2018-2019 Board of Directors
PRESIDENT: Brian Gilman
SpringHill Suites Huntington Beach
Brian is a seasoned sales professional working in the travel industry since 2004. His experience includes selling to consumers and businesses in a variety of markets, which offers a unique understanding of the complex travel industry.
Brian has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Long Beach, with the emphasis in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. Through his experience and education, Brian has developed a keen sense of market trends and sales expertise. He has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of Hilton and Starwood sales training courses, workshops, and seminars that allows for a broad resource base on which to build his career. He continues to build a strong contact network through local memberships in the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anaheim, and a global membership in MPI, among others.
The MPIOC Presidents award was given to Brian in June 2016 for his leadership and mentoring of others in the chapter.
In addition to being passionate for the travel industry, Brian coaches his kids’ soccer and baseball teams, referees, and occasionally has to umpire a game. He lives in Torrance, CA with his wife, two kids, and dog.
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Pawntra Shadab
Elite Productions International
Pawntra Shadab With an extensive and qualified background in the world of event production and design, Pawntra Shadab joins Meeting Planners International, Orange County, as Vice President of Education. Previously, she served as Director of Recognition and Community Outreach. The role at MPI will be balanced with her current title: Vice President at event production and design firm, Elite Productions International. With the company now for eleven years, Pawntra has a masterful hand in designing and producing events for top corporate clients, as well as social and wedding cliental.
In addition to her history with Elite Productions International, Pawntra Shadab has worked countless award shows such as The Academy Awards, The Grammys, and The Golden Globes.
A history of philanthropy to those in need makes the position tailor made for Pawntra. As a previous board member of The National Urban League Young Professionals, which helps historically impoverished urban communities, she organized fundraising events. Volunteering for Make A Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society are just a couple other organizations she continually supports, satisfying her passion to bettering the community.
Combining her professional experience with her personal passion, Pawntra Shadab accepts the position with enthusiasm and eagerness. When she is not busy on-site coordinating an event, Pawntra enjoys traveling to exotic locales, salsa dancing, and attending concerts.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Heather Even, CMP, MA
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Heather Even, M.A.
Maple Street Management
Heather Even, CMP, MA is President of Maple Street Management, Inc., an Association Management Company. Heather has been involved with Maple Street since 2002, working part time during college as an administrative assistant. Looking for a career change, she returned to Maple Street in 2009 where she works with nonprofit boards of directors achieve their goals by handling the day-to-day needs of the association. She is in charge of all communications via web and email as well as coordinating meetings and special events for all of Maple Street’s clients. Heather holds a Minor in Biblical Studies, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and a California Secondary Education Credential from Biola University as well as a Master of Arts degree in English from Cal State Long Beach.
She is a third generation Southern Californian, who got the travel bug from her great-grandmother and has traveled to 16 countries and 19 states. She is an avid movie buff, Disney fanatic, and when not working enjoys creative writing.
VICE-PRESIDENT, FINANCE: Jon Trask, CMP CMM
Jon Trask, CMP CMM
Strategic Meeting Tech
Owner of Strategic Meeting Tech and previously the co-founder of AVforPlanners. Jon has spent the last 33 years in the audiovisual and technical production area of the meetings and events industry. Prior to his current position he worked for a number of AV/Staging companies in Southern California as a Technician, Project Manager, General Manager, Senior Account Manager, Director of Sales. Over the past five years he’s also worked as a freelance Technical Director.
VICE-PRESIDENT, MEMBERSHIP: Mark Stewart
Tel: 949-581-7531 Ext. 504
Mark Stewart is a 25 year veteran and industry leader in the California chauffeured ground transportation business. His experience includes humble beginnings as a chauffeur, a limousine owner, operations manager and now is responsible handling business development & corporate sales for CLI Worldwide Transportation. He served on the executive board and as President of the Greater California Livery Association-GCLA from 2005-2013.
VICE-PRESIDENT, EDUCATION: Shannel Crane
VICE-PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS: Michael Procopio
Pro Audio Video, Inc.
Michael Procopio Is an Audio Visual Specialist. He has worked in the event planning industry for over 10 years specializing in Audio, Visual and Creative Design. Winning the 2015-2016 MPI OC Rising Start Award and being in the industry starting at a young age he has grown into a very well rounded experienced professional.
DIRECTOR, EDUCATION EVENTS: Cynthia Stearn, CMP
DIRECTOR, EDUCATION EVENTS
Cynthia Stearn, CMP
DIRECTOR, SUPPLIER SPONSORSHIPS: Kelly Feeney
DIRECTOR, SUPPLIER SPONSORSHIPS
DIRECTOR, SPECIAL EVENTS: Alivia Kimotho, CMP
DIRECTOR, SPECIAL EVENTS
Alivia Kimotho, CMP
Doubletree by Hilton Santa Ana / Orange County Airport
Alivia has been in the event’s industry since 2011, where she got her start as an Event Planner for a High School Reunion company. She has since made the switch over to the property level and loves working with clientele from near and far, booking their programs within the Orange County area! She has been a Sales Manager with Hilton Worldwide going on 3 years and looks forward to the experiences and opportunities being a board member for MPI OC will bring during the 2018-2019 term.
DIRECTOR, MEMBER RECRUITMENT: Katie Pederson
DIRECTOR, MEMBER RECRUITMENT
House of Blues Anaheim
Katie Pederson is the Director of Special Events at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California where she has been running a team of professionals who plan private events for the last 6 years. Katie has worked in the industry for over 15 years at most major entertainment companies both here in California and throughout the country planning one of kind private events and premieres both internally and for corporations, nonprofits, consumer products, and VIPs. Her passion is in music and she loves getting to marry that passion with her work on a daily basis.
DIRECTOR, RETENTION: AnaLaura Becerra, CMP CTA
AnaLaura Becerra, CMP CTA
Born and raised in Mexico City, AnaLaura has always worked in the Hospitality industry, from camp counseling to high end coastal resorts and wholesale travel agencies.
After earning a BS in Tourism Management, AnaLaura joined Delta Airlines and later on opened the Mexico City offices for Korean Air and Malaysian Airlines where operations, marketing and sales allowed her to travel the world extensively.
The new millennium brought AnaLaura to the US, and she lived in Iowa, Arizona and Southern California where she opened smaller properties for both Marriott and Hilton.
Ms. Becerra sat on the board of the San Diego chapter of HSMAI 5 years.
AnaLaura’s job at AlliedPRA allows her to truly network, bringing people together, showcasing the magnificence of the area and the many faces of Orange County to our visitors and helping groups enjoying outstanding local experiences.
In her free time you can find AnaLaura at the beach, helping consolidating the OC Chapter of MPI, or exploring up and coming venues.
DIRECTOR, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS: Tracy Hueth
DIRECTOR, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Fun 4 Events