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Andrew Gibbons has been working with LAI clients for their major event needs for 5 years now and his focus is the still the same when he started at LAI--provide great customer service and candid, transparent advice to his clients. Before joining LAI, Andrew worked in the Bush and Obama Administrations doing Events and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. General Services Administration.

Katherine Bentley loves the speaking business because she has the opportunity to hear insights from experts in many fields and personal stories from some of the most interesting people in the country. She takes the extra time to really understand the speakers, their insights, and the needs of the corporations and associations with which she works. Taking pride in coming up with lesser known speaker recommendations, Katherine enjoys helping her clients create great events.

Debbie Saylor is a marketing and public relations professional with more than 18 years of experience, including 14 years working directly in the events industry. She joined Leading Authorities in 1998 as the director of marketing, working at the company for nearly 10 years before leaving to raise her two sons. During that time she also managed several speakers, helping them with their marketing and promotional efforts. Her enthusiasm for the industry led her back to LAI, rejoining the team in 2011.

Ned Jovanovich is a Senior Vice President of Leading Authorities, Inc. He joined the team in 2007 after a 14 year career in the hotel industry. Ned and the LAI Mid-West team based in Chicago, Illinois, assist our clients in securing top quality speakers and event production for national trade and professional associations as well as corporate clients. Ned is also a key player in the recruitment and development strategy for the company.

Mike Penny believes that great speakers and seamless experiences can bring events to the next level. He works tirelessly with clients to identify the right expert for their audience and event based on their goals and ensures that events offer audiences an unforgettable experience. Mike Penny has steadily climbed the ranks at Leading Authorities since joining as an intern, and he was attracted to the company because he knows that nothing beats a great live event.

Jonathan Lane first came to Leading Authorities as an event coordinator in charge of logistics, drawn to the position by his interest in current events and the prospect of working with major players in politics, business, and innovation. He excelled in that role and has moved on and up to sales. Jonathan loves the positive effect he can have on clients when the speakers and event ideas he suggests improve the quality of their events. He believes that attendees remember great keynote speakers for a lifetime, and the right speaker can truly have a life-changing effect on an audience.

Tony Berardo is a senior vice president of Leading Authorities, Inc. He is a certified meeting planner, and works with dozens of corporations and trade associations all over the country, helping to design world class meeting experiences. Tony has experience booking many of Leading Authorities most high profile speakers, as well managing event production sales with his biggest clients. 

Tony joined Leading Authorities in 1996 after leaving a D.C. based corporation where he served as an energy analyst and meeting planner.

Mimi Hair has worked at Leading Authorities since 1993. She assists corporate and association clients in securing speakers and top quality event production. After her first five years working in the D.C. headquarters of Leading Authorities, Mimi moved to the Colorado to open a satellite office in the Rocky Mountains.  She has lived and worked in this location since 1998. She serves technology, banking, supply chain, energy, retail and many other companies throughout the United States. Mimi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications from Villanova University in 1990. 

Rainey Foster is executive vice president and partner of Leading Authorities, Inc, serving on the company’s Management Committee. During her 20 years at Leading Authorities, Foster has developed strong working relationships with both her clients and the firm’s exclusive talent. She understands the critical needs of the company’s high-profile speakers, the requirements of clients, and the scale of events to keep employees and audiences entertained.

With 14 years’ experience in the marketing realm ranging from print advertising to experiential marketing, Judy has worked alongside national brands to amplify both B2B and B2C outreach. Judy creates innovative solutions that garner attention, create brand awareness and provide a strong ROI.