Bios

Bill Lynch

President

The visionary.

Bill started NHS Global Events with the idea that the meeting services industry would expand to an organization built on the premise of uncompromising service to each individual client, coupled with utilizing the power of relationship.

As the year 2000 dawned, Bill felt the industry lacked a single source to satisfy corporations and associations multiple needs. He wanted NHS Global Events to be that go-to “meeting service” that the industry would notice. Bill brings his leadership, extensive travel expertise, and a highly trained group of meeting professionals to the table, which has made NHS Global Events an industry leader.

Today, Bill serves as a board member with three organizations and does his best to be a productive member of the Chicago community. Bill is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and resides in Chicago with his wife, Julie.

Sean Lynch

Executive Vice President

The maestro.

Sean may have one title, but his day-to-day work at NHS Global Events includes a range of, well, everything. His versatility stems from fulfilling a range of managerial roles throughout the past 25 years. Beginning with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia in business administration and a major in finance and minors in marketing and management, Sean then excelled in the financial services industry before joining the leadership team of NHS Global Events.  It's the diversity of experiences and his continued learning that has made him one of the true “go-to guys in the industry." 

Sean has a laser focus on SMMP, and new meetings and events industry trends that help clients prosper. Sean is active in several industry associations, and doing his part. His biggest role has been serving on the Meeting Professional International -Chicago Chapter board of directors; and recently finishing as the organization’s President. You will see him at industry events and we can bet he will be smiling with his high energy and desire to assist others.

In addition to the pride of NHS Global Events and his other industry contributions, Sean is most proud of his family: Mari, his spouse, and their children, Chris, Natalie, and Ryan.

Jennifer Herring

VP of Business Development

The Sin City supervisor.

Jennifer oversees the NHS Global Las Vegas office, and she brings 18 years of hospitality experience of working with leading brands such as Hilton, Wyndham and Hyatt to the table. Her expertise includes managing sales and marketing budget, forecasts, advertising, marketing and business plans, and sales. This broad scope of responsibilities allowed Jennifer to hone an already formidable skill set.

When she’s not connecting with new potential partners, she’s devoting her time to the Vegas community through her service on the Board of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association, and dedicates her time to local organizations such as Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) and is actively involved in St. Gabriel Catholic School and Church.

Susan Nicoletti

Director, Creative Meeting Strategies

The smooth operator.

Ask any of our clients about Susan, and there’s one consistent theme that develops: great ideas flow, programs go smoother, and getting things done is just easier. While meetings and events can be filled with last-minute unforeseen hurdles, Susan has a knack for keeping everything under control. Her best kept secret, “Ask a lot of good questions in advance to unlock opportunities for creative ideas and solid tactics that are just right for the occasion.”

Susan's resume reads like an instruction manual on how to be a meetings and events expert. Before joining NHS Global Events in 2004, she enjoyed a successful career at 5-star resorts specializing in convention services, food and beverage, and special events; a background that serves our clients well. She's directed the development and operations of over a dozen in-house destination services departments for resorts under the Hilton, Fairmont, Marriott and Starwood flags, and operated her own DMC and meeting planning company in the meetings hotbed of Scottsdale, Arizona. When she needs a break from the challenges of the meetings industry, you'll find Susan hiking in the Scottsdale mountains or traveling to destinations unknown.

Peter Schmidt

Director of Global Accounts

The debonair networker. With over 15 years of experience in the convention industry throughout the US and Europe, Peter is the firm’s Director of Global Accounts. Making connections is the cornerstone of Peter’s philosophy and he is dedicated to maintaining and nurturing relationships with his accounts and ensuring their complete satisfaction. Peter stays connected to the community and the industry through memberships in Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Fluent in English and German, Peter came to the United States in March of 2000 and worked at luxury hotels such as the Drake Hotel in Chicago and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. His commitment to the highest level of customer service is what quickly fostered a strong bond with NHS Global Events throughout his career. His ability and commitment to provide 360 degrees of service to his customers keeps Peter motivated and inspired every day. The fact that Peter grew up in Germany makes him a confident and experienced resource for any international meeting and conference. He is a regular attendee at IMEX in Frankfurt and maintains a comprehensive network of supplier and vendor contacts throughout the global market place.

Jessica Perrozzi

Director of National Accounts

The stress reliever.

Jessica’s flourishing career launched when she moved to Chicago in 2011 from Southern California. She joined NHS Global Events after leaving her position as Account Executive at 360 Destination Group, which was preceded at Windy City Limousine, where Jessica held the title of Director of Business Development. She considers herself lucky to have been able to surround herself with unbelievably hard-working and smart colleagues and mentors since entering into the meetings and events industry, a network she is able to strengthen through her position on the Meeting Professionals International – Chicago Area Chapter (MPI-CAC) Board of Directors.

Jessica is an excellent listener, an attribute that has taken her very far both personally and professionally. By genuinely listening to clients’ concerns, needs, goals and aspirations, she proves herself to be a trustworthy resource, doing all she can to alleviate their stress.

In her spare time, Jessica enjoys writing her blog which acts as a resource for meeting planners in regards to meeting-worthy destinations and the traveling lifestyle. She also loves to cook, practice yoga, and be outdoors. She commits to fitness and has a passion for experiencing the great restaurants in Chicago and around the globe.

Steve Lee

Director of National Accounts

The energizer. Steve is well-versed in the hospitality field, with over 25 years of experience working with dynamic and strong brands such as Wyndham, Hyatt, and the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. Steve has held a variety of prominent positions, from Associate Director of Sales to National Sales Manager. Passionate, results-driven, and optimistic describes Steve perfectly. He has a passion for people and reveres developing strong human relationships, and always strives to overcome objections. His love for connecting with others and coupled with an avid appreciation for hockey suits him well for coaching youth hockey, an endeavor Steve has a great zeal for. He has held industry memberships in various chapters of SITE, MPI, and PCMA, and is currently accredited by USA Hockey and the Southern California Amateur Hockey Association. Steve is originally from a South Jersey suburb of Philadelphia and now lives in gorgeous southern California. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time traveling with his wife Camilla, daughter McKenna and son Christian. He loves reading and exploring natural wonders, national parks, the mountains, beaches and other unique destinations.

Melissa Swakow

Manager of Meetings & Events

The number cruncher.

Melissa lives and breathes the trends, year-to-year comparisons and forecasts that pave the way toward a true understanding of each meeting’s ROI. Utilizing her uncanny ability to laser focus on her client to-do list, she delivers results. From site selection, contracting, registration maintenance, to on-site coordination, Melissa is known as a force to be reckoned with.  

Active in the industry, Melissa has been serving on the Meeting Professionals International – Chicago Area Chapter (MPI-CAC) Board of Directors since July 2014. Since becoming a member of MPI-CAC, she’s been a two-time recipient of the Engaged Member of the Month, she’s won the Service Committee of the Year for Sponsorship and was named one of Tomorrow’s Leaders at the MPI-CAC 2014 Awards Gala.

Melissa caught the travel bug early with family trips to locales like Hawaii and London. When she’s not on the road, she loves living in Chicago and spends her free time exploring the neighborhoods and sampling local brews. In the fall, you’ll find her running a winning fantasy football team.

Sarah Veldhuis

Sourcing Manager

The difference maker.

Sarah is a proactive, results-oriented hospitality professional and a critical member of the  NHS Global Events team.  As Sourcing Manager, Sarah puts to use her savvy business demeanor, her passion for excellence, and her outstanding communication skills to achieve results that positively impact both colleagues and clients. 

Before joining NHS Global Events, Sarah worked on the Langham Chicago Hotel Team after working in Global Accounts for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.  With four years of experience on the hotel side of things, Sarah seamlessly made the switch to the planning side, integrating her knowledge and expertise into her position at NHS Global Events.

Outside of work, you may find Sarah engaging in a wide arrange of activities, from running half marathons in Nashville, to winetasting in Northern Michigan.

Albert Bautista

Business Operations Manager

The driving force.

Albert joined NHS Global Events after spending the past 7 years honing his skills in project management and meeting planning. He belongs to an international honor society for technology called Epsilon Pi Tau, which recognizes academic excellence in fields devoted to the study of technology.

Albert absolutely loves knowledge, as evidenced in his college career where we went from Computer Engineering to Graphic Design to International Business to Architecture to Contemporary Media Studies and Theater to Communications and finally to Information Systems, in which he received his Master’s Degree. He has a lifelong passion for learning and engaging in intellectual discussions.

When Albert is not keeping things moving in the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Pamela, playing competitive volleyball, and watching movies with exciting sound effects and mind-blowing visuals.

Michelle Koszuta

Business Operations Specialist

The behind-the-scenes magician.

You won’t see Michelle on-site managing meeting operations, but rest assured, her behind-the-scenes oversight of our day-to-day business flow and special projects is what keeps us all on track. Her former experience as supervisor of a litigation process department makes Michelle a master of project management, and with her keen eye on the details, she’s the quality control that turns great work into excellent work. The next time your project is in our hands, Michelle will be working to keep everyone on task and ensuring that deadlines are met.

When she’s not focused on work, you’ll find Michelle spending time with her husband, Michael, and their son (born July 2015), with whom she enjoys a life of love and laughter.

 

Amanda Reece

Meeting Planner

The perfect puzzle piece.

Amanda brings her strong organizational skills, educational background, and ability to work with people as an NHS Global Events Meeting Planner.  With her passion for the events industry, Amanda fits in perfectly with NHS Global Events and always strives to achieve what’s best for the company.

After spending most of her life in Columbus, Ohio, Amanda’s dream to move to Chicago and live the “big city” life has finally been realized.  Amanda relocated to Chicago from Ohio where she worked as the Event and Communications Coordinator with a financial services firm.  Amanda graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies.

On any given week night you can find her relaxing with her Kindle or watching her favorite TV shows. On the weekend she enjoys exploring unique local restaurants, going to the movies, and being outside when the weather is nice.

Bailey Shultz

Sourcing Specialist

The vivacious traveler.

Bailey has a profound sense of adventure that drives her passion for traveling, which she does as much as possible. Being frequently exposed to different cultures and opinions has instilled Bailey with an inquisitive attitude and an open mind. Before joining the NHS Global Events team, she worked at the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitor’s Bureau as a National Convention Sales Assistant.

Bailey prides herself on her ability to inspire her friends to share her love of travel - in the past year she’s helped friends book trips to Ireland, The Netherlands, Denver and even a honeymoon to New Orleans. She excels at customer service and enjoys problem solving and working to get the best possible solution for a customer.

Bailey loves to learn new things and challenges herself to set stretch goals. She enjoys reading, being with family, bike riding, experimenting with new restaurants, cooking, and hiking or camping.

Laura Gebhardt

Meeting Planner

The experience maker.

Laura is a fun-loving enthusiastic person who enjoys a challenge, loves spending time with family and friends, and is someone who gives her all to everything she does. She joined NHS Global Events after a 6 year career in Public Relations and Marketing with Neiman Marcus and Prudential Financial.

Laura’s passion is building relationships and seeing events come to life. Her keen eye for detail and her passion for people and planning sets her apart from others. Her greatest skills include attention to detail, multitasking, organization and communication.

In addition to spending time with family and friends, Laura loves listening to music while enjoying a beverage on her patio with her fiancé Matthew, going to concerts, boxing, traveling, planning parties with a little help from Pinterest and spoiling her God children: Ava, Noah and Maxon.

Allison Hines

Meeting Services Coordinator

The secret weapon.

A graduate of Bowling Green State University where she studied marketing and international business, Allison discovered her love of travel while visiting 19 countries during her semester abroad in France, and now strives to visit a different country every year.

Allison cherishes her ability to connect with others and loves to listen and get to know everyone she interacts with. Outgoing and positive, Allison brings her love of people to her role at NHS Global Events and is a testament that our clients aren't getting just one person to work with when they partner with us, but a whole team of passionate people.

Natalie Rivera

Meeting Planner

The go-getter.

Natalie has a passion for planning meetings and events, fueled by her love for seeing all the pieces come together. Her zest for a good challenge allows her to be positive in every situation and find the best solution to an issue. She takes great pride in managing multiple programs while travelling and ensuring a successful meeting/event. Friendly, organized, and hard-working, she has all the attributes of a truly excellent meeting planner.

With 5 years of experience working in the industry with both corporate and association clients and a Bachelors in Business Management, Natalie is able to bring expert project management, registration, and planning to the different clientele NHS Global Events has to offer.

Natalie is always looking for the next adventure and subscribes to the idea of trying things at least once. She loves being outside, doing everything from kayaking and camping to embracing the views Chicago rooftops have to offer.

Kinga Stefanska

Business Operations Administrator

The Jane of all trades.

Kinga is hard working, diligent and enthusiastic about everything she does. She joined the NHS Global Events team after her tenure at the Chicago InterContinental Hotel where she held such positions as Guest Relationships Supervisor and Business Development Coordinator.

Kinga emigrated from Poland, coming to the US with limited knowledge of the English language. Through her hard work and boundless positive attitude, Kinga was able to make a great life here along with her family, including her twin sister. She mastered English and now hopes to brush up on her Spanish and become trilingual!

Kinga strives to live her life to the fullest, not taking anything or anyone for granted. She loves to travel, eat, drink wine, and spend as much time with friends and family as she can! She has a passion for animals, especially dogs, as evidenced by her dedication to her German Shephard, Aspen.

Bryan Ganek

Sourcing Specialist

The confidence builder.

Bryan is a laidback and approachable person who puts everyone at ease. He loves great conversation and has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Concordia University Chicago.

Backed by over a decade of industry experience, Bryan is a highly skilled event and project manager who is adept at problem-solving and multi-tasking. He loves challenging himself and overcoming the obstacles that stand in his way. This is evident by one of his proudest accomplishments: completing a marathon while having a complete tear of the meniscus in his left knee.

Bryan has a passion for learning new things and lives by his motto of "live, love, laugh, and learn every day". In his free time, Bryan enjoys being with his wife, who owns a successful makeup and hair business, and their son, who was born in November 2017. He also enjoys golfing and walking the dog with his family.

Megan Smith

Sourcing Specialist

The amiable virtuoso.

It's no wonder Megan is passionate about events on every level--she has been immersed in the hospitality industry since an early age! Growing up, her family owned and operated a 20-unit resort on Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Megan went on to pursue her degree in the industry and graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Before joining NHS Global Events, Megan honed her meetings and events skills at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile. Beginning in the spring of 2015, Megan worked her way up the ladder from Event Planning Coordinator to Event Planning Manager, all the while earning recognition as Team Member of the Month twice and being an active member of the C.A.R.E. Committee.

Outgoing and gregarious, Megan is passionate about working as part of a team and building lasting relationships. Her fun-loving personality and great sense of humor set her apart from the crowd. She excels at innovation and creativity, and is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

In her spare time, Megan loves to be with her family and friends, try new restaurants, and work on her goal of traveling the world!

Joe Barrett

Accountant

The hidden gem.

Joe is back at the office, meticulously handling the finances and bookkeeping, ensuring everything is on track.

Joe’s greatest passion is people—he cares about everyone around him and wants them to know it. Complacency is never acceptable to him—he goes above and beyond in every situation and provides the best possible service.

In his personal life, Joe is most proud of his relationship with his wife Dawn and their three beautiful and smart daughters. He also loves to play paddle tennis and happens to be a champion in this sport.

Mia Lemel

Accounting Assistant

The dedication expert.

Mia earned her Associate of Liberal Arts degree from Oakton Community College and currently attends DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business as a junior majoring in Accountancy.

Mia's greatest skills are managing stress, staying organized, and maintaining a strong determination to do everything to the best of her abilities. She always strives to project an outgoing and positive attitude and sets herself apart from the crowd through her willingness to try anything once and give it her all. Mia is passionate about learning and growing, and always embraces opportunities to venture out of her comfort zone.

Though Mia loves to stay busy, she always makes time for family, especially her siblings who lead busy lives of their own. She also loves to cook or bake and is often in search of a new book or documentary. When she has the time, she takes advantage of the plethora of events Chicago has to offer at any given time. In the warm weather, she likes swimming, biking, and fishing.

Billy Almond

Hospitality Services Intern

Billy currently attends The University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and is an incoming Junior, majoring in Consumer Economics and Finance. Billy plans to study abroad in the upcoming spring semester in Spain and hopes to be able to travel throughout Europe.

Billy is a hardworking, compassionate, and personable individual whose favorite part of the hospitality services industry is seeing his hard work pay off by helping put on a flawless event. When faced with a problem, Billy likes to think outside of the box to find the answer. Billy comes from a large extended family that almost all reside in a short drive from each other, so he is used to having large family gatherings that need organization.

Billy’s passions are his family and sports. He is an avid football, basketball, and golf fan. On the weekends, you can find Billy either playing golf or spending time with family and friends.

Kathryn McIlwain

Hospitality Services Intern

Kathryn is an incoming junior at Indiana University, majoring in Finance with a Technology Management co-major.

Kathryn’s skills include her ability to adapt easily, communication, and working with numbers. Whether it is in the workplace, classroom, or in her free time, she always tries her best to stay positive and to bring out positivity in others. She strives to make the most out of every experience and looks forward to what she will learn during her time here at NHS Global Events.

Aside from business, her passion is helping others. This passion has brought her to meet some incredible people and have some great experiences. She has volunteered for and worked with the special needs community since she was in middle school and has formed great friendships throughout the years. This summer, she has plans to go on a mission trip in South Africa to work with an orphanage. This is a trip that she has wanted to do for many years and she is so excited to finally have the opportunity to go.

Aaron Puckhaber

Consultant, Social Media Marketing

The originator. Aaron is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Cinema Art + Science. Though his brain is more number-oriented, Aaron has always found himself gravitating towards the arts. True to his propensity for creativity, Aaron has directed 11 short films and written a feature-length screenplay. Aaron is passionate about making others laugh and smile, and doing what he can to help them appreciate life a little more! He loves creating, whether it's making a movie, writing a song, or working on an event. He is highly skilled in writing and communication, as well as completing projects and organization. Aaron might be a bit shy but he balances it out with his great sense of humor. Aaron's greatest aspirations are to write and direct a feature film, buy a house, and share a career that he loves along with a balanced family life. When he's not immersed in his work or art, Aaron loves to read books, serenade his girlfriend, play with his kitten, and play old video games.

Alice Romano

Consultant, Registration Manager

The ace in the hole.

Alice joined NHS Global Events soon after leaving her position as an Account Manager with an association management company. She is passionate about being the best she can be at any endeavor she undertakes—a passion that clearly shows in her work.

Alice knows that clients gain so much more when working with NHS Global Events, due to the seamless wealth of talent and knowledge of the industry that the team possesses. Alice takes pleasure in knowing that you won’t have to wait all day to get your registration site—she will have it waiting for you in your email first thing in the morning.  

When Alice is not hard at work, she is dedicated to her husband and three children and loves to read, dine out, and enjoy the sunshine. 

 

Debbie Cooke

Consultant, Meeting Manager

The meeting connoisseur.

Debbie is a 30 year veteran in the meeting industry. Her university degree, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, is the basis for her keen ability to streamline processes and procedures and to manage all logistical aspects of a program: the more moving parts, the more opportunities for improvement.

Debbie achieved her CMP designation during her time with the Marriott Corporation where she gathered 18 years of hotel experience in areas such as catering, convention services, and destination management. As a meeting management consultant, she has advanced expertise in all areas with specific emphasis on convention, housing, and registration. She loves meeting people from all walks of life with different causes and different passions and gets a great sense of accomplishment from completing successful meetings that surpass client expectations.

Family is very important in her personal life and in her free time Debbie enjoys staying active in the outdoors and being on the water.

Erin Gallagher

Consultant, Meeting Manager

The navigator.

To call Erin a “meeting planner” doesn’t do her justice. Her love for the industry and her passion for creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences make Erin the kind of professional that elevates the value of what it means to bring attendees together for face-to-face events. When she’s not already on-site, she’s putting the pieces together to assure everything is mapped out.