Our Team, Your Conference Professionals
Our Amazing Team
Nils Daugulis has over 30 years experience in the practice of International Maritime Law as a litigation lawyer acting for major ship owners, charterers, international insurers of shipping and shipping interests generally. Over the years he served as Chair or Member of the Organizing Committee of numerous International Conferences.
Nils brings to Venue West the prospective of the International Congress client and ensures that Venue West meets the highest standards offering state of the art technology and professional, dedicated staff.
Sue holds a BA from Western University. Her experience with high profile organizing began when she was contracted by Ontario Housing to integrate 12,000 low and high income residents into a Toronto community.
This highly experimental program was one of the first of its kind in Canada. From there she brought her experience to the United Nations Habitat Conference, where she took on the position of Accommodation, Registration and Accreditation Manager for the Conference held in Vancouver. This United Nations Conference brought together 147 countries and in its day was the highest profile conference to come to Vancouver. Sue has never looked back and has more years of experience in conference organizing and management than she is prepared to admit to.
VP of Sales & Marketing
John is an Honors graduate of the University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business with a double major in Service Management and Entrepreneurship. Within those disciplines John excelled in marketing, management accounting, strategic planning, as well as service business operations and sustainability.
As a well rounded individual John is also a superb tennis player and golfer, holds seven university intramural sports championships, and has played professional hockey including a season as the goalie for the Sydney Bears in Australia. Over his university years, John worked with Venue West during the summers, during his business degree co-op, throughout the final year of his degree and joined Venue West full time in 2012. In that time John was instrumental in implementing many new processes to ensure that Venue West’s conference management technology stays at the leading edge in all respects, as well as implementing processes to reduce the environmental impact of Venue West and its clients.
Kat Duda, CMP
VP of Operations
Kat is an internationally-experienced project manager, having managed meetings and conferences in Poland, Australia and Canada. Her experience is in end-to-end management of conferences in the corporate, healthcare and education sectors. Kat holds a Masters of Finance and Banking and has strong financial acumen which combined with her project management capabilities, consistently provide her clients with reassurance of a well-managed conference within defined budgets.
Kat speaks Polish and English fluently, and has lived and worked around the world. Kat brings her great passion for conference organizing and practical commercial expertise to every project she works on.
Monica Sayers, CMP, CEM
Senior Project Manager
Monica is an event and association management expert who joined Venue West in May 2018. She has over 20 years of national and international experience managing medical and scientific conferences, corporate events, tradeshows and festivals serving from 200 to 15,000 delegates. Over the years, Monica has also been involved in Association Management, including membership development, strategic planning and association awards.
She completed her Event Management Certificate at the University of San Diego and currently holds her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) globally recognized profession designation. Monica speaks English and German fluently. As a believer of lifelong learning, she is currently pursuing the Certified Exhibition Manager (CEM) designation and learning Spanish.
Francesca Velotti, CMP
Francesca holds a Master’s Degree in Corporate Communication. For several years, she has worked in event planning as well as organizing sailing competitions hosted by prestigious Yacht Clubs throughout Italy.
After moving to Canada, she specialized in Tourism Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, with a special focus on Meeting and Convention Planning. Francesca joined Venue West in 2012 and is now a valuable addition to the team, managing national and international conferences and exhibitions.
Anne joined Venue West in early 2018 with more than 15 years of experience in organizing international corporate events, incentives, high-profile government meetings, as well as trade shows. She builds trusting partnerships with her clients who appreciate her dedication, proactive thinking, responsiveness and competence. She continuously innovates to achieve great results. Anne is known for going the extra mile and team members value her helpfulness and advice. She early developed a love for languages and is fluent in German (mother tongue), English, and French, and has a good knowledge of Spanish. She is passionate about dancing, loves spending time outdoors, and can relax over a cup of tea and a good book.
Junior Project Manager
Eva is an event professional with a Master’s Degree in Cross-Cultural Management and International Affairs who has more than five years’ experience in the industry. She has worked for renowned international organizations and fairgrounds in Switzerland and Germany before starting at Venue West in 2018. Her expertise covers a broad spectrum of events from scientific conferences and trade shows to high profile political events and TEDx. She is a happy chameleon who adapts to her clients’ needs and consistently meets their requirements in the most impeccable ways. Eva’s friendly and sociable nature makes her an easy-going and open-minded event planner who is always ready to help.
Eva is fluent in French (mother tongue), English, German and Spanish.
With six years of experience in the food service and hospitality industry, Clare brings a passion for connecting people to Venue West. Clare graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Business Administration program in May of 2018. She was awarded with an Outstanding Student Award by her faculty in recognition of graduating top of her class.
While at BCIT, Clare developed a strong background in management, presentation, analysis, and business strategy. She attributes her success in her work and studies to her quest for knowledge, attention to detail, and commitment to quality work. Clare strives to provide unparalleled service to clients and excellence in every project.
Sunee is a vivacious ball of energy who joined Venue West in 2019 – She has a background in Behavioural Neuroscience that serves as her secret weapon in creating connections, understanding needs, and building lasting relationships. She has worked in the Events and Marketing industry for over 5 years with interesting accolades under her belt like; fashion shows, concerts, talk shows, talent shows, festivals, fundraisers, corporate events, and much more. Her dynamic background allows for a fresh perspective especially in regards to thinking outside the box.
Sunee’s creative energy and dedication is also apparent outside of work as she is a singer, songwriter, photographer, and media correspondent for Vancouver Television as the reigning Ms. VTV – She is deeply passionate about what she does, and this permeates every area of her life.
Julia joined Venue West in early 2020. She has an Honors Bachelors in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa and graduated top of her class from Conestoga College’s Event Management program in 2017. Julia has over 6 years of experience in the event and hospitality industry including work with the NHL, CFL, not-for-profits and luxury hotels. She is a highly organized, versatile and detail-oriented event professional with a keen interest in event operations and site logistics. Her passion for events stems from their unique ability to connect people and strengthen communities and she constantly strives to find new ways to create out-of-the-box experiences for her clients. Julia is an enthusiastic learner eager to explore, expand and enhance her event management skills here at Venue West.
Julia is a certified beach bum and, when not a work, can most likely be found at one of Vancouver’s many beautiful beaches. In the cold and rainy months, she enjoys baking.
Currently on maternity leave
Samra joined Venue West at the beginning of 2019. She holds a Bachelor in Environmental Studies majoring in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of Waterloo and a Diploma in Liberal Arts. Her education has equipped her with a solid foundation in environmental management and sustainable development as well as analytical skills including creative thinking and problem solving.
Through her experience in customer service and the events industry, Samra became experienced in project management, collaboration, conflict resolution and communication which is crucial to her role at Venue West.
Samra loves her cat, Persie, and is a self-taught henna artist who spends her leisure time creating henna art.
Maren has lived in Germany, the UK, the United States, and just recently moved to Canada. Maren speaks German and English fluently. She entered the position as an administrative assistant at Venue West as newby. And now is the frontline to Venue West processing general conference inquiries and registrations and supports the operations team with multi-conference related tasks. With a background in Social Services, Maren brings dedication, compassion, and forward-thinking to her role and is always happy to help wherever she can.
Maren loves the outdoors and spends most of her weekends’ mountain biking in Whistler or hiking.
Naomi joined Venue West in 2020 and comes with a background in the Tourism Industry. Born and raised in Vancouver she studied Tourism and Hospitality at Capilano University, which included credits gained from studying abroad in The Netherlands.
Joining from a local major tourism company, Naomi brings with her her administration skills gained from projects that included: assisting with the rebranding of the company, being a lead for their latest project in Vancouver’s first Zero-Emission Electric Boat tours and assisting with creating an onboarding handbook and reference guide for new staff.
When dealing with the millions of visitors coming to Vancouver, both on and off work, Naomi always goes above and beyond to ensure their minds are at ease and their needs are met. She is looking forward to delivering the same high level of service to assist clients, suppliers and other stakeholders working with Venue West.
IT/Web Services Manager
Quick is a Microsoft Certified Professional Systems Engineer, with over 25 years experience in computer data analysis, web program design and network administration. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Management, is proficient with .NET, Visual Basic, C Sharp, SQL development on Windows environment.
Quick ensures that Venue West stays on the cutting edge of the latest in technology and supports the development of Conference Registration pages and customized Conference Websites.
Kim’s thirty years’ plus experience in bookkeeping and accounting is a real asset to Venue West and to our conference clients.
Kim has worked with many types of businesses and companies and knows what needs to be done to make the financial work go smoothly.
As the Assistant Vice President, Gunnar is in charge of office morale and alerting everyone when someone enters the office. He also makes sure that everyone has a companion when they are eating lunch and will clean up any mess.
Kira is our Assistant Director of Linguistics. As a rescue dog from Mexico, she adds valuable talent to the already diverse array of languages within the company. She can whine and bark in Spanish and is an asset when lunch is brought to the office. Her part-time job is insisting Gunnar to always play with her, although sometimes unsuccessfully.