CONFERENCE PLANNING TEAM
PAUL G. AKEHURST – MANAGING DIRECTOR
As the bilingual Managing Director of the Intertask Group of Companies, Paul brings a wealth of experience to his oversight of Intertask Conferences, including operations, marketing, sales and business development. He takes great personal pride in the Company and the work we do.
Paul has been very active in the tourism and business events sector throughout his lengthy career. Having worked closely with industry stakeholders and suppliers, Paul passes along the full benefit of his extensive network and expertise to every project Intertask Conferences takes on.
Considered a good communicator and a passionate industry advocate, Paul is highly visible, and currently serves on the Board of Ottawa Tourism. Joined Intertask in 1992.
BLAIR TRYON – SENIOR DIRECTOR
Blair is Intertask Conferences’ most senior conference planner, providing guidance and strategic direction to clients and the Intertask team. He has over 30 years’ experience in the event planning industry, providing strategic advice and consultation, especially pertaining to the growth and expansion of conference events, sponsorship/exhibit revenues, as well as reducing overall expenses.
Fully versed in all aspects of financial forecasting, resource allocation and controls, Blair has a strong background managing complex projects, many in excess of $5 million. His expertise in developing very successful sponsorship and exhibition programs is one reason he is sought after by organizations looking to align and scale their conference and revenue models to a sustainable “next level”. Joined Intertask in 1995.
LEEANNE AKEHURST – DIRECTOR, DELEGATE SERVICES AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Leeanne is bilingual and has more than 20 years experience in marketing and communications, and 10 years experience managing delegate services: registration, housing, speaker management, program development, abstract submissions and graphic design.
She understands technology and how to use it to enhance the delegate’s experience – whether that be registering for a meeting, submitting an abstract or navigating a website. Her attention to detail, customer service and project management experience are appreciated by our clients.
Leeanne has extensive knowledge in traditional and electronic marketing; writing and editing and production management for print and electronic communications tools. Joined Intertask in 2005.
PEGGY NIEGHORN – DIRECTOR, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Peggy brings over 20 years’ experience in the business events sector in venue marketing and sales, project management, business development, communications, government relations and marketing.
Peggy develops and maintains strong customer relationships, most recently as Director of Sales at the Ottawa Convention Centre (now Shaw Centre), where she was also a member of the Centre’s Redevelopment Project Team. During construction she honed her project management skills, tenaciously representing client interests throughout the functional design process, and was responsible for stakeholder communications, including funders from three levels of government. Joined Intertask in 2015.
CHRISS HOLLOWAY – ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Chriss brings more than 20 years of meetings and event management expertise specializing in medical education. She started her career as a corporate meeting planner planning international events before moving into the academic and not-for-profit sector where she planned and executed large scientific programs. Chriss also spent some of her career with a large, national audio-visual company as their Director of Business Development.
Having been the client, Chriss intimately understands the significant role that the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) plays in the meetings industry. With her extensive experience, passion and natural ability for developing and nurturing relationships, Chriss will help ensure a seamless and expertly executed event that will make your attendees feel honoured. Joined Intertask in 2018.
ORISON SMITH – FINANCE MANAGER
Orison is responsible for day‐to‐day corporate finance and project accounting services. He brings a broad background in finance and administration in not-for-profit, public and private sectors, most recently as the Financial Services Manager for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. TIAC produces several annual conferences and events including the prestigious Rendez-vous Canada. Orison’s experience with association business events makes him particularly suited to manage Intertask’s corporate and client financial needs. Joined Intertask in 2018.
ROZANNE LYONS, CMP – SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER
Rozanne is a veteran project manager, specializing in event operations including on-site management of space assignment, exhibit hall and meeting room set-up, food and beverage, audio visual, signage, shipping and security.
She is experienced at working collaboratively with clients and suppliers throughout the planning process to ensure that services meet the needs and expectations of the client. Rozanne is responsible for overseeing all onsite logistics, and is familiar with finding creative solutions to problems as they arise – often at the last minute. Joined Intertask in 2002.
SILVIE HOULD – DELEGATE SERVICES MANAGER
Silvie is trilingual (French, English, Spanish) and more often than not, the first Intertask point of contact for delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors needing assistance. She works with each client to determine their registration requirements, and program the online registration system.
Her professional demeanour and strong sense of organization ensures that the registration process from inception to handing out delegate badges on-site runs like clockwork.
Silvie has more than 20 years client service experience in the travel industry, managing registration, accommodation and travel for delegates and speakers. Joined Intertask in 1997.
TRICIA REDMOND – PROJECT MANAGER
Tricia brings a varied background to the position. She holds a degree in International Policy Analysis from Queen’s University along with Computer Programming and Security diplomas. She has 10+ years in Program Management that includes Conference Planning, Association Management and Membership Relations Development.
As an entrepreneur she brings many unique skills to the team. An analytical problem-solver who is able to anticipate issues and create new systems that streamline operations, Tricia quickly resolves concerns and is able to improve efficiency for our clients. Joined Intertask in 2015.
MARIE LAPLANTE – SENIOR PROJECT COORDINATOR
Marie is a bilingual professional with more than 10 years’ experience in the event planning industry. She has worked both in government and not-for-profit organizations in various sectors, including health, medicine, education, and law.
Her attention to detail, ability to meet stringent deadlines, and strong belief in providing excellent customer service ensures that each event runs as seamlessly as possible and that the client’s expectations are fully met. During her career, Marie has overseen logistical requirements, managed registration, planned exhibits, and worked with various service providers. She also has experience producing marketing materials and with different Client Relationship Management systems (CRMs). Joined Intertask in 2016.
LIZ MACMASTER – PROJECT MANAGER
Liz is a detail-minded, outgoing individual possessing excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks in challenging situations. She has more than 20 years experience managing multiple projects simultaneously, liaising with speakers, managing registration and conference logistics. Liz has worked with senior level, federal ministerial staff, and held the positions of Assistant to the Press Secretary and Legislative Assistant to the Minister. Joined Intertask in 2015.
KELLY COURTEMANCHE – DIRECTOR, EVENTS
Building on a strong culinary background, Kelly moved from back-of-house in 2007 to take on increasingly more demanding customer-facing responsibilities at large convention hotels, most recently at the Westin Ottawa as Senior Manager, Events. From the moment she moved out of the kitchen Kelly was in high demand: her biggest challenge was managing the many clients who asked that she personally oversee their event needs. As our ‘event clairvoyant’, Kelly relies on her legendary attention to detail to remain one step ahead, mitigating issues before they become problems.
Kelly understands implicitly the importance of treating clients, suppliers and colleagues with the utmost respect and professionalism, while planning for, and demanding, the very highest in customer service from her own team, and from the supplier partners we work with so closely to deliver exceptional events.
In addition to more than 15 years’ experience in event logistics, Kelly brings to Intertask a diploma in Culinary Arts and Management from Vancouver Community College. Joined Intertask in 2018.
KRISTY BENESKO – SENIOR COORDINATOR, EVENTS
Kristy brings over ten years of event management experience in the high end hospitality industry, most recently as the Executive Meeting Manager at ARC The. Hotel and Event Manager at Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa. Kristy is a strong and innovative professional who has played an integral role in the success of a broad range of events including corporate, social and fundraising. A self-motivated, hands-on and detail-oriented team player, she utilizes her skills and experience to ensure flawless event management and logistics. Joined Intertask in 2017.
CATHERINE VALLÉ – REGISTRATION AND HOUSING COORDINATOR
With her Latin background Catherine takes accommodation management to a whole new level of relaxation. If you have particularly complex housing requirements, Catherine is sure to have a solution to streamline the process, and a backup plan. She is proficient in English, French, Spanish and Italian. Joined Intertask/JPdL in 2006.