Meet The 2021 Speakers
Founder / Creative Director, Amy Zaroff Events + Design
Myriad career paths have led Amy Zaroff to this high point in life. An early career as a television producer and later as a marketing director allowed Amy to refine her skills in design, planning and time management. Along with her husband, Amy fine-tuned her innate skills in event planning at their authentic, New York-style delicatessen. In 2004, she purchased the invitation, stationery and gift store, Give My Regards To, and added full-service event planning to the company’s repertoire of services. Over the next several years, Amy began to build an all encompassing event planning company that would deliver exceptional customer service by working intimately with clients to understand every aspect of their special event. By channeling years of experience in marketing, design, catering and event planning into one endeavor, Amy and her team have become known as the prime source for creating life’s most memorable experiences as Amy Zaroff Events + Design. Her company now handles social, corporate and non-profit events including experiential marketing activations across the country. Amy currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Minnesota Events Coalition and #ShareTheMicMN. She prevously served on the boards of Appetite for Change, Pab's Packs and The Birthday Party Project. Amy was recently named one of the 100 people to know in Minnesota by Twin Cities Business Magazine and a Best Planner in America by Brides Magazine. Amy volunteers for several local agencies and organizations, offering pro-bono event planning for Twin Cities non-profits that benefit women and children.
Senior Economic Impact Analyst at University of Minnesota Extension
A member of the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, Brigid conducts analyses and writes reports for the program for the Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) program. Since 2008, the EIA program has issued numerous studies, covering a variety economic sectors in Minnesota - including tourism, education, manufacturing, retail, infrastructure, and local foods. Studies of festivals and events include a Classic Car Roll-In in southern Minnesota, bonspiels on the Iron Range, and Vikings training camp.
CEO, Hennes Communication
Bruce Hennes is CEO of Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in North America focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Hennes Communications serves corporations, government agencies, manufacturers, larger nonprofits, education and healthcare institutions -- as well as law firms and their clients -- that are “on trial” in the Court of Public Opinion.
With over 40 years’ experience in communications, Bruce and the firm’s past and present clients include the American Public Power Association, Avery Dennison, Goodyear, Kent State University and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as scores of law firms and municipalities across the continent.
Bruce has served for eleven years on the executive committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and he’s an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. And in 1967, he had second row seats for the Janis Joplin concert and sixth row for Jimi Hendrix when both played in Cleveland.
Bruce A. Smiley-Kaliff
Managing General Agent and Senior Underwriter, Kaliff Insurance
Bruce A. Smiley-Kaliff, CFEE has been employed by Kaliff Insurance since 2001. He was appointed Executive Vice President in 2005 and became Managing General agent in 2011 and Senior Program Underwriter. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Festivals and Events Association, the Texas Association of Fairs and Events and is a Certified Festival and Event Executive. Bruce has been a member of the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, Santa Rosa Foundation, Bexar County Development Corporation, Eastside San Antonio Development Agency and the ThriveWell Cancer Foundation, Jewish Family Services of San Antonio and has served as the Mayor of a Texas City. Bruce also serves on various other service and philanthropic endeavors. He is formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Bascom Companies, an international hotel development, and management corporation. Bruce teaches associations nationally on how to manage risk and limit their exposure to liability. Bruce's experience prepares him to assist the company's strategic plans for the future to maintain Kaliff Insurance's dominance of the markets for the protection of its clients and events.
Assistant Commissioner, Health Protection Bureau, Minnesota Department of Health
Daniel (Dan) Huff received his BA with a major in Biology from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and his Masters in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute at theUniversity of Minnesota. Dan has over 25 years of experience in the public and private nonprofit sectors of education, environmental health and public health. He started his career as a high school science teacher where he received many teaching awards for his energy and creativity in the classroom. During his time with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, Dan worked with local governments and residents in promoting best practices to protect surface and drinking water. This work continued in his role as Watershed Protection Director at the Friends of the Mississippi River. Dan joined the City of Minneapolis to coordinate its Sustainability Initiative in 2006. He served multiple roles at the City including six years as Minneapolis’ Director of Environmental Health. Dan joined the Minnesota Department ofHealth in 2019 as the Assistant Commissioner of Health Protection. Dan is passionate about public service, public health, racial justice and making government work for everyone. Dan’s most proud accomplishment is being father to two amazing kids and spouse to a wonderful partner. In his free time, Dan loves to be outdoors, especially in his canoe.
Co-Founder / CEO, Street Factory Media, Inc.
Matthew Kelly is Co-Founder and CEO of Street Factory Media, Inc., a national experiential marketing agency headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and offices in Portland, Dallas, and Tampa. SFM provides many of the biggest brands, and their agencies, a vast assortment of experiential services. Ranging from event activations, content development and capture, set fabrication, creative services, and non-traditional media opportunities. Prior to founding SFM in 2003, Matt was Co-Founder and CEO of Cycle Sport International, Inc., a sports marketing agency that developed and managed professional cycling team properties that competed on a global level. It was during this time where he had the opportunity to study the intersection of brands and logistics, which helped develop the approach for SFM. Matt proudly served six years on the Board of Directors at CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, and currently on the Board of Trustees at City of the Lakes Waldorf School.
Executive Director, Bentleyville Tour of Lights
Nathan was born, raised and resides in Northern Minnesota with his wife Tricia of 30 years along with 3 doddles spending most summer months at their lake home in Grand Rapids. Nathan has 4 grown children and one grandchild. He spends 4 months a year traveling the world visiting some 43 countries. Most often time is spent in Southeast Asia in the country of Laos renovating countryside schools and building roads. Nathan is the President of Advantage Emblem & Screen Printing in Duluth, a company he started 33 years ago. In 2001, Nathan began putting up holiday light at his home in Esko, MN. His personality of going over the top with things has grown from a weekend obsession of holiday lights to overseeing one of Minnesota’s most popular outdoor attractions, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights that is hosted annually at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth with yearly attendance of over 300,000 visitors.
CEO, Caravel Marketing, Inc.
Paula is the CEO of Caravel - a national consulting company specializing in sponsorship marketing. Former Minnesotan now Seattleite, Paula is an enthusiastic trailblazer with decades of marketing and sales experience in sponsorship, media, sports, events and entertainment. Paula is also the founder of Sponsorship Mastery – an annual summit and webinar series dedicated to improving individual and organizational sponsorship performance.
Special Event/Festival Producer, Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Sara Collins is an MNFEA board member. Sara is a project management consultant for public festivals and high-touch special events. She has worked extensively in sponsorship over the past 25 year aligning sponsors with opportunities in art, film, music, and entertainment properties.
Steven A. Adelman
Adelman Law Group, PLLC and Vice President, Event Safety Alliance
Steven A. Adelman is head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, and Vice President of the Event Safety Alliance. His practice focuses on risk and safety at live events throughout North America, and he serves as an expert witness in crowd-related lawsuits. Steve Adelman is principal author of the authoritative Crowd Management standard, ANSI ES1.9-2020, and lead author of the Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide, which has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. He is a law professor, author of the “Adelman on Venues” blog, and he recently has served as health and safety director for a series of live events across the United States. Steve Adelman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tourism Specialist, University of Minnesota Tourism Center
Xinyi Qian, Ph.D. has been a Tourism Specialist at University of Minnesota Tourism Center since 2013. Dr. Qian is the lead instructor of the Festival and Event Management online course, an educational program that builds essential knowledge for successfully managing and sustaining a festival/event. Dr. Qian also conducts applied research on a variety of tourism-related topics, including visitor profile survey for tourism destinations, attendee profile survey and attendance estimate for festivals and events, active transportation, sustainable tourism, among others. Dr. Qian received her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management from the Pennsylvania State University.