Chapter Leadership

A Letter from our Chapter President - John Marte

Dear Event Enthusiasts,
I hope this message finds you all in high spirits and eager anticipation for what lies ahead. It brings me immense joy to write this letter to each and every one of you, our vibrant and diverse community, with an invigorating update on the exciting journey we're about to embark upon together.
Fresh off the heels of an exhilarating experience at the 2023 ILEA IGNITE Conference, the fervor and strength of our event family have never been more apparent. It's undeniable – we're stronger than ever, and we're ready to paint the world with our passion and creativity.
Just recently, we came together to celebrate the spirit of unity and excellence at our signature induction ceremony, The Big Apple Celebration. Faces old and new, seasoned and fresh, converged in a dynamic mosaic of event professionals. This convergence is the embodiment of what makes ILEA extraordinary – a seamless blend of tradition and innovation, a celebration of our shared journey.
From the invigorating discussions at our board retreat, it's crystal clear that the collective at the helm right now is exactly what our times demand. We're a team of go-getters, each rolling up our sleeves and stepping up to every challenge that comes our way. But, my friends, there's one thing we can't do without – and that's you. Yes, you reading this very message.
Our theme for this year is a rallying cry that echoes our essence: #TogetherWeGoFurther. We're here to extend our arms to welcome back familiar faces, and we're excited to invite new perspectives and ideas into our vibrant fold. The event industry faced its trials during the pandemic, and many event pros charted new paths in new roles and industries. But remember, ILEA stands as a beacon of support amidst change. We're here to lend our hand, our guidance, and our vibrant community to fuel your journey.
Our focus for the NYC Metro chapter is to broaden our horizons, and that's where you come in. We're creating opportunities that reach far and wide – imagine bringing a plus one without any cost, suggesting speakers who inspire you for our panels, and joining us for marquee events that promise to be nothing short of spectacular. Not to mention, we're throwing open the doors to casual and joyful social happy hours with little to no cover charges.
Now, imagine this year with more of you, your friends, and your colleagues by our side. We're taking steps to make our membership portal more accessible, so you can join our ranks with ease. If you haven't already, connect with any of our dedicated board members to be added to our mailing list. And, don't forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook, where we're unveiling the exciting events we're crafting for this term – events you absolutely won't want to miss!
Let's make this year a symphony of shared success stories, connections that resonate, and events that linger in our hearts. Your presence, your ideas, and your passion are the ingredients that will make this journey unforgettable.
Here's to a year of unity, celebration, and unstoppable momentum. You're not just invited – you're an integral part of the magic we're creating.
Warmest regards,
John Marte
President, ILEA - NY Metro Chapter, 2023-2024

Meet the ILEA NY Metro Chapter Board, 2023-2024


John Marte

John Marte - President

John Marte is an accomplished Sales & Marketing Executive with a focus on the events industry, where he serves as a valued consultant. His role entails cultivating new partnerships, fostering communities, and driving business development for clients. Known for his strong leadership, John has a proven track record of achieving substantial growth in high-value accounts through impactful strategic alliances and elevating customer experiences.

Embodying the essence of networking, John is a true "collaboration artist," adept at innovative problem-solving and natural connecting. Before his consulting success, John made significant contributions to the events and media industry during his tenure at BizBash Media, Inc.

As a trusted brand ambassador, John firmly believes in the societal impact of smart marketing and event organizing, facilitating understanding, connections, and commerce across diverse backgrounds.

John holds a BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Marist College, and his mission is centered around leveraging smart technology to enhance the seamless and effective nature of networking for corporate partners. Outside of work, John cherishes spending time with his family and actively participates in running races, showcasing his dedication to a well-rounded lifestyle.

In his pursuit of excellence, John continues to shape the events industry, making a positive and transformative impact on businesses and individuals alike.

Fernando Coelho - Immediate Past President
LA Photo Party

Fernando is currently the client relations manager at LA Photo Party, “turning clients into friends and competitors into partners” is his motto. Coming into the event industry from a law enforcement career was a difficult task to say the least but ILEA was the perfect place to expand his network and grow that family.

When he is not at an event, Fernando is a certified yoga instructor and is busy raising his six year old son.

Michelle Cabot - President Elect

Events Manager, Great Jones Distilling Co.


Michelle Cabot has been working in the Hospitality and Events Industry for almost 15 years in various capacities. From working in theatre and live music spaces in the Philadelphia area to becoming the Events and Venue Sales Manager in various venues in Manhattan, Michelle has worked with events ranging from non-profits and fundraisers to birthdays and weddings and has created a unique and elegant experience for her clients . Michelle had the pleasure of combining her passion for theatre and events as the Events Coordinator (2018-2020) and Director of Private Events (2021-2023) at 54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club.  She recently began a new chapter as the Events Manager at Great Jones Distilling Co, Manthattan’s first Whiskey Distillery since Prohibition!

Arielle Dukofsky

Arielle Dukofsky - VP of Communications

Content Marketing Specialist, Interactive Entertainment Group

Arielle is a content marketing specialist at Interactive Entertainment Group, a nationwide resource for experiential corporate events. On an average day, you'll find Arielle developing marketing materials, executing digital strategy, securing editorial coverage and managing web content. Since joining the team in 2020, she has played a crucial role in the company's rebrand, giving its content an elevated feel that reflects its brand identity to a T.

Bobby D. Ehlert - VP of Membership

CIO and Co-Founder, Inspire Hearts Fundraising


Bobby D. Ehlert is a highly experienced, World Champion and renowned fundraising auctioneer with over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit industry. Known for his charismatic personality and exceptional fundraising skills, Bobby has successfully consulted on and conducted hundreds of Nonprofit and Corporate events across the country raising $150+ million for his clients. 

With a deep passion for the art of Fundraising and Auctioneering , Bobby has honed his skills to perfection, captivating audiences with his fast-paced chant, shining stage presence and ability to create an exciting atmosphere. His expertise extends beyond the gala stage as he also possesses extensive knowledge of special event fundraising and long term fund development leading practices.  

Bobby's dedication to his craft has earned him a stellar reputation among his peers and clients alike

He is known for his professionalism, integrity, and commitment to delivering exceptional results. Whether it's a small, grassroots event or a large-scale Gala, Bobby's expertise and enthusiasm make him one of the country's most sought-after Fundraising Auctioneer's and Consultants. 

In addition to his auctioneering career, Bobby D. is an active leader in his industry as a performance coach, professional speaker and thought leader. He is proud to be a Board Member of the International Live Events Association in NYC.  He is also actively involved in his community. He volunteers his time and expertise to various charitable organizations, using his skills of fundraising, emceeing and photography to help spread the word of these great groups.  

Jessica Stewart - VP of Programs & Education

VP Marketing, EMRG Media

Jessica Stewart embarked on her career journey with a Communications Degree as a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. She went on to assume positions at two of the most prestigious cosmetic companies, Estee Lauder and later Chanel, where she devoted 11 years to developing her sales administration skills. In 2008, she joined EMRG Media and realized her true calling.

As the Sales Executive for EMRG Media, Jessica Stewart helped transform The Event Planner Expo to be the leading conference in the US. for the events and hospitality industry. This B2B conference has over 2,500 attendees including companies like Google, JP Morgan, Blackrock, Wieden + Kennedy, Big Brothers, Estee Lauder and more.

In 2020, she and partner Erica Maurer realized yet another dream – founding The Women Insider Network. This women-centric group empowers thousands of women to reach their full personal and professional potential.  

Jessica has shared the stage with Daymond John, Mel Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jesse Itzler, Sharon Lechter, Martha Stewart and many other Keynote Speakers, Celebrities & Entrepreneurs. 

Today, Jessica Stewart serves as the Vice President of Marketing & Sales for EMRG Media and The Event Planner Expo. And she continues to impact the lives of others, sharing her experiences and inspiration.

Erica Maurer - VP of Programs & Education

Partner, EMRG Media


Erica Maurer is a veteran in the events, marketing, and hospitality industry.  She is an entrepreneur, owner, event producer, coach, and speaker.  She graduated from Tufts Undergraduate and received her master’s from Columbia University.   She is a Partner at EMRG Media, a leading events, marketing, production, and talent agency. Her company created The Event Planner Expo, the leading trade - show for the events, marketing and hospitality industry.
EMRG Media produces events for clients in the corporate, celebrities, brands, social events such as wedding, engagement parties, proposals and galas. Some of her clients include ABC, NBC Universal, BuzzFeed, Columbia Records, Cardi B, Robin Hood Foundation, 1 800 Flowers, Pitchbook, Twitter, Fiverr and Google to name some. Erica has generated over 100 million in events.

Emma Tietze

Emma Tietze - Director of Communications

Director of Sales & Events, Brooklyn Bowl Williamsburg

Emma Tietze has been involved in the live events industry for nearly 10 years in various capacities from event promotions and on-site event management to successful sales leader closing multimillion-dollar programs. Emma has a lifelong passion for live music which is reflected in the success in her career working at Brooklyn Bowl, Manhattan Center, and CBS Radio.

As the Director of Sales & Events at Brooklyn Bowl Williamsburg, Emma was recruited to expand new business development opportunities, grow revenue, and build Brooklyn Bowl's private event market business. She led the development of strategic market analysis and go-to-market plans including the creation of profitable new products and services. Emma is deeply involved in the Events Marketing industry by being featured at industry events, most recently as a panelist at the Women Building Women Summit at Webster Hall in January 2020. 

Prior to Brooklyn Bowl, Emma was the Event Sales Manager at Manhattan Center where she contracted large-scale events worth millions of dollars in their two historic venues: Hammerstein Ballroom and the Grand Ballroom. One of Emma's first experiences in the live events industry was at CBS Radio working at live events throughout the tristate area and executing major corporate sponsorship programs.

Christina Weber - Director of Strategic Partnerships

Account Executive for Special Events, AFR Furniture Rental

Bio coming soon...