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ISES December Luncheon - We need you!

Here with ISES, we love this time of year as we all get the opportunity to make a difference. At our upcoming December luncheon as part of the event we plan to hold a silent auction to raise funds to allow us to continue to support quality educational programs.

We are hopeful you can donate either a gift card for your services or a gift basket to help support our event. Thank you for your consideration!  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your ISES board members!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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ISES December Membership Drive

Did you know that ISES members collectively plan and execute over 1 million special events each year? You could be a part of the world’s largest event production and service organization!

December ISES Membership Drive is almost here!  Do not forget to sign up if you are not already a member - now is a GREAT time to join!


  • Membership Drive Dates: December 1, 2015 –December 31, 2015
  • Application must be completed ONLINE
  • Dues Fee – $299 Members and Corporate Primary Members (includes $50 application fee)
  • $249 Non-profits and Corporate Additional Members (includes $50 application fee)

**($50.00 Students are not charged an application fee and are not included for the membership drive results)

  • New Members (non-students) are listed on the Online Directory—Finder Service


Membership Benefits

ISES Member Directory
Our directory allows you to find and connect with members across the globe.
ISES Chapters
Network with local colleagues and potential clients, and receive continuing education through regionally based events.
ISES Marketplace
Show the world what you do! You can upload photos, descriptions, product and services information and more! This one-of-a-kind marketplace for you to advertise to potential clients.
ISES Esprit Awards
The awards recognize ISES members who have excelled in their respective event field throughout the year.
ISES Community
Join our private community to engage with like-minded people and share thoughts, ideas and best practice. Join the conversation!
ISES Career Center
Jobseekers - view current jobs and post your resume. Employers - post a job and search candidate resumes.
ISES Member Logo
Download the ISES Member logo to place on your web site and business cards! You can access the member logo by logging in and going to “My Profile.

As a member, you also gain access to the ISES Affinity Partnerships.  Here is how it works:

  • As an ISES member, you will earn Links reward points by making purchases you make every day through an AchieveLinks Merchant Partner. This can be practically anything for your home, work, or yourself!
  • As you earn Links you can the redeem them in the Reward Center for travel, gift cards and other wonderful gifts.

Just like the airline frequent flyer programs, except that practically anything you need to purchase for your home, work, yourself or your family will qualify for Links reward points and the rewards are only limited by your own dreams.

Learn more about ISES Affinity Partnerships here:  Affinity Partnerships

ISES is a wonderful organization to be a part of - JOIN December 1st-31st!

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SEARCH Foundation - Assisting Event Professionals in Crisis

The SEARCH Foundation was formed in 1997 to assist special event, meetings and hospitality professionals faced with a life threatening illness and/or a catastrophic occurrence.  The events industry is a group of professionals, many of which are small business owners.  What would you do if you are unable to perform your job or keep your business open?   SEARCH is there to help!  SEARCH relies on donations from industry individuals and corporations.

If you would like to donate - there are many ways to give.  Donate by mail, on-line, heart pins, in honor of gift cards, in memory of gift cards, or client appreciation donation. Because of so many generous donations - the SEARCH Foundation has been able to distribute over $236,387.00 to special event industry professionals in crisis throughout the past 7 years.  

Are you in need of assistance?  SEARCH can help!  Requests for SEARCH Donations are offered to individuals in the special event industry - up to $5,000.00 per calendar year per individual.  For more information on assistance - please contact the SEARH Foundation at 877.777.9340.

Learn more about the SEARCH Foundation and see who they have helped here:

SEARCH Foundation


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Behind the Scenes with Arthur Black with Republic National Distributing Company


Arthur, in addition to his role at RNDC, is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, a Certified Specialist of Wine, a Certified Spanish Wine Educator, a Certified French Wine Educator, a Certified Sake Specialist, Certified Spirits Specialist, Advanced Sommelier, Level 1 Cicerone, Advanced Level III through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a wine, beer and spirits writer and has lectured and taught at copious venues and several universities. As an active educator in the American sommelier community, Arthur has competed in many sommelier competitions, winning the honorable Best Young Sommelier in America Championship. In 2015, Arthur created and is the current president of the non-profit, the Indiana Craft beverage Association, a promotional body dedicated to engaging both trade and consumers to increase quality beverage appreciation and Indiana beverage industry sustainability. Arthur is also the creator and organizer of Indiana’s first cocktail festival, Mixture – An Indianapolis Cocktail Tour, which experienced a successful first year in the summer of 2015. Wines around the world, sake in Japan, Tequila-mezcal in Mexico, whiskies in the UK and USA, Arthur’s professional life has been devoted to spreading the gospel of gastronomy to the remotely curious as well as those more intimately familiar with playground of the human palette.

 Below is a little teaser interview from Arthur Black:

1. What does your company do and what makes is different than others like it?

RNDC is one of the country’s best wholesalers of wine and spirits. RNDC’s MO is different than our competitors in that our focus is slanted towards customer service and relations than focusing on brands that people “need” to have.

2.  What lead you to your current career and how long have you been in the field?

A series of snowball effects, but it began with a passion for wine, food and beverage understanding and the deconstruction of complicated arenas of gastronomy into a language and delivery system from which all can expand their enjoyment of beverage. Approximately 17 years in overall trade, 12 years as a specialist, about 8 years as a specialist “super freak”.

3.  What is your most memorable event/project? Why?

I’ve been blessed with many, but most recently and most gratifying is my involvement within the city in creating Indiana’s first cocktail festival, “Mixture – An Indianapolis Cocktail Tour”. It proved to be a success in its first year, this past June actually, and took on a shape of a genuinely, well intentioned, communal endeavor that brings together and promotes our emerging food and beverage culture in Indiana. It’s a collective effort of 5 wholesalers, 40 supplier sponsorships, 4 neighborhoods, 20 restaurants and bars, Georgia Street and Downtown Indy, as well as food purveyors, local Indiana Breweries, culinary schools and local retailers like Goose Market, etc.

4.  What is one thing people do not know about you?

I wear everything on my sleeve. 

5.  If you were not in your current career, what would be your dream job?

Astrophysicist or successful novelist

Hear more from Arthur Black at the December Holiday Luncheon - December 9, 2015 from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM at The Manor at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis! 


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Event Re-Cap: October Luncheon - The Power of Images

EVENT RE-CAP: October Luncheon

October 28, 2015

Thank you to all who attended our October monthly luncheon! We would also like to thank our host, Ritz Charles, for providing us with an outstanding venue!  It was a event filled with wonderful food, great networking, and wonderful education!  Members walked away with many ideas that they can put into action.  

This ISES Indiana event started with networking among event specialists followed by a wonderful array of appetizers provided by our host and their award winning culinary team.  Thank you to A Classic Party Rental, McNamara Florist, Markey's Audio Visual, KB Design, Kennicott Brothers, and Nathaniel Edmunds Photography for everything that was provided to make this event amazing. 

As the event continued, we received a wonderful presentation by Chris Bucher (photography guru) and Kathleen Kimball (PR/Marking Maven). They discussed how the images you use to market your company must show what you do and be a representation of your brand.  

Chris Bucher with Chris Bucher Photographs, is an award-winning, Indianapolis-based photographer whose work, assignments and clients are extremely diverse.  He does both documentary and commercial photography and numerous images from a project that involved an inner city boxing gym has been shown in galleries all over the county and overseas.  Chris also has recently published the book Lighting Photo Workshop.  

Kathleen Kimball with Porch Light Public Relations, is the business and marketing expert for Porch Light.  She earned a degree in Economics from USC, and in May 2014 she earned her MBA from the Kelley School of Business with an emphasis in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.  The goal of her company, Porch Light is to create messages and strategic plans in order to deliver measurable goals for their clients to connect with their audiences.    

We hope to see you our November Educational Intensive, November 18th from 8:30 am- 1:30 pm at The Meeting House of WestClay, but for now - enjoy the pictures from the our lunch, The Power of Images.




Thank you to our host, Ritz Charles

Ritz Charles

 Thank you to our sponsors!




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The CSEP Program

The CSEP program was established in 1993 - the Certified Special Events Professional designation recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and ability essential to perform all components of a special event.  

This program was developed to:

  • Increase the proficiency of event professionals
  • Elevate industry standards and practices
  • Establish the level of knowledge and performance necessary for certification
  • Promote the advancement of the special events industry
  • Advance the careers of practitioners
  • Acknowledge the high caliber work of CSEPs and the value of the products and services they provide 


Now more than ever before, professionals within the industry recognize the CSEP to be an influential designation for the education and the promotion of professional ethics and standards.  When you become a CSEP - it demonstrates a continuous dedication to enhance individual and professional performance.  

To qualify as a candidate for the CSEP exam, one must have a minimum of three (3) years of full-time professional employment in the special events industry.  Documentation of work experience is also a requirement.  

To receive the CSEP designation, candidates must first complete the CSEP application process.  The candidate will receive a notification via email of their application status. Once approved, candidates will receive a confirmation from Schroeder Measurement Technologies, after the exam application registration deadline, including log-in information and how to register for  the exam on SMT's online examination scheduling system.  

For the CSEP registration, there is a $600 registration fee and you have the ability to take the exam at testing centers in Indianapolis many times throughout the year.  If you are interested in being on our email list with more updates and information on this wonderful program, please email and you will be added to this list.  

 Below is a list of CSEPs here in Indiana:

Kelly Early

Jennifer McKinney-Seet

Vincent Early

Kari Strolberg

Dee Haddad

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Behind the Scenes with Aaron Kaufman, CSEP with Fifth Element Group


Aaron Kaufman’s dedication to pushing the envelope with Fifth Element Group has created some amazing results for many corporations, foundations and charities. Aaron’s use of new and innovative methods, materials and elements has led to many industry awards and nominations for Fifth Element Group. Whether it’s the closing of Advertising Week in Canada, launch events for Disney or NHL Pro Am Drafts for Scotiabank, Aaron’s designs are highly sought after – flawless and always exceptional!

 Below is a little teaser interview from Aaron Kaufman, CSEP:

1. What does your company do and what makes is different than others like it?

To experience a Fifth Element Group design is to experience a creative and original collaboration. Since 2003, Fifth Element Group (formerly 5th Element Events) has collaboratively created event environments and elements for top-tiered brands across Canada, and most recently the United States. Executing epic designs with a team of influential and passionate event professionals, our work has been seen in product launches, fundraisers, galas, celebrity weddings and award-winning fashion shows. Led by President and Founder, Aaron Kaufman, CSEP, Fifth Element Group is a fine-tuned full service design firm. Aaron’s 18 plus years of successful work in the events industry has positioned him as an influencer in the Canadian event industry. Aaron and the Fifth Element Group team have designed experiences for clients such as Disney, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Weston Family, Deloitte, Sony, Canadian Advertising Week, IBM, Adidas, Koodo Mobile and many others.Staying true to a ‘boutique’ business concept, Fifth Element Group designs with customization that stays true to the vision of the client – no two event installations are the same. Our team has collaborative abilities to manage everything from concept creation to execution. Fifth Element Group’s team members are among the most talented in the industry and are expertly skilled to manage  staging, lighting, AV, décor, florals and entertainment. One team – endless possibilities – creative original results.

2.  What lead you to your current career and how long have you been in the field?

I've been around events for (GASP!) nearly 25 years.  What led me to this role started way back in high school as a love for music, which quickly turned in to a need to be involved in live performance.  I was an event emcee for sometime which taught me lighting, staging and audio.  My love for events flourished from there when I realized I could, through live event design, tell brands and peoples stories in a way that no one else could.  Everyday, I get to decide the look and feel and experience around any given scenario.... fashion show, product launch, gala, or wedding and then be there to see it unfold.  It's amazing! 

3.  What is your most memorable event/project? Why?

I don't really know if one stands out in particular.  I've been lucky to work with celebrities, major international brands and some of the most wonderful people BUT, it's not actually the events themselves that I love.  Working on a a project for an extended amount of time, I'm rarely shocked or surprised by the outcome.  My duty in design is to illicit emotion and reaction SO, I always try to stand near the door as guests walk in to the rooms we've designed.  Some of my most memorable moments are the reactions on the faces of random guests and guests of honour as they enter the room and take in my vision for the event for the first time.  To me, it was expected but to them....that reaction is reminds me overtime why I do what I do.

4.  What is one thing people do not know about you?

I'm a pretty open book.....ask me and I'll answer anything SO, if people don't know something about's probably better left that way! 

5.  If you were not in your current career, what would be your dream job?

I always wanted to be in fact family law.  I'm a strategist by nature so I think I would have enjoyed that!  

6.  Anything else you would like us readers to know about you?

#Collaboration, that's it!

Hear more from Aaron Kaufman, CSEP at the November ISES Education Intensive - Wednesday, November 18th at The Meeting House @ West Clay from 8:30 am - 1:30 pm!  

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Member Spotlight: Tiffany Stoner, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography



Tiffany Stoner


Nathaniel Edmunds Photography


1. What is your title and position at your current company?

Tiffany Stoner, Co-Owner of Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

2. What does your company do? How is it different than others like it?

We are a brother-sister team with a fresh, modern approach to photography.  Our studio is located in the heart of historical Zionsville. While we love photographing weddings, we have a strategic focus on non-profit and corporate events.

3. How many years have you been in the industry?

We began our business in 2001.

4. What was your very first job?

I sang in the Children's Chorus for four seasons with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

5. Why did you decide to join ISES?                

As a photographer, I never thought ISES was an organization we could join. I thought it was suited for wedding planners and catering directors. However, several professionals we had worked with repeatedly suggested we come to a luncheon. Once we visited and witnessed the talent in the room, there was no question we wanted to be involved.

6. What are you looking to gain out of our ISES membership and how can we help you achieve that?

It is my goal to continue to grow valuable vendor relationships and educate myself in all facets of the event industry.

7. What is your most memorable event? Why?

Winning a Team Espirit Award from ISES International. It was a great celebration in Baltimore with an awesome team of professionals.

8. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

After 4pm, it is like magic...I turn into a mother of four very active, bold children, four cats and a dog!

9. If you were not in the event industry, what would be your dream job?

A fact, I started writing a screenplay about 18 months ago. It is coming along slowly but I am quite excited about it.

10. Feel free to add other information that will help get to know your business better.

Tiffany and Nate have been best friends since they were born…although there was definitely some hair pulling, wrestling and name calling involved.  They were raised in Chicago, relocated to Indianapolis and began their business in 2001. Key to their success is maintaining a well-organized business with distinct areas of responsibility. They are genuinely honored and humbled to capture momentous occasions for their clients.

Upon my husband’s return from Iraq, the Indiana Business Journal approached us to publish our blog into a coffee table book which includes amazing images that Nate captured during Tim's deployment to Iraq as a Blackhawk pilot with a Medevac mission. In doing so, we also launched a non-profit with the same name, FamilyPrint. Over the past several years, we have donated over $30K to the children of deployed soldiers. 




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Behind the Scenes with Jodi Collen, CSEP with Augsburg College


Jodi is the Director of Event & Conference Planning for Augsburg College, a private liberal-arts college in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her role at Augsburg, Jodi and her team plan and manage over 400 events that happen on campus including Homecoming, Commencement, fundraising galas, student events and speaking engagements/performances by visiting dignitaries and celebrities such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, United States President Jimmy Carter, Senator Hillary Clinton, F.W. DeKlerk, Their Majesties the King & Queen of Norway, and hip hop artist Macklemore.

Below is a little teaser interview from Jodi Collen, CSEP:

1. What does your company do and what makes is different than others like it?

I run the Event & Conference Planning department for a private, liberal arts college in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Along with two other full-time planners and about 15 students, we plan and execute roughly 400-500 events annually for the college ranging from small dinners at the President's home to large, public events. My role within the department is to work on large, signature events such as Commencement, Homecoming, Dignitary Visits, etc.  

Our department is different than what you might find in some other colleges or universities because we act as a centralized resource for all of campus.  If there is a public facing component of the event, then someone from my team is usually involved in the execution of the event.  We function a little bit like the general contractor on a home build.  We project manage all of the details, we coordinate with all of the various resources on campus that need to be involved (i.e. catering, facilities, public safety, custodial, etc.) and ensure that all of the various pieces are working together seamlessly.  This allows for us to build in solid, consistent processes that allow for us to work efficiently and to ensure that the College's brand identity remains strong across all of our experiential marketing opportunities. 

2.  What lead you to your current career and how long have you been in the field?

I've been working in the Events industry for just over 15 years, and much like the majority of other people that I know, I accidentally ended up here.  I graduated from college with a degree in Marketing with an emphasis in Advertising and was planning to explore careers working in a marketing or advertising agency.  Out of college, I took a job as a marketing coordinator for a Fortune 500 brand and had responsibility for marketing across the 5 stage region.  And, while I learned a lot in the job, I found that the days that I was most excited about going to work were the days that I was planning events that had been built into our overall marketing strategy.  

As I was beginning to explore next career steps, I stumbled across a meeting invitation to an ISES meeting and decided to attend.  I knew then that I had found what I would do next.   Within 6 months, I had left my marketing job in pursuit of a position in the events market.  Truth be told, I had about a year of stumbling through a lot of missteps before I finally landed in a position at Augsburg.  But, once I landed here, I knew that I had made the right decision.  

3.  What is your most memorable event/project? Why?

In 2013, we had the great honor of hosting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for two consecutive events including a celebration of the Tibetan New Year (a very significant Tibetan holiday).  While also being the most logistically challenging and difficult projects I've ever worked on, it was, without question, a truly life changing, transformative experience.  It's hard to explain what working with the Tibetan community was like, but I can say with certainty that I will likely never work on an event that feels more significant to a group of people.  I'll never forget the hundreds of community members that approached me with hugs and tears to express how meaningful it was for them to have the opportunity to hear His Holiness speak.  Most Tibetans wait their entire life and never get the opportunity to hear His Holiness speak---this was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for them.  And, after getting to know members of the community through the planning team, to hear their stories and to get to know their families and customs, I can say with certainty that I will never forget a moment of that entire experience.

4.  What is one thing people do not know about you?

Well, the one thing that I think surprises people the most is that I grew up on a farm outside of a very small town in Iowa.  My family grew field corn and soybeans, raised hogs and cattle, had dogs, cats and a wide variety of other farm pets.  My graduating class had 38 people in it and my entire high school had about 120--which meant that everyone participated in pretty much everything.  I was a four sport athlete, member of the band, the choir, the yearbook staff, the theatre and speech team, and pretty much every other club that was available.  Because I grew up on a farm, I have a bit of a tomboy side---I love four-wheelers, go-carts, dirt-bikes, shooting targets, skeet shooting, and even fishing from time to time.  Oh, and because I grew up in a very small farming community, I was legally allowed to get what was called a "school permit" and was able to begin driving myself to school and other activities starting at the age of 14.  

5.  If you were not in your current career, what would be your dream job?

An FBI agent and work in the Behavioral Analysis Unit.  Lots of people have secret dreams of being a famous actress, singer or athlete.  I want to be an FBI agent.  

6.  Anything else you would like us readers to know about you?

I owe a big thank you and shout out to Kelly Early of Thomas Caterers and this seems like a great place to start.  I joined ISES 15 years ago, and quickly became involved at the chapter level. When I eventually went to my first Regional Leadership meeting, I met Kelly and I will admit to being a little intimidated when I first met her.  She was there representing the Indiana Chapter and seemed to know everything about ISES.  I remember asking a lot of questions and knowing that she's someone that would be able to provide a lot of feedback and guidance.  Over the next several years, Kelly took on the role of the Midwest RVP and she was an amazing leader and mentor to me and I know that she is one of the big reasons that I was able to keep moving forward in my own leadership career with ISES.  She was the one who advocated for me to be given the opportunity to be RVP and she was the one who continued to say "Yes, she can do it.  She's the right choice." 

Now, a number of years later, I have continued my path to ISES President, and I know that there are a lot of people that helped me get here and that shaped the kind of leader I am today.  Kelly is one of those people and I can't say thank you enough to her.  So, THANK YOU, Kelly.  I appreciate all of your support over the years more than I've ever properly said.  I hope that all of the members of the Indiana chapter know how lucky they are to have both you and Vince in their community!

Hear more from Jodi Collen, CSEP at the November ISES Education Intensive - Wednesday, November 18th at The Meeting House @ West Clay from 8:30 am - 1:30 pm!  

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