Alex Armstrong is the owner and creative director of Three Tall Women Design, a production design firm specializing in corporate events. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she worked as a set/lighting designer for shows at the Edinburgh Festival and touring productions through Europe. Back in Alberta, Alex combined her theatre design experience and love of live events and opened Three Tall Women Design in 1997. In 2006 she bought out her partners, incorporated the business and relaxed the height and gender policy. Alex offers a number of workshops and is a sought-after presenter/instructor at NAIT, Red Deer College, Banff Center for the Performing Arts, Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT), Keyano College and the University of Alberta. Alex is one of the founding members of the ISES International Special Events Society chapter in Edmonton, serving as President 2013/2014.
Maya Daniel is an instructor at NAIT in the Business Foundations program and the Event Management program. She has previously taught at the Nanjing Institute of Industry Technology in China.
Prior to her career in education, Maya worked in the hospitality and tourism industry within hotels, restaurants, and special events in Toronto and Edmonton. Her hotel experience ranges from independent boutique properties to large international brands, where she specialized in Catering Management, Sales, and Banquets. Maya has also worked as a Consultant at MacEwan University in the department of Conference and Event Services where she focussed on large scale conferences.
Maya holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Ryerson University, a Master of Arts in Tourism Management from Royal Roads University, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Adult Learning through the University of Calgary.
As an avid traveller, Maya has spent time in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, and the Caribbean for work and pleasure, but she is a prairie girl who is proud to call Edmonton home.
Cana Events Inc. was established as an Alberta Corporation in 2002. Prior to founding Cana Events, Cathy worked in the not-for-profit sector and gained 25 years of experience in event development and management, facilitation of groups, orientation and training, and board and volunteer development. This base of experience, along with post-secondary education in Public Relations and Communications, Volunteer Management, and Business Development, has contributed to the building of a successful and reputable event planning business servicing the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Cana Events Inc. specializes in working together with planning teams and committees to achieve a coordinated plan resulting in events that clients are proud to be a part of. The range, variety and scope of events planned and implemented over the years have produced a repertoire of quality tested systems and strategies that provide a solid base for new to experienced event planners.
Cathy Harvey and her family are active members of the Edmonton community and Cathy is enthusiastic and grateful for the opportunity to join the NAIT team of instructors to pass on the skills and experience of event planning and implementation. “Events are a powerful way to showcase an organization and ‘to bring people together’ to achieve the purpose they set out for.”
Manfred has worked in the hospitality and meetings industry for over 17 years, starting as a Red Seal Chef. His current role as Client Services Manager has allowed him to work on events as diverse as Red Bull Crashed Ice to weddings, international conventions to fundraising galas. Working at the Shaw Conference Centre and implementing sustainable practices has contributed to the Centre being recognized for several sustainability awards. Manfred has been a member of the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) at an international level for seven years and has presented on behalf of GMIC and the Shaw Conference Centre on many topics but always with a focus on his passion – keeping it green and on budget.
Owner and lead planner, Caitlin McElhone, is passionate about lifestyle, urban living and executing exciting events for her clients. Born and raised in Edmonton, Caitlin has been planning corporate events full time since 2006 - that's over 75 events and counting!
Caitlin studied Marketing and Clothing & Textile Design at the University of Alberta where her passion for design grew and she was exposed to the event planning industry for the first time. From there she worked full time with one of Edmonton's leading event planning companies, ComLinks Events, where she was fortunate to be involved with and lead planner on many incredible projects such as Gold Medal Plates, the Mazonkowski Heart Institute Opening, Canadian Culinary Championships and more!
Passionate about Edmonton and getting involved with the community, Caitlin is an active supporter of local arts, not-for-profit groups, festivals and the farmers market. She lives, works and plays in downtown Edmonton with her husband Scott.
Kristine brings a wealth of event management experience from Asia where she was a Marketing Manager planning events and promotions for high net-worth clients in a multinational bank. Moving to Canada, she decided to switch gears and start a career in the hospitality industry. She took the Hospitality Management Program at NAIT and soon after graduating from the program, worked various positions in the industry – from her humble beginnings as an event planner for a student’s association to becoming a Conference Services Manager in an Edmonton downtown hotel. She planned conferences for major corporations and associations and coordinated board and lodging for sports teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Currently she works as an Event Consultant at MacEwan University’s Conference and Event Services department. A recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Tourism Management program at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. her passion for learning and education led her to teach and has enjoyed being an instructor in the Hospitality Management and Event Management programs at NAIT.
When not immersed in events and teaching, she is usually found treasure hunting in antique shops or exploring the city’s local restaurants and coffee shops.
Milena Santoro, author, educator, professional speaker, global trainer, award winning certified meeting & events professional who has earned many accolades managing events for corporations, international associations, social/life cycle clients and not-for-profit agencies. She is the Founder of MS Productions Inc., an international full service event, wedding and destination management company with offices in Canada & Europe.
Milena has been planning events for 25 years. Her background in hospitality, culinary arts, floral & interior design has provided her a strong foundation from which to be inspired by, in order to exceed her clients’ expectations. She is an entrepreneur who has built her business on integrity and a solid work ethic.
A recognized industry educator and founding member of the NAIT, Event Management Certificate program since 2007. She has been instrumental in developing, advocating and mentoring thousands of students that have enrolled in the program.
A long time supporter of the events industry, she serves in many leadership roles such as: President ISES Edmonton, Past President Edmonton MPI, Country Coordinator Canada West ABC, Director Certification WIPA, Education Director CAPS, Faculty member PCMA, Past President of Volunteer Management Group, Chair of National Occupational Standards for Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC) formerly (CAVR), just to name a few.
She believes: “Leadership is not about making yourself more powerful. It’s about making the people around you more powerful.” B. Linton
Shelley Switzer is the Artistic Producer at the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival (StreetFest) and is proud to be one of the instructors at NAIT – Event Management. Shelley has an extensive history as a festival producer/consultant, educator, theatre administrator, production manager and stage manager. Shelley has worked on events large and small, in Edmonton and across Canada, as well as in Europe and Australia (to name a few). She has worked on family celebrations, private and corporate events and at a wide variety of Festivals. Shelley has expertise in large scale events that includes; the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, the XV Winter Olympics in Calgary, the World Junior Championships in Athletics and various productions/events at HarbourFront Centre in Toronto.
Shelley is a much sought after consultant for Festivals all over the world and has started and is currently the programming partner and consultant to 3 Street Performers Festivals in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan. In addition, Shelley provides programming, consultancy and management for over 30 additional events, festivals and private and corporate events annually. There does not seem to be an opportunity or a challenge that Shelley cannot manage.
She brings great enthusiasm, passion, knowledge and experience to everything she works on. Shelley has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Mayor’s Evening for the Arts Award – Molson Award for Excellence in Artistic Direction, YWCA Women of Distinction Award, Arts and Culture and the Global Woman of Vision Award.