To provide a gateway to iconic leading facilities and memorable experiences through comprehensive event planning services for the University of Michigan and greater community.
We are your gateway to the tradition, the history and the prestige of the many unique and distinctive venues at the University of Michigan.
We partner with you to create a conference or event that is everything it must be. And more.
We work beside you from ideation to finale. For the big picture and for every tiny detail.
We are here for you in every way—from guest accommodations to catering—with seamless ease, quiet confidence and reassuring expertise.
This is Michigan Conference & Event Services.
Amy Barnhart (She/Her/Hers)
Associate Director, Conferences & Summer Operations
Amy Barnhart brings 18 years of experience to her position as Associate Director of Conferences & Summer Operations. She holds a bachelor’s in sports medicine, a master’s in student personnel in higher education, and is a PhD candidate in educational leadership. Prior to joining Conference & Event Services, Amy was the assistant director and area coordinator for Michigan Housing, coordinator for Orientation & Transition Programs and area complex director at Eastern Michigan University, and hall director at Alma College. Amy currently resides in Livonia. When not at work, you can find her camping, hiking, doing yoga, visiting museums, and spending time with her partner, three kids, and dog.
Heather Beitler She/Her/Hers
Heather Beitler joins Conference and Event Services with 20 years of experience in the hospitality and event planning industry. Prior to joining CES as Conference Manager, she served as a recreation and program manager, event specialist for John Paul Getty Center and Villa, and a craft cocktail bartender and assistant bar manager in Los Angeles. Heather obtained a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. When she’s not at work, you can find her staying active, traveling, going to the gym, enjoying time outdoors, and spending quality time with her family and loved ones.
Caroline Clark (She/Her/Hers)
Conferences and Office Manager
Caroline Clark joins Conference & Events Services with 17 years of professional experience. Prior to joining CES as Conference and Events Manager, Caroline worked in patient services for Michigan Medicine, in management for the Polo Fields Golf & Country Club and Alexander’s Land and Sea Grill, and with the Catering Evans Street Station and Glass House Cafe. She studied Environmental Science at Eastern Michigan University and holds a Manage First certification in Hospitality and Restaurant Management, Customer Service, and Restaurant Marketing. Caroline currently resides in Brighton and, when not at work, you can find her cooking, baking, and spending time with her two children.
Ann-Marie Davis (She/Her/Hers)
Associate Director of Event Services
Ann-Marie Davis joins Conference & Event Services after serving over fifteen years in the hospitality industry. Many of those years were spent at Walt Disney World in Florida where she honed her skills as Contemporary Resort catering manager, event operations planning manager and events operations and conventions manager. In her current role as Associate Director of Event Services, Ann-Marie works with event managers to sell, plan and execute events held at the Michigan Union, Michigan League, and Pierpont Commons. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Hospitality Management. Ann-Marie currently resides in Fenton. When she is not working you can find her going to movies, exploring new restaurants and boutiques, and spending time outside with her dog Lucy Lu.
Kristen Fedewa She/Her/Hers
Assistant Director of Event Services
Kristen Fedewa brings 14 years of experience to her position as Assistant Director of Event Services. Prior to joining Conference & Event Services, Kristen was senior event manager for Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center and event manager for JW Marriott Chicago. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University. When not at work, you can find her spending time with family, traveling, going to the beach, and enjoying time outside. Kristen currently resides in Brighton.
Kenzie Foster She/Her/Hers
Meetings and Special Events Assistant
Kenzie Foster started out in the events industry as an intern for The High Five, a venue in Grand Rapids. She joins Conference & Event Services in the role of Meetings and Special Events Assistant and will handle all aspects of events such as venue planning, tours, inquiries, client and vendor relations, and more. Kenzie obtained a degree in hospitality administration from Central Michigan University. When not at work, you can find her spending time with her twin dachshund puppies Sugar and Poppy, skiing, relaxing with friends and family, rollerblading, or spending a day on a boat. She currently resides in Swartz Creek.
Elaine Hanke (She/Her/Hers)
Elaine Hanke joined the University in February, 2017, coming from the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she was the Associate Director, Student Union and Event Services. Her experience is rich in managing campus-wide events and conferences, ranging from cheer-leading camps to US presidential visits. Most recently, she served on the Presidential Debate Technical Committee (UNLV was the final 2016 Presidential debate host site) where she handled broadcast network media staging and contracts. Elaine has experience working collaboratively with student organizations, community partners, departments, and commercial groups. Elaine’s vision for Conference & Event Services is to be recognized as the event experts on campus with the team having a reputation for creating exceptional client experiences.
Mike Hill (He/Him/His)
Conference & Summer Operations Manager
Mike Hill joins Conference & Event Services with 27 years of experience in the education industry. He served as an educator for Saline Area Schools and as an LEO Intermittent Lecturer with the Comprehensive Studies Program at U‑M. In his current role as Conference and Summer Operations Manager, Mike oversees conferences as well as the execution of summer programs on campus. A graduate of U‑M, Mike holds master’s degrees in Education and English, and bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications. When he’s not at work, Mike enjoys downhill skiing, reading crime fiction, rooting for U‑M sports, studying film history, and attending his daughter’s high school theater and sporting events.
Bridgett Lansink (She/Her/Hers)
Bridgett comes to the CES with 15 years of experience within the hospitality industry. Prior to arriving at UM, she was the Event Coordinator of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and also spent time as the Assistant GM for Macy’s Food Divisions as well as a Catering Manager for Sodexo. A graduate of Iowa State University, Bridgett now resides in Ann Arbor. When not at work for her clients, you can find her on a golf course, exercising via Muay Thai and Boxing, skiing or traveling as well as solving puzzles and playing board games.
Jane Lloyd (She/Her/Hers)
Jane began her career with the university as a catering server while she was still a U‑M student. She learned all about event flow and how to create a sense of hospitality for her guests. When she graduated, Jane worked as an event planner for Zingerman’s Catering, where she planned and managed more than 50 events at venues throughout southeast Michigan. In 2013, she joined the Conference & Event Services team and was promoted to assistant director of social sales in 2014.
Katie Massa (She/Her/Hers)
Katie Massa joins Conference & Event Services after spending the past five years as the U‑M golf course events coordinator for Michigan Dining. She also served as a catering captain for Michigan Dining, and interned with the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, as well as Zingerman’s Catering & Events. In her current role as Sales Manager, Katie assists clients with their conference planning, registrations, virtual events, and summer programs. She obtained a degree in Hospitality Business from Michigan State University and currently resides in Ann Arbor. When Katie is not working you can find her spending time with family and friends, hiking, boating, and downhill skiing.
Frank Maue He/Him/His
Frank brings nine years of experience to his position as Conference Manager. Before joining the team he served as resident services coordinator for Case Western Reserve University, residence hall director at the University of South Dakota, and resident director at the University of Kentucky and Wilmington College. Wilmington College is also where Frank obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration. When he’s not at work, Frank enjoys going to concerts, exercising, playing video games, watching college and professional sports, and trying local restaurants, breweries, and coffeehouses.
Bryce Montgomery (He/Him/His)
Bryce Montgomery joins Conference and Event Services with 6 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Before coming to CES, Bryce served as Catering Captain and Sustainability, Student Engagement, and Community Engagement Program Manager for Michigan Dining. A graduate of Washtenaw Community College with a focus in Environmental Science and Society, Bryce also holds certifications in ServSafe Food Protection, AllerTrain, and Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS). Bryce currently resides in Ann Arbor. When not at work, he likes to spend his free time playing disc golf, cooking, and attending concerts.
Makenzie Peecook (She/Her/Hers)
Makenzie Peecook comes to Conference & Event Services with 9 years of experience in event management. Prior to joining CES as events manager, she served as events and operations manager for the Art House Convergence, a professional association of independent cinema operators. Makenzie is a graduate of U‑M with a bachelor’s in communications and film studies. She currently resides in Ann Arbor and, when not at work, you can find her at the movies, collecting eccentric earrings, and winning at pub trivia.
Jasmine Pasley (She/Her/Hers)
Sales and Conference Manager
Jasmine comes to Conference & Event Services with over 7 years of experience in conference and event planning & execution. In her current role, she works with clients on the sales and operations side – a first of its kind role within CES. Jasmine comes to CES after spending time in hospitality-related roles within the Detroit-area market. She additionally held marketing roles with Quicken Loans and Planet Fitness. Her experience in these roles will aid her in building relationships with clients from start to finish. She is a graduate of UM-Dearborn and a current resident of Romulus. When she is not working you can find Jasmine baking and trying new Pinterest recipes, shopping with her mom and sister, or dog sitting her cousin’s cockapoo, Cooper.
Conference and Events Manager
Tyler Sanders brings four years of experience to his position as Conference and Events Manager. Prior to joining the team he served as marketing and commuter services coordinator for Housing and Dining at the University of Colorado Denver. He was also partnership services coordinator at Learfield – Ragin’ Cajuns Sports Properties on the campus of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Tyler holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and sales from the University of Northern Iowa, and an MBA from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. When he’s not at work, Tyler enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, reading and writing, and walking his dog, Demi. He currently resides in Ypsilanti.
Susan Schaefgen (She/Her/Hers)
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Sue joined U‑M in 1989, working in Dining and Catering as an event planner. In 1997 she joined Conference & Event Services as a Conference Manager.
Leigh Evan Sweda He/Him/His
Leigh Evan Sweda joins Conference & Event Services with nearly 40 years of professional experience. Prior to joining CES as Event Manager, he served as Assistant Director of Development and Special Events Manager for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and most recently, Event Manager at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts where he handled all logistical details for performances and special events. Leigh is a graduate of U‑M with a degree in communication. When not at work, you can find him relaxing with his dogs, eating out, and reading about architecture and design.
Michael Sydlowski (He/Him/His)
Associate Director of Sales
Michael has extensive experience in contract negotiation, sales, strategic planning and personnel management. He served as the General Manager of Freedom Hill Amphitheatre and was responsible for sales, marketing, operations, guest services, PR and finance. He also served as the V.P. of Sales and Marketing at Michigan International Speedway where he managed a team of 18 full-time employees. Michael’s resume also includes university experience, having worked at the University of Toledo, Old Dominion University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Kent State University.
Tonya Tuitman She/Her/Hers
Tonya Tuitman joins Conference & Events Services with 10 years of experience in event planning, most recently as event planner at Lemon Vanilla Designs. She studied general business at Ferris State University. Tonya currently resides in Ann Arbor and, when not at work, you can find her camping, listening to music, gardening, spending time with family and friends, and creating in many forms.
Lauren Yanakeff (She/Her/Hers)
Lauren is dedicated to planning successful and memorable events. With over five years of experience in the event planning industry, she enjoys building strong relationships with clients. When Lauren is not busy planning seamless events, you can find her cooking and enjoying time outside. Lauren is a graduate of the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, where she also competed as a varsity student-athlete.