BS Wake Forest University
MIBS University of South Carolina
MS University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Ph.D. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
BS, M.Ed. Regis University
Bayot’s bio [PDF]
BA Wake Forest University
BA MA Western Kentucky University
Ph.D. candidate ABD University of Nevada, Las Vegas
McCray’s bio [PDF]
Tyler joined MGM Resorts in 2020 after a sixteen-year career at Las Vegas Sands Corporation, where he served
in various sales and leadership roles at the The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention
Center. His most recent role was Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Accounts where he led
the sales effort for groups and conventions. Tyler is now excited to start a new chapter at ARIA and Vdara
where he heads the sales effort at two world-class resorts.
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
Marti is an energetic leader with a track record of success in utilizing communications, events,
marketing and analytics in corporate and entrepreneurial environments. As Vice President of Operations
for MGM Resorts Event Productions, she oversees a team of professionals that create hundreds of events
annually. This internal department services client events at all MGM Resorts International properties.
MREP’s mission is to be the International Leader in the event industry inspired by the imagination,
creativity, and contribution of every employee.
Before going MGM, Marti served as Vice President of University Relations at Drew University in Madison,
New Jersey. In her role, she championed change management by identifying opportunities for revenue
generation and operational efficiencies, aligning the Board of Trustees, Cabinet, faculty and staff to
new strategy, fostering relationships with the town and corporate partners, and building a performance
culture of accountability.
Marti is still relatively new to Las Vegas but is adapting to the city’s many charms, including the
sunny weather and friendly locals.
Harvey Stern is Chief Executive Officer of Destinations by Design, a creative operator of
Destination Management, Event Production and Wedding Curation located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Stern, an Intentional Hospitality Personality, has a passion for the hospitality industry, often
speaking to organizations, associations, and collages on topics that include understanding and
developing your career, sales and catering leadership, event & operational strategies and his
current passion topic, the Door Frame Concept.
Prior to joining DBD, Stern held positions with Bellagio Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, The Standard
Club of Chicago and Four Seasons Hotels in Chicago and The Pierre in New York City. He is currently
a member of the National Association of Catering and Events (NACE), Certified Meeting Professional
(CMP) and Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE). Stern serves on the Boards of One
Night for One Drop as the Culinary Chair and the Foundation of NACE as the immediate past president.
Gary McCreary serves as the VP of Catering & Convention Operations for The Venetian Resort
Las Vegas, Nevada. Moving to Las Vegas in 1998, Gary, was on the opening team of The Venetian
and has since opened every major property for Las Vegas Sands Corp. in Macau, Singapore, and
Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Gary oversees Banquet Operations which generates over $130M annually in
Prior, Gary worked for the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) as an International Meeting
Planner based out of Dallas, Texas. Gary also worked for the legendary Loews Anatole Hotel,
where he was Director of Catering and then Assistant Director of Conference Management.
A native Texan, Gary graduated cum laude from The University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, with
a B.A. in Hotel & Restaurant Management.
A Las Vegas native, Mills grew up in the hotel industry when her father was a bell captain
at the illustrious Dunes Hotel for more than 37 years. During the 1960s and 1970s it was the
bell captain who handled all of the miscellaneous guest requests, in addition to handling
guest luggage. Watching her father and mentor, Mills naturally acquired a passion to serve,
leading to a lifelong career in hospitality.
With 33 years of experience, Mills was instrumental in the development and implementation of
six concierge desks located within major resorts and casinos along the Las Vegas Strip.
Mills tenure in Las Vegas also included her leadership of a department of 61 concierges,
which encompassed the largest concierge staff located within any one hotel in the world.
Mills served with distinction on the national board of directors for Les Clefs d’Or USA from
2002-2013 in the capacities of Treasurer, Director of Fundraising and Public Relations,
Congress Liaison, Director of Concierge Relations, Vice President and as President of the
In April 2013, Mills was then elected to serve as the Zone Director of the Americas, for the
prestigious Union Internationale des Concierges d’Hotels, Les Clefs d’Or International, the
world’s only organization of professional hotel concierges. In her role as Zone Director of
the Americas, Mills provided leadership to members representing more than 5 countries,
distinguished by the crossed golden keys worn on their uniform lapels.
Most recently, Jeanne served as the Chef Concierge of the iconic Beverly Wilshire, A Four
Seasons Hotel, prior to her return to Las Vegas as the Chef Concierge of Aria and Vdara
Please contact us if you are interested in scheduling any of our instructors as a guest speaker.
BrumfieldKenny ChoGabriella CoteShirley
LedermanCheri LichaSean McCrayPatricia NormanPatrick PeelCheryl SgovioRebecca StebbinsLenny TalaricoKelly 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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Cheri is a Human Resource champion. She is privileged to have affected 100,000+ employees in
their careers and professional development. Cheri always emphasized a participatory experience
by developing new applicant processes, orientation programs, internal development &
promotion initiatives, engagement emphasis, and constant HR protocol review. She is committed to
HR’s strategic role in the success and support of core business.
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.
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, was the Academic Consultant for The International School of Hospitality
before her passing in 2019. She held 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 also taught online for Florida
She had 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.
Patti was very special to our school and we cherish her memory as a great friend, teacher and
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 years of catering, event and wedding planning
experience to TISOH. She is currently the Director of Celebrations at the Venetian Resort in
Las Vegas, has held numerous leadership roles within the Junior League of Las Vegas, member
of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE), the Las Vegas Hospitality Association
(LVHA), and is the Immediate Past President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Wedding
International Professionals Association (WIPA). In addition, Rebecca has completed her Master’s
Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at her alma mater, Bay Path University, in Longmeadow,
Massachusetts. She is a CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) and a received the designation of CHE
(Certified Hospitality Educator) from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
Lenny Talarico CSEP, CHE is the Chief Experiential Architect for Lenny Talarico Productions, an
event management and consulting firm dedicated to enhancing your business by telling your
brand’s story through special events and engagements. Lenny is an award-winning internationally
recognized event producer, industry speaker, former Executive Director of MGM Resorts Event
Productions, and long-time instructor at The International School of Hospitality (TISOH) … but
that doesn’t tell the whole tale.
Everyone has a story that’s unique to them, and that makes them distinctly suited to a certain
place in the world. Lenny’s story is one, that in hindsight, has propelled him inevitably to
the center of the special events world in Las Vegas, and indeed, around the globe.
As a young vocalist, a chance two-week engagement at the world-famous Caesars Palace, led to a
performance career that spanned decades at some of the most famous venues along the Strip,
including the Dunes, the Sands, the Desert Inn, and the Flamingo. Through each successful
iconic show, partly by accident, and partly because of a synergy between performance and
production, Lenny was developing the skills required to become the event producer that he is
Parlaying knowledge, experience, and a business-savvy sense of story, Lenny was one of the first
event professionals who married experience and product for companies like Calvin Klein and Estee
Lauder, pioneering what we now call “activations.” Later, at MGM Resorts and MGM Resorts
Productions, Lenny designed and produced high-profile international events like grand openings,
entertainment launches, and industry meetings that delighted the senses, and left attendees with
new, amazing stories of their own. Those stories were heard by others, and Lenny was recognized
for his work with ESPRIT and GALA Awards. Credentials and additional accolades followed,
including recognition as “Event Planner of the Year” through Event Solutions Magazine, named
“One of the Most Influential People in Events” through Biz Bash Magazine, and the prestigious
Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation.
Throughout his career, Lenny has believed in sharing not only his story but his expertise. He
has taught at The International School of Hospitality (TISOH), and remains there today,
dedicated to the development of future event professionals. Partnering with industry
executives, he founded TISOH’s Design lab to offer a tactile, experiential learning environment
to inspire competence and creativity across a diverse hospitality curriculum.
Lenny was proud serving as Show Ambassador for The Special Event (TSE) / Catersource during
their inaugural Las Vegas collocation in March 2020. He continues his industry engagement
through consulting, speaking engagements and in his role as Director of Corporate Sales for
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,
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
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.