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TEAM

THE EVENT LOUNGE

Who We Are

The Event Lounge is a unique gathering of sharp, creative, solution-oriented industry experts, standing by to help guarantee your next meeting or event is flawlessly executed.

The members of our tight-knit “family” are multi-talented, each able to wear several different hats based on the needs of your project. Our “smart sized” team is one of the many things that makes The Event Lounge unique. We have a pool of industry experts and consultants at our fingertips that we partner with regularly, allowing our team to grow as needed. Our team is skilled and purposeful, allowing us to focus on your vision and ensure your event is exactly what you envision.


Alison (Kieckhafer) Zimmerman, CMP

OWNER AND CEO/ CHIEF EVENT OFFICER

Meet Alison

“It’s a true blessing to wake up each morning loving what I do for a living. Crafting and managing targeted, thoughtful events that drive home a message and satisfy all the senses is an amazing thing to do day in and day out! I am in awe of the things my talented team accomplishes for our clients.”

Alison is the Owner and CEO, Chief Event Officer, at The Event Lounge where she is constantly encouraging her team to exceed client expectations … all the while having a great time! She was inspired to open TEL because she wanted to assemble a “Dream Team” of staff members that were creative, resourceful and fun!! Her tremendous sense for logistical details and her keen eye for design ensure that every project TEL handles is targeted, thoughtful and crowd-pleasing!

Alison is also the Founder of SIP, an annual gathering of business professionals striving to make their mark by taking a stand, inspiring others to do the same, and providing aid to those in need in their community. At the 2015 inaugural event, SIP raised over $11,000 for Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry. At the 2016 event, an additional $20,000 was raised for the same charity.

Alison is a 21-year veteran of the special event and meeting production industry. After obtaining a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Communications in 1996 from The University of San Diego, she immediately dove into the hospitality industry, and it has been her passion ever since!

Alison’s industry experience runs the full spectrum as she has served as a Meeting Planner, Event Producer, Creative Director, Project Manager and Account Executive. Alison has managed all segments of corporate events and production including travel logistics, destination management, food and beverage, special event décor, audio-visual production, and name and local entertainment. She was instrumental in launching the on-property supplier-partner relationship with the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona, managing their Event Production office for three plus years. In that three-year period alone, she personally produced over 1500 events – an amazing accomplishment by any standard!

Alison’s industry accomplishments are well recognized. She is currently a finalist for the 2017 Planner Of The Year Award for the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. She was honored as one of Collaborate Magazine’s 40 Under 40 for 2013. She was also the proud recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award at the June 2010 Awards Dinner; a President’s Award for 2012-2013; and two Member Choice Awards for the Chapter at the June 2009 Awards Dinner: Outstanding Chapter Special Event of the Year and Outstanding Chapter Committee of the Year.

Away from the office, Alison is highly involved in Meeting Professionals International (MPI). She is the past president of the MPI Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. Other past positions held include two terms as VP of Education and Events, VP of Membership, Co-Chair of the Chapter Charity Relations Committee and serving on the Chapter’s Corporate Social Responsibilities Committee and as the Co-Chair of the February 2009 Sustainable Event.

Specialties: Creative Event Design and Theming, Logistics Management, Contract Negotiation, Leadership

Passions: Family, Friends, Celebrating Women in Business

Most Memorable Event Moment: I will never forget being on the field, managing the props that were used in the pre-game show during Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.


Annie Matthews 

SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER / INNOVATIVE EXPERIENCE ENGINEER

Meet Annie

“I am looking forward to the challenges of my new position as I explore the amazing opportunities I have here at The Event Lounge! I can’t wait to embark on the exciting adventures that await as I grow my relationships with clients and advance my career with this sensational group of talented event professionals!”

Annie is a native Texan, born and raised in Dallas, who got to the beaches of Florida as quickly as she could! After graduating from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach with a degree in International Business, she came back to Dallas and has been in the events industry for more than 20 years. Most recently she has been on the audio-visual side of the industry but she also has experience with events, tradeshows, software and hotels – making her the perfect person to assist clients in finding strategic solutions for their corporate communication needs.

Annie has been a member of the MPI D/FW Chapter for over five years, three of which she has spent dedicating her time and knowledge to the Board of Directors. She was also recently slated to be President of the Chapter from July 2020 – June 2021.

Away from work, Annie is passionate about loving on and pouring into the 5th grade girls at Watermark Community Church every Sunday morning. She also has two precious cats – Pete & Tilley.  On pretty days, you can also find her enjoying time on a patio with a cold drink in hand. Oh … And be sure to ask her about her budding entertainment career as rap artist “Dawg Bizkit!”

Specialties: Relationship-building, problem-solving, logistics management.

Passions: Beaches, Good wine, time with family

Most Memorable Event Moment: taking a blank canvas of a ballroom and creating a spectacular experience with lights, visuals, and sound for all participants!


Carrie Elder, CMP

MEETING PLANNER/MEETING MAGICIAN

Meet Carrie

“I am beyond excited about my new adventure with The Event Lounge! To work with so many wildly creative people is going to be exhilarating. I look forward to overseeing the essential details to the meetings and conferences we produce that ensure their creative ideas are flawlessly executed each and every time!”

Carrie has over 15 years of association and corporate meetings industry experience.  She is a detail oriented individual who is passionate about the hospitality industry.  Prior to joining The Event Lounge Carrie worked in the meetings area for a 28,000+ member association.

Carrie received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Eastern New Mexico University.  She is a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).  Carrie served two terms as Vice President of Membership and one term as Director of Membership for the MPI D/FW Chapter.  In 2006 Carrie obtained the prestigious Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation from the Events Industry Council.

In her spare time Carrie is an avid traveler who enjoys seeing the world, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures.  She’s also enjoys 80’s music and has never met a dog or cat that she didn’t like.

Specialties: Logistics management, Registration, ESG creation

Passions: Travel, Seeking out the Best Margaritas, Spending Time with My Dad

Most Memorable Event Moment: Creating memorable incentive trip experiences to reward employees for their hard work, dedication and high level of productivity.


Donna Ramsay, CMP

OPERATIONS MANAGER/ DILIGENT EVENT DETAILER

Meet Donna

“Nothing gives me greater pleasure than exceeding client expectations as I navigate the management of details and logistics for our client projects. I just love that it’s never the same things twice so we’re always crafting custom solutions to meet client needs.”

Donna thrives on details. She ensures every event is a success and listens to our client’s goals and expectations. She is determined to execute every event flawlessly.  Since being in the meetings and events industry for the last 9 years, Donna has managed over 120 national events. These events range from conferences, auto and trade shows, dealer meetings to special events like SXSW and Special Olympics Summer Games 2015.

Previously, Donna has overseen events ranging from 50 to 1000 attendees and managed road tours for several years while meeting thousands of people. Donna earned her Master in Business Administration at the University of Windsor with a focus on Marketing.

She has 3 handsome boys that keep her very active. She loves to travel and enjoys all the people she meets along the way.

Specialties: Logistics Management, Tradeshow Management,  Traveling Roadshows and Activations

Passions: Travel (especially to Italy), her three boys, and being active in the outdoors

Most Memorable Event Moment: When we were hired at the last minute to replace a failing meeting management company and I was able to orchestrate a tradeshow with over a hundred booths without a single issue.


Eric Zimmerman

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER/ JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES

Meet Eric

“After 25+ years in public safety, changing career paths and leading the charge for HR and IT at an event production company is a blast! I enjoy being the one that brings processes and infrastructure to such a creative team of people. It is beyond rewarding!”

Eric is the Chief Information Officer and Jack-Of-All-Trades for our team. Born in Ohio and raised in Plano, Texas, Eric started his first career in Public Safety (EMS, fire and law enforcement) 25+ years ago.  He is also a former US Navy Chief Corpsman, serving most of his career with the Marine Corps.  After playing an instrumental role in the Human Resources and IT arenas at his last agency, Eric brings a depth of knowledge and passion for developing leaders and a love for process and policy to The Event Lounge.

In addition to managing all that goes along with HR and IT, it is also common to see Eric lending a hand in the construction warehouse and on-site at events around the country. He is a firm believer that his effectiveness as a leader in the company is directly related to a thorough understanding of everything that event production entails and he isn’t opposed to rolling up his sleeves and assisting in the trenches when needed.

Eric’s shrewd leadership and his 360° approach to HR and IT, combined with his endless desire to understand the event industry, make him an invaluable contributor to The Event Lounge team. He is passionate, determined to do things correctly and always eager to learn more about how he and the company can be successful.

Specialties: Crisis Management, Emergency Preparedness Planning, Custom Construction, On-site Event IT Management

Passions: His family (especially his two boys), all things public safety, veterans’ issues

Most Memorable Event Moment: Back when I was a fire marshal, I used to love to stand in the safety drop zone under the firework displays on the Fourth of July.


Ashlyn Young

OPERATIONS MANAGER/CREATIVE DETAILS DIVA

Meet Ashlyn

“This company is the perfect combination of creativity, community, and crazy! No day is like the other and my coworkers are like my family. Striving for success for our clients while working alongside such creative people is truly my dream job.”

Ashlyn is an Operations Manager for TEL. She was born and raised in Dallas Texas and graduated from Stephen F Austin in Nacogdoches in 2017. With a major in Hospitality Administration and a focus in Meeting and Event planning she has been able to put her full knowledge into this job and learn along the way.

Ashlyn’s main role at The Event Lounge is to see an event off without a hitch. Anything from designing to planning to purchasing, she covers it all to make sure the client’s event is a success! While she spends quite a bit of time at events, you can also find her attending networking events for other planners in the Dallas area.

Ashlyn’s main passion is traveling and thankfully she gets to do quite a bit of it with this career! Apart from travelling, she likes to spend as much time with family as she can.

Specialties: Logistics, Registration, Event Website and Mobile App Design

Passions: Reading, Travelling and learning about other cultures!

Most Memorable Moment: A certain Superbowl party for an NFL player that took place at his house, when he happened to walk into his kitchen in nothing but a towel.


Teresa McDonald

WAREHOUSE AND INVENTORY MANAGER/ “MOTHER TERESA”

Meet Teresa

“I am still excited after 5 years with The Event Lounge family! To work with creative and inspiring individuals every day, makes this job not only fun but rewarding. Don’t get me wrong it is hard work and long hours but with teamwork we do awesome events! I am proud of the work ethic and family values we have.”

Teresa has over 35 years of experience, between all aspects of office
positions, various warehouse work, her own business and life adventures.
She is a detail and organized individual who is passionate about her job,
coworkers and family.

Teresa handles everything and anything that pertains to our warehouse;
inventory, shipping and receiving, fulfillment, event setup/strike.
In her spare time Teresa loves being outdoors, whether it is working in the yard, reading a book or going to a lake/beach to play in the water. To
disconnect and relax and enjoy life.

Specialties: Prop and Fulfillment Transportation, Inventory Management and Prop Construction

Passions: To be able to see all the beaches and meet people and to
discover their little towns (around the world) is what life is about. Be
adventurous! But to help other’s and animals is also something I try to do
every day.

Most Memorable Event Moment: Of course, it would have to be our event that took place in Hawaii! Wow says it all.


Lauren Roane

WAREHOUSE AND EVENT ASSISTANT/ WAREHOUSE GURU

Meet Lauren

“It’s such a cool thing to have a hand in the creation and implementation of corporate events. I love watching the attendees when they first walk into the event space and their faces light up.”

Lauren has been on The Event Lounge team since 2018 and serves a very instrumental role in the warehouse and prop management. She regularly assists with the creation of floral centerpieces, takes great pride in maintaining the pristine condition of our inventory and embodies our ideal that the product and people come first.

Specialties: Attention to Detail, Workplace Safety Implementation, Problem Solving

Passions: Animals (especially dogs), helping others, and reading

Most Memorable Event Moment: Getting ready for and setting up a super fun 80s party at the Glass Cactus in Grapevine.


Chewy

TEL SECURITY

Meet Chewy

Chewy has been with The Event Lounge for 8 years. He greets every visitor at the door with barks and cuddles, and he is an expert snack scavenger, keeping the warehouse floor tidy and clean!