Welcome to our RFP Center. Please take a moment to complete this brief form to submit your RFP to Convene.

We understand how important the success of your meetings is and are honored that you are considering hosting your program with us.

During business hours you can expect to be contacted by an account manager within one hour of submitting this form or otherwise within the first two hours of the following business day.

For immediate live assistance you may always call 888.730.7307 to be routed to your local Convene office.

Thank you for your inquiry.
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Team

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Convene is inspiring proof that excellent, empowered teams build great companies. Our colleagues are innovative professionals from diverse backgrounds, bound by a commitment to creativity, collaboration, and simply amazing customer service. Each one of us understands and takes pride in our role of producing the most effective meeting our clients have ever experienced.

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Executive Team

James Higgins
James Higgins
VP of Sales and Marketing
Bio

Prior to Convene, James has a successful track record in building sales organizations, motivating sales and marketing teams, and delivering record results. His past experience includes spending eight years leading AT&T’s most profitable region as the Northeast Global Sales Director. He was also Vice President of Global Sales for Bridgestreet Global Hospitality, National Vice President of Sales and Service for Learning Ally, and the Regional Sales Manager for Oakwood Worldwide, an international hospitality and real estate organization. James graduated with a B.A. in Communication from Seton Hall University and is a member of the BritishAmerican Business, a leading transatlantic business organization. James resides with his wife and two children in Princeton, NJ.

Fun Fact

To date, James has visited 40 states and loves attending sports events. He has been to the World Series, World Cup, Super Bowl, US Open (golf & tennis), and his goal is to attend the NBA and NCAA finals.

Convene NYC team members
Mark DePiero
VP of Operations
Bio

With more than 25 years of diverse industry experience, Mark has achieved success in all aspects of conference center and hotel operations, revenue generation, real estate development and acquisitions. Most recently, Mark served as regional director for The Compass Group, a global leader in food service management and hospitality. He had the operational responsibility for Flik Hotels and Conference Centers in the Northeast and in the Midwest and was also responsible for the start-up and roll out of a corporate multi-property day conference center initiative which included the opening of centers in seven states. Previously, he had been with Dolce Hotels & Resorts for 15 years as senior vice president for acquisitions and development, in addition to serving as SVP of operations for North America and Europe. Mark has an associate degree in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America and a Real Estate Certificate from the Professional Development Program at Cornell University. He has been a member of the North America Board of Directors of International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) since 2006 and served on the Global Board of Directors of IACC for four years.

Fun Fact

Convene NYC team members
Siobhan O’Leary
VP of Human Capital Management
Bio

Siobhan has worked as a Human Resources executive for over 25 years, predominately in the luxury hospitality field for notable organizations such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels. There, she gained international experience, capitalizing on her understanding of various cultures to develop local leaders who shared corporate goals. She had the honor and enjoyment of developing promoted individuals all over the world. Siobhan’s commitment to university partnerships afforded graduates invaluable opportunities for the last two decades. In leading the Human Capital Management efforts for Convene, Siobhan will develop and implement people strategies to serve as the backbone for the company growth and individual success paths. Siobhan is a Certified Professional Coach, and founder and principal of Aubergine Partners, a Coaching and Leadership Development firm based in Dallas, Texas. Siobhan graduated from Louisiana Tech University. In 2004, she completed the Harvard Executive Education program and later participated in a course at the French Culinary Institute in New York.

Fun Fact

Siobhan once played racquet ball with Karl Malone and sang in a cabaret in NYC. Not at the same time.

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Kenneth Clark
Chief Financial Officer
Bio

Prior to joining Convene, Ken served as CFO for Chef’s Warehouse – a specialty food distributor. He helped manage the company’s finances through several acquisitions and a major consolidation prior to overseeing its successful initial public offering. He enjoyed a nearly six year tenure with the firm starting as corporate controller in 2007 before moving up to CFO in 2009. Previously, Mr. Clark had been vice president-controller at Credit Suisse Energy and director of asset management and analysis for United Rentals, a publicly-traded, equipment rental company.  He began his career at Arthur Andersen as a CPA.  He is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University with a BBA in accounting and currently resides in New Fairfield, with his wife and four children.

Fun Fact

Ken enjoys all types of outdoor activities, with favorites being skiing, golfing and fishing.

Christopher Kelly
Chris Kelly
President & Co-Founder
Bio

Chris co-founded Convene (formerly Sentry Centers) to capitalize on converging trends in real estate and workplace collaboration. In his role at Convene Chris leads brand and revenue development, marketing and research, partnerships, client and community relations, human capital management, and guides strategic planning in collaboration with his partner and team.   Chris has become a leading industry spokesperson on alternative workplace strategies, collaboration and entrepreneurship. He also founded The ReThink Forum, a multinational hybrid conference and sits on the Young Leaders Board of CoreNet New York, the leading association for corporate real estate professionals.   Previously, Mr. Kelly co-founded evoJets, a leading provider of global private jet charter services and has started a number of other small business ventures in the United States, Equador, and Costa Rica.   He is a graduate of the Villanova School of Business with a focus in marketing and has twice been recognized in Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list of most promising young entrepreneurs for roles in Sentry Centers and evoJets.

Fun Fact

Outside of work, Mr. Kelly’s passion for traveling in developing economies has taken him to over 30 countries on five continents. He is a lifelong student who especially enjoys playing drums, photography, and cooking at home with his wife Adriann and their families.

Ryan Simonetti
Ryan Simonetti
CEO & Co-Founder
Bio

Ryan Simonetti is a dynamic entrepreneur with unique expertise in real estate and finance as a product of the combination of his early institutional career and more recent hands-on, small business experience. Ryan co-founded Convene (formerly Sentry Centers) with his business partner, Christopher Kelly. Previously, Ryan served as a vice president at Gramercy Capital Corp., where he was in charge of the workout and restructuring of a billion-dollar loan portfolio including $600 million of related real estate investments. Before joining Gramercy in 2006, Mr. Simonetti was a real estate banking analyst within the global real estate group at Lehman Brothers, where he focused on the structuring and securitization of commercial mortgage-backed securities.

Fun Fact

A graduate of Villanova University, Mr. Simonetti has been recognized in Inc. Magazine’s “30 under 30”, a list of America’s most promising young entrepreneurs. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys golfing, fishing, reading, and thinking of the next ‘big idea.’

Joyce Bromberg
Joyce Bromberg
VP of Strategy and Research
Bio

With more than 30 years of hands-on industry experience, Joyce Bromberg is a renowned workplace management expert specializing in human-centered design, who is setting the standard for how employees interact with their work environment. As director of research and innovation for Convene, Joyce conducts the critical collaboration research guiding the company’s business and marketing strategies and helps to guide the overall design of the company’s meeting collaboration space and customer experience. Joyce is also the founder and principal of The Bromberg Group, an innovation and design consultancy located in Glen Arbor, Michigan and New York City. Prior to starting her own firm, Joyce was director of research for Steelcase Inc. Her other areas of focus included retail banking, the future of work, role of physical space in knowledge management , plus, a worldwide study of Generation Y and its impact on the workplace. She was the lead developer of Community-Based Planning, a space-planning methodology and web-based tool set.

Fun Fact

A graduate of the High School of Music and Art, Joyce has a BA in Art History from Stony Brook University, New York.


Directors

Convene NYC team members
Jonathan Wheatley
Information Technology Manager
Bio

Right after high school, Jonathan joined the Air Force where he spent four years getting valuable experience before attending the University of Vermont. After graduating, Jon moved to China for three years working for Cushman & Wakefield. Jon joined Convene to be part of something that is changing things for the good of the workplace.

Fun Fact

Outside of work, Jon loves being outdoors and traveling.

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Kevin Huang
General Manager
Bio

Kevin graduated from The University of California Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Communication. His hospitality career began at the Front Desk of The Carlyle Hotel where he worked his way up and most recently lead the Catering Department as Catering Sales Manager, before moving into his role at Convene.

Fun Fact

Kevin is a native Californian who enjoys adventurous dining, the outdoors (if he can find a way out of Manhattan) and a good sipping bourbon. He also misses the beach a little bit…

Vesna Hunter
Vesna Hunter
General Manager
Bio

A graduate of Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality, Vesna has gained over 10 years of hospitality experience in both the New York and Philadelphia areas. Her passion for hospitality has expanded to organizing Community Food Service Initiatives to supporting New York Stock Exchange Events Team. Her commitment to customer service led her to achieve the Pinnacle Award for Customer service for two consecutive years in Philadelphia.

Fun Fact

Vesna is lover of the performing arts and comes from a very musically gifted family, though was informed by her very same family that she is tone deaf.

Convene NYC team members
Maya Stanic
Director of Marketing and Brand Development
Bio

Maya’s extensive experience includes developing, leading, and managing an array of marketing initiatives in commercial real estate and hotel industries. She organized strategy for Fashion Week in partnership with IMG Fashion, spearheaded the launch of the W Hotels Global Glam Collection. Among other activities, she has also developed and implemented "Symmetry Live" music events with Grammy-award-winning artists, and developed a joint marketing program with the Tribeca Film Festival. Previously, she was awarded Manager of the Year by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

Fun Fact

Maya has jumped out of a perfectly good plane at 15,000 feet, but is still afraid of rollercoasters.

Stephen Meade
Stephen Meade
Director of Culinary
Bio

Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Stephen Meade has successfully partnered with some of the top companies in the corporate food service industries. Stephen’s foundation for his training started under Chef Andre Gaillard from France. Previously, he served as the Executive Chef at Restaurant Associates, responsible for accounts of Pfizer, Bear Stearns, Sony Music, and the United Nations. Prior to that, he was responsible for banquets and special events for foreign and domestic dignitaries at The United Nations and Sony Music. Before his tenure at Restaurant Associates, Chef Stephen was also Executive Chef at the Garden City Hotel.

Fun Fact

Chef Stephen lives in Merrick, New York with his wife and two children.

Kathy
Kathy Tran
Regional Director of Operations
Bio

Kathy graduated from Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Philadelphia and currently serves on the Alumni Board. Most recently she opened and managed three meeting and event facilities in Philadelphia for The Hub.

Fun Fact

Kathy grew up in a military family and lived in four different countries. From those experiences, she became a big foodie, and can’t wait to hit every New York food truck.

Jeffrey Reichstein
Jeffrey Reichstein
General Manager
Bio

Jeffrey has been in the hospitality industry for the past 30 years. He started at Operations with Hyatt, then moved to Finance for Ian Schrager, Special Events with Sonnier & Castle, and onto Catering Sales for Starwood. Now, he has brought his breath of knowledge and experience back to Operations at Convene.

Fun Fact

He qualified for the Boston marathon after running his first marathon in 3 hours 12 minutes in Seaside, Oregon.


Relationship Management Team

Convene NYC team members
Jacquelyn Friel
Relationship Sales Specialist
Bio

With a B.A. in Advertising form Michigan State University, Jackie brings a creative perspective to the Convene sales team. Her eye for innovation evolved from her background in advertising, design and sales. Past positions have also enabled her to hone her skills in project coordination and teamwork.

Fun Fact

Jackie recently moved to New York City and finds the lifestyle exciting.  From the amazing fashion to the latest food craze the city is everything she imagined.

Convene NYC team members
Julia Broder
Account Manager
Bio

Prior to Convene, Julia worked in commercial real estate for Colliers International with one of its top New York tenant representation teams. A life-long theater fan, Julia also pursues opportunities to produce shows. She holds a degree from Brandeis University in Theater and Economics. As a native Washingtonian, Julia is proud to support Convene in the greater Washington DC Metro area.

Fun Fact

In 2013, Julia was a Co-Producer of Macbeth on Broadway starring Alan Cumming, and the Lead Producer for a one-man show at Studio 54’s “54 Below”.

Meredith
Meredith Kolmer
Lead Relationship Manager
Bio

Meredith graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in Human Services. In her past work at ITS Neopost, she showed persistence and dedication which led to an immediate promotion. Her four years of sales and account management experience makes Meredith a great asset to the Convene team.

Fun Fact

Meredith played lacrosse throughout college and manages to stay competitive by running in races and playing golf in her free time.

Nathan Ingram
Nathan Ingram
Account Director
Bio

Over the last six years, Nathan has worked at a variety of Day Conference Centers in New York City including internal and privately owned facilities. Prior to joining the Convene team, he was the Sales & Operations Manager for Marenzana Conference Services, gaining experience in Sales, Operations, Food & Beverage, as well as, Audiovisual Services. Nathan is a proud member of both MPI and HSMAI.  

Fun Fact

Nathan enjoys spending time at the beach with family and friends – that is – when he can’t get a tee-time.

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Kalen Sumnicht
Account Manager
Bio

As a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kalen is committed to bringing vibrant and new perspectives to corporate meetings. She has been an integral part in developing and maintaining new relationships through taking advantage of various groups and clubs in the New York City area.

Fun Fact

Growing up in Wisconsin, this shameless Cheese head has been to over 23 Packer games and looks forward to giving her Giants-fan colleagues a run for their money.

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Flora Zaretskaya
Relationship Sales Manager
Bio

Flora graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management. She was first introduced to the hospitality industry when she came to Convene as an intern in 2010 and then joined us full-time when her internship ended.

Fun Fact

She is fluent in Russian and has been dancing Latin ballroom for over 10 years.

Christine Julian-Wells
Christine Julian-Wells
Senior Account Director
Bio

Christine graduated with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management, after which, she accumulated 17 years of meeting and catering sales experience. Prior to joining Convene, she collaborated on the opening of the W New York. She has been the recipient of multiple awards at the W New York including Manager of the Year, Manager of the Quarter, and Conference Services Manager of the Year.

Fun Fact

Christine loves a challenging workout – including her twin daughters!

Brian Macallara
Brian Macellara
Relationship Sales Manager
Bio

Since recently graduating from the Villanova School of Business, Brian’s continued focus and passion lies in Real Estate and Business Collaboration. He has been instrumental in the organization of our prospecting efforts for new properties. Prior to graduation, Brian represented Villanova University in two National Real Estate Case Competitions while also serving as President of the Villanova Real Estate Society.

Fun Fact

An avid competitor, Brian actively participates in any sport, game, or challenge opportunity that presents itself.

Nephi Mata
Nephi Mata
Sales Operations Manager
Bio

Prior to Convene, Nephi accumulated experience in customer service, including hotel and account billing, and event planning, support, and management for large groups. With over 10 years in the industry, he has maintained and controlled inventory for numerous tradeshows and events with attendance ranging from 1,200 to 10,000. Nephi also serves as a board member and secretary for the non-profit organization, Literary Manhattan.    

Fun Fact

Nephi was born and raised in the Philippines and loves the warm weather by the ocean. He also did a short stint at Walt Disney World as a character performer.

Lindsay Stoll
Lindsay Stoll
Assistant Director of Sales
Bio

Lindsay is a graduate of Ithaca College and holds a degree in Corporate Communications. She spent six years as a Sales Manager with the Four Star/Four Diamond Omni Hotels & Resorts working in multiple locations including Boston, New York City, and San Diego. She was also the recipient of the 2008 “Sales Rookie of the Year” for Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Fun Fact

As a competitive sailor, Lindsay has competed in regattas up and down the East Coast and has taught people of all ages the art of sailing.


Marketing Team

Maya Stanic
Maya Stanic
Director of Marketing and Brand Development
Bio

Maya’s extensive experience includes developing, leading, and managing an array of marketing initiatives in commercial real estate and hotel industries. She organized strategy for Fashion Week in partnership with IMG Fashion, spearheaded the launch of the W Hotels Global Glam Collection. Among other activities, she has also developed and implemented "Symmetry Live" music events with Grammy-award-winning artists, and developed a joint marketing program with the Tribeca Film Festival. Previously, she was awarded Manager of the Year by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

Fun Fact

Maya has jumped out of a perfectly good plane at 15,000 feet, but is still afraid of rollercoasters.

Brittany Valente
Brittany Valente
Marketing Coordinator
Bio

Brittany started with Convene as a Marketing Intern and joined us after recently graduating from Ithaca College with a B.S. in Business Administration. While a student, she held eight marketing internships and was Vice President of two professional organizations, the American Marketing Association and the International Business Association. Brittany gained her marketing experience through working for Verizon, Time Warner Cable, HBO, Marketing Werks, and for Bloomberg LP as a Global Team Leader.

Fun Fact

When Brittany isn’t busy traveling, she is attending concerts. She has traveled to 10 different countries and has attended over 54 concerts.


Finance Team

Convene NYC team members
Jamie Tong
Financial Associate
Bio

Prior to joining Convene, Jamie was a Staff Accountant for the Corporate Finance Department at Marsh & McLennan Companies for 16 years. Jamie was responsible for the cash flow management for them and its subsidiaries. She also worked in collaboration with public affairs on special projects like 9/11 and Katrina disaster relief contribution funds.

Fun Fact

Jamie believes in this quote: “Live, Love & Laugh” and starts her day by watching “I Love Lucy” episodes.  She also loves to read, attend street fairs and volunteer at homeless shelters

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Keith Zientek
Financial Manager
Bio

Keith started as an intern and rapidly progressed to a management level in just over one year of being with Convene. He is skilled in accounting and audit procedures and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Public Accounting from Pace University.

Fun Fact

Keith is a country boy living in the city who loves to fish and travel the world on cruise ships!


Human Resources Team

Convene NYC team members
Elizabeth Oh
Human Resources Manager
Bio

Prior to joining Convene, Liz worked in real estate with Urban Compass and in Human Resources with GrandLife Hotels. During the four years Liz worked at the Soho and Tribeca Grand Hotels, she focused on training, employee recognition, and benefits. Liz graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration. She interned in catering, convention services, and worked with the Charlie Palmer restaurant group.

Fun Fact

Liz speaks Korean, some Spanish and when she’s not assisting her internal clients, you can find her cheering for the Nets.

Convene NYC team members
Siobhan O’Leary
VP of Human Capital Management
Bio

Siobhan has worked as a Human Resources executive for over 25 years, predominately in the luxury hospitality field for notable organizations such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels. There, she gained international experience, capitalizing on her understanding of various cultures to develop local leaders who shared corporate goals. She had the honor and enjoyment of developing promoted individuals all over the world. Siobhan’s commitment to university partnerships afforded graduates invaluable opportunities for the last two decades. In leading the Human Capital Management efforts for Convene, Siobhan will develop and implement people strategies to serve as the backbone for the company growth and individual success paths. Siobhan is a Certified Professional Coach, and founder and principal of Aubergine Partners, a Coaching and Leadership Development firm based in Dallas, Texas. Siobhan graduated from Louisiana Tech University. In 2004, she completed the Harvard Executive Education program and later participated in a course at the French Culinary Institute in New York.

Fun Fact

Siobhan once played racquet ball with Karl Malone and sang in a cabaret in NYC. Not at the same time.

Contact


Real Estate and Acquisitions Team

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Matt Legge
VP of Real Estate & Acquisitions
Bio

Matt has over a decade of experience in commercial real estate. Prior to graduating from Cornell University’s Baker Program in Real Estate, Matt practiced commercial real estate law, serving in the capacity of Investment Officer and General Counsel with a Canadian family office focused in real estate investment and development. Matt also worked with its affiliate in Zurich, Switzerland in establishing its real estate and infrastructure funds in Canada and Europe, and has also worked in real estate-focused private equity in the United States. Matt is active in several real estate industry groups, including the International Council of Shopping Centers, which has recognized him as a Charles Grossman Graduate Scholar and a Certified Leasing Specialist.  

Fun Fact

As a proud Canadian, Matt grew up in a hockey family and both played and coached numerous sports, including football and rugby. He now focuses on less injury-prone activities such as tennis, hiking and sailing.


1800 Tysons Blvd Support Team

Kathy
Kathy Tran
Regional Director of Operations
Bio

Kathy graduated from Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Philadelphia and currently serves on the Alumni Board. Most recently she opened and managed three meeting and event facilities in Philadelphia for The Hub.

Fun Fact

Kathy grew up in a military family and lived in four different countries. From those experiences, she became a big foodie, and can’t wait to hit every New York food truck.

Sebastian Parada
Sebastian Parada
Chef
Bio

Chef Sebastian Parada began his culinary career as a trained chef in the United States Coast Guard. Along with his culinary team he was responsible for preparing daily meals for 150 service members stationed on the ship and, catering special events accommodating up to 900 guests. After his military service, Chef Parada worked as the Executive Chef of Wolf and Lamb Steak House and Van Diemen’s Café and Bar in New York City. He then became the Executive Chef and Manager of Bridie’s Bar and Grill where he provided hands-on expertise in menu and wine list development, oversaw daily kitchen and food operations and managed all in-house and off-premises catering events.

Fun Fact

Sebastian has a passion for extreme sports. In his free time he enjoys being outside with his Go Pro camera documenting his many activities including biking, snowboarding and surfing.


101 Park Ave Support Team

Jeremy Joseph
Jeremy Joseph
Service and Production Manager
Bio

Jeremy comes from luxury brands and brings great knowledge in Food & Beverage. He previously managed the dinner team at Asiate, a 4-star fine-dining restaurant in NYC, as the Assistant Food and Beverage Manager. Jeremy also comes from the hospitality industry with previous experience working for The Carlyle Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. His last semester in Boulder, Colorado was spent developing a guest carbon footprint offset program at The Boulder Outlook (the town’s first zero-waste hotel.) Jeremy is pursuing the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Fun Fact

Jeremy loves spicy Chinese food. The spicier, the better.

Meredith
Meredith Kolmer
Lead Relationship Manager
Bio

Meredith graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in Human Services. In her past work at ITS Neopost, she showed persistence and dedication which led to an immediate promotion. Her four years of sales and account management experience makes Meredith a great asset to the Convene team.

Fun Fact

Meredith played lacrosse throughout college and manages to stay competitive by running in races and playing golf in her free time.

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Amanda Grimmett
Production Specialist
Bio

Amanda is a graduate of Hillside College with the B.A. in English. Her outgoing, service-minded personality and entrepreneurial way of thinking has  afforded her the opportunity to run summer seminar programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. Prior to that, Amanda was a key player in planning and executing student events at Hillside College.

Fun Fact

Amanda plays four instruments and has recently started her own embroidery business.

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Kevin Huang
General Manager
Bio

Kevin graduated from The University of California Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Communication. His hospitality career began at the Front Desk of The Carlyle Hotel where he worked his way up and most recently lead the Catering Department as Catering Sales Manager, before moving into his role at Convene.

Fun Fact

Kevin is a native Californian who enjoys adventurous dining, the outdoors (if he can find a way out of Manhattan) and a good sipping bourbon. He also misses the beach a little bit…

Joe Chapman
Joe Chapman
Technology Manager
Bio

Joe is one of the original members of the Convene Technology Operations. With over 10 years of audiovisual and telecommunications experience in hospitality environments, he is known as our “service ambassador” in the technology department for his warm hospitality to all of our clients and standout service levels.

Fun Fact

A proud Brooklynite with an eclectic taste for music who enjoys snowboarding and spending time with family and friends.


810 Seventh Ave Support Team

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Flora Zaretskaya
Relationship Sales Manager
Bio

Flora graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management. She was first introduced to the hospitality industry when she came to Convene as an intern in 2010 and then joined us full-time when her internship ended.

Fun Fact

She is fluent in Russian and has been dancing Latin ballroom for over 10 years.

Convene NYC team members
Stephanie Reilly
Service Manager
Bio

Stephanie is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned her B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Event Management. She also spent time studying at the Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy where she gained a knowledge of international hospitality trends, chocolate, and wine. Stephanie’s previous work experience ranges from helping produce events at country clubs, assisting wedding planners, and interning for a meeting & events facility in Philadelphia.

Fun Fact

Stephanie loves new adventures whether it’s trying the new Korean BBQ truck down the street, traveling in different countries, or even swimming with sharks (hoping to add sky diving to the list next!). Her favorite season is college football season – especially when the South Carolina Gamecocks are winning!

Stephanie Phu
Stephanie Phu
Production Coordinator
Bio

Stephanie graduated from University of Massachusetts with a B.S. in Hospitality Tourism Management. She offers a wide array of experiences from hotels and restaurants. Her most recent venture was assisting with the opening of an upscale Manhattan restaurant.

Fun Fact

Familiar with the urban jungle, during her free time, she enjoys exploring New York through artistic and culinary adventures.

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Vladimir Lemaire
Chef
Bio

Vladimir started his culinary career fifteen years ago as an apprentice at the now closed Club Guastavino's. He gradually honed his skills working at Artisanal, Le Parker- Meridian hotel, Gordon Ramsey's Claridges, a Voce and DBGB, before joining culinary team at Convene.

Fun Fact

Vladimir is a French-Canadian who loves road biking whenever he gets a chance.

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Michael Shaw
Technology Manager
Bio

Michael has spent over 15 years in the technology industry, working as a lead technician, director, administrator and project manager. He has also spent a fair amount of time in the hospitality industry, working with Marriott, Sheraton and The Ritz Carlton hotels. Most important to him is complete customer satisfaction and providing clients with a superior technology experience.

Fun Fact

Michael is an accomplished musician as well as a history aficionado. He also enjoys long distance running.

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Julie Starr
Production Manager
Bio

Julie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ithaca College with a B.A. in Drama/Stage Management.  Her "show must go on" mentality was honed backstage on more than thirty live theatrical productions and while managing large scale public events, like Fleet Week, at iconic NYC institutions.

Fun Fact

Julie loves crossword puzzles and attempting to complete them (in pencil) and Jeopardy! She finds that she is able to answer many clues thanks to her travels and can’t wait to continue learning while exploring the globe!


32 Old Slip Support Team

Convene NYC team members
Jacquelyn Friel
Relationship Sales Specialist
Bio

With a B.A. in Advertising form Michigan State University, Jackie brings a creative perspective to the Convene sales team. Her eye for innovation evolved from her background in advertising, design and sales. Past positions have also enabled her to hone her skills in project coordination and teamwork.

Fun Fact

Jackie recently moved to New York City and finds the lifestyle exciting.  From the amazing fashion to the latest food craze the city is everything she imagined.

Convene NYC team members
Nicole Cruse
Production Specialist
Bio

Nicole graduated from Niagara University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She interned in Event Production with Pinch Food Design, a unique catering company in Chelsea, New York. Upon graduation, Nicole became an Assistant Dining Room Manager at Plainfield Country Club.

Fun Fact

Nicole loves learning about food and wine. She also has a passion for interior design

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Jenifer Santangelo
Production Manager
Bio

Jen graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Throughout Jen’s career she has won manager of the month award three times and two “Spirit to Serve” recognitions from Marriott Hotels. She has over 8 years of work experience with several Marriott properties and has maintained an optimistic attitude in everything she does while motivating those around her.

Fun Fact

Jen thinks that exercising is a very important part of life and she enjoys cycling and playing tennis.

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Matt Rubinstein
Technology Manager
Bio

For more than 10 years, Matt has worked with professional audiovisual production companies on large-scale performances ranging from distinguished speakers to national acts. Through his work at full production companies, hotels, and conference centers, he has been recognized through various awards in theatrical productions and professional audio mixing.

Fun Fact

Matt enjoys the outdoors and is most keen on fishing and skydiving.

Alex Parada
Aleksandra Parada
Executive Chef
Bio

Executive Chef Aleksandra Parada developed her passion for food in Poland where she was born and raised. She entered the Culinary Institute of New York, expanding her knowledge of food, refining techniques and honing skills. Upon graduating, Aleksandra secured her first position working as a prep cook at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City, followed by 10 years as Assistant Executive Chef. In 2010, Aleksandra began a three-year tenure working at the prestigious River Club in New York City as their Assistant Executive Chef. Among her numerous responsibilities in commanding the restaurant, Aleksandra trained staff, created innovative menus, and organized banquet events for Manhattan’s elite.

Fun Fact

When Aleksandra is not in the kitchen, she enjoys spending time outdoors during all seasons – snow skiing or summer barbequing with her family.

Jeffrey Reichstein
Jeffrey Reichstein
General Manager
Bio

Jeffrey has been in the hospitality industry for the past 30 years. He started at Operations with Hyatt, then moved to Finance for Ian Schrager, Special Events with Sonnier & Castle, and onto Catering Sales for Starwood. Now, he has brought his breath of knowledge and experience back to Operations at Convene.

Fun Fact

He qualified for the Boston marathon after running his first marathon in 3 hours 12 minutes in Seaside, Oregon.


730 Third Ave Support Team

Taylor Phaneouf
Taylor Phaneuf
Production Specialist
Bio

As a proud attendee of the University of Florida, Taylor was included in the Top 100 Sophomores of the Warrington School of Business. Prior to Convene, she was the Philanthropy Hospitality Coordinator at Dance Marathon for three years. Taylor loves to travel and has studied abroad twice, in Rome and Madrid. She brings her ambition all the way from the south but is constantly seeking out new activities in the Big Apple.

Fun Fact

Taylor has been to exotic countries like Thailand and Australia but her favorite is Italy.

Brian Macallara
Brian Macellara
Relationship Sales Manager
Bio

Since recently graduating from the Villanova School of Business, Brian’s continued focus and passion lies in Real Estate and Business Collaboration. He has been instrumental in the organization of our prospecting efforts for new properties. Prior to graduation, Brian represented Villanova University in two National Real Estate Case Competitions while also serving as President of the Villanova Real Estate Society.

Fun Fact

An avid competitor, Brian actively participates in any sport, game, or challenge opportunity that presents itself.

Convene NYC team members
Angela Polo
Service Manager
Bio

Angela attended William Paterson University and graduated with a B.A. in Communications with a concentration of Interpersonal Communications. She has over ten years experience in hospitality and restaurant management and has worked in virtually every aspect of the restaurant industry. Before joining Convene’s team she was General Manager of a privately owned restaurant, and managed two locations in New Jersey.

Fun Fact

Contact

Convene NYC team members
Keisha George
Production Manager
Bio

Keisha graduated from Skidmore College in 2011 with a B.S. in Business Management. While attending undergrad, she became interested in the hospitality industry due to her instrumental role in planning and executing numerous on-campus events and functions. Keisha brings 3 years of event planning experience and her energetic can-do attitude to Convene.

Fun Fact

Keisha is an avid fan of comic books and loves attending NYC Comic Con.

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Eve Chiang
Production Manager
Bio

From a young age, Eve knew she would work in the hospitality industry, as it’s where her true passion lies. After graduating with a B.S. from a hospitality university, Eve has worked in the hospitality field for over 20 years with focus in operations and meetings.

Fun Fact

In her spare time, she can be found baking healthy snacks for the office or buying any new kitchen gadgets.

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Matthew Volpe
Service Manager
Bio

Matthew started his career as a Project Manager for East Coast Building Services when he graduated from Curry College. After helping his father run 2 Italian restaurants in New Jersey he decided his passion was in hospitality. He worked for the Carlyle hotel for 3 1/2 years where he started as a Purchasing Agent. Shortly after, he was promoted to Food and Beverage Manager role which landed him a Manager of the Quarter award.

Fun Fact

Matthew biggest adventure was sky diving, but sports are his favorite activity. Playing baseball his entire life, his most memorable vacation was when he visited 11 of the oldest baseball stadiums. He also enjoys attending sporting events and going to the beach with family and friends.

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Jorge Santiago
Technology Manager
Bio

Jorge’s career in AV began while he was still in high school, where he worked in the school AV department for two years.  After graduating from St. John's University with a BS in Communication Arts, Jorge freelanced for video production companies throughout the New York area for a year before becoming the Operations Manager for the AV department at the New York Hilton hotel.  In the 16 years since, Jorge has held Assistant Director and Director positions in convention hotels like the Sheraton New York and luxury hotels such as the St. Regis, Waldorf=Astoria and New York Palace.

Fun Fact

Jorge has coached little league baseball for 8 years and has taken two teams to the Williamsport Little League World Series state finals.

Vesna Hunter
Vesna Hunter
General Manager
Bio

A graduate of Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality, Vesna has gained over 10 years of hospitality experience in both the New York and Philadelphia areas. Her passion for hospitality has expanded to organizing Community Food Service Initiatives to supporting New York Stock Exchange Events Team. Her commitment to customer service led her to achieve the Pinnacle Award for Customer service for two consecutive years in Philadelphia.

Fun Fact

Vesna is lover of the performing arts and comes from a very musically gifted family, though was informed by her very same family that she is tone deaf.

Anthony Panissidi
Anthony Panassidi
Technology Manager
Bio

Anthony has worked at numerous hotels and conference centers throughout his 13-year career in both New York City and the Tri-State area. During that time, he held many positions including Project Manager, Lead Technician, as well as, Director of Technology.

Fun Fact

Anthony enjoys hunting with his father and brothers or trying to relax with his 18 nieces and nephews.