Dena is an Account Manager and has an extremely extensive background in sales and marketing. Working as an Account Manger for Verizon on business-to-business accounts and one of the top selling executives with Rain Soft, Dena understands the benefits of establishing long term client relationships and the mutual benefits such relationships bring. Dena’s approach to new and existing clients is simple and straightforward; help the client understand how to best prepare for an upcoming show so that the client realizes their full potential and maximizes the return on the investment. She prides herself on working very closely with new businesses in order to see them through the inquiry phase to the contract phase to their “show” experience and finally to assisting with the clients post show follow up with brides.
Michele Johnson, Account Manager
Michele is an Account Manager and has an extremely extensive background in exposition sales, business-to-business sales and consumer marketing. Prior to joining our company in 2016, she was a Senior Account Manager for StyleMax within Merchandise Mart Properties for 10 years. Working with a book of more than $3.75 million in trade show and exhibit sales, Michele understands that the route to success is understanding the unique needs of the clients she serves and tailoring cost-effective solutions to help businesses grow their market share. Within the wedding industry, Michele previously worked as an account executive for Chicago Style Weddings Magazine where she helped small and large businesses grow their annual revenues with creative print ads, internet badge ads, and strategic lead list marketing programs. Michele values integrity and honesty, and gives 110% to ensure that her clients find success through the marketing programs we offer. Michele’s drive in all she does can be traced back to her efforts of keeping in touch with her clients and knowing they found great results from the advertising program she recommended. In her free time, Michele loves spending time with her husband and two young children. She loves biking, baking with her daughter and trying new local restaurants.
Jim Verraros, Executive Vice President
Jim is Executive Vice President and wears multiple hats within the company ranging from servicing local, national and international wedding purveyors, wedding gown designers, copywriting and editing, social media and branding strategies with the entire sales office. Jim is fluent is American Sign Language, growing up in a household with deaf parents. Jim attended Monmouth College on a Theater scholarship, then transferred to Columbia college and has an extensive background in musical theater production and was on the first season of the hit TV Show American Idol premiering in 2002. He was ranked 9th alongside winner Kelly Clarkson. After traveling on tour to 30 US cities, Jim has starred in two movies, and released two pop albums. Jim applies his extensive background in film, fashion, entertainment, television, and marketing to his work at the company and the clients he serves.
Amy Craig, Administrative Assistant
Amy began working at our company in 2007 and was one of our top producing account executives. She loved the relationships that she built with her clients and was passionate about helping them build and expand their businesses. Next, in 2016, she has moved into an executive administrative role working on multiple parts of the business that serves as the glue that holds the team tightly together. From processing ticket orders, to designing floor plans, working on consumer advertising and social media, she ensures that nothing slips through the cracks within the fast paced and bustling office environment. Fast and efficient processing of our ticket orders for our events is one of the cornerstones of our business. As a multi-tasker for the entire office, she also serves as assistant to the President.
Erin McNamee, Vendor Relations & Accounting
Erin McNamee joined our company in 2009 and quickly learned the "ins and outs" of the entire operations of the company. Erin plays many roles within the company including Administrative Assistant, Accounts Receivable, Assistant Show Manager and Ticket Box Office Coordinator. She exhibits exceptional customer service and support skills and works hard to ensure we always have flawless events from the early planning stages to the day of the event, and beyond. Erin works closely with all cast members of our organization most notably, Lisa Ellis, our Set Up Manager at each of our 32 annual events.
Carol Tardi, Fashion Director
Carol Tardi has been in the fashion merchandising and show production arena for over 30 years and has written fashion show scripts and commentated at over 3,000 events for local boutiques and major national retailer and designers from around the globe. Working hand in hand with Bridal Expo Chicago and Milwaukee for 18 years as fashion commentator and liaison between production and fashion, Carol officially came on board this year as head of our Fashion Division and serves as Fashion Director. Carol’s diverse background in fashion merchandising and coordination instruction at local colleges, sales, retail merchandising, and client relations brings a wealth of knowledge to our company and the clients we serve. Carol understands the need to simultaneously deliver great entertainment to standing room only crowds while also tailoring the presentation to ultimately drive traffic back to the show sponsors business.
Paula Burnette, Vice President
Paula oversees a multitude of tasks within the office including office operations, consumer bridal marketing, bride lead list management, Internet marketing, and print advertising to name just a few. Paula joined the company in 1995 and quickly advanced through the ranks to her current role as Vice President for the company. She also compiles comprehensive demographic research keeping abreast of the ever-changing trends in the local and national bridal market for the mutual benefit of the clients we serve and the brides in attendance. In addition, she oversees the entire website operation for the company managing one of the most critical aspects of our business; overseeing the execution and fulfillment of our daily ticket orders and data base management that is one of the major engines that drives our business
Bill Brennan, President, CEO
Bill oversees the operations, sales and marketing, promotions and finances of the company. Bill began with the company in 1996 as a Marketing Consultant, then VP, and moving to the role of President when he acquired the company in 1998. Bill grew up in Philadelphia and later moved to the Midwest in 1986 to continue his training as an Elite level figure skater. In 1989, Bill placed 12th in the United States at the US National Figure Skating Championships in pair skating. Bill comes from a comprehensive background of catering services, party and event planning producing large-scale events for Hewlett Packard, The Ryder Cup, Nova Pharmaceuticals Clausen Miller, Altschuler, Melvoin and Glasser, as well as Sprint Corporation’s 4,000 person Delegate Party at the 1996 Chicago Democratic National Convention.
207 E. Ohio Street, Suite 410 * Chicago, IL 60611 * (312) 427-4325
400 River Ridge Drive * Elgin, IL 60123 * (847) 428-3320