Wheeler and her team at Maison Cuisine . The tables were beauifully designed by the teams at Ashland Addison and Tablescapes Event Rentals , with the help of Windy City Linen , CTC Destination Management Group , and lighting by Art of Imagination .  Following dinner we got to dance and mingle to the incredible display by Corporate DJ Howard Wallach of AZ Entertainment , and jump in the giant snowglobe provided by The WOW ...
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? My Grandma is my inspiration for going into the event industry. She taught me the importance of being a great Hostess, taking care of people and setting a nice table. Instead of talking about school or sports, we would talk about what color palette we wanted to go with for the Christmas dinner table. Believe it or not I was actually on my way to attending Law School, but my Grandma’s voice was ringing in my ear telling me to just follow my passion and do what I love. I haven’t looked back since! My Grandma is 98 years young now, and we still set the table together. Tell us one thing we might not ...
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EVENT RECAP: ILEA AT SECOND CITY

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It was a night of heightened connections as the talented cast of Second City engaged the audience with a custom interactive performance within their new event space, The LOFT .    50/50 Restaurant group provided delicious beverages and bites.  The revelry was captured with an innovative roaming photo booth provided by MK Event Photo . Sound Investment AV provided the staging and audiovisual bringing the hilarity to the far corners of the room.    Marquee Events provided a tufted leather checked bar harmonizing with their Spinner Black linens draped upon the highboy tables.  The elegant silver and black décor contrasting elegantly ...
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? My aunt used to be in the business for about 30 years. While I was growing up, I was drawn to her stories of travel and incentive programs she was planning for Avon. She eventually started her own company, managed that for quite some time until 9/11 happened and then went into non-profit events, working with groups like UNICEF. She inspired me and guided me along into the event industry, pushing me to go to school for hospitality and tourism management. Little would she know that I would follow in her footsteps all the way to starting my own company! Tell us one thing we might not learn about you ...
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We kicked off our October event at the American Writers Museum with early morning networking and a delicious breakfast from E ntertaining Company. Breakfast included bite-sized French toast and mascarpone sandwiches, breakfast sliders, and mini skillets with polenta, fried quail egg, and bacon. Guests enjoyed mingling at tables dressed with gorgeous linens by Windy City Linen and centerpieces by Angiliy Floral. The event was captured beautifully by Colin Lyons Wedding Photography .             After breakfast, our panel discussion focused on writing for events and how to get your work noticed! From crafting RFPs that win clients to writing submissions ...
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? I love and still love helping people plan their dream events. T ell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I wanted to be a Police Officer, and still have a strong interest in Law Enforcement. I have a green thumb and I love going to concerts. What do you love the most about what you do? Always having new challenges and the adrenaline rush of thinking fast on your feet. Where did you grow up? Northside of Chicago, I love it. I love the diversity, the restaurants, the people, it is truly a great city. What is your event gone wrong horror story? Setting up at ...
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Who/What inspired you to go into event planning? I’ve always been interested in weddings and special events, as a child I would go to my mom’s work and help setup banquets on days I was off school. I was always amazed at how the space would transform for weddings and corporate events.  In college, I was unsure of my major and took an elective class that was “Intro to Meeting Planning”.  I was instantly interested and knew that was the career path for me.  After two internships in the United Club at Soldier Field, I knew I had made the right choice and landed in catering.   Tell us a few things we might not learn about you right away? I have always ...
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For our July Meeting, we partnered with NACE Chicago to bring this event together!  What a great night exploring Chicago and getting to know new industry friends!           Thank you again to our sponsors Corporate Event Interactive, 10Pin, LondonHouse, Aries Charter Transportation & Riva Crab Hou
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MASTER'S DINNER EVENT RECAP

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Traditionally held the night before the Day of Education, this dinner, which is invitation only, brings together the Day of Education speakers, ILEA Past Presidents, board members, and Chicago industry VIPs for an evening of networking and discussion.       The night kicked off with fabulous hors d'ouevres, a made to order A5 Wagyu Beef Cart and fun cocktails from   Catering by Michaels , set to the music of   Backthird Entertainment .     Chez-Chicago   was the perfect venue to showcase their amazing tables, the beautiful linen from   BBJ Linen   and the glorious flowers provided by   Kloeckner Preferred Flowers .   Halls Rental   provided ...
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