Top Performing Chapter Award

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Top Performing Chapter Award



Case Study of March Madness Event Orchestration and Execution

May 20, 2021
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

March Madness Education Event (002)

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Welcome, Announcements and Panel Discussion
11:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.  Networking

Preferred and Premier Member:  $35
Essential Member:  $45
Non-member:  $45
Student:  $25

Our chapter is excited to partner with Indy event professionals to hear how, for the first time in history, they collaborated to host the entire NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in one city.

Learn best practices which include how to implement safety protocols as you consider and engage in plans for your future events and to ensure safety for your attendees during a pandemic and beyond.  As an integral part of this event, you will gain an understanding of how safety measures were executed in the perfect "bubble" environment in Indy's connected convention campus and include protocols put in place to provide lodging and food service to the teams at the hotels.

Whether you are a meeting planner, supplier member or guest, this event will provide you with inspiration and confidence to help ensure your success with your future events. Our panel of experts will provide learning lessons and practical take-aways that you can apply in your day-to-day work.

Governor Holcomb will deliver a virtual welcome customized specifically for our chapter.

Panel Host:
Susie Townsend, Senior Vice President of Visit Experience, Visit Indy

Mikela Earley, Director, Events, Indiana Sports Corp
Brett Sanford, Senior Manager of Convention Services, Visit Indy
Phil Ray, Vice President and General Manager, JW Marriott Indianapolis
Virginia Caine, M.D., Director of the Marion County Public Health Department

Susie Townsend
townsend_susieA 30-year veteran of the tourism and hospitality industry, Townsend has dedicated her career to making Indy a must-see destination, a city USA Today calls the "#1 Convention City in the U.S." Townsend arrived to Visit Indy in 1989, and currently serves as senior vice president of visitor experience. In this role, she oversees a budget of more than $2 million. She is the organization's lead with key annual customers like the NFL, NCAA, and SEMA, ensuring these citywide conventions stay in Indy. Her experience also includes chairing the local organizing committee for MPI's WEC in 2018 and PCMA's annual convention in 2003. When Indy hosted the Super Bowl in 2012, Townsend served as an executive on loan to the Indianapolis Host Committee, as vice president of guest welcome. Her tourism management includes executive leadership roles for event execution of six NCAA's Men's Final Fours and two NCAA Women's Final Fours, all held in Indy.

Mikela Earley
ISC_Headshots-Crop-EarleyMikela Earley joined Indiana Sports Corp's staff in September 2016.  In her role, Earley focuses on supporting the planning and implementation of Indiana Sports Corp and partner events including NCAA Championships, Big Ten Conference Championships, and additional ancillary events.  She also assists as the point of contact for hotels on behalf of all Indiana Sports Corp events and currently serves as the Event Director for the Big Ten Football Championship Game. Previous to joining Indiana Sports Corp, Earley served in several positions at USA Diving where most recently, she worked as the National Events Manager, overseeing over 20 regional, zone and National Championship events a year responsible for event operations, logistics and planning for annual events as well as serving as the lead for the 2016 US Olympic Team Trials - Diving, held in Indianapolis. Earley graduated in December 2010 from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication and currently sits on the Board for the Central Indiana Chapter of the Indiana University Alumni Association.

Brett Sanford
sanford-brettAn Ohio native, Brett moved to the Circle City in 2008 after graduating from Kent State University. He spent 7 years with the 500 Festival and was the Director of Operations for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, one of the nation's largest half-marathons, prior to joining Visit Indy. He currently serves as Senior Manager, Convention Services where his client list includes US Olympic governing bodies, NRA, National Conference of State Legislatures, NBA, Big Ten Conference, College Football Playoff, and the NCAA among many others.

Phil Ray
Phil RayPhil was promoted to the Vice President and General Manager at the JW Marriott Indianapolis in 2019. Before that, he was at the helm of the JW Marriott for five years and earned "General Manager of the Year for the Americas" in 2018 by Marriott International. During his tenure, the JW Marriott Indianapolis earned the "Classic Luxury Hotel of the Year" Award in 2017 and 2018.

Virginia Caine, M.D.
CaineVirginiaVirginia A. Caine, M.D., is Director of the Marion County Public Health Department. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine Infectious Disease Division. She served as the President for American Public Health Association, the nation's oldest and largest public health organization. She received the BioCrossroads "2017 August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year" Award.

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