As president of ISES Rhode Island, Filomena Felix leads the chapter, which was founded in 2002 to serve the greater Providence and Newport areas. ISES RI was the recipient of ISES “Chapter of the Year” 2010-2011. After a 23 year career in textiles, Filomena entered the special events industry. She worked part time with one of the area’s top planners and shortly after joined a specialty linen company full time for 4 years before joining Rentals Unlimited to develop their Rhode Island business. Filomena is now Vice President of Sales at Rentals Unlimited. Having previously been a member of ISES New England, it was a natural transition to get involved with ISES Rhode Island. Filomena has served as President – Elect 2011-2012, Vice President of Programs and Education 2008-2010 and Director of Programs and Education for 2007-2008 for ISES Rhode Island. Filomena also serves on ISES International Events Committee 2011-2012. She will also be a speaker at ISES Eventworld in Dallas this August. Her passion for the industry has brought her to several of The Special Event Conferences where she has been a speaker various times. Her dedication has been recognized by the ISES Rhode Island chapter and she became a recipient of the “Rising Star” award. When not working, Filomena enjoys family and friends and traveling with her husband and daughter who recently graduated from college.
ISES RI Leadership and Board of Directors
A true hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience in management for corporate and luxury properties, Donna is the Director of Sales & Catering for Twin River Casino, Rhode Island's top tourist attraction, a 500,000 square-foot gaming, dining and entertainment facility located in Lincoln, RI. Donna first joined Twin River Casino in 2007 as the Sales Manager following 14 years at Foxwoods Resorts Casino (Mashantucket, CT), where she held a variety of management positions within the Food & Beverage Department including Assistant Director of F&B and Director of Beverage Operations. In addition, Donna owned and operated The Eatery at The Days Inn (Mystic, CT) and has held management positions at the AAA four-diamond Saybrook Point Inn & Spa (Old Saybrook, CT), Radisson Hotel (New London, CT), The Mystic Hilton (Mystic, CT), The Flood Tide Restaurant (Mystic, CT) and City Lights (Providence, RI). An active member of ISES since 2007, Donna was recognized as 2009-2010 Outstanding Member; 2011-2012 Presidents Award; and 2011-2012 Outstanding Strategic Partner for her service to ISES Rhode Island Chapter. She has served as 2010-2011 Programs & Education Director of Strategic Partnerships; 2011-2012 Director of Administration & Registration and has served on the Committees for the ISES Rhode Island 2007-2008, 2010-2011, 2011-2012 Year End Gala’s; 2010-2011 ISES FX & 2011-2012 ISES EXPOsed as well as the 2009-2010; 2010-2011, 2011-2012 Halloween Bash. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University (where she also received a post graduate Certificate of Appreciation for the curriculum process, known as DACUM), Donna is affiliated with a number of distinguished industry groups and associations. Donna enjoys entertaining, cooking, fine wine, boating, golf, laughing with friends and family time with her husband and three children.
Bryan Sawyer is the Director of Special Events for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. In his role, Bryan oversees all of the Foundation's public awareness and fundraising events, as well as, day-to-day operations of the foundation. Within his role, Bryan is the Executive Producer of the Foundation's signature event, Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life(tm). This breast cancer awareness event brings over 100,000 people to the City of Providence each October. Previously, Bryan was the Director of Special Events for the famed art installation WaterFire Providence. Bryan specializes in Event Production Management, Technical Production Management & Operations Management. Bryan has consulted on a number of projects for local non-profits and lectures about Event Management and Hospitality Management for local associations and universities. Bryan has been a member of the International Special Events Society (ISES) since 2005. He has served for many years on the Rhode Island chapter's board as the Director of Administration (2 terms), VP of Membership (2 terms), President-Elect (1 term) and as chapter President. Bryan graduated from Johnson & Wales University (Providence, RI) in 2005 with a degree in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Event/Entertainment Management. His passion is in Public Event/Festival Management. He has consulted for a number of non-profit organizations and lectures about special events and public event management for such groups as the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island and Johnson & Wales University.
Jenny is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor degree in Sports, Entertainment & Event Management and a concentration in Sales & Meeting Management and a Masters of Business Administration in Global Business Leadership Marketing. She has been volunteering and working in the event industry since 2002. The majority of her professional career has been with Johnson & Wales University in event related positions. Recently Jenny was promoted to Director of University Events. Her responsibilities include managing and executing a variety of events supported through the Chancellor’s Office and developing new processes and systems for event management university wide. She is constantly seeking ways to improve the University events service model and implementing innovative ideas for special events. Jenny contributes much of her experience in the event industry to her volunteer work with several Rhode Island based event production companies and non-profit organizations. She is an active and committed member of the Rhode Island chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES), currently serving as that chapter’s Vice President of Communications, and has recently been appointed to serve on an ISES International Committee.
Allison is an Event Manager for ATR/Treehouse, New England's number one resource for Audio-Visual Sales, Rentals, and Installations, and Production Services. Allison’s membership with ISES-RI began as a student in 2005. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Sport, Entertainment, and Event Management from Johnson & Wales University, she became involved by serving on the Programs & Education, and Halloween Bash committees. In 2009, she was selected as the chapter’s Merit Scholarship recipient, granting her the experience of attending ISES EventWorld in San Francisco. Inspired by the innovation and creativity of professionals around the world - and especially her experience with our own fabulous local event designers - Allison enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design’s continuing education program for Interior Design certification. She has visited the University of Rhode Island’s event management class, and Johnson & Wales University as guest speaker for the college’s Special Events Society, as a professional guest judge of student class competitions, and as a participant in her degree’s alumni review. This is Allison’s third term on the board of directors.
Kristin began her hospitality career in historic Newport, Rhode Island. Her creativity is coupled with a diverse wealth of experience gained over 10 years in the hospitality industry; from customer service, event management and catering sales, specializing in full service event planning and design. She has maintained a strong affiliation with the industry association market and has been an active member with ISES RI since 2006.
Kristin has planned and serviced over 500 weddings and receptions and coordinates every detail in each of her events to match your personality and style with the area's most talented industry professionals to create an event truly as unique as you are. Her passion and enthusiasm for her work have earned her a reputation for impeccable service and precise attention to detail. With the opening of Details with Love in 2008, she continually strives to inspire and create those memorable experiences you and your guests will cherish forever.
Venessa Hoyle has had a passion for the luxury wedding and event industry ever since junior year of college, when she made the transfer from her state school to major in Sports & Event Management at Johnson and Wales University. During her time at the University, Venessa took every opportunity to expose herself to all facets of the hospitality industry including working as a Service Agent for the Westin Providence and as a Marketing Intern for Grace Ormonde magazine. After college, it only seemed natural for Venessa to forge her final co-op with the luxury event boutique event company Longwood Events, where Venessa started her career as the Sales and Marketing Assistant and worked her way up to Event Manager in a matter of three years. Venessa has recently accepted a promotion to Senior Event Specialist at the glamorous seaside venue Belle Mer located in Newport, RI.
Nichole Wardle is a seasoned hospitality professional with a focus in the lifestyle/luxury event market. Nichole is currently the Director of Sales for two Longwood properties, Belle Mer in Newport and Wychmere in Cape Cod. She first joined Longwood in 2007 and has had the opportunity to open two venues with the company. Like most employees at Longwood Nichole shares the love of style, design, food, wine, and anything New England and aims to channel it in every product and service the company provides. Nichole aims to be a people pleaser. The best part about her job is hearing “this is the best event I’ve ever been too”. This is what keeps her passion and excitement for events and hospitality alive. Outside of Longwood Nichole also teaches at the University of Rhode Island. Her courses consist of Introduction to Event Management as well as Social Media Strategies and Tactics for the PR Practitioner. She likes to bring real world experience to the classroom and get the students prepared for the workforce. ISES has been a great platform for her students so much so that she joined this Board for the first time this year. Nichole is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (where she met her husband) and received her MBA from Bryant University. A true blue Rhode Islander who is excited to show her two small children everything this amazing state has to offer.
As President/Co-Owner of Future Affairs Productions, Terry Mulryan Toomey has been offering superior client services in the special events industry since 1984. Her business is one of New England’s largest premier event designs, decorating and planning companies. Originally from Boston, FA-Pro moved into its current headquarters with over 25000 square feet facility in East Providence, Rhode Island in 1995. No matter what type of event you are planning she is ready! Terry’s energy and passion is seen through the genuine care that is given to each client and every colleague. She’s won the Special Events Gala Award for the best wedding of 2008, Nominated in 2010 for Best produced event for a corporate or association and was chosen as a finalist by Event Solutions Magazine for the 2010 Spotlight Award for Event Planner of the Year and 2012 Nominated for Esprit of the Year by ISES International. Terry’s goal at Future Affairs Productions is to determine the needs of every client and then find a YES! When asked what you love, Terry said “I love my music & my gardens. I love hanging out with my hubby, my daughter and our amazing circle of friends, spending as much time as I can with my dad (who also loves to sing) great food, great company and mix all of that together with a great cabernet, perfect”.
Allison Pangakis is a 2008 graduate of Johnson & Wales where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Sports/ Entertainment and Event Management. Since 2008 she has worked for multiple companies; planning, managing and producing events across the country. She has been a member of ISES for 7 years and currently holds the Director Of Membership position for ISES Rhode Island.
a recent graduate from Bryant University, has always had a passion for event
planning. As a finance major in college, she spent three years working in the
Bryant University Office of Conferences and Special Events as a student
coordinator. It was at this time she was introduced to ISES and joined as
a student member. Kim has also worked as an Advertising and Events Assistant
for Peter Jacobsen Sports, working to plan the CVS Caremark Charity Classic,
and as the Major Gifts Event Intern at the United Way of Rhode Island. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
graduating college, Kim accepted the position of Conferences and Special Events
Coordinator in the Office of Conferences and Special Events at Bryant. When
asked what she likes about her job, she responded, “It feels like home. I work
in an office with people I love, doing a job I love, at an institution that I
love…it doesn’t get much better.”