MEET OUR PRESIDENT
Originally from Paris, Texas, Johnell Huebner, graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Marketing and is currently the Owner of Clearly Classy Events based in Austin, Texas. Clearly Classy Events is an award winning company with acclaims such as the Texas Star Awards for Best Wedding $75k-$200k, Best Wedding under $75k, Best Team Effort $75k-$200k, and two International Esprit Awards for Best Social Event $25k-$75k and Best Team Effort $75k-$150k. She began planning events at a very early age for fun and started to make a career out of it shortly after graduating college. Her resume of events is far reaching including corporate events, weddings, golf tournaments, galas, reunions, pageants, street festivals, and many more. She was named one of “San Marcos’ Shining Stars Under 40”,she was a finalist in the Austin Business Journal “Women of Influence- Profiles in Power” and In 2009 was named the Volunteer of the Year by the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas and Leadership San Marcos and is very involved with many community activities and is the current President Elect for the ILEA Austin Chapter. She has been married for fourteen years to Russ Huebner and is the mother of two children Madeline and Ashton.
JESSICA DICKMAN, CSEP
Jessica graduated from The University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em Horns!) with a degree in Advertising. She got her start in the events industry in 2009 and has a diverse background of event-related experiences. Jessica has produced award-winning weddings and Jessica recently won NEAWP’s “Coordinator of the Year” award. Her creativity sparks thoughtful conversations and her attention to detail guarantees that she won’t miss a beat. Her favorite moment of the wedding process is seeing the venue transform into the bride and groom’s vision and watching their faces light up when they first see it.
Jessica also enjoys planning corporate events like galas and holiday parties. She has corporate event planning experience via her positions with National Instruments and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Jessica loves living in Austin, spending time with her Fiancé and their 7lb. Yorkie and is a self-admitted sweets fanatic!
LESLIE LaSORSA, CSEP
Immediate Past President
Leslie LaSorsa has over 14 years of experience in the events industry and serves as the Director of Catering with Crave Catering, one of Austin’s most sought after full service caterers. She is a native of Chicago, Illinois but grew up in Houston making her way to Austin for college, graduating with a BS in Accounting from The University of Texas. It was a long road becoming a CPA and fielding various corporate accounting positions primarily focused in the wireless telecommunications industry all over the US before making her way back to Austin and mistakenly thinking she’d relax by having some fun learning about small business at Crave. She’ll tell you it’s the hardest she’s ever worked but it’s also the most fun! Her interests include spending time with friends, family and her puppy, vacations, and exploring fun stuff.
Sara Champagne is a Louisiana girl by birth, but a Texan at heart. Raised in Southeast Texas for most of her life, Sara made the move to Austin in 2012. After graduating from Lamar University, she worked in non-profit and business management roles. Being involved in the planning processes of company events in her previous roles was something that Sara always enjoyed, and she made the decision to transition full time into the world of events in 2014. Sara has been working as the Sr Event Producer for MYEVENTISTHEBOMB since that time.
Always up for an adventure, in her free time, Sara can be found on the trails with her pup, paddle boarding/kayaking, or getting out of town for a quick road trip!
I absolutely love the dynamic of the event industry in Austin as well as the amazing opportunities for building relationships, collaboration and professional development that I have found in my involvement with ILEA!
Director of Membership
Christy was born in San Antonio, raised in Houston, and has called Austin her home since 2007. She’s a graduate of the University of Houston with a BA in Communication Studies and has been part of the Hospitality and Special Events Industry for the last 15 years.
Her interest in the events industry was ignited when she interned at the Mayor’s office, and shadowed the security and events team for preliminary site visits for Mayoral and Houston public events. Starting out in catering to pay her way through school led to off premise catering, catering sales, and event planning.
As of October 2016, Christy is proud to have moved into the event rentals industry under the wing of Delores Crum, and the Premiere Events Team. This was a long awaited transition, and Christy is thrilled to have made this transition.
She is over the moon with the multiple opportunities ILEA has to offer, and can’t wait to hit the ground running!
Director of Student Membership
Austin’s very own Texas-Ex and a former member of the talented Texas Belles Event Planning Organization, Sara, has interned and assisted with many of the best Austin event companies and has worked in many of the most popular wedding venues in town. Each apprenticeship provided her valuable experiences and lead to many friendships with local industry professionals. Sara currently works full time on corporate educational programs with Texas Executive Education.
Outside of the event industry, Sara is a work-out enthusiast, who spends all of her mornings at Dane’s Body Shop doing circuit training & Olympic weight lifting. Sara is a new dog mom to a maltipoo named Pete and you can find her most weekends at the dog park.
JEFF HUDSON, CSEP
Jeff Hudson, CSEP is the owner and senior DJ at Spacecraft Entertainment. He received a degree in music from DePauw University where he studied classical and jazz. He then performed over 2000 shows as a bassist on cruise ships and cover bands including The Spazmatics, an ’80s tribute band. His creative and entrepreneurial spirit led him to learning the craft of DJing and forming Spacecraft in 2009. Jeff has since DJ’d over 200 weddings and for corporate clients such as Apple, Facebook, Cheer America, Soylent, Uber, and The University of Texas. Spacecraft now has 6 DJs on staff and provides additional services such as A/V, karaoke, and lighting.
Jeff is ILEA Austin’s 2016-2017 Rising Star Award recipient and one of only two DJs in the world to earn a CSEP designation. He enjoys staying active playing basketball and hiking. His hobbies include gardening, collecting baseball cards, home improvement, and the healing arts.
Director of Communications
Originally from Colorado, Justin moved to Austin in 2011 to enjoy a warmer climate. Justin started in the photo booth industry where he managed staffing and oversaw Say Cheese’s events. With lots of talents, Justin took his managerial and organizational skills over to Game Plan Entertainment where he now oversees all of their onsite events, parties at the private arcade, and making sure everything runs smoothly. Justin has been an active member on the ILEA Austin Communication committee for 2 years. He is excited for the coming year and looks forward to what the future holds for our ILEA chapter.
In Justin’s free time you can find him playing his favorite sport, Field Mojo, or kicking back playing on his pool league. Justin enjoys watching Game of Thrones with his girlfriend and her chihuahua.
Director of Communications
Jennifer Isenberg officially cut her teeth in the event industry in 2001, when she moved to Austin. She is a native Texan and once she graduated from Texas Tech University she began to accumulate her years of professional experience in the corporate world by building a diverse background in management, marketing communications, international sales, OEM relationships, customer experience and eventually conference planning.
She planned her first multi-day conference over 15 years ago and was instantly hooked. She is passionate about the event industry and accepts all challenges with a seasoned and positive approach. When she wanted to start her own company, she knew the first step was to get involved in the local Austin event scene and that is when she discovered ILEA. Being a part of ILEA has been a game changer for her and accepting this board position was just one way to give back.
Jennifer is a proud wife, aunt and “dog-mom” to Winnie, Pepper, Ben, and Ike. “Adopt don’t shop!” Her motto is work hard, play hard, then recharge. Her interests include traveling with her husband Marc, playing tennis, listening to good music, dining, and socializing with their friends and family as much as possible!
VP Programs and Education
A Native Austinite and natural born planner, Lily has been organizing and color coding her life from the get go. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Art History, she got her start working in events in music venues in downtown Austin. Leaving the live music scene for the fine arts, Lily began working at the Blanton Museum of Art where she turned her passion for creating memorable experiences towards exhibition themed art parties and fundraising events for the museum.
Lily became involved with ILEA in 2015 in order to meet and connect with other like minded event professionals and was the recipient of the 2015-2016 ILEA Austin Rising Star Award. Since then, she has turned her focus to creating engaging and educational programs for ILEA and is proud to be taking over the role of VP of Education and Programs for the 2017-2018 year.
Always planning her next trip, Lily’s love of travel has taken her to Spain, France, Israel, Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Caribbean, thus far. She’ll never say no to queso & loves to enjoy the sunshine with her Pomeranian.
Director – Education
Lauren was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. The day after her high school graduation, she moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas. Upon graduating with her degree in Public Relations, she then went on to earn her Certification in Meeting and Event Planning, studying everything from Weddings to Trade Shows and Conferences.
Over the years Lauren interned at Elite Weddings and worked at In Style Weddings and Destinations before starting Eclipse Event Co. with Kristi DePew.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her twins Logan and Lacey along with her husband Rob.
Lauren has been a member of Meeting Professionals International and Wedding Network USA. She is also currently a member of the Junior League of Austin. This is her fourth time to serve on the Board for the International Live Events Association and is very excited to serve in her new role!
Director – Programs
Kimberly is from south Texas, attended and graduated from Texas State University with a degree in business management. A student organization called the Student Event Planners Association (SEPA) introduced her to the events industry and she fell in love!
After graduation, Kimberly continued her education by interning, volunteering, and working for numerous Austin event professionals. She currently serves on the board for the International Live Events Association (ILEA) as Director of Programs & Education.
Coffee is her drug of choice and if she could do anything else it would be traveling – EVERYWHERE! Kimberly loves spending time catching up on a good TV show or getting lost in a book with her two trusty pup sidekicks – Dean and Winchester!
Director – Secretary
Jenn was born and raised in Indiana until she followed her dreams to Austin, Texas in January 2014. Graduating with a BS in Interior Design from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, Jenn felt the nudge to move into the event industry after helping create some of the events for her sorority during college. The skills and creativity needed for both industries overlapped to make a smooth transition. Before moving to Austin, Jenn was a manager for a small local rental company and learned the ways of the industry, helping set up tents and bounce houses as well as working the books. Upon arriving, she knew the first thing to do was get involved with ILEA Austin to network and learn from the best. At one of those early meetings, she met The Man in the pink shirt and cowboy hat, and the rest is history. She hired on at Marquee Event Group, and has been helping fellow vendors and individuals with their rental needs. While in Muncie, Jenn understood the value of giving back and was on the board for WIBU, a women’s business group, and MYP, a young professional group, and is excited to be part of the movers and the shakers in Austin’s event industry for another year. Jenn won the 2015 Rising Star Award and was a part of a winning team for a Texas Star Award in 2016 and 2017 and 2016 ESPRIT Award.
When not corralled in her cubicle, Jenn enjoys hanging out with her husband Brooks and friends, decorating and organizing their house, helping their pets – 4 year old Tabby, Silvia, and 7 year old PitBull/Husky, Skout – learn to get along, day tripping through The Lone Star State, and planning their future together here in Texas, which includes a Baby Girl due in August.
Thank you Bert McClendon for the photos!