Board of Directors

Chapter Leadership

President -  Julia Rooney

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Julia has been an active member in the events industry for the past 7 years. She got her start by taking the Event Management Certificate program at Mount Royal University, which led to various contract roles with POP Kollaborative and Lynn Fletcher Weddings. In July 2014, she took on the role of Event Coordinator at TELUS Spark where she was promoted to Manager, Facility Sales in early 2018. She received two White Hat nominations through her role at Spark. 

Julia has recently resigned from Spark and started her own business, Rooney Creative Solutions. She provides event production and logistics services, day of event coordination and leadership in delivery. She is looking forward to this next step in her career journey.

Julia first served on the ILEA Calgary board back in 2015 as a Director at Large for Communications, which then led her to several VP roles before stepping into the role of President-Elect last year, which has now led her to President of the ILEA Calgary chapter.  Julia is creative, hard working and extremely passionate about the events industry. She is looking forward to leading the ILEA Calgary chapter for the next chapter year.

Immediate Past President - Joel Olandesca

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In 2013, with his extensive experience in mobile technology, graphic design, and finances, Joel created and co-founded SOS Charging Solutions. SOS is a company focused on helping everyone stay connected and charged up by having easy, simple access to mobile device charging. The company started in 2013 and has since grown to have the privilege of working with event professionals and providing their solutions to many events all across North America.

Joel and joined ILEA Calgary in 2014, and most recently was a member of the Communications sub-committee prior to taking on his current role as Director at Large. In addition to being a local entrepreneur and innovator, he is also a firm believer of giving back to others, which has turned Joel into an avid volunteer who loves to support causes that are close to his heart, in and around Calgary.

President Elect, VP Finance - Amanda Bazant
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Amanda Bazant oozes creativity when it comes to event design and execution.  She has been involved in the event production industry for over 10 years now and has had the opportunity to produce a broad spectrum of events ranging from weddings to major conferences. Amanda has always been captivated with the event industry and truly loves to create fun and unique experiences for the people around her. Her passion for events is highlighted with her involvement in the Calgary Chapter of International Live Events Association (ILEA) where she is the VP of Finance and President Elect. Amanda also has her Event Management Certificate from Mount Royal University and holds her Certified Wedding Planner certification through Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. When not in event mode, Amanda is either venturing or vegging with her family along with their grumpy, geriatric black lab.

VP, Sponsorship - Lynnette MacDonald

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Lynnette has been the lead designer and owner of SWIRL Custom Cakes & Desserts for over eight years. She leads a team of creative decorators and an office staff who assist in running the business. Lynnette is a trained Emergency Room RN and continues to pick up casual shifts when she isn’t at SWIRL. She uses the SWIRL platform to be able to express creativity thru desserts and food activations that elevate guest experiences at live events. One of the most exciting parts of her business for her is to be able to contribute back to the Calgary Community- in a mentorship area by have Culinary students complete summer internships. Lynnette has built a philanthropic aspect into SWIRL by contributing to several Calgary charities including Not In My City and the Wilson Family Trust which focuses on adolescent mental health. Lynnette also gives back to the Calgary Community with her work as the Lead Section Coordintator on the Calgary Stampede Parade Committee which involves coordinating Parade entries such as the Stampede Royalty, the Stampede Directors and the Parade Marshal. Her recent work on the ILEA Calgary Chapter Board of Directors has allowed her to focus on the Event Industry particularly with a focus on elevating the industry, through encouraging collaboration and education for all in the event industry. She enjoys working with our sponsors to see how our sponsorship activation can enhance their business.

VP, MarComms - Trish Marasigan
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VP, Education & Programs 

Education & Programing questions?
President -  Julia Rooney
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VP, Membership 

Membership questions?
President -  Julia Rooney
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Director - Shannon Collins

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At age 23 Shannon started her dream in the basement of her home while working full time as the Communications and Marketing Director for a private golf course. Retiring in 2011, after 13 years she pursued her passion for event design full time.

From concept creation to full execution, Shannon is a visionary with a mind for designing extraordinary events finding passion wherever she goes. She is known for her touch of “Bling” and continuously works to challenge her herself and try new things to create a custom experience for all her clients.
Shannon believes in the value of working together and is one of the Co-Owners and Founders of Event Core; which is a collaborative community of industry professionals who believe in the power of partnership. They strive to create an industry where we work together to enhance the easy of planning any event for clients while creating a stronger industry of vendors who help each other to grow their business together.

Charitable work and giving back to the community are at the core of what Shannon values most. This is evident in her donation of tens of thousands of dollars to charitable events every year; as well as her personal dedication as a Board member for charitable organizations like the Wishing Well Foundation; who grant end of life celebrations to terminally ill people.

Director - Paul Spencer
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Paul Spencer started his DJ career in 1989 working for Golden West broadcasting at their Radio Station CHRB in High River and CFXL in Calgary. From there, the dream of being a full time DJ and business owner took flight. Split Circuit Sound DJ Service was born in 1989, and steadily grew to be one of the busiest multi-op services in Southern Alberta.  In 2004 we bought out our largest competitors “Westrax” and overnight became one of the largest DJ companies in Western Canada. Today, we do over 400 shows a year including: weddings, corporate events, school dances, graduations, and Bar / Bat Mitzvahs. No matter the size, Split Circuit Sound / Westrax is ready to handle any party.  

Paul Spencer and his crew have built a reputation for being a high quality, interactive DJ service, while providing the very best in sound and lighting equipment. Paul is highly sought after for many family dance, weddings and Mitzvahs in the Southern Alberta area. His interactive blend of music, games and personality leads to many referrals from previous events.  





Director - 
Hayley De
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Hayley works at Valley Ridge Golf Club as the Marketing and Events Manager. Her role varies from planning large corporate golf tournaments, wedding ceremonies and receptions and various celebrations and meetings. Hayley has worked and volunteered in the event industry for over 5 years and has obtained her Event Management Certificate. 

Besides working full time in events at her 9-5, she also works with various events, marketing and Communication Companies as a side hustle. Hayley loves entertaining, making connections, family time in California and champagne! You’ll often find her checking out new restaurants and cocktail lounges imagining how she could transform the space and make any vision come to life. On Sundays she will usually be with her “Little Sister” from Big Brothers and Big Sister doing fun activities and exploring the city.

Hayley is excited to be on the ILEA Board of Directors for many reasons, such as learning new skills and connecting with like-minded people in the industry.

Director - Krystyn Persuad

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Krystyn works at the University of Calgary as an Institutional Events Specialist on the Community Engagement team. She has a wide scope of work in her role - from leading large community events to high profile government announcements – even hosting Prime Minister Trudeau the Aga Khan and the Governor General. Krystyn has worked in the events industry for the past seven years. She has an Event Management Diploma and is currently earning her Public Relations Management Certificate. Krystyn’s career includes dynamic roles in both the private and public sectors, working with non-profit organizations and planning community events for Lululemon.

 An avid traveler, Krystyn is passionate about all things related to food & beverage and loves to learn about new cultures. Krystyn also enjoys attending events around Calgary and staying active in the local event industry. She also aims to try all new restaurants in Calgary and shares her reviews with family, friends and colleagues.

Krystyn is excited to join the ILEA Board of Directors and looks forward to meeting new people and learning from peers in the industry.

Director - Mia Huysmans

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Originally from Ponoka Alberta, Mia Huysmans brings her small-town compassionate heart to the events industry. Mia has been the Events Coordinator at The Pioneer since October 2018, where she plans a variety of events from corporate receptions and meetings, to wedding ceremonies and receptions. 

Before joining The Pioneer team, Mia graduated with a major in Psychology from St. Francis Xavier University and went on to obtain a post-graduate diploma in Event Management from Algonquin College. She was previously employed for a hospitality consulting agency as well planning one of Canada’s largest medical conferences.

Mia believes that in the event world “no” is not an answer but an invitation to get creative! She loves that everyday is different providing her with the opportunity to make new connections and plan incredible events for her clients. 

When Mia isn’t creating and executing unforgettable events, she enjoys trying new restaurants and bars around the city and staying active through yoga and kickboxing. Mia is excited to get involved with the ILEA Board of Directors and along the way create new connections and continuing to grow in the events industry.

Director - Megan Sawchuk

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After graduating with her PhD in Plant Biology, Megan found herself disenchanted with research and decided to hang up her lab coat. At the same time, she was volunteering with DanceSport Alberta helping plan their ballroom dance competitions, and fell in love with planning, organizing and executing events. Megan decided to jump into the event industry by completing an Event Management Certificate and then by creating Megan Sawchuk Weddings, a wedding planning and design company. Megan loves helping her clients celebrate their love for one another by creating weddings that reflect the personalities of her clients.

Megan is excited for her first year on the ILEA Calgary Board of Directors, and is looking forward to meeting more members, and experiencing all of the challenges, opportunities, and growth that comes with this position.

Director - Erynn Lyster
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Exciting details & picture of Erynn coning soon!
Director - Hannah Chala
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Hannah has been active in the events industry for over 15 years. Her passion for planning started at 6 years old — coordinating travel adventures for her family and orchestrating elaborate birthday parties. Originally from Toronto, Hannah got her start in the non-profit world, as a marketing and events intern, after graduating with a BBA in Marketing. When she moved to Calgary, she continued her career in the corporate world, with roles in marketing, sponsorship, event management and design. She achieved the Event Management Certificate at MRU, along with a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. She has since spearheaded the events department for an oil & gas company, and worked for the Calgary Stampede — planning and executing upwards of 100 events a year over 5 years.

This is Hannah’s first year with ILEA, but she’s no stranger to associations, having held various VP roles as a member of MPI. After becoming a mom in 2015, she took a step back from her career and started a skincare business. Alongside that, she launched her event company, MORE Events Co, in 2017. When she’s not hustling (or running three businesses), she’s traveling the world as much as possible, exploring new wines and local cuisine, and spending time with her little family. She’s looking forward to giving back to the events community through ILEA.