Blog Archives

RECAP – July 2013 Networking Program

A steamy Minnesota evening didn’t stop these event professionals from enjoying the sights and joys of summer at Solera and CRAVE.

See the ISES MSP Facebook Album for more photos

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Lauren B Photography

Read More

President’s Letter – August 2013

President’s Letter – August 2013

August brings us closer to Fall and beyond. I think of all of the summer traditions we have here in Minnesota and how there is never enough time to fit them all in! We can only keep trying, right?

As we wrapped up our all day retreat for the ISES Board of Directors recently, I have a similar feeling. So many ideas and only one year to fit them in! I am so grateful and excited to be working with such a dynamic team this year. This is a group of volunteers who care enough about our industry to give their time and talents to better our chapter. I hope I say THANK YOU to them often enough.

Several Board members will be leaving for ISES Live in Nassau, Bahamas at the end of August. I know of nine ISES-Minneapolis/St. Paul members who will be attending so we will be well represented and I can assure you the energy we bring back will be shared with the chapter in many ways. The difference between this conference and all others I have attended is that rather than be shown or told what is being done in events, we will be hearing from creative thinkers in many industries. If clients are looking to us to provide the guest experience for their attendees and deliver their message in a memorable and effective way, then as we learn to be more creative in our thinking we will deliver better events.

September will be our Fall kickoff month. Look for information soon. One message I will repeat often this year is Get Involved”. First, look for a short survey coming out this month that will be your chance to let us know what you want from your ISES membership. This fall we will also be offering opportunities to participate in committees. Whether you have interests in communications, membership, or programs, including the Star Awards, we welcome your involvement whatever your time commitment allows. You never know the doors that your ISES friendships can open for you. Get involved and find out.

I hope you enjoy the rest of summer and fit it all in!





Jean Peine

President – ISES-Minneapolis/St. Paul

Read More

June 2013 - Member and Industry News

June 2013 – Member organization Lancer Hospitality is featured in the news - TLPA Introduces Lancer Hospitality as New Food/Catering Service  and was spotlighted in Minnesota Meetings + Events

June 2013 –  Twin Cities Business Magazine Publishes the 2013 ISES Minnesota Star Awards Winners.  Pick up a copy or view the winners online.

Read More

Minnesota STAR Awards – Video

glimpse into the evening at the 2013 Minnesota STAR Awards.

Special thank you to Maple Lane Media for creating!

Read More

May 2013 - Member and Industry News

May 2013 - Congratulations to our Director of Education and Programs, Gretchen Culver of Rocket Science Weddings & Events.  Gretchen  welcomed her 3rd child, Amelia Gail on May 20 at 11:21pm. Weighing in at a robust 9 pounds, 9 ounces and 21.5″ long.

Read More

April 2013 - Member and Industry News

April 2013 - The Wedding Guys® (Matthew Trettel, Member) - The Unveiled Wedding Event produced by The Wedding Guys®, Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar, received three Bridal Show Producers International STAR Awards including ‘Best Fashion Show, Best TV Advertising and Bridal Show Trifecta, a cumulative score in the categories of fashion show, exhibitor marketing and consumer marketing.  The BSPI – STAR Awards are designed to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts, performance, and outstanding contributions in the bridal show industry and were awarded at the 2013 BSPI Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas on May 4, 2013.

Read More

2013 Minnesota Star Awards Committee

ISES-Minneapolis/St. Paul is incredibly fortunate to have a team of talented professionals designing steampunk this year.   Thank you for sharing your time and creativity to make this event come together!


  • Elly Carlson Lendway (Golden Valley Golf & Country Club) – Star Awards Director
  • Alissa Bemis (MetroConnections) – Volunteers
  • Bonnie Toppin (Common Roots Catering) – Food & Beverage
  • Michael Basler (Midway Party Rental) –  Design & Décor
  • Nicole French (Premier Transportation)  -  Strategic Sponsorship Chair, Auditor
  • Pete Nelson (Event Lab) –  Marketing & Communications
  • Rich Frevert (Heartland Concert Artists) – Chair – Entertainment
  • Seth Lienard (Augsburg College) – Production
  • Sheree Bochenek (Apres Party & Tent Rental) – Design & Décor
  • Susan Diamond (Jigsaw Unlimited) – Awards & Entries


  • Amy Bloss (Stagetime Productions) – Design & Décor / Entertainment
  • Annie Zimbel (Tarot by Annie) – Food & Beverage
  • Christine Altendorf (Bon Appetit) – Design & Décor
  • Craig Oliver (Ultimate Events) – Design & Décor
  • Dan Zunker (Zunker Production Services) – Production
  • Emily Siebold (Children’s Cancer Research Fund)  – Awards & Entries
  • Kelly Linnihan  – Food & Bevearge
  • Matthew Zimmerman (Heroic Productions)– Production
  • Nicole Aronson (Mintahoe) – Awards & Entries
  • Sarah Johnson (Bon Appetit) – Design & Décor

Read More



What are the Minnesota STAR Awards?
The International Special Events Society (ISES) – Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter launched the Minnesota STAR Awards to recognize outstanding professionals in the special event industry for all of the events they create, plan, manage and execute each year.

Who can enter the awards?

You do not have to be an ISES member to enter most of the award categories.   See call for entries for further details.  Anyone who has produced events (or components of events) within the region represented by the ISES Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter or who works in this region, but produces events in other locations is eligible to enter.

Why should I enter the ISES Minnesota STAR Award?
By entering the ISES Minnesota STAR Awards, you are able to demonstrate the caliber of work that you and your company are doing!  This is your opportunity to show people what you can do and what makes you stand apart from your competition.  Imagine being able to tell your clients that your company is “award winning!”

Who judges the awards?

In order to maintain fairness in the judging, the Minnesota STAR Award submissions are entirely anonymous and are judged by event professionals from another region of the United States.  All entries are delivered to an auditor for pre-judging.  Once the auditor has determined that the rules are met, all qualifying entries are sent to another ISES chapter in the United States for judging.  The judging results are returned directly to the auditor, which supplies the information about the winning entries to the awards company.  All of the entries must be anonymous (no mention of names or company names are allowed in the entries).

How do I enter?

The call for entries outlines the process for applying for an award.  But, don’t be overwhelmed… while the process isn’t EASY….it isn’t an impossible task.  Just be sure to follow all the rules and submit your entry by the deadline.  Then plan to attend the big event in March!

What if I have questions?
If you have questions about the process, or run into problems, please send an email to  and someone will follow up with you.

DEADLINE:   Entry submission is now closed.  Nominees will be notified after February 20, 2013.



Read More

2013 Strategic Partners & Sponsors

2012-2013 Strategic Partners

Silver Sponsor

There are still opportunities to sponsor an ISES program or event in 2013.

If you are a caterer, florist, photographer, AV provider, décor/rental company, or venue and you want to showcase your venue , products, or services please contact Nicole French at  This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to get in front of the TOP event planners in Minnesota!

Read More

2012 Minnesota STAR Awards – Highlights

HIGHLIGHTS – 2012 Minnesota STAR Awards.

We calls em’ like we sees em’!  From the deviled eggs and moonshine, the fly boys and the flappers, to Bootlegger Bob and of course the winners, it was one sizzlin’ awards show.  Congratulations to all of the entrants, nominees and winners from the 2012 Minnesota STAR Awards.





Lookin’ for more photos from the 2012 MN Star Awards ?   Also visit our Facebook page for additional shots of the winners!

Read More