Breakout Sessions

60 Minute Educational Segments

MFEA will host 30 breakout sessions that will energize and empower. We will be highlighting current topics, sponsorship, grant writing, human trafficking, social media strategy, geo-marketing, touchless ticketing and much more.

Brian Bartlett

Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Registration –

Session Topic

TAM – Special Registration Required.  Registration will close on November 5, 2020

Friday, November 6 9:25am-12:25pm

MICHIGAN LICENSED BEVERAGE ASSOCIATION REGISTRATION: The seminar being offered at the 2020 online MFEA convention will consist of a 3 hour course. Seminar will consist of a full TAM class, plus added information on festival/special licensee-specific information. Each participant will receive materials to assist in training their servers and volunteers. Those in attendance will be fully certified as a responsible server/seller of beverage alcohol in Michigan and will receive a TAM card which is recognized by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission as a valid server training requirement. Your festival/event will be recognized as having a certified server—status shared with insurance companies and MLBA Licensing division.

Download form here.
COST: Reduced registration rate for Convention Attendees-$35.00

Teresa Stas

Green Cactus

Session Topic(s)

Creating and Selling Activation’s that Sponsors Love!

Feel like your event is doing the same thing over and over for sponsorships? Wondering how you can land sponsors with bigger budgets? In this session Teresa Stas, Director of Green Cactus sponsorship agency will break down how to develop enticing activations for sponsors and show case studies of successful activations.

Teresa Stas is a national speaker, author, and CEO of Green Cactus , an event sponsorship and marketing agency based in Fresno, CA, and Portland, OR. She was named one of 2019’s “20 on the Rise Event Professionals” by Honeybook and RisingTideSociety.com. Teresa has brokered millions of dollars in sponsorships with national brands such as Toyota, Crown Royal, Safeway/Albertsons and White Claw. She currently handles partnerships for several events along the west coast such as the national relay Hood to Coast , Country Fan Fest, Oregon State Fair and the nationally recognized Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Teresa is an Oregon State University graduate and holds a Sports Marketing Certification from Columbia University. She is the author of the book Sell Your Event! The Easy to Follow Practical Guide to Getting Sponsors and writes the column “Small Event, Big Sponsors” for IFEA’s “ie” magazine, and her online course SellSponsorships.com has been used in the coursework at Florida International University and Troy University. She currently resides in central California with her husband and step-son.

Teresa Stas

Green Cactus

Session Topic(s)

Creating a Sponsorship Deck that Actually Works!

No more “menu” sponsorship one sheeters! We will cover the process of how to create a successful deck that has the information that sponsors (including national ones) want and need to partner with your event. You’ll also learn a few tips and tricks to make the process easier for you in the future.

Teresa Stas is a national speaker, author, and CEO of Green Cactus , an event sponsorship and marketing agency based in Fresno, CA, and Portland, OR. She was named one of 2019’s “20 on the Rise Event Professionals” by Honeybook and RisingTideSociety.com. Teresa has brokered millions of dollars in sponsorships with national brands such as Toyota, Crown Royal, Safeway/Albertsons and White Claw. She currently handles partnerships for several events along the west coast such as the national relay Hood to Coast , Country Fan Fest, Oregon State Fair and the nationally recognized Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Teresa is an Oregon State University graduate and holds a Sports Marketing Certification from Columbia University. She is the author of the book Sell Your Event! The Easy to Follow Practical Guide to Getting Sponsors and writes the column “Small Event, Big Sponsors” for IFEA’s “ie” magazine, and her online course SellSponsorships.com has been used in the coursework at Florida International University and Troy University. She currently resides in central California with her husband and step-son.

MCACA – Jeff Garrett, Chad Swan- Badgero, and Jackie Lillis-Warwick

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs 

Session Topic

MCACA FUNding!

State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) Grant Workshop

Michigan’s vibrant arts and cultural scenes are important to the state’s communities, excellent quality-of-life and thriving economy. MCACA is the state’s key conduit for arts and cultural information, grant funding and more. Join MCACA program managers, Jackie Lillis-Warwick, Chad Swan-Badgero and Jeff Garrett, as they present State of Michigan grant programs for arts and cultural projects, application processes, and competitive grant writing tips.

Jackie Lillis-Warwick is the MCACA Capital Improvement and Minigrant Programs Manager. She got her BA in Anthropology from Michigan State University and her MS in Anthropology with a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Throughout her career, she has worked as an archaeologist in Cultural Resource Management, she was the NAGPRA Collections Manager for the MSU Museum and the MSU Department of Anthropology Undergraduate advisor.

 

 

 

 

Chad Swan-Badgero serves as the MCACA Project Support, New Leaders, and Education Programs Manager. Chad received his Masters in English and Theatre from Michigan State University (Go State!) and is the founder and Artistic Director for Peppermint Creek Theatre Company, a non-profit theatre located in Lansing. Chad is a proud Big Brother through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, was named one of the “Ten

Over The Next Ten” from the Lansing Chamber of Commerce in 2009, and was awarded the Arts Council of Greater Lansing’s Individual Artist Applause Award in 2016. Chad’s biggest joy is his 15 month old son, Sawyer.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Garrett is the MCACA Operational Support Prgm Mgr. Previously, Jeff served as the Director of the Art School at the Flint Institute of Arts. He has teaching experience in Michigan Public Schools, has been adjunct faculty at Vincennes University, Saginaw Valley State University, Mott College, and was Head of the Art & Design Department at Crowder College. Jeff received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics with Distinction from Indiana State University.

Lisa Edwards & Ashley Edwards

Bay Rama FishFly Festival

Session Topic

Social Media Etiquette

The good, the bad and the OMG….I can’t believe they posted that!?!

Managing your festival/events social media can be challenging at times.  We will show you how to keep your fan page family friendly and how to respond to negative posts.  We will also throw in some tips to help you manage your personal page as well..

Lisa currently works for Jarvis Property Restoration as the Office & Marketing Specialist. She is the current President of the Bay Rama Fishfly Festival, and has been on the board for 13 years. She is the former President of the Anchor Bay Chamber of Commerce and now serves on the Chamber board of directors. Lisa is a leadership Macomb Graduate and has worked in the Anchor Bay area for over 35 years. She is the emcee for the Miss Bay-Rama Pageant and the parade.  She also serves on the Executive Board for Michigan Festivals & Events Association.

Darryl Jacobs

AlphaMedia

Session Topic

Digital marketing: Reaching the Right People in the Right Place at the Right Time

Digital Marketing: Reaching the Right People in the Right Place at the Right Time _ Digital Advertising can be confusing and sometimes intimidating. I will make it simple to understand and help eliminate the sometimes confusing digital vocabulary. We will discuss, Geo Fencing, Targeted Display Ads ( those that follow you around the internet, social Media Advertising and OTT ( Over the Top Television Advertising) and more.

Richard Paul

Carey Paul Group

How to Reasearch, Book and Contract the Right Entertainment for your Event

A value driven virtual breakout session that will share the secrets of how to plan, research, find and book the right entertainment for your event.You will learn:1) How to look at your entire event and create a workable entertainment checklist.2) Why it is important to stay focused to find the right entertainment to fit the master plan of your event.3) What you need to do to find the right entertainment for the right price.

Theresa Doan

Genisys Credit Union

Session Topic

What do Sponsors Want?

We have all spent countless hours putting together the perfect proposal for an event. We are sure we have the right package, at the right price and there is no way a potential sponsor can say no…but they do. So what is a sponsor really looking for when they partner on an event. At Genisys Credit Union, we sponsor over 1,200 events each year to benefit everyone who lives or works in our communities. I will share with you what we are looking for in event sponsorships.

Theresa Doan, Corporate Social Responsibility
Manager at Genisys Credit Union, is a proven
marketing and events veteran with more than
20 years of experience in corporate events,
sponsorships and promotion activation.
Prior to joining Genisys Credit Union, Theresa
was Vice President of Groups & Events at Jimmy
John’s Field where she oversaw corporate
group events, community events, and nonprofit
fundraisers.
Before landing at Jimmy John’s Field, she was
the Director of Corporate Development at
Palace Sports & Entertainment, where she
directed sponsorships and other partnering
initiatives for The Detroit Pistons, DTE Energy
Music Theatre, and Meadow Brook Music
Festival.

Dale Johnson & Selena Linde

Dale Johnson -CIC, CFEE, CPIA Insurance Consultant

Selena Linde – Firmwide Chair, Insurance Recovery Practice

Session Topic

Legal Ramifications and Insurance Issues During COVID-19

This session will cover the following:

  • Availability of Insurance – Lines & Coverages
  • Communicable Disease Coverage availability
  • Event Rescheduling or Cancelling
  • Business Income Coverages
  • Workers Compensation
  • Event Cancellation Coverage Availability

Dale Johnson, CFEE, CIC, CPIA, Independent Insurance Consultant. has been in the insurance Industry since 1985. I have been working with Festivals, Fairs and Events for 31 years. Currently –  Chairman of the Board for Michigan Festivals & Events Association (The USA’s largest Festival Association) and a Board member for CALFEST (California Festivals and Events Assoc.).I am a Graduate of Purdue University. Married – to wonderful wife (Marcia) for 36 years. I have 2 Children – A Daughter who is a RN here in Fort Wayne and a Son (in San Juan, PR) who is a manager for Amazon Web Services.

I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana with my wife Marcia. I also have 2 grandsons (Parker & Preston). And Expecting a Granddaughter in Feb. 2021. I Like Golf, Volleyball and I am an Avid Cycler. (10,000+ miles per year)

 

Selena J. Linde has more than 20 years of experience representing policyholders in complex insurance coverage matters. She is a nationally ranked policyholder attorney and is a primary author and editor of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s “A Policyholder’s Primer on Insurance.” Selena was named by Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 250 Women Litigators in 2019 and three of her cases were profiled in Law360’s write-up of Perkins Coie as Insurance Group of the Year. She is currently representing more than a dozen clients in assessing and filing claims related to insurance for coronavirus (COVID-19) losses. (Please see Perkins Coie’s Coronavirus website for links to her webinars, thought pieces, and interviews on insurance for COVID-19.)

Selena is a trial attorney and represents her clients, which include utilities, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, financial institutions, and retailers in federal and state courts throughout the country. She has represented corporate policyholders in a wide variety of insurance coverage cases that have involved environmental liability, directors and officers liability, data breach, cyber and privacy liability, fraud, employee dishonesty, mass torts, asbestos, products liability, business interruption, construction defect, first-party property, trademark infringement, mortgage backed securities, subprime auto loan risk default insurance, and bad faith. She is regularly hired in high profile bankruptcies and by post-bankruptcy trusts to maximize the coverage available to the debtors’ estates, creditors’ committees, and trust beneficiaries.

Eric Hultgren

Mlive Media

Session Topic

What Now – How Consumers Use Digital in the COVID- era

Abstract: Over 160 days ago the world changed in what at best could be described as Earth shaking and at worst, dystopian. Nationwide local businesses struggle under the stress of a global pandemic, social unrest, constantly changing rules and regulations that would test the most seasoned business. In the face of all of this there are companies who are going beyond just surviving and are thriving during the unimaginable. What can we learn from these companies and their innovations? How can we embrace a lifelong innovation mindset? What should we say to our customers and how? Eric Hultgren will share the lessons of talking to and coaching hundreds of Michigan businesses during the pandemic and answer the questions you have about your business right now when it comes to running your business in a digital first marketing ecosystem under stress.

A driven market leader focusing on how human beings can connect pragmatically using technologies available right now. In addition to being the director of social media and content marketing for the MLive Media Group and Advance Midwest, former adjunct professor of mass media, CEO of a charity that helps at-risk kids experience the performing arts called Now Playing, and nationally recognized podcast host. For Eric, “everything is marketing” is not just a catchphrase, but a lens through which he views the world around him.

Kat Paye

Executive Director of the National Cherry Festival

How To Cancel Without Controversy

Al Shenouda

AmeriShield Protection Group, LLC

Active Shooter Response

Al Shenouda is a Managing Partner of the AmeriShield Protection Group, a consulting and training firm specializing in homeland security and defense matters, he is also the Chief Operating Officer of City Shield Security Services. He is the former Federal Protective Security Adviser assigned to Eastern District of Michigan from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate. He is the former Senior DHS Headquarters Field Director and is the Department’s chief anti-terrorism, preparedness, and risk officer. He is responsible for securing critical infrastructure along physical, cyber and human threats, as well as national disaster recovery operations by coordinating with federal, state, local authorities and private sector officials.

He has advanced certifications in physical, cyber security, security engineering design, antiterrorism force protection, crisis management and critical incident response as well as high risk special event security planning.  He was designated as the federal security chief for the 2005-2006 All Star Game and Super Bowl. Mr. Shenouda is certified in numerous vulnerability assessment methodologies, risk management techniques and has conducted surveys and comprehensive reviews at numerous high risk/consequence facilities to include the national chemical and nuclear sectors review pilots. He serves as a senior technical advisor to the Secretary’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, supporting the Presidents Gun violence Reduction program and Biden Commission. He also supports the HSAC Faith based Subcommittee, on Countering Violent Extremism and Home-Grown Radicalization, (CVE). He also supports the Office of the Director National Intelligence, Private Sector Intelligence Requirements Working Group.  In addition, he completed the national threat assessment for Coptic Churches in the U.S. Further, he is the designated cross border lead, supported national exercise TOPOF- 4 and was the intelligence lead for the 2008 Republican National Convention.

He is a former Detroit Police Command Officer and a 12-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, (DPD).  Spent five years assigned to the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, (JTTF) conducting counterterrorism and foreign counterintelligence investigations in support of sensitive national security cases, of presidential visibility. He is the recipient of the 2004 JTTF distinguished service award. He has been detailed to the National JTTF and the National Counterterrorism Center.  Mr. Shenouda is a fluent Arabic linguist and is the former Executive Officer of the DPD Homeland Security Section.  He is also a former tactical commander and crisis negotiator and has participated in command of 100 tactical scenes. He has a strong investigative and tactical operations background and amassed significant investigative experience in white collar, property, and violent crimes as well as terrorist funding and transnational crimes. He excels in the areas of project management, policy formulation, asset recruitment development and international operations.

He is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and seminars regarding national security topics. Mr. Shenouda is a graduate of Wayne State University with departmental honors in political science and an MPA from the University of Michigan and has completed a concentration in strategic intelligence.  He is an adjunct instructor at Eastern Michigan University, Center for Regional and National Security Studies and the Graduate Intelligence Program at the University of Detroit Mercy. He is currently a doctoral candidate and has published several papers on intelligence and security matters.

Kat Paye

Executive Director of the National Cherry Festival

How to be Ready and Prepared for 2021

Jerry Preston

Birch Run Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

How to hold better meetings with Robert Rules of Order

Jerry Preston is the President of the Birch Run Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has been the President of the Convention and Visitors Bureaus in Flint, Ann Arbor, and Quincy, Illinois. He has provided consulting services for various domestic tourism agencies as well as Jordon and Russia. He was a member of the Michigan Travel Commission the agency that developed “Pure Michigan” the award winning promotion for travel to Michigan.

As a volunteer he serves as Secretary of Back to the Bricks, one of the nation’s top 5 car shows. He is also Treasurer of Sister Cities of Flint and Treasurer of the Friends of McFarlan Park.

Prior to becoming involved in tourism promotion, Preston was product manager for RCA, marketing various products used in radio and television broadcasting.  Later he served as National Sales Manager for Harris Corporation a global producer of products for the broadcast industry.

Preston is a Certified Association Executive, a Certified Broadcast Engineer, and holds a Michigan Real Estate License.

He has serviced as a Commissioner of Bishop International Airport Authority, Chairman of the Board of the Michigan Society of Association Executives, President of the Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, President of the Illinois Travel and Tourism Council, Chairman of the Board of the Quincy (IL) Metropolitan Auditorium, Exhibition Hall and Office Building Authority and Master of the Michigan Lodge of Information and Research #1 AF&AM.

He was awarded a Silver Beaver by the Boy Scouts of America, he is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and was inducted in 2012 into the Michigan Society of Association Executives Hall of Fame.

He holds a commercial pilot’s license and for 14 years lived on a houseboat he built on the Mississippi river at Quincy, Ill.

Jon Witz

Arts, Eats and Beats

Planning a 2021 event with Covid

Joe Baumann

Birmingham and Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce

Board Development

Printwell

Kevin Donley

Print Media

The Value of Print Media Today
Print marketing and communications have qualities that other media choices do not. Among these are tangible and sensory characteristics that trigger emotional responses from the public. In an environment where the authenticity of information is being questioned, print has also proven to be more authoritative and trustworthy than other options. Attend this seminar and learn how to use print to engage your audience and encourage them to make the decision to buy from you or participate in your events.

Denise Owens

Jackson County Fair Grounds

Food Truck Rallys

Hosting a Fair Food Rally. Quantity considerations, Layout, marketing

Fair Manager and Parks Event Coordinator for the County of Jackson, for over 10 years Denise has
served as Fair Manager. Jackson County Fair has been in existence for 166 years with a very rich history of Agriculture, Carnival and Entertainment. Prior to the County of Jackson Denise served as a
Constituent Services Director for State Representative Mortimers’ in the Michigan House of Representatives.
The fair grounds are located inside a Jackson County Park known as Keeley Park, the park is inside the City of Jackson on a 44 acre parsel of property. Our average fair attendance is 150,000 patrons over a 7-day week in August.   Along with the week of the fair the grounds host many types of public and private events year around.

Barb Subastian, Rodney Blanchard

Barb Subastian – Regional Manager of Enforcement, Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC)
Rodney Blanchard – Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Alcohol, Lottery and Food Regulations

Updates on liquor laws and rules, as well as give instruction on Special License requirements and processes

Food Safety Discussion

Barb is a Regional Manager in the Enforcement Division of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC).  Barb has worked with the MLCC for almost 35 years, first as an Investigator, then as a Lansing District Supervisor before her current position.  Barb oversees three districts in Michigan:  Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Escanaba, and is responsible for creating new procedures, training staff, coordinating partnerships with other regulatory agencies, and updating and improving internal processes on an on-going basis for the division.

Carlin Smith

Consumers Energy

Better Boards Bring Better Results

Is your board stale and stodgy? Does it need an infusion of new energy? In this session, we’ll discuss best practices on how to recruit and retain the right board members, and maybe not retain those who are no longer a good fit.

Carlin Smith is the northern Michigan Community Affairs Manager for Consumers Energy with the job of strengthening the brand of Michigan’s largest utility in a seven-county region.  Consumers proudly provides energy to 6.7 million Michigan residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula Counties.

 

Carlin started his career as a broadcast journalist doing radio news in three different markets, but most of his career has been spent working for chambers of commerce.  He collectively has nearly 25-years of experience with the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce.  During his 17-year tenure, the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce was named Michigan’s Outstanding Mid-Size Chamber on five occasions.

As part of his chamber work, Carlin has facilitated countless customer service training programs in two states, and has led the chamber’s leadership training program, Leadership Little Traverse.

He grew up in Bronson, Michigan and attended Central Michigan University.  He also graduated from a program of the US Chamber of Commerce called Institute for Organization Management held at the University of Notre Dame.  He has called Petoskey ‘home’ for the past 30-years.

His wife Karen teaches at Pellston Elementary School and they have four children, three of which are still in college.

Cassie Dispenza

Saffire

Technology & Events: Planning for the Best & Preparing for the Worst

Part of what makes it so hard to plan events right now is that it’s impossible to know what the world may look like by the time your event date comes. Will you be able to have an event? If it happens, what will be the requirements? If you plan for an event and then it gets canceled, how will you execute the cancellation and plan to take it online? Luckily, technology affords us so many opportunities that we wouldn’t have had if we were in this situation even 5 or 10 years ago. Join us as we cover some of the creative ways we’ve seen events adapt and what you can do to plan for your event in the future, regardless of what challenges it may bring.

Cassie has extensive experience with online marketing and event planning. She has planned events with the Austin Sports Commission, United States Olympic Committee & more. She started working with Saffire in 2011 and since then, the company has grown from supporting a few great organizations in Texas to partnering with hundreds of events, venues and destinations across the country. She has served on numerous boards and volunteer groups throughout these industries and currently sits on a fundraising board for the International Festivals and Events Association. Cassie graduated from the University of Texas, is a proud Longhorn and still lives in Austin, TX with her husband, Adam and her Border Collie, Layla.

Greg Kigar

Lansing Lugnuts

Preparing for Events in a Multi-use Facility in the New Normal

A native of Gladwin, Mich., Kigar brings over 25 years of experience to the Lugnuts. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports studies from Central Michigan University and his master’s degree in sports management from Western Illinois University.  Among his positions in the sports industry includes Intramural/Sport Club Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame, Event Manager at the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Director of Operations at the Dow Event Center, Assistant Athletic Director at Central Michigan University and the very first Director of Stadium Operations for the Great Lakes Loons as well as 5 years in sports sales.

Maiya Merrick

City of Hastings

Organizing a Killer Music Series

Downtown Hastings, Michigan is a very happening place. This small town of just 7,000 people features over 50 live entertainment performances during the summer. The entertainment series includes children’s programming, programming geared towards senior citizens, programs featuring local artist, a festival and a Friday series bringing in large bands.  Attendance for the Friday night series is already larger than what local officials have predicted with the facility being at capacity (or above) for half the shows. In this session we will focus on how the series was able to get started and how the series has been able to grow. We will be looking at the process of booking performers, finding sponsorships, interacting with performers and running the show.

Maiya Merrick started volunteering for events when she was 13 because her mom refused to buy her an adult ticket for a festival. Since then she graduated from Central Michigan University and majored in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services with an emphasis on Recreational Therapy. She has now become the Arts and Events Coordinator for the City of Hastings for the City of Hastings for over 6 years.

Ms. Merrick has experience volunteering at various music festivals through Michigan. She is on the board for a music festival, Buttermilk Jamboree. This is where she runs a children’s tent the entire weekend. Ms. Merrick also serves on the Michigan Music Festival Round Table board where she connects with other music festivals throughout the state. It is through this round table that Merrick is able to discuss with other events what strategies are working when it comes to event security, hiring musicians and managing backstage environments.

Maiya Merrick

City of Hastings

Going Beyond “The Kids Tent” – Children’s Programming for ANY Budget

We hear people talk all the time about wanting higher quality activities for the children. Many of us put on events that we describe as “family friendly.”  In this session, we will explore how we can achieve our goals and what we can do when the budget is tight.  We will look at some of the best tips and strategies for planning children’s activities, finding high quality performers and keeping everyone safe. After that, we will take our session beyond the kid’s tent. What else can we do to make the entire event family friendly? How can we help the child and the parent have a wonderful experience at our event? Since millennial parents are now having kids themselves, what kind of programming are they searching for?

Maiya Merrick started volunteering for events when she was 13 because her mom refused to buy her an adult ticket for a festival. Since then she graduated from Central Michigan University and majored in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services with an emphasis on Recreational Therapy. She has now become the Arts and Events Coordinator for the City of Hastings for the City of Hastings for over 6 years.

Ms. Merrick has experience volunteering at various music festivals through Michigan. She is on the board for a music festival, Buttermilk Jamboree. This is where she runs a children’s tent the entire weekend. Ms. Merrick also serves on the Michigan Music Festival Round Table board where she connects with other music festivals throughout the state. It is through this round table that Merrick is able to discuss with other events what strategies are working when it comes to event security, hiring musicians and managing backstage environments.

Trish Steele

Midland Fairgrounds

What’s your Economic Impact?

Trish will share the process and findings from an economic impact study that was conducted in early 2019 for the Midland Fairgrounds. The components of the study and the value in understanding the results will highlight why events and facilities should work to capture an understanding of direct and indirect economic input.

Trish Steele was named as the manager of the Midland Fairgrounds in 2013.  Working closely with the board of directors, Trish is proud of the efforts of the organization to update its Master Plan in 2018 and further develop the plans for the new four-season equestrian center.  The new equestrian center will create significant economic impact for our community as it operates year round and brings in visitors from outside of our region to enjoy all that Midland has to offer.

Prior to her employment at the fairgrounds, Trish was employed at The Dow Chemical Company for more than 25 years.   Trish enjoyed global roles in Marketing Communications, Public Affairs and the Procurement departments at Dow. Trish earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northwood University and a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University.

Trish is a past president and member of the Zonta Club of Midland, as well as a member of the Midland 100 Club, Midland County Farm Bureau, and the Michigan Shorthorn Breeders Association.   As a current board member of the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, Trish works to develop policy that will support the fair industry and its’ members by promoting youth and agricultural activities in Michigan.

Trish and her husband Rodney live in Larkin Township, where they raised two children, Chandler and Chase on their family farm.   As a third-generation farmer and life-long advocate for agriculture, Trish has always been involved with 4H, animals and agriculture.  Trish and Rodney operate Boulder Clay Farm, bringing high quality lamb meat, local honey, maple syrup and fruit to the Midland Farmer’s Market.

Keith M Stickley, Esq

The Great American Sideshow Co &  The Stickley law Firm, PLLC

Beyond Covid: Discussions on Liability and Moving Forward with Events

Covid… the “rona”… Whatever you decided to call it…

It has decimated the live entertainment, festival, and fair market. But how do we move forward in a world of perceived liability and risks to public health?

Can we be held liable for someone contracting Covid-19?

How do we limit our exposure to claims?

Attorney Keith Stickley hosts a discussion that explores these very topics. Stickley, an Attorney in Michigan is also the founder of The Great American Sideshow Co., and The Star-Spangled Circus; two unique attractions that tour festivals and fairs throughout the midwest every summer.

Attorney Keith M. Stickley founded The Stickley Law Firm, PLLC in 2017 as a full-service firm specializing in criminal defense and civil litigation. Prior to his career as a member of the bar, Stickley toured the world as a stand-up comedian and magician spending 9 months a year on the road.

In addition to his law practice, Stickley and his wife founded The Great American Sideshow Co., and The Star-Spangled Circus; two touring circus attractions that tour festivals and fairs throughout the Midwest every summer.

Doug Burtch

T.J. Schmidt & Company

Social Unrest & Incident Actions Plans: Are you prepared?

This session will cover topics related to emergency management plans. Attendees will receive tips and insights on how to handle emergency incidents as they unfold. Pre-event planning, mitigation techniques and establishing communication with key law enforcement and emergency planning services well ahead of your event…it’s an OSHA requirement! Are you prepared?

Panel Discussion: Doug Burtch, Chief Operations Officer T.J. Schmidt Carnival; Ken Mattei, Gaylord
Area Chamber of Commerce/Gaylord AlpenFest; John Deming Otsego County Emergency Management

Burt Mason and Megan Cairns

Burt Mason – Baraga County Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Megan Cairns – National Blueberry Festival

Thinking outside of the box, adding new COVID friendly activities to your event.

Ray Pulver

Upbeat Parade Productions, LLC

Creating Excitement for Your Parade

Looking for more entries for your parade?  Something different?  Find out how to research entries to add to the fun, color and excitement of your parade.  This workshop discusses the entertainment value of a parade, the content to make a parade more entertaining and how to obtain fun and creative entries.  The workshop will also provide ideas on how to have your parade if COVID-19 is still with us into the near future.

Megan Cairns & Burt Mason

Megan Cairns – National Blueberry Festival

Burt Mason –

Riding the Waves – or Waterfalls – digging deep into creativity during 2020

Mix of story telling and ideas sharing on how to help your team do the hard work of creativity during difficult times.

Convention Sponsors