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Our Team

The keys to our success.

Heather Keenan

PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER

While Heather sees her greatest strengths in operations, those who know her best say creativity and interpersonal skills make her a leader. An intent listener, she is able to get to the heart of the matter quickly. Heather is a thoughtful advocate for both her clients and her staff. With a degree in theater, experience in fashion design, and a strong network built on long-standing business relationships, Heather’s talents and experience are varied and wide-ranging. She is active with the Leadership California program (an organization seeking to advance female executives’ roles as influencers in business), social issues, and public policy. Previously a member of the SF Travel Board, Heather’s continued involvement with that network helps keep her on the forefront of major trends and opportunities.

Stephen Lazar

VICE PRESIDENT

With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Stephen innately understands what people want. Drawing on his talents and always keeping the finish line in sight, Stephen’s determination and dedication create engaging, seamless, and innovative experiences for clients and their constituencies. In his spare time, Stephen strives to improve sustainability practices in the hospitality industry. He enjoys architecture and design, traveling and eating out, and leverages these passions to design one-of-a-kind programs.

Kate Karczewski

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

With over a decade of event operations experience, logistics are Kate’s strong suit. Kate started her career in hotels, learning the ins and outs of both conference services and sales departments. From hotels she transitioned to a Destination Management Company in Vail, Colorado, facilitating multiday experiences for top level pharmaceutical and financial clients. In 2008, Kate hung up her down parka and moved to San Francisco. She rose to be the Director of Operations, managing the operations team while simultaneously planning high end incentives and sales kickoffs. Kate has shaped, planned and executed meeting and events of all sizes and scopes in locations across the world, bringing extensive knowledge to the Key Events team.

 

Andrea Reynolds, CMP

KEY ACCOUNT SALES MANAGER

Andrea is a senior event planning professional possessing over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Her career is a unique combination as a high profile event planner with hotel industry experience (catering and convention services) as well as corporate event management. She has managed a full cycle of meeting management for leadership programs, incentive travel programs, corporate marketing events and sales meetings.  Her career has taken her from Canada to the United Kingdom and the United States.  Andrea resides in San Francisco with her two daughters.  She is a Certified Meeting Professional and a member of MPI.

Megan Warzeniak

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

A 20-year luxury resort market veteran, Megan leads corporate business development at Key Events. Prior to Key Events, Warzeniak served as Director of Corporate Sales at IfOnly, a fast-growing experiential marketplace fueling the experience economy. Before this, she held the position as Regional Director of Sales at KSL Resorts, a collection of luxury destination resorts. Warzeniak co-founding committee member of the meeting and incentive planner network, Hotel Blend, is highly involved in CEMA ( Corporate Event Marketing Association), and is a past committee chairperson and member of Meeting Professionals International, Northern CA Chapter, and Green Meetings Industry Council.

Becca Minkoff

KEY ACCOUNT SALES MANAGER

Becca is a detail-oriented and results driven event professional with a passion for food, entertainment and client management. With over ten years of hospitality experience, she began her career working in marketing at The Triple Door, a music venue & dinner theater in Seattle, Washington. Since then, Becca developed extensive experience in the events world. She loves to connect with people on both a personal and professional level. As a member of the Center for Justice and Accountability Young Professional’s Committee, community engagement and social justice are also important parts of her life. She lives in Oakland where she enjoys riding her bike, tending to her 20+ plants and searching for the best Chilaquiles.

Nanette Duffy

SENIOR EVENT MANAGER

With 25 years in the event industry, Nanette’s breadth of knowledge and production is unsurpassed.  Her background in large-scale social, non-profit and corporate environments makes her an invaluable asset; and her status as a San Francisco native makes her a rare commodity.  Nanette has managed her own event planning and production firm for over ten years and any event managed by her is characterized by a thorough event plan, unambiguous communication with vendors as well as clients, and an invisible structure that makes all her events successful. Nanette’s passion for social justice and non-profit causes is fulfilled by volunteering with various organizations and she currently sits on the board of Clinic by the Bay, a non-profit medical clinic in San Francisco providing free health care to the uninsured.

Kristen Konopka

SENIOR EVENT MANAGER

Kristen has detailed insight into destination management and travel incentives. She has been to over 50 countries and has a network that spans every major city across the globe. After working as an independent contractor for the bulk of her career, she came to Key Events to pair her global experience with Key Event’s global reach. Kristen’s strong interpersonal skills have allowed her to tap into a network of professionals who have guided her career as a top planner. When it comes to her planning style, Kristen believes collaboration with her partners are the key to a perfectly executed event.

Rae Lin

EVENT MANAGER

Rae comes from an incredible background in both financial services and large scale project managing. With a constant attention to detail and a laser focused attitude, Rae can handle any program that comes her way. She thrives under pressure and has no problem working in a tight deadline-driven environment. Rae brings a strong emphasis in administrative and organizational management as well as a great sense of humor to the office. In her free time, Rae loves music and cheering on her Golden State Warriors. 

Nicole Torres

EVENT MANAGER

With years in venue and catering management, Nicole has produced an array of events from initial concept to execution. Having hosted corporate soirees for thousands, business meetings for executives, and intimate gatherings with celebrity guests, she has the experience and know-how to plan and operate whatever comes her way. Her ability to connect with others and positive attitude bring a sincerity to each project she manages Though her knack for details was what first drew her to the industry, it is the relationship with her clients and partnership with industry colleagues that has solidified her passion for events. 

Amy Mullan

EVENT MANAGER

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Amy’s event career has taken her to many corners of the globe including London, Nice, Monaco, Singapore and now, San Francisco. Amy’s career has included working a variety of event capacities; large music festivals, celebrity red carpet award galas, international conferences, and most recently included opening the brand new state of the art National Stadium in Singapore, adding venue operator and VIP hospitality manager to the mix. Enjoying the collaborative effort and logistical challenges of bringing events to life, Amy brings creative thinking and a knack for ascertaining and delivering on what is most important to each client for their event.

Lauren Bayersdorfer

EVENT MANAGER

Lauren is part of the Operations Team and enjoys working with clients to create unique and memorable experiences. With a background in large scale not-for-profit events, Lauren has held positions at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society, as well as planned group events for the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. Originally from the South, Lauren studied Digital and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Georgia before moving to the West Coast.

Danielle Eppinga

SENIOR EVENT MANAGER

After years in corporate planning, Danielle came to Key Events to exercise her creativity. She has a strong background in working with top executives in the financial sector particularly in meeting management. When she isn’t executing a variety of corporate programs, she’s assisting with the creative event design. Danielle brings a can-do attitude and her friendly smile on every project; developing great relationships with her clients

Tracey Lande

Head of Strategic Marketing

Tracey has over 20 years of experience in marketing communications, both on the client and the agency side. At 24, Tracey launched a luxury boutique destination management company and for two decades she produced leading edge brand engagement programs, CEO Summits, technical conferences, strategic off sites, and incentive programs for start-up and growth stage technology companies. Today,  Tracey helps organizations define what success looks like and helps them build successful programs to support their strategic objectives-whether it is developing strategic off-site presentation materials or securing a top analyst for a board presentation, or bringing in compelling resources and activities that (re)inspire.

Chris Ochoa

CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER

Chris brings organization to the next level. With the ability to clearly understand what people want, Chris foresees potential risks and never fails to offer straightforward, yet creative solutions for our clients’ programs.  Dedicated to achieving results, he draws on a wide range of marketing experience to ensure uniquely tailored, creative program proposals. In addition to a keen, creative eye, Chris’ ability to understand and anticipate client needs translates into personal, efficient communication that truly represents the level of service Key Events strives to offer. An explorer by nature, Chris loves finding the hidden gems and unique venues that San Francisco has to offer.  A foodie at heart, Chris enjoys checking out new neighborhood restaurants and discovering the next big hot spot.

Natalia Vasquez

CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER

Natalia began coordinating music events at local bars in her spare time. She soon was pitching networking events to her office, before focusing on event planning full-time. With a background in Journalism, Natalia is never short for words. Combined with her commitment to timely execution she supports the sales and marketing team with a punch of creativity. From designing client media to drafting Social Media posts, she often finds herself assisting with a variety of marketing needs. In her spare time, Natalia explores local events searching for new musicians and performers.

Iris Keenan

MEDIA/VIDEO DEPARTMENT

Iris immerses herself in any task thrown her way. Her video and media know how provides clients with the full visual package essential to wowing the crowd at any program or event. With an imaginative, energetic attitude, Iris generates honest and creative ideas for our clients. This high-energy originality doesn’t stop at the office. In her spare time, Iris enjoys boxing and can often be found playing guitar in the company of her cat, Killerbee.

Eli Rosenberg

CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER

Eli came to Key Events from the non-profit world, but has an underlying passion for events. He brings to the Creative Services team his analytical mindset and creative eye, which he attributes to being raised by a mother who is an artist. Throughout his career, he has experienced the Hospitality Industry and world of business from different sides, both in a sales and operational lens. He has obtained a first-hand perspective of the metamorphosing world of hotel, restaurant and event management. Since the age of 10 he has orchestrated and designed fundraisers for non-profit causes. His experiences in a range of industries have given him a diverse skill-set and wide breadth of knowledge, including: construction, tourism, restaurants, hotels, marketing, non-profit, child care and education. Eli has a passion for food, travel, diverse culture and a good bargain. When not working you can catch him at the latest food dive or taking a road trip around California.

Tess Gonzalez, CMP

SENIOR REGISTRATION MANAGER

Tess has led events from conception through execution in both an operations and registration role. She has worked on events and meetings ranging from large scale sales conferences to high-end incentive trips, executive retreats, and user conferences.  In all aspects of registration, she maintains a high standard of accuracy and service. Tess’ multi-faceted expertise, coupled with her passion for event technology, results in a flawless client experience.

Jayson Gatdula

REGISTRATION MANAGER

With over a decade’s experience in logistics technology, Jayson guarantees a smooth registration process and IT integration for every program. He creates registration systems that are easy to navigate and effortless—often the first user experience for a meeting or event and thus a critical component. Living the events and meetings lifecycle from end-to-end, Jayson understands the demands of high-profile programs. When working with clients, he brings all of the disparate elements together for a glitch-free attendee experience.

Shumay Kyi

REGISTRATION MANAGER

Shumay is the jack-of-all-trades at Key Events. Indispensable, enthusiastic, and dedicated, she meets client needs in a timely and graceful manner. Whether she’s handling hotel, flight and transportation details, managing IT, or overseeing logistics, Shumay puts our clients at ease. Able to create and manage registration websites, Shumay’s expertise is backed by over ten years of experience as a registration coordinator, where she managed payroll, AP and programs billing in the events industry.

Sylvia Au

REGISTRATION COORDINATOR

As a Business Administration graduate, Sylvia has worked in both human resources and operations positions.  With a background in working with various clients, she truly cares about delivering the best service possible.  She has experience coordinating meetings, networking events, and socials for groups of various sizes.  As a registration coordinator, Sylvia is always seeking new and innovative ways to complete projects and cater to attendee’s needs.  In her free time, Sylvia enjoys expressing her passion for singing, writing, art, and animal welfare.