Event Planners Event

Current Speakers

David Poulos, Marketing Professional

David Poulos, has over thirty years of marketing experience, ranging from private enterprise, state and federal government, non-profit and charitable organizations. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Communications from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, and has effectively served as Director of Sales for Pan International, Director of Marketing for National Information Corporation, and as Director of Client Accounts for Strategic Partners Group. He has served as a marketing and branding consultant to a host of clients including: American Airlines, ARBROS Networks, Cable & Wireless, Coca Cola, Freedom Telecom Services, Freedom Power Services, MasterCard, MCI Worldcom, National Geographic Society, Quantas Air, TALK.com, Winstar.

Mr. Poulos is the author of “The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes,” has published over 20 articles on a variety of marketing topics in nationally published magazines and websites, has published over five year’s worth of weekly blog articles on non-profit and commercial marketing, management and customer service best practice, has been quoted as an expert in articles appearing on Fox News Small Business and MSN Main Street Business websites, was featured in the Global Edition of Who’s Who of Marketing Executives, and is a former board member and President of the Sales and Marketing Executives international, and is a member of ASAE, DMAW, AMA.

Angie Hilz, Founder of AJK Events

Angie, as a native of Annapolis, founded AJK Events, LLC in January of 2011 because of her love of entertaining combined with a passion for planning and design. She has been working in the field for over 10 years and believes that planning isn’t the only important detail for an event… it is all the small details that makes the entire event special. Angie has planned and executed logistics for her clients’ weddings, ribbon cuttings, grand openings, birthday’s, rehearsals, bar and bat mitzvah’s and anniversaries. Angie’s attention to detail, organization and excellent vendor relationships makes her a leader in the industry and easy to work with. Because she stays on the cutting edge of event planning, she was sought to teach the Event Planning class for Anne Arundel Community College.

Aja Dorsey, Freelance Writer, blogger, and Marriage Educator

Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer, blogger, and marriage educator. She is author of the book and blog Making Love in the Microwave which offers quick tips for busy couples to stay connected to one another. She has written extensively about parenting and marriage topics for online and print publications. A certified Prepare/Enrich marriage educator, she works with engaged and newly married couples to help them get their marriages started off on the right foot. She is a wife and mother of three children and lives in the Baltimore area.

Summer Whitford, Founder and President, The Food and Wine Diva, LLC

You name it, there isn't much Summer hasn't done in the food business. If you ask her why she's still in the trenches after all these years she will tell you, "For me, the hospitality industry is an all-consuming love affair. Granted, it's with a capricious, mercurial, demanding lover, but I can't imagine doing anything else. Being a small business consultant let's me combine three of my favorite things: food and drink, helping others, and seeing innovative, unique businesses thrive and succeed."

Memories of food and place, from a childhood and early teens spent in France and Germany, formed impressions that have become embedded in Summer's daily life and her career as a chef, writer, teacher, and culinary researcher. This led to studies in culture and languages, a B.A. in International Affairs, and extensive work in every facet of the hospitality industry. Summer has managed restaurants large and small, opened several restaurants, launched and run retail stores and small businesses, and applied her culinary talents as a chef and pastry chef at swanky French, Italian, and Continental restaurants in St. Louis, Missouri, and Washington, DC.

In 1990, she and her husband, Mark Fessenden, opened Chez Vous Productions, Inc., a successful lifestyle consulting and special event/catering business they owned for 15 years. During this time, Ms. Whitford designed commercial and residential kitchens, helped clients apply proven management principles to their businesses operations, and designed and taught curricula for consumer and trade programs on food, drink, and culture. As event specialists, they planned events for two to two thousand people including weddings, wine festivals, outdoor food and drink festivals, professional chef competitions, and large parties for embassies, Members of Congress, corporations, non-profits, and other VIPs.

The nexus of her passion and life experiences compelled her to share her love of good food and drink in the company of good friends, what she calls "life's tasty bits," and write for newsletters, books, radio, TV, and online. She currently writes about food and drink for The Daily Meal, a national online ezine about dining out, food, cooking, and drink that has hyper-local outlets in cities across the country.

Her most recent book work includes Join Us At The Embassy, a cultural guide and culinary travelogue about the food, drink, culture, and travel in 10 countries, and The Tax-Deductable Wedding, a wedding planning how-to guide that she worked on as the “book doctor.” To find out more about her writing, visit the Credits page.

In addition to membership in numerous national and international, food, wine, and writing organizations, Summer holds the following certifications:

Summer Whitford lives in a classic 1928 brick townhouse in DC, which she and Mark, her renovation hero, and their two cats, Thierry and Marienette, are turning into a cozy French home.

Summer Whitford lives in a classic 1928 brick townhouse in DC, which she and Mark, her renovation hero, and their two cats, Thierry and Marienette, are turning into a cozy French home.


See our previous speakers