Meet our Team

The Venue West team consists of people from all around the world, bringing in international experience, unique knowledge, and understanding of various cultures. We are a dedicated group that cares deeply about the success of our clients and their events and will do what it takes to get the job done right.

Owners

Leadership team

NILS DAUGULIS

Venue West Conference Services - Our Team - Sue Daugulis

SUE DAUGULIS
CEO/Owner

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.

RICHARD CARLISLE
President

Richard has over 25 years experience in the global marketing, events, and conference industry. Previously he held positions as Managing Director, Operations Manager and Marketing Manager with clients and companies such as Fiscal Periodical Press (Global Media Association), National Film Board of Canada, an International Conference Management company, and Ontario Non-Profit Housing. During this time, Richard worked on a global scale producing conferences in Singapore, Cannes, London, Dubai, and cities throughout North America with a focus on sectors such as medical, finance and global media. Richard’s responsibilities have been in driving client excellence, ROI, operational efficiencies, organizational vision and growth.

Venue West Conference Services - Our Team - John Daugulis

JOHN DAUGULIS
VP Business Development & Partnerships

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.

ANNE KELLER
Operations Manager

Anne joined the team in early 2018 with more than 15 years of experience in organizing international corporate events, high-profile government meetings, incentives, as well as large trade shows with more than 1,000 exhibitors and up to 120,000 visitors. 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, English, and French, and has a good knowledge of Spanish. She is passionate about dancing and interior design, loves spending time outdoors, and can relax over a cup of tea and a good book.

conference management team

BLAIR HILTZ
Senior Conference Manager
- Halifax -

Blair joined Venue West is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has over 20 years experience in the meetings industry, creating, planning and executing global conferences in the medical, arts, scientific and many other fields. His career has taken him all over Central and North America, Europe, South Pacific and other places managing and executing meetings, conferences and tradeshows, with budgets ranging from $200,000 to $3,000,000, with 300 to 5,000 attendees. As a past travel counsellor and with experience in the food industry, he has a vast knowledge of many areas of the service industry, which aid him in creating memorial events for all clients. Being creative and working closely on creating and managing budgets, help him keep things on track and lead to a successful end product; a product that clients are proud to be associated with and call their own.  His main goal with any client on any project is to create the best project possible and to manage it in such a way that the client can enjoy the experience, and not waste their time  worrying about anything.

SONIA SERRAMBANA
Senior Conference Manager
- Vancouver -

Sonia joined the Venue West team as a Senior Conference Manager. With over 15 years experience managing conferences at various PCOs in Canada, she has worked with associations, academics and virtual conferences ranging in budgets from $50,000 – $2,000,000. She is confident, positive, flexible and will work hard to get to know her clients on a deeper level so she can find solutions that are right for their audience. Sonia encourages her team to focus on the details while maintaining sight of the big picture and is always thinking on her feet. Away from the office, Sonia leads a 10km run group in her East Van neighbourhood, practices hot yoga and works as an unpaid chauffeur for her two very active kids. But she will deny to the end that she is a hockey mom.

TERI DOYLE
Senior Conference Manager
- Toronto -

Teri joined the Venue West team as a Conference Manager with over 15 years of event management experience in PCO and Corporate environments. Teri is known for leading high-performing event teams, and finding creative and efficient ways to push a budget to it’s fullest while fostering a positive, encouraging and fun environment. She’s also passionate about greening her events however she can. An award-winning event manager, she has managed a variety of programs with budgets ranging from $60,000 – $7M  and attendees from 50 – 7,000. When she’s not focusing on events, Teri enjoys spending her downtime with her husband and two boys. Teri is a dual-citizen of the US and Canada and currently calls Kitchener, ON home. 

ANIKA VALLI
Conference Manager
- Vancouver -

Anika graduated from The British Columbia Institute of Technology in Event Management and Marketing in 2017. Since then, she has worked as a Project Coordinator in events throughout different industries across North America. She has a passion for working with people, and ensuring your event is a great success. Anika will bring positivity, levity, and a can-do attitude to any project she works on. On the weekends you can find her on the soccer field or shredding the slopes at our local mountains! 

Venue West Conference Services - Our Team - Francesca Velotti

FRANCESCA VELOTTI
Conference Manager
- Vancouver -

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 a valuable part of the team, managing national and international conferences and exhibitions.

AKSHADA RAJU
Conference Coordinator
- Toronto -

Akshada started her career in events in 2021 and since then has handled numerous National and International events and worked with local Non- profit Organizations. Having an educational background in project Management and Event Management, Akshada has hands on experience in time, risk, and stakeholder management. She is passionate about fulfilling the client expectations and bringing their vision to life. Akshada aspires to be a prominent part of the Venue West team and help the team to achieve their goals.

CHAIMAA GAMRAOUI
Conference Coordinator
- Vancouver -

Chaimaa joined Venue West seven years of experience in event planning. She brings a passion for creating memorable and impactful experiences. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to coordinate events across Canada and various locations worldwide. Holding a Master’s degree in International Business from ESCA University in Casablanca, Morocco, she has gained a comprehensive understanding of the global marketplace and its dynamics. Her unique skillset includes a remarkable ability to connect with diverse, multilingual, and multicultural audiences, enabling her to forge meaningful and long-lasting connections around the world. Fluent in English, French, and Arabic, both written and spoken, with a basic knowledge of Spanish, she thrives in fostering effective communication and collaboration in a global context. With a keen eye for detail and a dedication to excellence, she is committed to crafting extraordinary events that leave a lasting impression.

 

ELLA LAM
Conference Coordinator
- Vancouver -

At the early stage of her career, Ella soaked herself into the aviation and customer service industry for eight-plus years. Later, she moved to British Columbia and completed a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Global Hospitality and Tourism Management at Capilano University. Since then, she developed a great passion for Event and Conference Management. She truly believes that each conference is unique and loves to bring people together to connect and collaborate. As an excellent team player, Ella excels in working in a fast-paced environment with her strong interpersonal and communication abilities. 

LISA HARFORD
Conference Coordinator
- Vancouver -

Originally from Ireland, Lisa moved to Vancouver in 2015 after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Interior & Furniture Design at the Dublin Institute of Technology. She joined Venue West following a seven-year career in the hospitality industry. During that time, Lisa’s interpersonal skills have helped her establish excellent client relations. She is dedicated to achieving high quality results in every project she works on. When not in the office, she enjoys experiencing the eclectic food and coffee scene in Vancouver.

REGISTRATION, HOUSING, MARKETING & EXHIBIT/SPONSORSHIP SALES

ADAM CHAN
Marketing
- Toronto -

Adam is a marketing coordinator from Toronto, Ontario who is excited to jumpstart his career. With a drive for finding new and creative solutions to everyday problems, he has multiple years experience helping companies advertise products and events through the use of creative marketing plans and clean graphics and designs. Adam loves working alongside talented groups to help achieve common goals. In his off time you can find him at home enjoying a good movie, or nearby any TV playing a Raptors game, yelling at the opposing team for being too good at basketball.”

GLENDA FREEMAN
Registration & Housing - Vancouver -

Glenda has been with the conference industry for over 20 years and this is the second time she is working as a member of the Venue West team. She started at Venue West as the Data Entry Clerk and quickly moved up to Registration Coordinator position but after over eight years she left to explore other possibilities in the conference world. Returning back to Venue West as Registration Manager, Glenda brings her skills for building registration databases, abstract submission portals, the attendee app and websites in EventsAir. She has managed registration for conferences from 300 to 3,500 all over Canada and internationally, and her knowledge covers not only building the interactive sites, but involves all of the procedures that come with them as well as keeping the rest of the team fully trained and aware of EventsAir possibilities. Glenda also brings her accounting and membership management skills to assist when needed and a healthy dose of a sense of humour!

JENNA ABJI
Registration & Housing
- Vancouver -

Jenna has spent over 12 years in the event planning industry, working closely with association and pharma group clients and sponsors in managing their conference needs. Her experience includes logistics management for meetings, housing and registration management, and tradeshow logistics management. In addition to her event industry experience, Jenna spent 3 years in the hotel industry working in various roles, from front office and banquets to sales and catering. Jenna has an acute talent for fostering key partnerships across all levels of an organization. She is driven at identifying organizational gaps and devising strategic process improvement initiatives. In her free time, Jenna enjoys running, hiking, editing underwater photos, and planning tropical scuba diving trips.

MIKE DAUGULIS
Sponsorship & Exhibit Sales
- Copenhagen -

In 2003, Mike received the Governor General’s Award for graduating from high school with the highest GPA of 98.4%, while at the same time receiving his school’s top Athletic Award and Scholarship. He went on to Utah State University, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science specializing in Kinesiology. He has spent several years playing professional hockey in Europe and elsewhere. Mike has an extensive history in account management, sales, and client relations. Based in Europe as our International Sponsorship and Exhibition Sales Mike continues to exceed client expectations and sales goals.

FINANCE AND IT

AKASH SHARMA
Finance

Akash is a seasoned expert in accounting and finance, holding a bachelor’s degree in commerce along with an Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Finance. With a wealth of experience gained from his tenure with several multinational corporations, he performs day-to-day accounting, payroll, and taxation operations. His years of experience lend invaluable insight and proficiency to his work. Not only is Akash reliable and supportive in his professional endeavors, he also cherishes quality time with his family and indulges in various recreational activities during his leisure hours.

DIANA KLINGNER
Finance

Diana brings understanding to finances, association management and events. Combining 30 years of financial experience with a seasoned event management background. Diana provides clients, Board of Directors, Management and stakeholders with clear reporting of project and association finances and informing business decision-making paradigms.

LEANNE ROCKLIFF
Finance

Leanne is driven to promote change within people so that as a society we can grow. She is inspired by the Venue West team’s eagerness to provide exceptional services and proud to be a part of the team. Her role as the bookkeeper is to support the group with sound financial information so that they can focus on providing for our clientele. Leanne is a certified bookkeeper with 10+ years of experience that brings a creative mind to the team.

Venue West Conference Services - Our Team - Quick Jiang

QUICK JIANG
IT/Web Services

Quick is a Microsoft Certified Professional Systems Engineer, with over 30 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.