Make some Stellar Connections!

July 2024 Networking at Space Bar Market Square
Registration Open!

Top Performing Chapter Award



        Becky moved to Steel City from California in 2016 and has since found a love for all things Pittsburgh (hello, pickles & pierogis!). Her roles in high-end luxury properties led her to The Oaklander Hotel, where she works as Director of Catering. When asked why she enjoys helping to create events for clients, she says she loves elevating the meeting experience and crafting an event that is far more than a gathering. In 2023, Becky earned her CMP designation. She has volunteered on the Board of Directors for the past four years and has loved seeing the meetings & events community grow within the city. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking with her dog, Annie, and finding the perfect wine & cheese pairing!

Molly is the Senior Manager of Business Events at VisitPITTSBURGH. In this role, she assists domestic and international meeting planners with the execution of their events in Pittsburgh and oversees the business events services team at VisitPITTSBURGH.

Outside of the office, Molly is President-Elect for the Meeting Professionals International Pittsburgh Chapter. Additionally, she volunteers as a Junior Board of Directors member at Every Child, Inc. She is a team fundraising leader for the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Molly graduated summa cum laude from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. While at Kent State, she spent a summer at Kent State University in Florence, Italy, where she completed coursework in Sports and Global Tourism.

Melissa is a National Sales Director with VisitPITTSBURGH, where she combines her passions for Hospitality and Pittsburgh to promote tourism into the city through conferences and meetings. 

Before her role with VisitPITTSBURGH, Melissa was most recently the Senior Sales Manager at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and before that, with Hyatt Hotels for over eight years as an Event Planning Manager at various locations around the country (Seattle & Denver to name some favorites!)

 Melissa is thrilled to be back in Western PA, where she has a large family, including nine nieces and nephews (soon to be 10!), where she spends a lot of time.  In her free time, you can find Melissa outside on local trails or testing her paddleboard skills on one of the rivers. 

Aliza grew up in a small town outside of Buffalo, NY, with three sisters, three dogs, and two horses. After receiving her bachelor's degree in hospitality management, she quickly ventured to New York City, where she gained over 12 years of experience in selling and planning events. During the height of the pandemic, she knew it was time for her to discover a new city and moved to Steel City to be closer to her Sister and Niece. Aliza enjoys live music in the park with her dog and is an avid runner and cyclist.

       Jennifer has over 20 years of marketing and hospitality industry experience, including leadership positions in sales, marketing, and operations. She has produced fashion, beauty, nightlife, and luxury media campaigns in New York. She has also created thousands of experiences as a Sales Event Manager for high-end Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh restaurants. She is currently the Hospitality Manager for the US STEEL Tower in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jennifer received her Bachelor’s degree in Business and Retail Merchandising from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Pittsburgh Chapter’s VP of Finance and Strategic Partnerships and the Collumnae Chair for Delta Gamma South Hills Alumni Chapter.


       McKenzie is an experienced Events & Brand Experience Manager working for Deka Lash, an international franchise specializing in lash extensions. In her role at Deka Lash, McKenzie manages all internal and external events, including potential owner events, owner and lash artist training events, franchisee onboarding events, cultural events, annual conventions, events marketing, and corporate communications.

McKenzie graduated from Boston University in 2016 with a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Administration. While at Boston University, she was also a 4-year starter on the Varsity Women's soccer team, ranked in the top 30 all four years. In addition to her academic achievements, McKenzie played professional soccer in the United States and France after her college career.

McKenzie is working towards her CMP designation and looking forward to contributing to the MPI Pittsburgh Chapter family. 

        Kristen’s passion for Pittsburgh turned into a career in tourism and hospitality, working for VisitPITTSBURGH for 18 years. In 2022, she began a new journey, planning and managing events for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Kristen completed the CMP and DES coursework and exams in the past two years. Kristen is a big believer in lifelong learning and networking and actively participates in MPI, DI, and ESPA.  In 2021 she received the first-ever ESPA Leadership in Services Award for her work with VisitPITTSBURGH during the global pandemic.  

 A native Pittsburgher, Turner spends weekends, preferably outdoors, with her husband, two sons, and the only other lady in the house, her Pitbull, Pepper.


With over two decades of experience as an event and meeting consultant, Jessica Walz has worked in corporate and academic settings. She has extensive experience in executing small and large-scale events, conferences,

trade shows, sales, and business meetings, along with virtual events, where her skillful blending of creativity and flexibility nurtures productive relationships with clients and vendors. Currently, Jessica is the Executive Director for Common Plea Catering. Under her direction,business operations are focused on building and enhancing client services, efficiency, and productivity and building an engaging culture for all.


Jessica previously served as the Facilities and Events Manager at Cairncross and Hempelmann in Seattle, WA. She has managed citywide events such as Urban Land Institute (ULI), San Diego Street Scene, City of Vista July 4th

Celebration, NFL Pro Bowl (Honolulu), and has extensive experience planning events specifically for nonprofits, including fundraisers, silent

auctions, and golf tournaments.


In addition to managing marketing and sales for Common Plea Catering, she has planned high-caliber dance events nationally and internationally. She is a published writer for Dance Spirit Magazine and Inside Dance Publications. She continues to be an adjudicator at the national and international level for Dance Worlds and judges for the International Cheer Union, which was recently included in the Olympics.

Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree from Point Park University and a Certificate in Event Planning and Meeting Management from San Diego State University. She is an active entertainment and event industry member and believes in giving back to the community and industry through volunteering and sponsorship.


       Alexis is a Pittsburgh native of the South Hills (South Fayette Alumni). She graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and an Event Planning Minor in 2018, where she fell in love with the hospitality industry.  There, she planned events for the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce. Alexis also assisted in the opening of Topgolf Pittsburgh with their Event Sales Department and is currently the Executive Meetings Manager at VisitPITTSBURGH on the Business Events Team. In her free time, she is an avid runner (she ran her first full marathon in Pittsburgh in May 2023). She has also been a dance teacher at Center Stage since 2018 and loves spending time with her family the most, especially her twin sister, Taylor.  

Dr. Nicole Buse is an Assistant Professor of Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism, and Event Management at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). She has been teaching for almost a decade and loves sharing her passion for the hospitality industry with students. Dr. Buse advises the IUP MPI student chapter. This role involves connecting students with the industry outside of the classroom.


       Rebecca Frankel owns Wynn Events PGH, a full-service wedding and event planning company. She has been planning events for over seven years in both Southern California and the Pittsburgh area. 

       Jill is a six-year member of MPI Pittsburgh, going into her fifth year as a Board Member. She joined MPI in 2017 to help foster connections through work as a corporate event planner. Jill has built and maintained relationships with MPI members in her regular job and vice versa. "MPI Pittsburgh has helped me build my network and utilize connections from all over to create long-lasting personal and professional relationships." In her spare time, Jill loves going to concerts (O.A.R. mainly), traveling with family & friends, and most of all, her dog Bailey!

Connect with Us

Job Postings