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SUZANNE NEVE, CEO

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Upon graduation from the Pennsylvania State University, Suzanne began her professional career in the hospitality industry where she honed her organizational and marketing skills. Managing a high performing Marriott property, she garnered several awards including Manager of the Year, General Manager of the Year and Hotel of the Year.

Prior to accepting the position as Executive Director for FFEA, Suzanne spent five years directing events for the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce. In her position there, she oversaw the production and execution of over 60 events per year, including the ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival. ArtiGras is one of the largest art festivals in the state of Florida and has been recognized as one of the top 50 art festivals in the U.S. and one of the top 20 events in the Southeastern U.S. During her time at the Chamber, their events earned several awards for advertising and organizational excellence.

As the CEO for FFEA Suzanne is responsible for all operational aspects of the organization, including membership growth, multimedia marketing, and event management. FFEA's 600 members represent the industry's top leaders and the Association serves as a resource to help them perform at their peak through education, networking and the cultivation of the highest standards. In her role with FFEA, Suzanne and her team visit events throughout the state of Florida and United States and they strive to connect, educate and advocate on behalf of FFEA's diverse membership.

She and her husband Jeff have recently relocated to the Orlando area with their two children Matthew and Elizabeth and are enjoying being closer to their family (and Mickey Mouse of course!).

DEANNA BODLEY, STUDENT INTERN

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Welcome Deanna Bodley to our FFEA Team as she works with us to complete her internship. Deanna is a student at the University of Florida and will graduate in August 2021 with a BS in Event Management.

Deanna will be working with us on our Convention Planning, specifically with the Awards, Trade Show, Program and Entertainment Showcase Committees.

What is your Career Goal (upon graduation and long term)?

To manage and/or coordinate events at an entertainment venue. Even finding a job working for an entertainment group to plan music and arts festivals and/or concerts.

Can you share any past event related experience that you have (paid or volunteer)? How has that experience shaped you?

I volunteered at Bonnaroo Music Festival and worked as a part of the general event staff working booths. Even though this experience wasn’t much when it came to my career goal, it was what inspired my career goal, clarified what my passion is, and defined what I would be good at and love doing.

What you are most looking forward to with the internship experience?

I’m looking forward to learning the technical skills of the position and figuring out what areas I’m proficient in and truly like doing. I am also excited to network with the various industry professionals to further my reach in finding a career I can flourish in.



HANNAH CARRIGAN, STUDENT INTERN

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Welcome Hannah Carrigan to our FFEA Team as she works with us to gain event experience before graduation. Hannah is a student at the University of Florida majoring in Hospitality & Event Management and minoring in Business Administration. She anticipates graduating in the Spring of 2022.

Hannah will be working with us to gain experience with the Hospitality, Marketing & Emerging Leaders Committees.

What is your Career Goal (upon graduation and long term)?

Upon graduation my career goal is to hopefully work for Disney. My long term career goal is to help people create memorable and positive memories! I want to provide great experiences for people and help them create life long memories and make a positive impact on their life.

Can you share any past event related experience that you have (paid or volunteer)? How has that experience shaped you?

My Past event experience has been attending events and planning one of my own events. This experience helped me learn how much work really goes into an event and how detail oriented you must be to work in the event industry.

What you are most looking forward to with the internship experience?

I am most excited about working with other young professionals in the event industry and learning all there is to know about planning a big event. This internship is going to teach me so much and introduce me to lots of new people. I am very excited for what this internship has to offer and how much I will grow from it!




SAMANTHA SCHAEFER, STUDENT INTERN

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Welcome Sam Schaefer to our FFEA Team as she works with us to complete her internship and gain event experience before graduation. Sam is a student at the University of Florida majoring in Tourism, Events and Recreation Management. She anticipates graduating in the Summer of 2021.

Sam will be working with us to gain experience with in the non-profit and events sector.

What is your Career Goal (upon graduation and long term)?

Upon graduation, my career goal is to work with a reputable company as the Lead Event Coordinator. I would like to work for a company that values loyalty, customer service, and sustainability. I plan to earn a few Hospitality and Event certifications in order to continue educating myself.

Can you share any past event related experience that you have (paid or volunteer)? How has that experience shaped you?

While interning with Cure HHT, I had the opportunity to help plan and execute a 4-day Scientific Conference in Puerto Rico. Since we had attendees from 6 different continents, this event opened my eyes to the opportunities available around the world. It gave me a new perspective and expanded my knowledge of large events.

What you are most looking forward to with the internship experience?

I’m looking forward to using my knowledge and past experiences to make an impact at FFEA. Having the opportunity to work on real-world projects will help me build confidence and grow in my career. I’m also excited to meet professionals in the event industry in Florida.



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