BS Wake Forest University
MIBS University of South Carolina
MS University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Timothy Lam’s bio [PDF]
Ph.D. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
BS, M.Ed. Regis University
Dr. Donnell Bayot’s bio [PDF]
BS, MS University of Southern Mississippi
Patti Shock’s bio [PDF]
BS Wake Forest University
Marcus Lam’s bio [PDF]
BA MA Western Kentucky University
Ph.D. candidate ABD University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Sean McCray’s bio [PDF]
BA University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Anthony Lai’s bio [PDF]
BA University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Michael Mercado’s bio [PDF]
Since opening her own company in 2002, Brit Bertino is fast becoming one of the most sought after new wedding and event producers. Brit has attained the Certified Special Events Professional, (CSEP), the hallmark of professional achievement in the special events industry. It is earned through education, performance, experience, and service to the industry, and reflects a commitment to professional conduct and ethics.She is a current ILEA member (International Live Events Society, formally ISES) and is the Past President for the Las Vegas Chapter and she also serves on the International board of WIPA (Wedding Industry Professional Association) as the immediate Past President.
In addition to having a flourishing core event business, Brit has extended her brand to include tools for wedding and event professionals. In the fall of 2011 Brit introduced to the event industry the Totty Belt, (www.tottybelt.com) which is a sleek and trendy tool belt for all event producers and designers.
Based in Las Vegas, NV and Santa Monica, CA during peak seasons, Brit Bertino is the Owner and Director/ Designer. Her company provides professional event management services for any type and size of wedding or social celebration.
LynnAnn’s first job was working in a leather shop in Lake Tahoe. She then rocketed to success serving 19 cent hamburgers, making $1.25 an hour. So when the chance to work in the rare coin business arose, she saw it as an escape route, never knowing that 10 years later she would have traveled the world, learned the print business, run coin auctions, and actually knew her history. She then parlayed that print background into running her own typesetting and design company for 14 years. LynnAnn joined MGM Mirage in 2000 overseeing the Graphic Arts department. Under her leadership, the department evolved into a full-service creative design team. In 2005, LynnAnn became Vice President of MGM Mirage Events, now MGM Resorts Event Productions. With her left brain, she oversees the ever-growing business. With her right, she creatively leaves the design of magnificent décor to those far more talented than she.LynnAnn is a member of the International Society of Special Events and is a past president, board member, and honorary life member of the local chapter of Women in Communication. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Angelica Palladino has been employed in various capacities with the Four Seasons Hotel Group for the past 20 years. She started her Four Seasons career in Berlin and has since worked at many high-profile tourist destinations including Hawaii, Vail, and Las Colinas. Angelica has served in a myriad of management positions within the Group and is currently the General Manager for Four Seasons Hotel – Seattle. Angelica graduated from a hotel school in Germany and was immediately placed into an apprenticeship program working at various fine dining establishments including several Michelin star awarded restaurants. She was immersed into the world of hospitality from the day she was born. Growing up in a small town inside Germany, food played a major role in her upbringing. Angelica learned that every meal should be celebrated thus leading her into a career in Food and Beverage Management.
As an avid foodie, Angelica acknowledges that she will always have a love for food and beverage, however, she is equally thrilled by hotels and understanding “how all the pieces work together.” Every guest encounter is an opportunity for her to create extraordinary experiences and memories that last a lifetime.
Tyler Stewart has been employed with Las Vegas Sands Corporation since 2005 and has served various sales and leadership roles at their properties including The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center. In his current role as Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Accounts, Tyler leads the sales effort for groups and conventions. As a result, The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center is home to some of the largest corporate events in the United States, as well as 10 of the Top 100 tradeshows around the world.
Tyler is involved in various industry associations including the Professional Convention Management Association, Meetings Professional International, and the International Association of Exhibition and Events. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and the Aspen Institute First Movers Fellowship Program, the leading global network for professional development of corporate social intrapreneurs. Tyler is a passionate hospitality advocate, change agent, and dynamic sales leader within the hospitality sales Industry.
Please contact us if you are interested in scheduling any of our instructors as a guest speaker.
Cecilia AllredClifford AndersonNelandra AnselmoDr. Donnell BayotBrit BertinoDebbie BrumfieldKenny ChoGabriella CoteTara CumminsJames FiltzShirley FugazzottoScott FujinagaAnna HerselJerome JeannestCarolyn Kelly-SheltonTimothy LamShauna LedermanSean McCrayPatricia NormanKate PatayPatrick PeelJeff PetersonChaz PlumleyPatti ShockCheryl SgovioRebecca StebbinsLenny TalaricoJanice Tabuso TanakaMichael TestagrossaKelly ThompsonEden Viray
Cecilia Allred CHE, CHC, Les Clefs d’Or is Manager of Concierge Services for the Venetian|Palazzo, and has served as president of the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association. She worked much of her adult life as a respiratory care practitioner before choosing a different path in hospitality that lead her to concierge as a career and passion.
Clifford is the Chef Concierge at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the Delano Las Vegas. He was previously the Assistant Chef Concierge of both Mandalay Bay and at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. A member of Les Clefs d’Or USA, he is a former President for the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association.
Nelandra Anselmo is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Certified Job and Career Development Coach and Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE). With over 17 years of HR experience, she has served as Director of Human Resources with Station Casinos (Fiesta Casino & Hotel) and Cannery Casino Resorts (Rampart Casino and Cannery Casino & Hotel). She has also held management positions within other hospitality organizations, including Coast Casinos, in the areas of employee relations, health and wellness and organizational learning and development. Nelandra is the founder of True Core Business Wellness, a coaching and consulting firm that offers human resource consulting services and individual career and transition coaching. In this role, she has had the opportunity to work as a speaker, facilitator, instructor, consultant and coach as she continues to assist individual clients and client organizations to maintain healthy relationships and productive work environments.
Donnell is the Director of Academic Affairs at The International School of Hospitality. He started his professional career as a clinical researcher in the pharmaceutical industry. Donnell currently serves as a Commissioner for ACCET: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training, Past National President for the 4,000 member National Association for Catering & Events (NACE), Board of Advisor member of the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association (SNHCA) and Board member of the Innovations International Charter School of Nevada. Prior to his current position at TISOH, he was the Director of Religious Education for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas. Donnell is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), a Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) and holds a Ph.D. in Workforce Development and Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the Founding President of the Las Vegas New Century Lions Club. Donnell is recipient of the highly prestigious Event Industry Council Pacesetter Award in 2014. Operationally, he is actively involved in the conference, event, wedding and hotel industries through industry and association participation. Donnell is an event planner at heart, having planned numerous conferences, social, and corporate events large and small over the years.
Celebrity wedding planner on R&B Divas 2014
Event Solutions Spotlight Award Nominee for Event Planner of the Year 2013
Wedding Wire’s Brides Choice Award – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Platinum List – 2008, 2009
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 The Knot Pick Best of Weddings Award
The Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame 2014
Brit is a graduate of both the Conference Management & Event Planning and Wedding Coordination & Design Certificate programs at TISOH. She is the Principal of PowerEvents, Simply Weddings and Brit Bertino Event Excellence. Brit currently sits on the National Board of WIPA: Wedding Industry Professional Association. She was previously the President of the Las Vegas Chapter of ILEA: The International Live Events Association. She is a Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP).
Debbie is the Director of Citywide Concierge for Caesars Entertainment. She is in charge of the concierge departments at all Caesars resorts in Las Vegas. Debbie was formerly the Director of Guest Services at the Alicart Restaurant Group. She was formerly the Chef Concierge of the world famous Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. For 11 years, she was the trainer for Concierge Services at The Venetian & Palazzo Resort Hotel Casinos in Las Vegas. Previously, she was also the Assistant Chef Concierge of the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Debbie was a former President of the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association (SNHCA) and has held board positions for ten years. In January 2008, Debbie received the designation of CHE (Certified Hospitality Educator) from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. She is a member of the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or USA, the only national association of professional concierges in the United States.
Kenny Cho, CHE is the Executive Director of Housekeeping, EVS and Uniform Controls at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. He graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration, Magna Cum Laude. He was selected to participate in MGM Resorts International’s Management Associates Program (Management Training Program) as well as DIRECT Program (Program helping department heads to promote to Director Level). He has held various positions in the industry including Director of Housekeeping and EVS, Assistant Hotel Manager, Assistant Executive Housekeeper, Transportation Manager, and Gaming Surveillance Operator.
Gabriella Cote, CHE is the founder and President of Fit 2 Be Wed, Inc. and is Catering Sales Manager at the Alexis Park Resort. She was previously Catering Sales Manager at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort, Sr. Wedding Planner at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino for five years and Convention Services Manager at Caesars Palace for four years, Ms Cote has been a part of over 2,000 weddings and special events in Las Vegas over the past 10 years. In addition, she is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) with The International School of Hospitality where she teaches Wedding Design and Coordination. Also to her credit she has been featured on the nationally televised Platinum Weddings shown on WeTv and, is the author of “LAS VEGAS WEDDINGS: Insider Secrets Revealed (available on Amazon). Gabriella is the President of WIPA (Wedding International Professionals Association)- Las Vegas Chapter.
A well-respected leader in the field of hospitality human resources, Tara Cummins brings an enthusiasm that is contagious. With more than 20+ years of experience, she has a passion for teaching and developing people. Tara built her career working for industry leaders like Wyndham Vacation Ownership (now Wyndham Destinations), The Westin Las Vegas Hotel and Spa, MGM Resorts International, and Station Casinos. In each role, she made an impact in associate engagement, labor and employee relations, recruiting, and learning and development. She has worked side-by-side with amazing operations leaders and earned her seat at the table. Her biggest takeaway is to always lead with integrity, kindness, and strength. Tara is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Michigan State University.
James, alumni of the Culinary Institute of America, is the Director of Catering at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans Hotel. He was previously the Director of Catering at the Loews New Orleans Hotel and for Yale University. Prior, he was Convention Services Manager at the Sheraton New York Hotel, Manager of Weddings and Catering & Convention Manager for the Venetian and Palazzo Resorts in Las Vegas. He is currently Treasurer for the National Association for Catering & Events. James has a CPCE (Certified Professional in Catering and Events) designation from NACE. He also holds the first-level certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and is working on certification to become a Certified Sommelier.
Shirley Fugazzotto is owner and creative designer of the Stellar Experience, a boutique Event Design and Production Company, serving corporate clients for the past 7 years in the Las Vegas market. Before creating the Stellar Experience, Shirley held director and management positions in several prestigious Las Vegas properties, in the areas of Weddings, Catering, Sales, and Convention Center Special Events. Shirley served for several years on the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Chapter of the International Live Events Association, and is a Past President of ILEA Las Vegas. She has earned the Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) designation, and has been an active mentor for those considering advancing in the hospitality industry. In 2010, she received the designation of CHE (Certified Hospitality Educator) from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
Scott Fujinaga has worked in the industry for many years, in various positions from Star Meeting Concierge to Front Desk Manager to Business Transient Sales Manager. He is currently Leisure Sales Executive with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
A proud native of the Las Vegas valley, Anna Hersel returned to her hometown in 2005 after completing her studies in Marketing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Anna joined The Venetian in August of that year as a front office agent. She has vast experience in hotel operations including group operations, concierge, VIP, and butler services. In 2010, Anna spent three months in Singapore as part of the opening team for the Marina Bay Sands property. In her current role as Director of Concierge Services, Anna oversees 55 team members responsible for crafting unique and memorable experiences for their esteemed guests. In December of 2015, Anna completed her Executive Masters in Business Administration from the Lee Business School at UNLV. Anna is a board member for the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association currently serving as Director of Communications.
Jerome is the Director of Training for Topgolf Las Vegas. He was previously Chef Concierge for the Downtown Grand Las Vegas, the Director of Concierge and Guest Services at the SLS Beverly Hills. Prior he also served as Assistant Chef Concierge at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Chef Concierge of the Venetian and Palazzo Resorts, Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City, the Sofitel Los Angeles, Park Hyatt Los Angeles among others.
Carolyn Kelly-Shelton is an experienced Human Resources Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Carolyn is skilled in budgeting, compensation, team building, public speaking, and management. Carolyn received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management focused in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.
Timothy is a bilingual hospitality and marketing professional with a BS in Business Management from Wake Forest University, a Master of International Business degree focusing in International Marketing from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Science degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has hotel management experience from Caesars Palace and has served as the Director of TISOH since its founding. Tim is the recipient of the 2008 and 2010 Spirit of NACE awards and 2018 Educator of the Year from the National Association for Catering & Events, Las Vegas Chapter. He has served as Program Co-Chair of NACE-Las Vegas, the Board of Advisors for the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association and Bizbash- Las Vegas. Formerly, he served as the founding Professional Development Committee Chair of the Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA). He is a Past President of the Foundation of NACE and a former Board of Director for the Nevada Restaurant Association. Tim was named in 2018 to the Top 50 Most Intriguing Alum list of the Harrah Hospitality College of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and also to BizBash’s Top 500 People in Events.
Shauna Lederman is currently the Director of Sales & Special Events for estiatorio Milos at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Shauna has been in the event industry for over 17 years and in the food & beverage industry for 25 years. She has a wealth of experience in both the social and corporate markets and loves building relationships and seeing an event from concept to fruition.
Shauna graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in May of 2001 with a BS in Hospitality, focusing on Food & Beverage. She loves having the opportunity to share her commitment and enthusiasm for the craft and giving back. She has participated in the Hotel College’s Mentor Program for several years, earning the John Yaskin Mentor Award in 2013.
Serving on the NACE board for over 10 years and holding several positions on the board, including President, Shauna currently serves as an Assistant Director on the board for LVHA (Las Vegas Hospitality Association) and is the incoming President for Wish Upon A Wedding, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that grants weddings and vow renewals to couples facing serious illness or a life-altering circumstance.
Sean McCray is the Associate Director of Academic Affairs for The International School of Hospitality (TISOH) in Las Vegas, Nevada. McCray joined TISOH in 2014 to review, revise and update curriculum content in collaboration with instructors and industry professionals to ensure students learn the cutting-edge skills needed to launch or advance their careers in hospitality. In 2016 he was promoted to Associate Director to assist the school in achieving its strategic goals. McCray brings to TISOH a wealth of experience in continuing and adult education from his time as Assistant Director of the Academic Advising and Retention Center at Western Kentucky University. There, he created and implemented an online tutoring program to allow real-time academic assistance for distance and nontraditional students. He also conducted research on best practices in supplemental education.
During his tenure at Western Kentucky, McCray designed, implemented and managed the expansion of two learning center satellite locations. Under his leadership, the centers received certification from the College Reading and Learning
Association, an international association of college and university professors and faculty who give practical application to their research and promote the implementation of innovative strategies to enhance student learning and professional growth.
McCray served as president of the Ohio River Valley Region College Reading and Learning Association from October 2007 to May 2009; he was a member and Chair of MPI Volunteer Task Forces in 2016 and 2017; has participated in numerous On-Site Accreditation audits for ACCET, and currently serves on the Education Committee for NHLA. McCray has authored numerous white papers, literary reviews and conference presentations. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from Western Kentucky. He is expected to earn his doctorate in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2019. At UNLV, he worked as a part-time English instructor, graduate assistant and assistant to the coordinator for the Modernist Studies Association 14 Conference in Las Vegas.
For more than 20 years, Patricia has been the Director of Meeting and Conference Planning for the National Medical Association. She has served on the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau advisory boards for Hawaii and Baltimore. She has also been a member of the Multicultural Advisory Board for Hilton Hotels Corporation and served on the Board of Directors for the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners.
Kate Patay, CPCE, Chief Strategy Officer of Patay Consulting is an international speaker & consultant, SEPA Advisor and Lecturer at The International School of Hospitality in Las Vegas. She’s been a recognized industry professional and influencer for nearly 20 years in many facets of special events, and has served on the boards of numerous industry organizations. She currently speaks for and coaches some of the top leaders and companies in our industry and beyond.
In 2015 she was honored with the coveted Pacesetter Award from the Events Industry Council (formerly the CIC) and an Esprit Award from ILEA for her work in the Green Sector of Events. In 2016 she received the Event Solutions Spotlight Award for Innovation and Special Events Magazine named her as one of the Top 20 Under 40. Smart Meetings named her as one of the Top Meeting Professionals of 2017 and she is consistently in the top ranks of #EventProfs in North America as ranked by Eventopedia.
Kate has also been nominated as Nevada’s Saleswoman of the Year, Citizen of the Year and 2017 20 Under 40, in addition to being honored as not only the Most Influential Person In Northern Nevada by the Top 100 Influencers, but as the “Person to Know” by the Reno Gazette Journal.
She is a frequent contributor and speaker for Smart Meetings, The Event Manager Blog, The National Association for Catering & Events, The Special Event, Catersource, The American Rental Association, Wedding International Professionals Association, The International Live Events Association, Meeting Professionals International, Wedding MBA, The Association of Bridal Consultants, The Event Planners Association and various other conferences, organizations and companies.
Patrick is an award-winning designer specializing in large-scale special events – including concept design, décor and experiential entertainment. Originally from Texas, he is a graduate of San Francisco State University and is currently the Creative Services Manager for Hello! Las Vegas. Patrick Peel has had the pleasure of designing events for various top tier clients and looks forward to making a bigger impact within the Las Vegas Community through designing events.
Jeff Peterson has over 14 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including positions at Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Vacation Club and Trump International Hotel. He has held leadership position in Human Resources, most recently as Director of Human resources, and leadership position in Security/Loss Prevention. He specializes in talent development and has a passion for seeing people progress in their careers. Prior to hotels, Jeff worked in leadership roles in the retail industry. Jeff is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management 9SHRM) and serves on the board of directors of the Southern Nevada SHRM Chapter (SNVSHRM) as Professional Development Chair. He holds both SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Professional in Human Resources-California (PHR-CA) certifications.
Chaz Plumley earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration from UNLV. He worked as Housekeeping Manager and Front Desk Manager at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas and has also sear served as Hotel Operations Manager at the Bellagio Resort and Casino. He is currently a Meetings Manager at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Patti J. Shock, CPCE, is the Academic Consultant for The International School of Hospitality. She holds the rank of Professor Emeritus from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she taught Catering and Conventions for over 25 years. Previously, she taught at Georgia State University for 10 years, and currently teaches online for Florida International University.
She has written several books, which are used widely in colleges worldwide.
Among her many awards, she was named the first NACE ICON from the National Association for Catering and Events, and was inducted into the Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders in 2014. Additional information is available on LinkedIn.com
For more info on Patti, visit her LinkedIn page.
Cheryl Sgovio, CPCE is the Director of Catering and Convention Sales for the Thomas & Mack Center, Cox Pavilion and Sam Boyd Stadium. She is responsible for booking all private events in the three venues, with combined space of over 150,000 square feet, as well as overseeing all Catering for public events, averaging over 2,300 individual events per year. Cheryl was the founding Vice President, then President of the Las Vegas Chapter of NACE.
Rebecca brings a wealth of knowledge and thirteen years of catering, event and wedding planning experience to the TISOH faculty. She is currently Director of Celebrations for the Venetian and Palazzo Resorts in Las Vegas. She has held catering and event planning positions at eight different corporate entities, including Catering and Conference Manager at the Venetian/Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino and Corporate Sales Manager at the Goodwin Hotel. She is a CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) and member of the Las Vegas Wedding Network. In 2010, she received the designation of CHE (Certified Hospitality Educator) from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
Lenny is the Executive Director of Events for MGM Resorts Event Productions. Lenny‘s involvement in the industry has spanned 20+ years. He is actively involved in the industry, has served as the president of ILEA Las Vegas. Lenny sits on the Biz Bash Magazine Advisory Board. He was an ILEA International MARCOM Committee member, provided content to the ILEA International e-news letter. He obtained his CSEP certification in 2005. He is a proponent for education in the field of events and entertainment. Lenny is a founding producer member of IACEP, International Association of Corporate Entertainment Producers, and teaches at TISOH in Las Vegas. He was part of the MGM Resorts Events Team to be honored with a GALA Award for Best Corporate Event, and has personally been honored with numerous WESTIE-Awards.
Most recently Lenny and his team produced the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders Gala and was honored with an International ESPRIT Award in August of 2014. Lenny has been the recepient of a Spotlight Award for Event Planner of the Year thru Event Solutions Magazine.
His connection to the events and entertainment community in Las Vegas is long standing. Lenny has lived in Las Vegas for the past 20 years, a majority of which was spent performing and entertaining on the Las Vegas strip. He appeared at Caesars Palace, the Dunes, the Sands, the Desert Inn & the Mint. He opened the MGM Grand, the Venetian Resort, the Rio, the Mirage and the Bellagio.
Interspersed during his performance career he quietly began a career in the special event industry. He worked for both the Calvin Klein and Estee Lauder companies as the Regional Event Coordinator. He directed the entertainment for the opening night party of the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, and has served as Personal Shopper for the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” while the show filmed in Las Vegas.
The school is grateful to Lenny for taking charge of the planning for the design lab.
Janice Tanaka, PHR, SHRM-CP is the Director of Career Development for MGM Resorts International. In her role, she executes Global and Regional business objectives and priorities that drives Internal Talent Development. She is also the Creator of Calm, Cool & Confident, a training and consulting business designed for multi-passionate professionals who want to find their voice, own their story and magnetize their message.
Janice is an accomplished HR and L&D professional with over 15 years of experience in varying industries including hospitality, manufacturing, sales and public service. With Janice’s dynamic, engaging and motivating style, she’s empowered hundreds of employees and leaders through personal and professional development workshops, coaching and speaking engagements. When’s she’s not pursuing her passion for serving people, she enjoys karaoke singing, dancing, yoga, food and travel.
Born and raised in New York City, NY and most recently, lived in Honolulu, HI, Janice and her family now reside here in Las Vegas, NV. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Relations in Organizations and Minor Certificate in Speech Communications from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Michael is currently employed at the iconic Caesars Palace Las Vegas in Catering and Convention Services. His role includes coordinating events for convention groups, socials, Weddings, and special events.
Michael’s earned his Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Manager from Kansas State University while working in one of the dining centers serving 1200 students. His background includes 30 years of experience in hospitality including fine-dining restaurants, hotel and offsite catering, banquets, and catering sales. During his tenure working in Dining Services at Kansas State University, he produced award-winning events with a focus on menu planning, theme development, event design, and service coordination. He also assisted in teaching the service styles and the final project for the Food Production Course.
For the past fourteen years he has worked in Las Vegas at venues including JW Marriott and Hilton Lake Las Vegas. In 2008, he began teaching at the International School of Hospitality in the Wedding Coordination and Design Course, and helped redevelop the course curriculum and online course. He has also taught classes in Hotel Operations, Leadership, and Conference and Meeting Event Planning. He is also a Design Consultant for JMT Eventology, a Las Vegas based Wedding and Event Coordination and Design Company.
In 2009 he was voted as the Wedding Professional of the Year and is considered one of the leading Las Vegas Wedding professionals in Las Vegas For the past five years he has received numerous awards for best booth design for bridal shows and his venues earned awards for best ceremony site and best wedding venue in Las Vegas.
Michael currently serves as Immediate President of the Las Vegas Chapter of NACE, the National educational committee for NACE. In 2014, he was nominated as Member of the Year for NACE, and the Spirit of NACE Award in 2015. He was also awarded the NACE Las Vegas President’s Awards in 2014.
Philosophy Statement: Life is about creating long lasting relationships and having a positive impact on other’s lives.
Personal Mantra: ‘The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.’ Pablo Picasso.
Kelly Thompson, CSEP, is a seasoned special event and sales professional with over 10 years’ experience. Throughout her career she has produced a variety of events including brand experiential activations, festivals (for up to 10,000 people), roadshows, incentives, product launches, unique special events, conferences and meetings. Her diverse role as a producer or project manager has allowed her the ability to develop and deliver fresh and innovative solutions for each experience. Kelly earned the international accreditation of being a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) in 2013. Established in 1933, the CSEP designation recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrated the essential knowledge, skills, and ability required to plan and execute all components of a variety of special events. She also holds a Bachelors Degree in Communications from UNLV and certificates in Conference Management and Event Planning, as well as in Event Design and Production from The International School of Hospitality. She also serves on the Faculty for the International School of Hospitality where she teaches aspiring event coordinators event design and production skills and techniques. Kelly’s passion for events shines through in her ability to build personal connections with clients, creating memorable experiences. The most rewarding part of her job is seeing every detail of a well-planned event come together through passionate teamwork, delighting the participants.
Eden Viray is the Assistant Hotel Manager for Tuscany Suites and Casino. She got her start in the hotel industry as a Front Desk Agent for Harrah’s Hotel and Casino and later promoted to Guest Service Manager at The Linq Hotel & Casino.
Almost all instructors work full-time in the industry and all bear the relevant industry certifications in their respective fields.
In addition, all are required to receive the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) credential. This credential requires a 3-day course, a proctored certification exam and a video test that demonstrates mastery of adult learning principles and techniques. TISOH is only a handful of schools that can boast of an all CHE-certified instructional team.
Between the TISOH instructors, they have amassed dozens of industry awards.
All TISOH instructors teach because it is a passion of theirs. Their greatest joy is in seeing successful alums in the field following their footsteps.