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Meet Our Team
LAI Live houses some of the industry's most creative, intelligent, and ruthless talent.
Our team members bring clients more than event management- they offer a full-service experience.
  • matts
    • Leadership
    President & Chief Executive Officer

    Matthew Jones is the president and chief executive officer at Leading Authorities Inc., one of the nation’s most prominent event design and lecture…

  • Kate Burns
    • Leadership
    Chief Operating Officer

    Kate Burns is the chief operating officer at Leading Authorities. With a 10+ year background with LAI, Kate is involved across the company in executing our plans for growth, helping build a company that creates value and opportunity for all of us in the years ahead.

  • hele
    • Leadership
    • Account Executives
    • Event Consultants
    Senior Vice President, LAI Live & LAI Video

    Helena Lehman is responsible for building the company’s business in content marketing strategy among its clientele.

  • Shannon Semler
    • Leadership
    • Producers
    Senior Vice President, LAI Live

    With more than 15 years experience as an event producer, Shannon has produced everything from multi-million dollar, nationally-televised events to a nationwide…

  • Katie Nesbit-Blackburn
    • Producers
    Executive Producer, LAI Live

    Katie Nesbit-Blackburn joined LAI Live with over a decade of experience in all facets of event production.

  • fe
    • Producers
    Producer, LAI Live

    Elizabeth has over 10 years of experience working with LAI customers in all aspects of our business. She maintains production schedules, manages workflow and tracks…

  • sc
    • Producers
    Creative Director, LAI Live

    With over a decade of experience designing a wide variety of engaging visual media solutions, Benjamin McGeever brings a refined eye and a fresh approach to…

  • dv
    • Account Executives
    • Event Consultants
    Vice President, Creative Strategy

    Having worked in broadcast, digital, and social media, Melinda offers a range of skills that the LAI Video and LAI Live programs rely on.

  • megan-davison-headshot
    • Account Executives
    • Event Consultants
    Event Consultant

    Megan Davison knows that finding the perfect event strategy for a client can move hearts and minds—that’s why she was drawn to working at LAI in event sales.

  • rainey-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Partner & Executive Vice President

    Rainey Foster is executive vice president and partner of Leading Authorities, Inc, serving on the company’s Management Committee.

  • steve-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Managing Director - London Office

    Steve Bagshaw is Leading Authorities’ first London-based employee, and he is in charge of managing speakers and events for the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.

  • mimi-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Senior Vice President, Colorado Office

    Mimi Hair has worked at Leading Authorities since 1993. She assists corporate and association clients in securing speakers and top quality event production.

  • tony-berardo-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Senior Vice President

    Tony 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.

  • ned-jovanovich-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Senior Vice President

    Ned and the LAI Mid-West team based in Chicago, Illinois, assist our clients in securing speakers and entertainment for national trade and professional associations as well as corporate clients.

  • katy-foster-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Senior Vice President

    Katy Foster started at Leading Authorities as an intern and quickly rose up the ranks, serving as a production assistant and then the digital marketing coordinator before ultimately taking her skill set to event sales.

  • jonathan-lane-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Senior Vice President

    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.

  • andrew-gibbons-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Vice President

    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.

  • debbie-saylor-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Vice President

    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.

  • jeannette-smith-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Vice President

    Jeannette Smith came to Leading Authorities, Inc. after serving in the George W. Bush White House and at the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm where she worked closely with exclusive speaker, General Michael Hayden.

  • mike-penny-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Managing Director - Chicago Office

    Mike 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.

  • jeff-robbin-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Vice President

    Jeff Robbin works on the sales team as a Vice President for Leading Authorities.

  • sc
    • Account Executives
    Senior Account Director, LAI Live + LAI Video

    Susy Shaw is a Senior Account Director for Video and Live Production. She works closely with her clients, from the first call to the big day, in order to ensure they…

  • lisa-mcfadden-headshot
    • Account Executives
    Vice President

    Lisa McFadden loves the energy of meetings and events.

  • Lisa Raines
    • Account Executives
    Senior Program Consultant

    For over fourteen years, Lisa Raines has helped clients design programs that engage, excite, and inspire meeting attendees.