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2019 Educational Forum Presenters
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High Profile Events   |   Leadership & Management Skills   |   Event Management  |   Staff Development    | Emergency Management


High Profile Events
September 19-20, 2019   |   Emory University   |   Atlanta, GA



Ethan Rosenzweig, Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Services, Emory University 

Ethan Rosenzweig is the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Services. After serving as Emory Law’s director of alumni affairs, Ethan now oversees Emory Law’s admission, financial aid, student life, and career services offices. He has served as deputy director of the US Department of Education’s Office of Policy Briefing and Scheduling as a Presidential Management Fellow. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable G. Ernest Tidwell of the US District Court of Northern Georgia and then practiced law with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Charleston, South Carolina.  He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in public policy from American University.



Rob Foreman, Director of Conference & Event Services, Saint Anselm College 

Rob Foreman is the Director of Conference & Event Services at Saint Anselm College in Manchester New Hampshire.  His 25+ years of higher education experience in Student Activities, Housing & Residence Life, First Year Programs, and Conference & Event Services has landed him at variety of colleges and universities in North Carolina, New Jersey, and New Hampshire.  Rob has presented award winning programs at state, regional and national conferences, developed and presented a Webinar titled “Generating Revenue- Finding Campus Opportunities”, has been featured in a New York Times article titled “Corporate Events on Campus, and has authored articles for national publications dealing with generating revenue and customer service.  In addition to his regular work responsibilities, he has also worked for the NFL and the Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee, attended Disney University, and serves his community volunteering with local groups and coaching youth.



Deb King, Events and Programs Manager, University of Connecticut School of Law 
Deb King manages the events process at the University of Connecticut School of Law including commencement, faculty conferences, law journal symposia and event space planning. Deb’s experience includes project and budget planning, event execution, publicity and concept development. Deb serves the students, faculty and staff of the law school as well groups in the Connecticut legal community and the greater UConn system. In addition to her event experience, Deb serves on the Facilities Committee and makes recommendations for and oversees execution of improvements and upgrades around campus. Prior to her current role, Deb coordinated the efforts of the University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association including reunions, annual meeting and awards dinner and graduate gatherings. She first joined the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2010 as a career counselor after a ten year career in legal recruiting at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen (now Morgan, Lewis & Bockius).

 Deb is currently a member of the Association for Collegiate Conference and Events Directors – International (ACCED-I) and the North American Association of Commencement Officers (NAACO). She also currently serves on the executive board of Flanders Elementary School Parents and Teacher Organization and previously served as president of her homeowner’s association. Deb is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University.



Michael D. Shutt, PhD, Sr. Director for Campus Life, Emory University

Dr. Michael D. Shutt is the Sr. Director for Campus Life at Emory University. In this capacity, he oversees institutional and Emory Campus Life priorities ranging from the Bias Incident Response Team and Open Expression Observers Program to the annual President Jimmy Carter Town Hall. Dr. Shutt also provides strategic leadership for the Emory University Office of Health Promotion. Prior to his current role at Emory, he served as the Assistant Dean for Campus Life and Director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Life in addition to the Interim Sr. Director for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. 

Before arriving at Emory University, Dr. Shutt served as the Founding Director of the University of Georgia’s LGBT Resource Center, the first LGBT resource center at a public university in Georgia. He also severed as an Alcohol and Other Drug Health Educator at the University of Georgia Student Health Center.

Beyond the work on his own campuses, Dr. Shutt serves as a consultant to institutions of higher education in their development of open expression policies and procedures, LGBT support services, and social justice education. This includes partnerships with institutions such as Agnes Scott College, Georgia Regents University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kennesaw State University, New York University, Princeton University, Spelman College, University of North Florida, and Wesleyan College.


Dr. Shutt is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Equality Foundation of Georgia and member of the LGBTQ Institute Advisory Board at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Previously, he Co-Chaired of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.

Originally from Indiana, Dr. Shutt received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration from Michigan State University and Doctor of Philosophy in Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Education’s Department of Counseling and Human Development. 


Leadership & Management Skills

October 3-4, 2019   |   St. John's University   |   Queens, NY


Diane DiResta, Certified Speaking Professional, is founder and president of DiResta Communications, Inc. Known as the Speaking Strategist, Diane brings over 20 years as a communications expert and speech pathologist using her unique 4M approach. Her company works with Fortune 500 companies, media trains sports and entertainment celebrities from the NBA, WNBA, USGA and coaches C-level executives how to exude executive presence and shine on the platform. She’s been featured on CNN and quoted in the NY Times. WSJ, Investors Business Daily, the London Guardian, Fast Company and more.

She’s past president of NSA NY chapter and recipient of the Golden Mic award.

As a professional speaker, Diane has spoken in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and South America. Prior to establishing her company, she was an AVP at Drexel Burnham, a training specialist for Salomon Brothers and a Speech Pathologist for the NYC schools. She holds a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology from Columbia University, is a graduate of CoachU, Her popular book,
Knockout Presentationsnow in it’s 3rd edition, is used in corporations and in college public speaking/leadership courses.


Matt Olson, CCEP, Assistant Director for Event Operations, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Matt Olson is the Assistant Director for Event Operations at the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Union.  In this role he oversees Event Planning, Conference Services, and Production.  Prior to his role at UW, Matt served in a variety of leadership roles with the United States Bowling Congress, Waukesha Convention and Visitors Bureau, Carroll University, and Lambeau Field.  Matt earned his CCEP in 2017 and has presented at numerous annual conferences, regional events, and educational forums.  Additionally, he has volunteered for a variety of positions within ACCED-I as a regional leader, board member, and action team member.



Mark R. Coldren, Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York 

Mark is currently the Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York with overall responsibilities for all HR functions including employee and labor relations, compensation, employee and organizational development, payroll, employee benefits, recruitment, work/life and wellness.  Prior to coming to UB in July of 2015, Mark was CHRO of Ithaca College and previous to that a member of the senior leader HR team at Syracuse University and an adjunct faculty member in the Whitman School of Business.  Before working in higher education, Mark worked in organizations specializing in manufacturing, sales and distribution, and software development.  Previous organizations Mark worked with include UTC Carrier Corporation, Goulds Pumps, Inc., and Automatic Data Processing.  Mark started as a history teacher in the public school system.  He is a past-chair of the College & University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) National Board of Directors.  Mark has a MS from Syracuse University and a BA from Cortland State University and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), 2006-09. 

Barbara S. Romano, CCEP, Executive Director of Conference & Event Services, Cornell University

Barbara was recently appointed Executive Director of Conference & Event Service. Prior to her current position, she held several positions at Cornell from 1982 – 2019 where she served as Director of Residential and Event Services for 13 years, providing oversight of undergraduate and graduate housing assignments, meal plan enrollment, Conference and Event Services and Community Center Operations.  Director of Conference & Event Services for ten years and was the General Manager for Dining and Catering Services, respectively.

Previous industry experience include working at Walt Disney World and Hilton.

Barbara has been a member of university committees including but not limited to:  25Live Implementation, Comprehensive Housing Master Plan, Summer Scheduling Procedures, University Access Control and Other Device Policy, Hosting Minors on Campus, Strategic Plan for Disability Access and Charter Day Weekend.

Barbara earned a bachelor's degree in Food, Hotel & Tourism Management from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Culinary Arts Degree from Johnson and Wales University. Barbara is a Past President of the Association of Collegiate Conference Events Directors International (ACCED-I), served on the StarRez Advisory Board, is a member of the Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Board and is actively involved in the Ithaca Rotary Club.


Event Management
November 7-8, 2019   |   University of Wisconsin Madison   |   Madison, WI



Dianne Devitt, Inspirational Speaker, Facilitator, Experiential Consultant, Author, Educator

Dianne is an inspirational speaker, engaging facilitator, experiential consultant, author, educator.   She remains passionate about the power of people gathering and the value of live engagement. 

Founder of The DND Group, Inc., Dianne has a track record as a dynamic industry leader in events, production and meetings having served on association boards and committees.   She speaks at major industry conferences and has facilitated informational and educational panel discussions for major organizations.      

As a best-selling author of What Color is Your Event?, a global marketing resource book on creative thinking and meeting design,  Dianne created a course at New York University, which transitioned into her industry-accredited signature creative marketing workshop called ColorUP!    Her event experience includes working with MIT, St. John’s University,  and Simmons College.  She has managed teams to plan and produce the Vietnam 50th Commemorative Anniversary, the Apollo 40th Moon Landing celebration, Clinton Global Initiative, the Baku European Olympic Games, and a range of corporate and association meetings from 10-12,000.  A visionary, Devitt identified the focus and importance of sensory communication and produced the first SenseUP! summit and is always looking for the next big trend. 

Dianne is the past president of the International Live Events Association and Meeting Professionals New York City chapters and the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions.  She has served on International boards and is a member of the National Speakers Association.  As an Adjunct Professor at New York University in the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality, she was recognized with the Award for Teaching Excellence.

Dianne is passionate about yoga, wellness and the vitality the next generation brings to the events industry.

Kirsten Stava, Operations Manager, Titan Student Union, CSUF

Kirsten started her tenure as the Operations Manager for the Titan Student Union at California State University, Fullerton in 2006. In this position, she enjoys opportunities to work with various groups on campus to promote successful events, both in the student union and at other locations, such as Housing and Residential Life and the Alumni House. She handles logistics to varying degrees for both facility and event management, including event planning, staff and contracted services management, and audio-visual services. Kirsten has been a member of ACCED-I since 2007. 






Michael Baker, Director of Event Management, Franklin & Marshall College

Michael Baker is the Director of Event Management at Franklin & Marshall College located in Lancaster, PA.  Mike is responsible for the leadership and management of the Event Services department.  He has oversight of all daily administrative duties required for the planning and execution of all the events held on campus.

Mike has twenty-five years of event planning experience!  Twenty of those years have been spent working at three different colleges.  Mike spent twelve years as the Director of Conference & Event Services at Messiah College, almost five years as the Director of the Conference Center at Harrisburg Area Community College & currently three and half years at F&M.

Mike has been involved with ACCED-I since 1996.  He’s a long-time volunteer who has served as a regional leader and on the National Board of Directors.  He was named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2010.  He has also served as the VP of Education, President-elect, President & Past President for the Middle Pennsylvania Chapter of Meeting Professionals International.  In 2011, he was named “Tomorrow’s Leader”.  Additionally, he’s spent time volunteering and attending conferences at NACUFS & NACAS.

Mike is a proud Penn State grad with a love for Penn State & Steelers football.  He enjoys tailgating and attending Penn State football games, helping to coach his son’s sports teams, concerts, cruises, traveling, and planning for the next adventure with his family & friends.


Alicia Ferguson, Event Coordinator, Temple University 

Alicia Q. Ferguson was born Philadelphia, PA. She graduated Overbrook High School and received her Bachelors of Arts in History from Hampton University in Hampton, VA. Returning home to Philadelphia she began working a temporary job at Temple University as a reservations coordinator. Since that time she has transitions into an Event Coordinator for the Howard Gittis Student Center where she is still currently employed. She decided to begin taking classes towards her Master’s Degree at Temple University.

While at Temple she has helped to shape the department by creating reservations policies that help to ensure Student Orgs, University Departments, and External Clients have a great planning experience. Additionally, she has increased external revenue for the department exceeding $170,000 per year. She finds time to partner with other department in student affairs including serving as a hearing officer for the office of conduct, diamond accreditation board for Fraternity and Sorority Life, National Coming out week committee, office recognition committee, and the office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership.    

In addition to working a full time position she also works with Touch of Elegance catering and coordination business, as an Event Planner. In her spare time, she loves doing Loc (hair) maintenance for a select number of clients monthly. While holding three jobs she still finds time to work for her church on various auxiliaries including the Trustee Board. She is the youngest member to be inducted on the board of Trustees and the church’s official board. Additionally, she is an avid billiards (pool) shooter holding a world record of 3rd place in 2018. 


Staff Development

December 12-13, 2019   |   American University   |   Washington, DC


Kim Araya, Director of University Conference & Guest Services, American University 

Kim Araya is the Director of University Conference & Guest Services at American University in Washington, DC.  Prior to her coming to American University in January of 2014, her previous position for 10.5 yrs was the Director of Conference & Event Services at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota.  She was instrumental in getting the ONE STOP-SHOP concept set-up on the U of MN campus.  She currently opened AU’s conference center in the summer of 2017. Kim is currently serving as a board member for ACCED-I and has served two years as the Region 5 Director and has served on various committees of ACCED-I since 2005.  She works closely with colleagues in various Convention and Visitors Bureaus, area hotels as well as other Universities in the DC/MD area to help market the surrounding cities as well as her University.



Mariellynn Maurer CCEP, Director of Conference & Event Services, The College of William and Mary

Mariellynn Maurer is the Director of Conference & Event Services at William & Mary.  As a member of ACCED-I, she has presented conference sessions at the regional and national levels of ACCED-I, served as Regional Director and on the Board of Directors.  Currently, she serves as a mentor and grader for the CCEP program candidates.  Mariellynn is an active member in the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance and an alumna of the LEAD Historic Triangle Program.  She is the President Elect of the Professional and Professional Staff Assembly of W&M and sits on the university’s Strategic Planning Committee.  Together with the lead trainer at W&M, Mariellynn co-teaches customer services courses and has served as cohort captain for the university’s Supervisor Institute and Building Stronger Leader programs.  Mariellynn’s experience in the hospitality industry is not limited to the world of higher education, she also spent more than 11 years working in hotel sales and marketing.  But, no matter what organization she’s been a part of, she’s always been part of a team and recognizes the importance of relationships, communication, and people working together to accomplish great things. 


Johni Amos, Associate Director, Conference Administration and Fiscal Affairs, American University

Johni Amos has been at American University for three years. She is the Associate Director of Conference Administration and Fiscal Affairs for University Conference & Guest Services. In addition to conferences, Johni has worked in various areas of Student Affairs including Residence Life, Housing, and Leadership. She received her B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Ohio Northern University and her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel from Kent State University. 


Rachel Butts, Program Director - Office of Conference & Camp Services, Appalachian State University

Rachel Butts serves as a Program Director in the Office of Conference & Camp Services at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She has worked at the university for 4 years, previously serving as an Assistant Director in University Housing. Rachel has been a member of ACCED-I for 4 years and has attended the 2017 annual conference as well as the Summer Conferences Challenges educational forum. She is currently completing her Master of Business Administration with a certificate in Hospitality Management at East Carolina University. She has worked with and supervised every generation in the workforce today and appreciates the nuances of managing to different employee types. In her downtime, she enjoys watching psychological thrillers and true crime shows, playing with her 2 dogs, and travelling on cruises with her husband, Michael. 



Emergency Management

January 23-24, 2020   |   University of Utah   |   Salt Lake City, UT


Becca Wilusz, Director of Game Operations & Championships, Duke University

Becca Wilusz is the Director of Game Operations & Championships for Duke University Athletics in Durham,NC. Becca has oversight responsibilities for a game management team supporting 27 varsity sports across 11 on-campus competition venues and all ACC & NCAA Championship events held on-campus. Becca personally serves as the primary game manager for Duke Football and Track & Field. In addition to game operations, Becca is a Duke Athletics lead in the planning and execution of stadium security operations and emergency management. Becca was recognized as an Industry Leader Under 40 in 2018 and as part of the facility operations team for the Facility of Merit Award for Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium in 2017 by The National Center of Spectator Sports Safety and Security. Becca is an active member and faculty of the International Association of Venue Managers. Becca is a multiple degree graduate in biomedical & mechanical engineering from Duke University. 


Daniel Dykstra, Director, Conference Services, University of Colorado Boulder

Dan Dykstra brings 30 years of collegiate conference and event planning expertise to Conference Services at the University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to his arrival, Dan spent 18 years as Director at Georgia Tech building a highly successful and nationally recognized conference services operation. He also held conference and events positions at his Alma Mater, Colorado State University.

Dan continues to be an advocate for the collegiate conference and events industry, and enjoys both the opportunities and challenges of this profession.  He has been active in Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International (ACCED-I). Dan is an ACCED-I Past President and a current member of the Nominations Committee.  A highlight of his career is when he was named recipient of the 2016 Jack Thornton Distinguished Service Award. He is a frequent presenter for webcasts, educational forums, regional meetings and annual conferences for ACCED-I and a variety of affiliated associations. Dan has also contributed to several articles focusing on collegiate and hospitality issues, trends and hot topics.


Jeff Graviet, Director, Emergency Management, The University of Utah

Mr. Graviet currently serves as the Emergency Management Director for the University of Utah and is responsible for emergency response planning and preparedness for incidents and events at the University.


In 2008 Mr. Graviet was appointed by Mayor Peter Corroon to serve as the Salt Lake County Emergency Services Director and was responsible for the county emergency management program. While in this role he served as Co-Chair of the Salt Lake Urban Area Working Group, Executive Director of the Salt Lake Valley Homeland Security Grants Council and was a board member of the State, Local, Tribal, Territorial, and Governmental Coordinating Council for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Graviet is a retired Major from the Utah Department of Public Safety and served in key leadership roles in Homeland Security, Emergency Management, Investigations, and Peace Officer Standards and Training. He was the commander of the department’s Special Emergency Response Team and served on the 2002 Winter Olympic Tactical Sub-committee.

With a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Mr. Graviet is also a graduate of the Northwestern Police Staff and Command College and FEMA’s Emergency Management Executive Academy. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers and State of Utah (UCEM).

Stuart Moffatt, Associate Director, Emergency Management, The University of Utah

Stuart Moffatt has served as the Associate Director of Emergency Management for the University of Utah since 2010 and has responsibilities in planning, training and exercises. He is also the technical and operational lead for Campus Alert, the U’s emergency mass notification system.


Mr. Moffatt has served on local, regional, and national committees in emergency management. He holds a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), has served as a regional representative for the IAEM University and College Caucus, and has spoken at the IAEM-UCC conference. Stuart also holds a Utah Certified Emergency Manager (UCEM) designation and has been an active participant in the Utah Emergency Management Association (UEMA) as a technical committee board member and conference speaker. From 2008-2011 he was an advisor for the HAZUS Open Source Software Committee and in 2009 was honored with the HAZUS Innovations Award. In 2007, he was selected by FEMA as a National Evaluator for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program. In 2019, he was a guest speaker at the Rave Mobile Safety User Summit and addressed the innovations the U has made in mass notification. He is currently a member of the Salt Lake Valley WebEOC Technical Committee and the chair of the University of Utah GIS Subcommittee.

Prior to his career in emergency management, Mr. Moffatt spent 15 years in the Canadian high-tech industry as a web software developer. In his spare time, he has developed open-source software in the field of disaster management and climate change. He holds an Honors B.Sc. in Disaster Management from the University of Utah.