Sara Arvay

President

Sara was the President of Arvay Event Design & Rental, a family business which she operated with her parents and extended family. Arvay provided event design services and rentals and specialized in weddings and social events.
Sara began working in the events industry in 2003 while in college. Her passion for event design and flawless event execution has allowed her to work with hundreds of clients since purchasing her business in 2005. Sara holds a B.S. in Business from Penn State University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

 Sara hopes to help increase member engagement in the Pittsburgh chapter through unique and interesting programming, which will allow members to clearly see the financial benefits of ILEA Pittsburgh membership.

Arvay Event Design

Evelyn Castillo

Immediate Past-President

Evelyn is the Owner and Creative Director for Sterling Events, a business that she started in 2008. Sterling Events provides a variety of services for non-profit and corporate groups, and Evelyn is known for her attention to detail and creating something from nothing. Over the years, Evelyn has discovered a penchant for producing events that take place off the beaten path. From fire festivals to outdoor movies festivals, she has been involved in some unique events. With her love of being behind the magician’s curtain, Evelyn brings her own special touch to all types events and loves to work with a variety of clients.

Evelyn is a trustee for Awesome Pittsburgh, serves on the board for the nonprofit THREEAfrica. A happy transplant to Pittsburgh, Evelyn lives with her family in Squirrel Hill. As President of ISES Pittsburgh, Evelyn aims to increase member engagement and opportunities for the membership to expand and engage the community at large. She is looking forward to working with the new Board and meeting all members. “Pittsburgh ISES is amazing and we have some incredibly talented individuals who cover all the bases-from vendors, venues, planners and entertainers- we have a lot to offer and we all make the impossible happen.

Sterling Events

Becky Wiley

President-Elect

Rebecca “Becky” Wiley is the Senior Account Executive for Event Source in Pittsburgh. Becky began her events career several years ago in the world of trade shows while working for SAE International. She has held various positions in advertising, marketing, management and sales throughout her 20+ years in the workforce. Becky has a BSBA in Administrative Management from Robert Morris College and a MBA in Marketing from Robert Morris University. She is also a Certified Event Rental Specialist (CERP). Besides her current position as President-Elect for ILEA Pittsburgh, Becky is also the Director of Special Events & Networking for the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Pittsburgh Chapter and is a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Women in Sports and Events (WISE). Becky also volunteers for the American Cancer Society, and is on the Event Leadership Team for Cranberry Township’s Relay for Life. She is the proud mother of 2 children, and resides in Cranberry Township with her husband, Brent.

 

Event Source

Caitlyn Wimer

Vice-President, Communications

A Senior Event Planner for JPC Event Group {two time award winning catering company}, Lead Designer for Garnish Event Design, and Venue Manger for Rustic Acres Farm, Caitlyn is an integral member of the JPC family of companies. While Caitlyn has been a part of the Family run business since she was born, she joined the staff officially in 2013 and has since planned 150+ events across all divisions. Though her love of florals and design trump most things, she is an avid reader and lover of all fuzzy creatures.

Caitlyn’s hope is that she is able to grow the chapters media presence as well as the overall interest in the chapter and their world class events.

JPC Event Group

Allison Miller

Director, Communications

Allison has been there and done that. Working in the marketing/communciations field for just about 15 years, she has a good understanding of all things digital, print and everything in between. As the Senior Marketing Director at All Occasions Party Rental and Marbella Event Furniture and Decor Rental, she stays quite busy marketing the latest and greatest rental products in the industry. Her education consists of a B.A. from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Communications with a concentration in PR and Advertising, and her M.S. is from West Virginia University in Integrated Marketing Communications. She also is a past board member and Past President of the Pittsburgh Chapter American Marketing Association.

When she’s not marketing, Allison is taking care of her rambunctious two year old son, hanging with her husband and snuggling with their two lazy cats. She enjoys the outdoors, all Italian food and spending time with friends.

All Occasions Party Rental

Marbella Event Furniture and Decor Rental

Michelle Foster

Vice-President, Membership

Michelle Foster is the owner and President of Olivia’s Banquet Facility, Inc. Olivia’s Banquet Facility is a full service banquet facility with in-house catering located in the west suburbs of Pittsburgh, nestled between downtown and the airport.

Michelle has always been in the customer service industry in same way, starting as a travel agent a few days out of high school. Her career has taken many paths, but the one thing that has always remained constant is her love of people and her love of planning. So when the opportunity came to have Olivia’s as a full service banquet facility, she jumped at the chance to make it happen!

In addition to the ISES board, Michelle is a proud 4-year member of the Greater McKees Rocks Rotary, a member of MPI, Vice President of Montour Girls Soccer Board and a board member of BNI Airport Chapter.

A native of Pittsburgh, Michelle has three wonderful children, Jacob, Nicklas and Kemper and has been married to her husband Doug for 22 years. “I am so proud to be working with Carla and Becky on the Membership Committee of ISES. Our goal is to help foster relationships throughout ISES Pittsburgh and to help grow our community through camaraderie and friendship.

Olivia’s Banquet Facility

Erin Calvimontes

Vice-President, Programming and Education

Erin Calvimontes is a trained, professional, Accredited Wedding Consultant, Certified South Asian Wedding Specialist, and Certified Gay Wedding Expert.

Erin specializes in ethnic wedding planning such as South Asian & Jewish, as well as Western wedding planning and will go coast to coast and internationally for her clients!

She is also the Producer of the Pittsburgh South Asian Bridal Show.

Erin has been in the wedding and event industry for over 25 years, currently lives in the city of Pittsburgh, and has extensive continuing education in this field including courses in World Religions, vendor trainings, as well as seminars and conferences around the country. Erin also teaches seminars and workshops throughout the country and international.

She also enjoys spending time with her family, long walks on the beach, and white wine!

Divine Celebrations

Madeline Kelly

Director, Programming and Education

Fairmont Hotel Pittsburgh

Ashley Riebel

Director, Programming and Education

Ashley holds 12 years of experience in her industry tool belt with positions held at – Disney World, Heidel House Resort, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, California University of PA, and the Double Tree Hilton. She graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelors Degree and furthered her education at West Virginia University with her Master’s Degree in Marketing. Ashley is the current Director of Catering at the Double Tree Hilton Pittsburgh Downtown and oversees the entire banquets, catering, and conferences department! She is also a Certified Meeting Professional {CMP} from the Convention Industry Council.

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown

Paulette Zanotti

Director, Programming and Education

Paulette began her event experience at an early age, by assisting small local caterers with local weddings.  College led her to becoming a counselor, but she soon realized that coordinating events was her passion.  She became a Community Liaison and Special Events Coordinator for a large non-profit agency.  She was responsible for partnership development, coordination and implementation of all events including fundraisers.  Paulette, also, designed and implemented a “Wedding Day Experience” for a local salon.

After spending many years at the non-profit, she realized it was time to start her own business, Paulette Zanotti Events, LLC.  She provides a variety of event services and business concierge services.  Her philosophy is “treat people in ways they never thought they could be treated”.  She also makes each client her top priority because “you never have a second chance to make a first impression”.  Her motto is “Life is full of events….make them memorable”.

Paulette was recently a member of Business Network International-Circle of Excellence.  She is a member of the Pittsburgh Social Exchange and Penn State University Alumni Association.

Paulette joined ILEA because she wanted to surround herself with creative, energetic and positive people with passion.

Paulette Zanotti Events, LLC

Shannon Capellupo

Director at Large

With a foundation of non-profit experience, Shannon started her career at WQED where she worked as the Membership Coordinator running the Cooking, Kids, and History affinity clubs and monthly events.  From there she moved to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra where she spent nearly a decade in fundraising events.   Shannon is credited with doubling event fundraising during her tenure, and turning a 400 person gala into two simultaneous black tie events for 1,000 people on opening night.   She received a 2015 Gala Award for Best Fundraising Event by Special Event Magazine.  After a fulfilling non-profit career she made the jump in 2015 to corporate event planning as the Event Director with the Pittsburgh Business Times.  Through award shows, panel discussions, networking events, and keynote events, she is thrilled to be in a planning position where she is constantly learning more about her community and meeting new faces.

Events Director, Pittsburgh Business Times

Carla Whited-Sims

Director at Large

Back in High School, Carla was dubbed Julie McCoy because she was always planning the logistics of nights out with friends.Grove City College brought more party planning and some AV courses in her major of Communication Arts. After many years in sales, Carla gravitated to her love of the events industry and has spent 16 years working in the Audio-Visual world. Helping clients plan and execute the technical and creative elements of their events is fulfilling and fun. “Every day and every event is different and exciting.” Customer service is a major hot button for her and she strives to exceed her client’s expectations. Carla is currently a Production Consultant for Hughie’s Event Production Services.

In addition to her Board position for ISES, Carla served on the Board for MPI and won Supplier of the Year for 2002 – 2003. She also served on the Board for Allegheny Valley Youth Football where she planned events and coached peewee cheerleading for 6 years. She served as President of the Springdale High School Cheer Boosters and has also served on the Key Communicator Committee for the Allegheny Valley School District.

A native Pittsburgher, she resides in the burbs with two children and her dog Bailey. “Pittsburgh is a great city with so much to offer for the Events Industry – great venues, planners and vendors and hard – working, innovative people who make it all happen!

Hughie’s