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.


Ann-Marie Davis

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.

Katie Eisley

Sales Manager

Katie Eisley 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.

Julia Fituch

Event Manager

Julia joined the team in 2012 with responsibility for sales, summer programs, conferences and registration services. Today, she provides event planning assistance to U‑M student organizations, university groups, business organizations and private parties. Julia has a bachelor’s degree in German from Wayne State University and a master’s degree in Linguistics/Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Michigan. Before joining the Conference & Events team, Julia worked with international families in University Housing, teaching English and planning events and field trips.

Bernadette Foerster

Event Manager

Bernadette has planned events at the University of Michigan since 2000. Her background includes experience in multiple catering companies, where she worked in both operations and sales. Bernadette has assisted clients in producing and hosting seamless events from start to finish. Bernadette’s clients appreciate her breadth of experience, her knowledge of the U‑M campus, her interest in anything related to food and her enthusiasm for customer service.

Elaine Hanke

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

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

Event Manager

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.

Claire Leigh-Monstevens

Event Manager

Claire is a specialist in event management. In her current role, she assists clients, from students to brides, in envisioning their perfect event. Claire comes to Conferences & Events from Automation Alley where she was an event specialist. There, her hands-on responsibilities included the successful completion of more than 100 events ranging from seminars and workshops to golf outings and black tie galas. Claire values the relationships built with each client, working diligently to create distinctive events on their behalf.

Bryce Montgomery

Meetings and Special Events Assistant

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.

Jane Lloyd

Assistant Director

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.

Laurie McBride

Meetings and Campus Events Assistant

Laurie brings eight years of experience in fine dining, sales and event design to her role with Conference & Event Services. She is currently enrolled in the Event and Meeting Management Program at Cleary University.

Jasen Nieves-Herrera

Conference and Summer Operations Manager

Jasen comes to the University of Michigan and Conference & Event Services with over 10 years of experience in student affairs and university housing. Most recently, Jasen served as assistant director for residential operations at Pacific Lutheran University. He was also a residence director at Syracuse University and, prior to that, graduate assistant hall director at Western Michigan University. Western is also where Jasen completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration. Jasen and his family currently reside in Ann Arbor. When he’s not at work, you can find him spending time with his family or running and training for the next marathon.

Jasmine Pasley

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.

Susan Schaefgen

Assistant Director

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.

Lindsay Sorgenfrei

Assistant Director

In 2003, Lindsay joined the Michigan League catering staff as a waitperson and learned the catering business “from the plate up.” She served as a student catering supervisor, receptionist, and special events coordinator before being promoted to Assistant Director of Events in 2014. Lindsay attended Eastern Michigan University.

Michael Sydlowski

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.

Alyssa Watson

Assistant Director, Conference & Summer Operations

Alyssa Watson comes to Conference & Event Services with over 15 years in the events industry. Prior to joining CES, she served as the Director of First-Year Experience at Madonna University, and also spent time in management at Wayne State University and Arizona Outback Adventures. In her current role as Assistant Director for conference and summer operations, Alyssa oversees staff and the execution of conferences and summer programs. A graduate of Northern Michigan University, she is currently pursuing her MBA at Wayne State. When not at work, you can find Alyssa spending time outdoors with her husband and dog, hiking, mountain biking, reading, Olympic weightlifting and, most recently, cross-stitching.

Lauren Yanakeff

Event Manager

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.