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Our Story

We are the leading live events association with a vibrant chapter focused on building meaningful relationships through networking, inspiring education and professional development opportunities.


Formally the International Special Events Society, ILEA was founded in 1987 to foster enlightened performance through education while promoting ethical conduct. ILEA works to join event professionals to focus on the "event as a whole" rather than its individual parts.


​After nearly four decades, ILEA is comprised of over 1,500 professionals associated with 40+ chapters in 35 countries around the world who work in the live events industry.

ILEA is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise and experience power some of the most influential live events around the world and locally in Northern California. It is a community centered around celebrating all aspects of live event production and management. This enables our members to deliver the very best work to their clients through collaboration, thought-leadership and idea sharing.


Members include planners/producers, caterers, decorators, audio-visual technicians, entertainers, educators, journalists, photographers and more. And, across a wide spectrum of sectors, including corporate, non-profit, private, sports, tech, tourism, retail, fashion, arts, entertainment, government/politics, education and beyond.

Our Values

  •  Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA): Embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility is at the heart of our organization. We are committed to fostering an environment where every voice is heard, every perspective is valued, and every individual feels respected and included. We are a diverse industry and a diverse community and welcome all of the beautiful differences and contributions that make us unique.

  • Sustainability: We recognize our responsibility to protect the planet and strive to minimize our environmental footprint through sustainable practices and innovative solutions, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come. We are at the forefront of this work in Northern California and partner with many agencies to further our impact.

  • Leadership Development: Developing leaders is a cornerstone of our mission. We invest in the growth and development of our members, empowering them to become visionary leaders who drive positive change within the live events industry and beyond.

  • 2024-2025 To be announced

  • 2022-2024 Hugh Groman (2 Terms)

  • 2021-2022 Ame Hernandez 

  • 2020-2021 Ersson Bartle

  • 2019-2020 Rachel Jacob Barnett

  • 2018-2019 Pam Kanjanmarakul Perez, CSEP

  • 2017-2018 Sintia Kawasaki-Yee

  • 2016-2017 Emily Dreblow

  • 2015-2016 Elaine Jennings

  • 2014-2015 Brad Hansen, CSEP

  • 2013-2014 Heather Phillips, CSEP

  • 2012-2013 Patrick McMichael, CSEP

  • 2011-2012 Valerie Hopple

  • 2010-2011 Morgan Doan, CSEP

  • 2009-2010 Sara Hunt, CSEP

  • 2008-2009 Neil Adams

  • 2006-2008 (2 Terms) Linda Thompson

  • 2005-2006 Ashley Capra

  • 2003-2005 (2 Terms) Kathy Newby

  • 2002-2003 Heather Keenan

  • 2001-2002 Soloman Rosenweig

  • 2000-2001 Carol Leslie

  • 1999-2000 Stephen Revetria

  • 1998-1999 Deedee Garnett

  • 1997-1998 Monte Duran

  • 1996-1997 Susan Kidwell

  • 1995-1996 Gwen Sobolewski

  • 1994-1995 Victorio Karno

  • 1993-1994 Michael Christman

  • 1991-1993 (2 Terms) Mary Frevele

  • 1991 Clarence Rippe, Chapter Founder

Past Chapter Presidents

Don't miss a thing...
Don't miss a thing...
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