About Us

Mission Statement

To provide a gateway to iconic leading facilities and memorable experiences through comprehensive event planning services for the University of Michigan and greater community.

Vision Statement

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.


Amanda Austin She/Her/Hers

Meeting and Special Events Assistant

Amanda Austin joins Conference & Event Services as a Meeting and Special Events Assistant. Previously, she spent four and a half years at Safe Haven Ministries, where she oversaw the health and safety of their residents as a residential program coordinator, and managed pantry drives, donations, and general client needs. Amanda obtained a degree in social work from Grand Valley State University. When she’s not working, you can find her spending time with family and friends, hiking and camping, playing board games, enjoying concerts and music, and going to new restaurants.

Emily Bailey She/Her/Hers

Event Manager

Emily Bailey joins Conference & Event Services as Event Manager. Most recently, she served as general manager and catering director for food services at U‑M Dearborn. Emily obtained a degree in hospitality and tourism management from Grand Valley State University. When she’s not working, you can find her baking, reading, enjoying photography, nature walks, kayaking, and spending time with her spouse, child, and dog.

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

Conference Manager

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

Event Manager

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 Event Manager 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.

Taylor Freed She/Her/Hers

Event Manager

Taylor Freed joins the CES team as an Event Manager. Most recently, she served as a social catering manager for The Kensington Hotel. Taylor obtained a bachelor’s degree in recreation, parks, and leisure service administration, with a concentration in recreation and event management, from Central Michigan University. When she’s not at work, you can find her exploring new areas, doing crafts, songwriting, reading, and spending quality time with her family, friends, and two cats.

Elaine Hanke She/Her/Hers

Director

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.

Clare Leidy She/Her/Hers

Conference Manager

Clare Leidy joins Conference & Events Services with seven years of experience. Before joining CES as Conference Manager, she served as a general manager at Arbor Brewing Co. where she oversaw taproom hospitality, operational flow, staff development, and executed various public and private events. Clare obtained a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. When she is not working she enjoys hiking with her two Great Danes, listening to audiobooks, and gardening.

Katie Massa She/Her/Hers

Sales Manager

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.

Sydney Parrinello She/Her/Hers

Meetings & Special Events Assistant

Sydney Parrinello joins Conference & Event Services as a Meetings & Special Events Assistant. Prior to joining the team, she was a human resources associate for U‑M’s Shared Services Center, a supervisor at Sweetgreen, and catering captain at Detroit’s Gem Theatre. Sydney is studying English and business management at U‑M. When she’s not working, you can find her spending time with her three children, writing poetry and film, creating music with friends, and learning new recipes and techniques for cooking.

Jasmine Pasley She/Her/Hers

Sales and Conference Manager

Jasmine Pasley 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.

Makenzie Peecook She/Her/Hers

Event Manager

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.

Tyler Sanders

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

Assistant Director

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Sue Schaefgen 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.

Michael Sydlowski He/Him/His

Associate Director of Sales

Michael Sydlowski 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

Event Manager

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.