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Ceci Johnson

Ceci Johnson

Website: www.cecinewyork.com, www.cecistyle.com

A force in the design world, Ceci Johnson is an influential and highly regarded entrepreneur, artist, editor-in-chief and loving wife and mother.  She is renowned for her creative talents, always pushing the envelope in business and design, as well as with her own fashion-forward style and sophisticated brand aesthetic.  Dedicated to a lifetime pursuit of living glamorously through design, Ceci has built a powerhouse atelier and transformed the art of inviting and branding.

Born and raised in Southern California, the theatre and arts weren’t just hobbies for Ceci – they were a way of life. Growing up the daughter of a successful business owner, Ceci’s entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at an early age.  Many of the valuable business lessons Ceci has put into practice in her own company were learned while growing up and listening to her father in his office from her bedroom next door. Ceci attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she received her degree in Art & Design.  As a senior, she was featured on the cover of Communication Arts – a rare honour for a student.  Following a short stint designing the national bridal registry kits for the Federated Department Stores, Ceci landed on the East Coast for a job in the web consulting world.

It was in New York, with an invitation she created for a coworker’s wedding, that the Ceci New York story began.  One referral lead to another, and another, and Ceci soon realized that the world was lacking in original, innovative and personalized designs. Armed with a clear desire to create the best designs in the world, she established Ceci New York in 2004 and serves as Creative Director today.  Ceci was soon pronounced as a leader in the industry winning the prestigious ModernBride “Trendsetter” award and being named an “Expert Stationer” by New York Magazine early in her career.  Ceci New York soon expanded beyond the world of weddings into Social & Parties, Corporate, Baby & Kids, Stationery and Home & Gifts.

In the ensuing years, Ceci launched her first retail collection which was sold nationwide and established exclusive partnerships with The Breakers Hotel and German-based paper company Gmund, among others.  In 2010, CeciStyle.com was launched.  With a devoted and growing following, the online lifestyle magazine fast became a trusted resource for her style tips along with inspirations on invitations, travel, fashion, parties, decor and more.  After being named Tory Burch’s “Woman to Watch” and “Invitation Innovator” by WeTV, Ceci’s client list has grown to include many distinguished and notable clients including The President of the United States International Royalty, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Katherine Heigl, The Empire State Building, Cole Haan, Hugo Boss and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Regarded as a pioneer in the industry, Ceci has been invited regularly to speak to women in business, designers, wedding industry professionals and other entrepreneurial groups bringing her expertise and experience to audiences around the world.  This platform has given her the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs and see that her prowess can be used to help businesses escape their ruts and separate themselves from the pack.  One of her passions lies in mentoring and consulting with other entrepreneurs as the first step in changing the path they’re on and transforming their strategy, branding and design for the better.

After years of focusing on her own business and brand, Ceci has been able to use her unique abilities and the creative power of Ceci New York to give back to causes close to her heart.  At the centre of Ceci New York’s philanthropic efforts is their partnership with The Birthday Party Project, a non-profit dedicated to bringing joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays.  Through their artistry, Ceci and her team are honoured to support their mission and bring joy in an impactful, beautiful way by donating designed party décor, birthday cards (which many have never even been given before), personalized place mats, and birthday party banners each month.   With over 10,000 kids celebrated and even more cupcakes consumed, each party follows a fun theme Ceci New York is proud to enhance.  It is truly the heartbeat of Ceci New York as every order placed helps these amazing children in need on their birthday.

More than eleven years later, Ceci’s love of paper, design, fashion and innovation still drives her to create original pieces, bringing the ultimate in luxury branding to clients around the globe while beautifying and simplifying your world every day.

Ceci and her husband, Alan Johnson, a fashion executive, split their time between New York City and Connecticut with their son, Mason, and daughter, Elle.

 

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Marley Majcher

Marley Majcher

Websites – www.thepartygoddess.com and www.marleymajcher.com

Marley Majcher is the CEO of The Party Goddess!, a nationally acclaimed full-service event planning and catering company, and author of But Are You Making Any Money?, a witty and lauded business guide for entrepreneurs. From understated elegance to rock star fabulous, Majcher is known for creating the most talked about parties of the year for a client list ranging from top-tier businesses to A-list celebrities such as Pierce Brosnan and Sofia Vergara, but she is quickly establishing herself as one of the best resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Heralded as a must-read for any entrepreneur, Majcher’s book, But Are You Making Any Money?, simplifies — in a step-by-step process, the complicated aspects of running a lucrative business. Her pricing strategy, profit technique and conversational style is what Forbes says, “makes you want to keep reading more.” Majcher is the party planning and entrepreneurial expert people turn to for all things entertaining.   Her popular savvy and business sense have earned her appearances on various outlets and shows including “Fox and Friends,” Fox Business, MSNBC, “Extra,” “Good Day LA,” Bravo, E!, MTV, HGTV, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC and The Wedding Channel. Majcher has championed her unique approach to events and inspired many to create lasting memories through her featured articles and interviews in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Us Weekly, People, OK!, Marie Claire, Women’s Day, In Style Weddings, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine and The Robb Report, as well as multiple radio interviews including Martha Stewart’s Sirius Radio show.  

Her keen eye for chic trends and clever business techniques has made her a coveted speaker across the United States and around the globe, on subjects such as small business, entrepreneurship, all aspects of entertaining and her celebrated coaching programs.

Majcher’s beloved presentations challenge entrepreneurs to not only think outside the box but to forget a box even exists. Majcher has also contributed to several books, including “It’s Your Business: 183 Essential Tips that Will Transform Your Small Business”, by JJ Ramberg, host of the MSNBC show “Your Business.” She also writes for various publications including Entrepreneur.com. She has received many honors and awards, including the Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award three years in a row, was named an Outstanding Young Woman of America and has been honored by the State of California as a Small Businesswoman of the Year.   Majcher earned a degree in marketing with a focus on entrepreneurship from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where she returns to guest lecture annually. She regularly participates in the university’s webinars and events in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. Majcher currently spends any free time she might have, usually between 10:45 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. on Tuesdays, with her three very naughty children.

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Meryl Snow

Meryl Snow

Website – www.merylsnow.com and www.feastivitiesevents.com

Meryl Snow has been a mainstay in the special events & catering industry for the last twenty-eight years as cofounder of Feastivities Events, along with its subsidiaries OffShoots Decor and Philadelphia’s Picnic Company.

Her philosophies have proved successful for not only her own business, but also many other companies, trade organizations, and universities have benefited from her training and advice. As a Senior Consultant for Catersource, the largest trade organization for caterers in the world, Meryl has worked throughout the US. Her particular areas of focus are sales and marketing, as well as in design and branding. She provides consulting, coaching, and training services for a wide range of clients.

Meryl has three how-to Style DVDs currently on the market. This collection focuses on hands on design, innovation and inspiration.

Her innovative leadership has earned prestigious accolades for Feastivities locally, nationally and internationally. She has undoubtedly helped many other companies get on their own path to success and recognition through her keen insight and an effervescent approach to teaching methods of success.

Combining knowledge from her decades of hospitality experience with humor, she creates informative and interactive presentations. These range from small internal company meetings to large-scale conferences. She speaks with groups from the heart with warmth and knowledge, and covers the funny side of life and business.

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Gavin Rajah

Gavin Rajah

Website – www.grconcept.com

He has served on the Advisory Board for the Cape Town Routes Unlimited on Conventions and Incentives and the Events Advisory Board, the legislative body that is responsible for the tourism and marketing of the Western Cape. In 2003 he re-positioned the premiere wine auction in the country and the 3rd largest in the world, now in its 41st year, the Nederburg Wine Auction. Gavin was appointed the Launch Director for Tommy Hilfiger (US) roll out in Africa. This resulted in him working in close collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger (USA) and developing their footprint into Africa.

He sold a 60% stake in his event business in 2005 to a multi-national listed company (MIH Holdings). He left this company to pursue bespoke projects, which he is passionate about. With this move he sold his shares in both Cape Town Fashion Week and Cape Town Flower Show, which he founded. He also founded and used to co-own Durban Fashion Week. He has consulted to numerous cities in the formation of their fashion weeks (Dubai, Stockholm, Shanghai).

2006 heralded the start of his personal initiative; called “POSI+IVE” (www.positivecollection.co.za) to raise funds for HIV/AIDS infected children. Targeted, specifically, at children who have contracted HIV/AIDS due to sexual abuse. He launched this project in collaboration with British artist Craig Kilford with the intent to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS through the combined efforts of artists, fashion designers and the performing arts. Seal and celebrity international models headlined this event together with international designers. This event has been sponsored and adopted by Sun International. He has since enlisted the support of John Legend and Kelly Rowland amongst others.

Today Gavin’s work is largely based on creative direction, design in any industry, marketing strategy and product development with a strong focus on social development; and bringing a new sense of aesthetic to client’s creative needs. His focus has also shifted to include addressing the management of creative businesses and business that can be enhanced through creativity. His clients extend into Africa, Middle East, China and a large part of Europe.

Gavin has also established a catering company with the Bukhara Group.

Most of all Gavin prides himself in delivering work, which exceeds client’s expectations, and is most comfortable working with clients that want to lead instead of imitate. He believes in long-term relationships and developing individual rapports with his clients.

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Joyce Mnguni

Joyce Mnguni

Website – www.dreamweddingsrivieramaya.com

We are located in the heart of Riviera Maya in the Mexican Caribbean. Destination Weddings is our Specialty, for the brides who are looking for a nontraditional wedding.  Spending a week away with close friends and family- While saying their “I Dos”

We offer a full wedding planning and Coordination. Also consulting and guidance for the brides planning a destination wedding. We are dedicated to supporting Brides, and help them on their vision for their Big Day!!

Our mission is to make sure Brides have tons of fun planning their stress free destination wedding, without breaking the bank!

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Maria Cruz De Vera

Maria Cruz De Vera

Website: www.thestyleco.com.au

A self confessed workaholic, perfectionist, blog junkie, magazine hoarder, dog lover, caffeine addict…

Marie felt there was a lack of truly creative private events and innovative stationery in Australia. With a background in design and fashion merchandising, Marie founded The Style Co., a creative studio that fills that void perfectly!

Marie believes it’s the details that create awe-inspiring events. Her hand-picked team of creatives share the same belief… the tiniest of details can turn an event into an experience. It’s about creating a lasting impression and beautiful memories.

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Bruce Russell

Bruce Russell

Website – www.bybrucerussell.com

Bruce Russell is at the apogee of the international luxury bridal and party planning scene and one of the most highly sought after planners in London. His name is synonymous with passion, flair and style which combine to offer client s truly unforgettable occasions. Under his eponymous brand, By Bruce Russell, he offers independent specialist services for weddings and civil partnerships as well as private parties and the most special of occasions. His creativity, combined with his experience honed in high-end hospitality around the world (including The Plaza New York) means that his strategic counsel to clients delivers exceptional events and his contagious joie de vivre, the heartbeat to his professionalism, is an ongoing inspiration.

Little wonder, therefore, that he has an ever-expanding and loyal base of clients who turn to Bruce when looking to host stand-out events that are truly unique. Alongside his independent consultancy, Bruce is Director of Savoy Weddings By Bruce Russell, attracting an international clientele to the five-star London property and driving the hotel ’s global profile in the wedding industry. Here Bruce manages a dedicated team offering an end- to-end service for couples planning their special day.

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Kristin Banta

Kristin Banta

Website: www.kristinbanta.com

With an extensive background in event production, entertainment and fashion, as well as a background in catering and interior design, Kristin creates unforgettable celebrations while bringing a fresh and innovative perspective to the mix. Kristin is passionate about helping her clients find their own voice for their wedding day. Her events, from society weddings in exclusive locations to progressive film and music industry soirees, are as unique and diversified as her clientele, which range from Fortune 500’s to professional athletes to multi-platinum recording artists.

Kristin served as the weekly wedding expert for Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family, ” as well as host of Style Network’s “Keep the Party Moving. ” In 2012, she had her own Bravo special, “The Ringleader, ” which showcased her signature out-of-the-box style, revolutionizing the way couples look at their special day. Additionally, Kristin has appeared on Good Day LA, KTLA, TNT’s, “Wedding Day, ” Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker, ” Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars, ” Syfy’s “My Big Fat Geek Wedding, ” and Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen. ”

Featured as one of Los Angeles’ top event designers in both “The Art of Celebration” and “Southern California Weddings, ” she has also contributed to many of the leading wedding and event publications including Martha Stewart Weddings, Inside Weddings, InStyle Weddings, Modele Magazine, Brides, California Wedding Day, Frontiers Magazine, Los Angeles Weddings Magazine, The Knot, Modern Bride Southern California, Southern Living, Your Wedding Day Magazine, LGBTwed, LA Times, Carats and Cake, Snippet & Ink, Real Simple Weddings, Life & Style, Style Me Pretty, Junebug Weddings and Green Wedding Shoes.

Her continuous success makes her one of the most sought after wedding planners in California and throughout the nation.

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Sara Burnett

Sara Burnett

Website: www.burnettsboards.com

Sara is the owner and editor of Burnett’s Boards. This blog started in March of 2012 and has grown into a nationally regarded and widely recognized bridal inspiration site since then. She currently lives out of a suitcase island hopping around the Caribbean.

Burnett’s Boards is updated daily with wedding inspiration boards, styled shoots, bridal fashion, and event design & styling articles. She finds great joy in bringing the very best in creative design to both brides and industry professionals around the world and likes to think of her blog as a book – each chapter contributing to the greater whole: a resource of wedding inspiration. She aims to give the editorial a personal touch without making the blog about herself & foster the blog’s community through social media and an industry-supportive mindset.

In its first two years Burnett’s Boards was listed among the top wedding blogs to follow, named one of the most influential social media users in the state of Hawaii, quoted in Elle Australia, and gained enough of a following to place it among the top 10 wedding blogs in the world.

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Wayne Gurnick

Wayne Gurnick

FINDING BEAUTY IN NATURE AND GOOD DESIGN

For as long as he can remember, Wayne has possessed a deep kinship with flowers. (And yes, people, too!) Beginning in high school, he was employed by an upscale florist that created arrangements for some of the who’s who in Hollywood. While it was paid employment, Wayne perceived it as an avenue for creativity and expression—something that to this day is a signature of the weddings he “arranges.” And even while flowers may be temporary, he believes floral design to be a true art form, and one that brings immense joy to others.

Taking his cue from his connection to flowers and the sensorial beauty they bring, Wayne opened his own floral business, Floral Creations by Wayne, and over the years came to know on a personal level the people and places for whom he was designing, all the while building his company around what’s most important to his clients—trust.

A CREATIVE DESTINY—MOMENT BY MOMENT

Founder and Creative Director of Moments by Wayne, celebrated LA-based wedding and event planner Wayne Gurnick provides services across the United States and worldwide. As a full service event planner, the company assists clients with every aspect of their event or celebration—from concept to coordination and production.

Wayne has been recognized as an A-List planner by Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine and was recently voted Best Wedding Planner in Los Angeles, Best Wedding Planner in California, and Top 10 Wedding Planner Worldwide. Wayne is a frequent speaker at industry events, presenting on trends and emerging industry topics (Four Seasons of Style – Wedding MBA 2013; Romancing the American Bride and Groom – Tourism Fiji). Wayne is on the panel of Wedding Industry Experts and is a regular contributor to DIY Weddings Magazine, Huffington Post Weddings, The Knot and other publications. Wayne’s work has been featured in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine, Destinations I Do, Flora Magazine, Wedlock, among others. Wayne has been featured as an expert designer and planner by LA-based news outlets and is the host of Wedding Words of Wisdom ™, an online radio program, where he interviews experts in all aspects of weddings and events. Wayne is certified by the American Institute of Floral Designers, a classification attained by only 1,200 professionals worldwide.

Website: www.momentsbywayne.com

 

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Kathy DalPra

Kathy DalPra

Website: www.brideappeal.com

Kathy DalPra is a former bridal-preneur who unexpectedly fell in love with web design and SEO. After she suddenly took her struggling website to the top page of Google and started showing up seemingly everywhere online, Kathy’s peers began to notice and asked her for advice on how they could make their websites work for them too. And that’s when Kathy began sharing her website strategies with others. Today, through her company Bride Appeal, Kathy teaches thousands of wedding and event professionals across the globe how to master SEO, get better quality traffic and turn more curious website visitors into paying clients™.

As a wedding professional, Kathy has been featured on NBC’s Ginger’s Green Scene, The Knot, Eco-Beautiful Weddings Magazine, Natural Solutions Magazine, Style Me Pretty, Style Unveiled, Eco Fabulous and many other blogs and publications. She was featured as one of BrideTide’s Top 10 Eco Wedding Tweeps to Follow and was a nominee for The Wedding Channel’s Blog Awards.

Gavin Rajah

Website – www.grconcept.com

He has served on the Advisory Board for the Cape Town Routes Unlimited on Conventions and Incentives and the Events Advisory Board, the legislative body that is responsible for the tourism and marketing of the Western Cape. In 2003 he re-positioned the premiere wine auction in the country and the 3rd largest in the world, now in its 41st year, the Nederburg Wine Auction. Gavin was appointed the Launch Director for Tommy Hilfiger (US) roll out in Africa. This resulted in him working in close collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger (USA) and developing their footprint into Africa.

He sold a 60% stake in his event business in 2005 to a multi-national listed company (MIH Holdings). He left this company to pursue bespoke projects, which he is passionate about. With this move he sold his shares in both Cape Town Fashion Week and Cape Town Flower Show, which he founded. He also founded and used to co-own Durban Fashion Week. He has consulted to numerous cities in the formation of their fashion weeks (Dubai, Stockholm, Shanghai).

2006 heralded the start of his personal initiative; called “POSI+IVE” (www.positivecollection.co.za) to raise funds for HIV/AIDS infected children. Targeted, specifically, at children who have contracted HIV/AIDS due to sexual abuse. He launched this project in collaboration with British artist Craig Kilford with the intent to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS through the combined efforts of artists, fashion designers and the performing arts. Seal and celebrity international models headlined this event together with international designers. This event has been sponsored and adopted by Sun International. He has since enlisted the support of John Legend and Kelly Rowland amongst others.

Today Gavin’s work is largely based on creative direction, design in any industry, marketing strategy and product development with a strong focus on social development; and bringing a new sense of aesthetic to client’s creative needs. His focus has also shifted to include addressing the management of creative businesses and business that can be enhanced through creativity. His clients extend into Africa, Middle East, China and a large part of Europe.

Gavin has also established a catering company with the Bukhara Group.

Most of all Gavin prides himself in delivering work, which exceeds client’s expectations, and is most comfortable working with clients that want to lead instead of imitate. He believes in long-term relationships and developing individual rapports with his clients.