The California Events Coalition is comprised of volunteers working together to lead our Coalition. We come from every corner of the industry and every level of our businesses. Our passion for creating events and experiences for our attendees unites us.

EXECUTIVE ADVISORY BOARD

JULIA KENDRICK CONWAY

Founding Board Member // NACE Representative + Owner of Assaggiare Mendocino

Julia Kendrick Conway is the founder of Assaggiare Mendocino, Inc., a northern California catering and events company and joined CEC EAB as the NACE Representative. Julia spent 20 years as a sales executive in the tech industry before returning to food. She was seated as the Public Member of the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission Board of Directors from 2008-2011 and was Vice Chair of the Mendocino County Promotional Alliance in 2007. Assaggiare Mendocino, founded in 1999, offers food and wine consulting services, event planning and catering in northern California's wine country and scenic north coast, and specializes in destination weddings.

A.J. FARDELLA

Founding Board Member // Director of Rock n Roll Networks

A.J. is the Director of Rock N Roll Networks, the Live Event IT company which provides secure Internet Services. A.J.’s involvement in The production of Live Events spans over 40 years, first joining legendary Bill Graham Presents in 1977. He has toured over the years with giants in Entertainment including Journey and The Rolling Stones. One of the forces behind events like the US Festival with 250,000 patrons and Mountain Aire Festivals as well as thousands of other productions. Currently A.J. Is passionately supporting friends and comrades in the Event Industry adversely effected by the COVID-19 shut down by working on a San Francisco event to bring attention to their plight.

NATHANIEL NEUBAUER

Founding Board Member // CEO and Owner of Contemporary Catering

Nathaniel Neubauer is the CEO and Owner of Contemporary Catering, a Los Angeles based full service catering and culinary production company. Spending nearly two decades creating one of Southern California's industry leading, most iconic catering operations, Contemporary Catering now reaches nationwide. Focusing on the individuality of each client instead of developing pre-set menus and packages, the result is unparalleled service, logistics and culinary creativity. Contemporary Catering is committed to using local produce and in-season, organic produce, sustainable poultry, meat and seafood wherever possible. Beyond Contemporary Catering, Nathaniel consults for restaurants in Los Angeles and Maui and works in advisory roles for hospitality operations

ROSHAUN DAVIS

Founding Board Member // Entrepreneur + Creative Developer at Unseen Heroes

When it comes to creating an unforgettable experience, Roshaun and Maritza Davis, founders of Unseen Heroes-an award-winning event marketing agency, are widely known to have it down to a science. And with their urban aesthetic, meticulous execution, and deep connection with the community, it is clear why the duo is becoming the go to agency for creative solutions in the lifestyle and culture space. Unseen Heroes’ colorful and uniquely curated events carry the perfect amount of creativity, vibrant visuals, and a vibe that is always original and inviting.

MARTHA HENDERSON

Founding Board Member // Board Member at San Diego Pride + Founder of the SD Events Coalition

Martha Henderson (she/her/hers) is a Board member at San Diego Pride and the Southern California Representative of the International Association of Venue Managers. She has been in the events industry for 15 years in Southern California.most recently at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, CA. She is a dedicated, highly-motivated professional with experience in coordination and planning of large and small scale events.

ROY PORTER

Founding Board Member

Roy is a veteran of over 3,100+ Weddings. Plus, many of So Cal high profile mega attendance events such as The Golden Globes, The Oscars, The Emmy’s, The Taste of LA, NBA Awards, The WACO Gala, The mVeuve Clicqot Polo Classic, British Polo Day, Adobe World, Alta Med: East LA Meets Napa Valley, Taste of Italy Los Angeles, and many more.

A Southern California native and resident, Roy Porter is recognized internationally as a consummate and approachable hands-on innovator in performance improvement and training off-premise catering staffs for plating (Both FOH & BOH), table, bar service, and operations. His people first approach focuses on adding value and eliminating waste.

He writes articles for Catersource magazine and posts online at the ICA (Interterminal Caterers Association) Round Table Facebook Group and several other catering and event production industry blogs - answering questions and offering alternatives and solutions to catering and event production challenges.

Served as Director of Production for The Golden State of Cocktails. Education Board of the USBG Orange County Chapter. Charter member of the OC Bartenders Cabinet. Lead member of the Annual Catersource Conference and Art of Catering Food Education and Production teams. As a speaker, has spoken repeatably at the annual Catersource Conference, The Wedding MBA, The Art of Catering Food, plus The Night Club and Bar Show, Roy’s unique educational and entertaining storytelling style helps the audience understand and retain complex and often contrarian ideas that work. He was awarded the Michael Roman Life Time Achievement Award 2021 recognizing his contributions helping caterers.

ALICIA FALANGO

Founder // Owner and Founder of Alicia K Designs

Alicia Falango is the owner and founder of Alicia K Designs, a full service event design and production company in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Alicia was raised in the hospitality industry and has been producing events for over 20 years.  Creating memorable experiences is not only her career but her passion and her love of the industry is now driving her to make a difference.

HEIDI HUGHETT

Founder // Owner of Coastside Couture

Heidi is the owner of Coastside Couture, a full service planning and design company located in Carmel, California, Her background encompasses over 30 years in the Hospitality Industry, the past 14 of which were solely focused on producing epic weddings. Her love for her Event Community runs deep.

KATE WHELAN

Founder // President of Kate Whelan Events and Partner of The Poppy Group

Kate Whelan is the President and Senior Event Consultant for Kate Whelan Events, a boutique special event planning and design firm based in Sacramento, California. Kate has been working in live events for over 19 years and is incredibly passionate about supporting her industry colleagues and statewide economy.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

AMANDA MA

Founding Membership Chair // Chief Experience Officer of Innovate Marketing Group

Amanda Ma is the Founder and CEO of Innovate Marketing Group, an award-winning live & virtual experience agency that provides full-service event & activation for top brands. Innovate Marketing Group is known for producing remarkable corporate events by providing fresh ideas, infrastructure and logistics. Amanda has 15+ years of experience in the events & marketing industry. You probably have seen her on Inc, Bizbash, and Meetings Today. She is passionate about events and delighted to join this dynamic group looking to make a difference.

SUZY DRELL

Founding Guidelines Co-chair // Owner & Event Producer at Suzy Drell Creative Design

Known for her creativity and calm demeanor, Suzy has produced events in the Bay Area for over 20 years. With a Fine Arts background and the sole owner a small high-end design firm, producing décor, original design, product development and large outdoor installations, she has a reputation of taking an idea from inception to execution that creatively integrates events, environments, video production, digital media, decor and technical production. Now is the time to take experience to action with the California Events Coalition so we can all get back to the world that we love.

CAROLE GROGAN

Founding County Info Monitoring Committee, Los Angeles // Owner of Bright Blue Events

Carole Grogan is the owner and head event producer of Bright Blue Events, a social event planning and design company based in Los Angeles.  Carole has been planning celebrations and been part of the Southern California Event and Hospitality Industry for over 20 years.  She is passionate about the Event Industry and the framework of professionals that embody every part of it.

HEATHER FERRAI

Founding Guidelines Co-chair // Founder & Creative Director of All Set Events

Heather Ferrai is the Founder and Creative Director at All Set Events, an all-encompassing event design and production company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to work throughout the Golden State, cultivating a tight knit community of vendors turned "friendors". Heather's devotion to the live events industry and love for her fellow community members is what drove her to jump to action and get involved with the California Events Coalition.

JILL REMY

Founding County Info Monitoring Committee, South Central Coast // Owner at Jill & Co. Events

Jill Remy is the owner and lead event planner for Santa Barbara based Jill & Co. Events, founded in 2012 after a decade in California's wine countries live event sectors, assisting clients with social, non-profit, corporate, festival and wedding planning.  She believes in the essential work that events provide for fundraising, community engagement, branding implementation and quality of life.