Catherine Griffin

Freelance Tradeshow Marketer & Travel Planner

Location:Willowbrook, Illinois, United States
2 Skills

1017 Ripple Ridge Road Phone: (630) 963-5250
Darien, IL 60561 Fax: (630) 719-9403
Website: E-mail:


Dynamic meeting and event professional with more than 20-years experience planning and managing multi-scale events across various industries and has helped clients maximize their return on investment and exceed event-planning goals. This highly organized, detail-oriented team player has strong project leadership, negotiation, and client service skills and is looking to join an innovative team and contribute to organizational success. Is a self-starter, yet a team player with a successful track record delivering high-quality programs on time and on budget.

o Comprehensive hands-on experience in all aspects of meeting planning, special events management, key account maintenance, strategic planning, target marketing and new business development in diverse professional environments.

o Excellent communication skills, including written, verbal and interpersonal skills along with exceptional customer service skills.

o Detail oriented, with ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously; superb negotiation skills with a strong business and financial acumen; and strategic mindset with an ability to ensure details are executed seamlessly; and self motivated and ability to work independently.

o Highly skilled in proposal generation, theme party creation, job costing, budgeting, vendor selection, contract negotiations and quality control.

o Extensive experience with site selection, food & beverage services, on-site management, entertainment, audio/visual operations, needs assessment and project troubleshooting in planning and execution of over 4,200 meetings nationwide.

o Effectively plans and conducts detailed presentations in a professional manner to management and executive clients, such as Joslin Diabetes Center, Diabetes Innovation Conference, Teva Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Abbott Labs, Allstate, Kemper Financial Services and Caterpillar.

o Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite applications; database programs; Internet and Social Media tools; and familiar with Galileo and Sabre airline computer reservation systems.


President & Owner
A La Carte Planners, Darien, IL October, 1997-Present

Business lead for a full-service meeting and event management firm specializing in pharmaceutical meetings, corporate meetings, incentive programs, continuing medical education (CME) meetings and special events. Successfully designs and implements multi-scale projects and programs, leads cross-functional client and vendor teams, and manages program budgets ranging between $25,000.00 – $350,000.00. Consistently demonstrates cost savings to clients and streamlines workflows, as well as provides turn-key solutions.

Account Manager
Apollo Travel Services, Rolling Meadows, IL 1994-1997

Responsible for key account management involving the Apollo Partners Program, which provided travel agency customers with access to travel technology, third-party products and related services.
• Provided direct support and functioned as the primary liaison for Apollo field staff and vendors in conjunction with the Apollo Partners Program.
• Increased office productivity and client access through the Apollo Focalpoint Remote Office product for remote dial-in access.


Event Producer
Ivan Carlson & Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL 1993-1994

In charge of unique theme party design and detailed event management for a full range of corporate events.
• Managed logistics for sixteen (16) corporate events, from venue selection to on-site coordination.
• On average, saved clients 20% on their program budgets; increased client retention by 50% each year.

Travel Account Manager
S&H Citadel, Inc., Hillside, IL 1992-1993

Managed all aspects of meeting planning and incentive travel programs for a Fortune 100 clientele. Was also responsible for new business development, sales support and account maintenance.
• Skillfully worked with various departments, such as air transportation, planning, marketing, pre-trip, accounting and administration improving cross-departmental communications and project deliverables.

Meeting Planner
McCord Travel Management, Chicago, IL 1990-1991

Coordinated budgeting, site selection, catering services, contract negotiations, food & beverage management and theme parties for business clients.
• Designed extensive presentation material for cold calling and sales efforts.

Account Executive
RJ Associates, Bedford Park, IL 1989-1990

Key team-member for a start-up of firm responsible for meeting planning, incentive programs and special events for a corporate clientele.
• Initiated lead prospecting programs to greatly increase sales volume and networking capabilities.

Manager - Housing & Registration
Himmel & Associates, Chicago, IL 1986-1989

Managed arrangements for 26 annual meetings for corporate/association clients. Hired, trained and supervised a professional staff of six; also instructed personnel on mainframe operations.
• Supervised numerous groups including exhibit trade shows, conventions, sales meetings and incentive programs with up to 12,000 attendees.

• Deftly managed fund development, agency budgeting and proposal generation for several Chicagoland municipalities, such as Evanston and Calumet Park.
• Served as a Caseworker for Congressman Martin A. Russo for two years.


Certificate of Completion
Echols Travel School, Chicago, IL 1986

B.A. Degree in Political Science
St. Xavier College, Chicago, IL 1978