Paul Radde
Thrival Systems
Specialties: The psychology of meetings; seating; meeting architecture

Dr. Paul O. Radde, Ph.D. has “a black belt in optimizing meeting architecture to promote engagement and forge relationships.” His book, Seating Matters: State of the Art Seating Arrangements, has given what seems like a relatively tame subject a “seat at the table.”


Dahlia El Gazzar
CEO & Founder/Editor, The Meeting Pool
Specialties: Technology; education; speaking

Having worked on both the hotel and planner side of the business, Dahlia brings a wealth of knowledge to the table, and specializes in spreading the word about new apps and other technology for meetings.


Roger Rickard
Founder, Voices in Advocacy
Specialties: Advocacy; education; speaking

Roger has been the consummate road warrior for the Meetings Mean Business campaign, which serves to show public policy-makers and politicians the economic value and job creation power of the various components of the meetings industry.


Shawna Suckow
Founder and President, SPIN
Specialties: Senior planners; education; speaking; attendee engagement

Leader of SPIN (Senior Planners Industry Network), Shawna is a voice for veteran planners, but also is a popular speaker delivering presentations on creating attendee engagement, planner-supplier relationship-building, social media, sponsorship strategies and “planning meetings for zombies.”


Emilie Barta
Chief Strategist, Emilie Barta Presentations
Specialties: Hybrid meetings; education; speaking

Whether delivering her message on stage in front of a live audience or via the Internet, Emilie engages attendees to learn more about hybrid meetings, which are gaining a foothold as a meeting component.


Janet Sperstad
Program Director, Meeting and Event Management Degree Program, Madison Area Technical College
Specialties: Education

A former meeting planner, Janet has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years, and was named the 2014 Educator Honoree by the PCMA Education Foundation. When it comes to her philosophy on meetings, Janet is a deep-thinker that believes they can be a transformative experience that create context and provide meaning.


William R. Host
Associate Professor, Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Roosevelt University
Specialties: Education

A 30-year industry veteran, and former president of HOST Meetings & Events, Bill is currently enmeshed in a study of hotels and meetings in Chicago from the Great Fire of 1871 through the First World War, and has amassed a collection of some 2,000 vintage postcards from the era.


Tracy Stuckrath
Founder/Chief Connecting Officer, Thrive! Meetings & Events
Specialties: F&B and food allergies; speaker; special events; meetings management

An advocate and practitioner of combating food allergies at meetings and events, Tracy, who has food allergies herself, beats the drum for making F&B more inclusive of attendee needs that are frequently overlooked.