Midcourse Corrections is the online home and blog of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, Inc. Jeff, Dave, Sarah and Donna blog on Midcourse Corrections about annual meeting improvement, association and corporate meetings and education, and the convergence of Web 2.0, social media, meetings, events and education.
About the Velvet Chainsaw Consulting Team
Dave Lutz, President, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, Inc., better known as the Managing Director or “the boss”Dave Lutz is a business improvement consultant specializing in the convention & meeting industry. His clients include a number of industry leading technology and service providers, CVB’s, Hotels and associations. Prior to going down the consulting road, Dave was with Experient for 22 years where he ran the two largest operating divisions. Dave is certified in Lean Processes & DFSS for Six Sigma, is on the board of directors for Passkey and is a Certified Meeting Professional. He has a regular column in Convene on Performance Excellence.
Jeff Hurt, Executive Vice President, Education and Engagement, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
Jeff Hurt has worked in events/nonprofit arena for more than 20 years including Keep America Beautiful as a consultant/trainer/writer; Keep Texas Beautiful as Education Coordinator; Professional Development Manager for Meeting Professionals International; Professional Development Manager for Promotional Products Association International; and Director of Education and Events for the National Association of Dental Plans. He has also served on several board of directors for several North Texas, state and national charities and organizations.
Sarah Michel, Vice President, Professional Connexity, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
Sarah Michel is a meetings architect with 15+ years of experience designing one-of-a-kind meetings that matter. Her vast knowledge of next-generation learning and facilitation skills help design dynamic meetings, rich in networking and peer-to-peer interactions to assure return on attendance. Sarah is a nationally recognized professional speaker and the creator of the NetWORTHing™ process. As a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Sarah has keynoted and facilitated sessions to help audiences be more effective connectors. She is the author of Perfecting Connecting©, A Guide to Mastering Networking in the Workplace. Sarah served as a national board member and convention chair for the National Speakers Association and lives with her family in Colorado Springs.
Donna Kastner, Director, Expo/Sponsor Sales & Activitation, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
Donna Kastner brings a wealth of event planning, instructional design and business development talent to Velvet Chainsaw Consulting. She’s helping event organizers to enhance the conference event experience, boosting learning AND networking outcomes in a big way. Prior to joining Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, Donna led a sales & management training practice (Enlighten 123). Before that, she served as Director, Learning & Development at Experient. A native New Yorker, Donna now happily calls Cleveland, Ohio, home. Innovator? Yep, she’s also founder of Retirepreneur, a community where Boomers can explore if/how they might launch a part-time business as a perfect segue to retirement.
Michele Frania, Director, Client Projects & Stories, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
Michele Frania was added to the Velvet Chainsaw Consulting team for her Marketing experience and background in Project and Event Management. For the past couple years, Michele worked for brandmuscle as a Client Service Manager where she led the team responsible for developing marketing tools and solutions for Allstate and Hampton Inn & Suites. She also served as a Senior Marketing Coordinator with Universal American for several years. Her responsibilities there included corporate event planning and managing/coordinating the company’s participation in over 15 medical/pharmacy tradeshows each year.