Meet the Albrecht Events Team
Ashley Albrecht, CMP, President
Ashley Albrecht, President and founder of Albrecht Events, has the expertise, connections and vision to lead her team to produce events that are memorable and exceed expectations.
Successful entrepreneurs love the work they do, and that is evident when you watch Ashley in action, a bright smile across her face. In 2005, she started her business from scratch and Albrecht Events continues to grow with her leadership, passion, honesty, creativity, integrity, kindness and inspiration. Known as the “the percolator,” she listens and digests information. Then her creative ideas are always brewing, giving new energy to every event her team plans. Ashley has the qualities of a successful event planner: thorough yet precise, expert knowledge, ingenuity in identifying and solving problems, communicative, and responsive to her clients. She maintains a big picture philosophy with a focus on the goals and critical eye on the details. Through the years, Ashley has established connections with an extensive network of trusted professionals to customize the best team for each event. Her experience includes managing events of all sizes from corporate meetings to fundraising galas and celebrations. For guests traveling to the Philadelphia area, Ashley has the resources to provide a warm welcome, including unique local entertainment, stunning décor, transportation, and teambuilding activities. Developing a theme and selecting the venue, menu, decor and entertainment to support it is one of Ashley’s greatest creative talents. By working closely with diverse teams, Ashley executes exceptional meetings and events that achieve business objectives and exceed expectations—all with seeming ease and efficiency.
Ashley is a member of the Philadelphia chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI-PA Chapter), PCMA, and ADME. MPI-PA recognized her as Tomorrow’s Leader in 2006. She has participated in the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program, and served on committees to support Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her two young children bring lots of energy to her life. To get her creative juices flowing, Ashley enjoys yoga, bike riding, visiting farmers markets and spending time with family, friends and neighbors. She also enjoys supporting local farms and cooking with fresh ingredients. While events are a fast-paced business, Ashley takes time to pause and focus on what’s most important. One of her favorite quotes inspires her to always take it to the next level.
"There's always another level up. There's always another ascension. More grace, more light, more generosity, more compassion, more to shed, more to grow." - Elizabeth Gilbert
Lauren Barnes, Senior Manager
With over 10 years of events management experience, Lauren uses her trademark skills of problem solving, creativity, and flexibility to help clients produce corporate events and meetings. She excels at logistics and operations, and her attention to detail means that events and meetings go smoothly from concept to completion.
Good at wearing multiple hats, Lauren is adept at responding quickly to changing circumstances, always maintaining an upbeat, can-do attitude. As project manager, she specializes in customer service that nurtures positive, productive relationships with both clients and suppliers. Lauren advances her clients’ mission by making the most of their event experiences, while minimizing cost.
In addition to managing in-house meeting and event logistics for a major energy company, she has planned high-caliber events for a national giving day, shareholder and leadership meetings, and annual investor conferences.
Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College and a certificate in meeting planning from Temple University. Newly married, she enjoys food and wine pairings as well as travel, from weekend visits to Manhattan to more adventurous outings like skydiving and white-water rafting.
Megan Gray, Director of Business Development
Megan Gray has more than a decade of experience in planning events and developing corporate relationships. With a focus on higher education and nonprofit administration, she has managed events for The Wharton School, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Cancer Society and Drexel University. She has directed numerous high profile events with tremendous success including large conferences, fundraising events/walk-a-thons, festivals, block parties, education forums, corporate symposiums, international education trips, board meetings and corporate meetings. For these events, Megan created and maintained valuable corporate partnerships.
In her most recent position, Megan was responsible for building conference packages attracting Fortune 500 companies. Specializing in sourcing and managing talent for speakers from companies such as Google, Microsoft and Starbucks, Megan is skilled at matching speakers to the specific interests of thought leaders and stakeholders. Her creativity enables her to craft a program and design the experience to provide a forum that addresses the purpose and theme of the event. Her expertise also includes creating unique sponsorship packages that attract partners. She arranged thought leadership workshops for senior level executives featuring Wharton faculty members.
Known for her dedication and how hard she works to achieve goals, Megan tackles challenges with positive energy and solutions. “Be strong when you are weak, brave when you are scared, and humble when you are victorious” describes Megan’s approach to life and her work.
One of her core values is building community, which she accomplishes through organizing walkathons and fundraisers or contributing her expertise to a charitable cause. She was elected to help improve her own community by leading the fundraising efforts for the neighborhood association that serves 15,000 residents and business owners. When Megan is not busy planning fabulous events around the city, she can be found playing with her children, working out, and exploring her community.
Lauren Huezo, CSEP, DMCP, Manager, Special Projects
Lauren has been in the event planning industry serving the top Fortune 500 and association clients in Philadelphia for over a decade. She is a senior manager with extensive experience and expertise in the operations process of corporate events incorporating client business objectives and goals. She has worked on over 700 events in various roles and duties including as a sales manager, creative designer and operations. Lauren is an experienced and highly accomplished event producer with excellent customer service, interpersonal, oral and written communications skills. Her outstanding organizational, administrative, problem-solving and negotiation talents, including the ability to handle a variety of assignments simultaneously make her an agile part of the AE team.
Lauren’s diverse experience is extensive including medical symposiums, association conferences, international jazz festivals, press conferences, nonprofit fundraising, black tie galas, golf tournaments, full-service destination management, 5K runs, corporate picnics, and many more. Some of her most memorable events were a western theme featuring Blake Shelton, private seafood dinner under the shark tank tunnel at Adventure Aquarium, all black and white seated dinner at Philadelphia Museum of Art and working with music legends such as Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck. Dozens of major U.S. and international companies such as Rite Aid, NFL, Proctor & Gamble, PepsiCo, Bank of America, Pfizer, and General Electric have hired Lauren to produce their events.
Clients count on Lauren to handle any aspect of any size event. She creates a dynamic online registration platforms, keeps event teams on time and within budget, markets events, handles communications with attendees, and manages all details onsite for seamless execution.
It’s not surprising that Lauren was drawn to event planning with her entertaining nature. Her favorite quote provides some insight into why her events are award-winning. “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun” - Mary Poppins
Her events were recognized four times consecutively with the Liberty Award for “Best Corporate/Non-Profit Event” from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of ISES (International Special Event Society). Lauren has served as an ISES Executive Board Member as well as been a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter Member of PAMPI (Meeting Professionals International Philadelphia Chapter) and ADME (Association Destination Management Executives). Lauren has earned the DMCP Designation: Destination Management Certified Professional and the CSEP Designation: Certified Special Event Professional.
As a parent of a child with autism, her family supports the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Lauren has a strong work ethic but remembers to balance the fun and enjoys chasing and keeping up with her two young sons. When she’s not planning events for clients, she’s checking out Pinterest for new recipes and home décor or entertaining family and friends.
Makinlee Fox, Operations Manager
Makinlee Fox is Albrecht Events’ logistics guru. Her meticulous attention to operational systems and incredible talent to conceptualize, plan and oversee the onsite execution of events provides a thorough and precise service to Albrecht Events’ clients. Combined with an energetic spirit and friendly nature, Makinlee is a warm and knowledgeable presence on any event site.
She has a wealth of experience producing a variety of events, both for local and nationally recognized companies. As a seasoned event director, Makinlee has produced fundraisers, 5k runs and walks, concerts, festivals, city-wide events, conventions and other high level special events. Her notable clients include Philadelphia’s Center City District, The Philadelphia Zoo, TD Bank International, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the Merriam Theater, AEG Live, and many others.
This variety of experience provides Makinlee with a depth of expertise to carefully determine thoughtful and technical answers to event flow and operations. Utilizing her analytical skills, she is able develop a detailed and comprehensive plan for successful implementation of any event. Her well-orchestrated processes deliver impactful results. As a dedicated team leader, her network spans across many industries and her onsite presence puts clients and guests at ease due to her seamless execution and dedication to exceptional results.
Tapping into her educational background, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Champlain College in Vermont, she founded Go Fox, a small business that specializes in corporate concierge service, personal assistant work, project management and logistics support. This unique parallel service enhances the breadth and depth of the Albrecht Events’ network and provides a wider array of convenient amenities and resources available to client projects. This savvy entrepreneur also produces award-winning, all natural and addictive BBQ sauces and condiments for her Mermaid BBQ Company.
Makinlee is passionate about creating awareness for local farmers markets, sustainable business networks, zero landfill companies, Fair Food Philly, as well as a variety of Pitbull and pet rescues. She believes strongly in supporting local agriculture and farming, and living a holistic lifestyle. When she is not working, Makinlee enjoys being outdoors and active in kayaking, backpacking, biking, gardening, and Jiu Jitsu. Her adventurous spirit and ability to take a different path to achieve results is reflected in a quote that speaks to her -- “Not all those who wander are lost” JRR Tolkien.
Allison Beato, Special Projects and Transportation Manager
A flexible, well-rounded event coordinator, Allison supports Albrecht Events in a number of roles. She coordinates transportation, from airport arrivals and departures to motorcoaches for large-scale events. Allison also assists with on-site event coordination, from set-ups and directing vendors to maintaining constant client contact, and keeping guests happy. Always calm and composed while thinking two steps ahead, she is prepared to implement Plan B or C if needed. With a keen understanding of technical matters, she has the ability to figure out complex systems and is an expert working with Excel documents. Combining analytical and creative thinking, she sincerely cares about delivering high quality work every time.
With more than a decade of event and meeting planning experience, Allison has worked in social, corporate and academic settings. She enjoys learning on the job as well as meeting new people in different venues around the city. She previously served as a conference coordinator for Rowan University and as manager of transportation and operations in the DMC industry.
Allison represents Albrecht Events at Meeting Professionals International (MPI) meetings. Her professional affiliations have included the Philadelphia area chapters of the International Special Events Society and the Professional Convention Management Association, as well as the Association of Collegiate Conference & Event Directors-International.
Allison has worked on many high profile events including the Philadelphia Welcome America Parade, Special Olympics of NJ, and a very emotional Deployment Ceremony for NJ National Guard.
Having received her bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University, Allison completed Temple University’s Event Leadership Executive Certificate program. An avid baker, she enjoys spending time with her young family as well as knitting and reading. A budding homesteader, her family tends a large garden in their backyard and makes many of their own products with a dream of someday having a farm with chickens, sheep and honeybees.
Allison’s advice is to have no regrets. She believes what Mark Twain had to say, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Sally Barsh, Fundraising Events Manager and Special Projects
With style, creativity and a commitment to excellence, Sally Barsh designs and executes events that achieve her clients’ goals. From small and intimate gatherings to grand galas and fundraisers, each event is met with enthusiasm and unique ideas.
For more than twenty-five years, Sally Barsh has managed numerous successful events in the Philadelphia region. Her experience includes creating employee recognition programs, planning holiday celebrations, chairing galas and orchestrating large community concerts. For one nonprofit organization, she plans an annual golf outing and community walk, which together brings in $750k. She has planned high profile luncheons honoring Comcast Founders Ralph Roberts and Julian Brodsky as well as Ed Rendell.
A lifelong resident of Lower Merion and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she has many strong connections in the Philadelphia community. An engaging and stimulating communicator, Sally develops strong working relationships and fosters a team approach to events. Sally pays attention to the details but always focuses on the big picture. Strictly adhering to timelines, her projects meet deadlines.
Considered a natural leader with exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills, clients feel confident when Sally is the event manager. Her favorite motto “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” demonstrates that she will rise to the challenge and find a solution as she has often done. She is a resourceful, independent thinker you certainly want on your team!
In her free time, she enjoys walking and shopping, but most importantly being with her family. She volunteers her expertise to charitable causes and is a Past President at Temple Adath Israel in Merion Station.
Patty Poach, PR, Marketing and Fundraising Events Lead
As a marketing communications and event specialist, Patty Poach brings more than twenty-five years of experience to Albrecht Events. She has gained valuable expertise working with agencies, corporate and nonprofit organizations. In her recent role as a senior project manager for various clients, Patty led teams to help organizations build their bottom line through improved business processes, strategic planning, philanthropy, signature events, public relations, and marketing communications. Key skills that she can bring to your event are the ability to manage projects, budgets and timelines, as well as creative marketing, copywriting and fundraising strategies, and building relationships with the media, sponsors and key partners.
When she’s not planning, organizing, talking or writing, Patty loves to read and appreciates spending time with her family and capturing memories with photography. Best known for her energetic laugh, she believes that kindness should be thrown around like confetti and her favorite phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" represents her positive can-do attitude.
Kristina Burke, Curator & Hospitality Manager
Adding a creative flair and positive energy, Kristina Burke brings a trove of talents to every event as our Tastemaker and Curator. Her favorite thing to do - and something she happens to be exceptionally good at - is to dig deep with clients to create a truly personalized and memorable event. She has a personal style that translates into exciting ideas and creative designs for ae) and our clients. Always keeping it fresh, she has amazing experience and contacts in the hospitality industry and relishes in sharing her extensive knowledge as a coach, cook, speaker and cocktail slinger. One of her favorite tasks is crafting signature and seasonal cocktails, so it comes as no surprise that she had a recipe published in FOOD & WINE top 100 Cocktails in the Country.
Her ability to build meaningful relationships and collaborate with partners and vendors brings new ideas to life: a skill she developed as the proprietor of the late, great JAMES, a nationally acclaimed fine dining restaurant in Philadelphia. It was at JAMES where she learned the value of fostering relationships with customers, farmers, vendors, wine makers, and craft brewers as it related to conceptualizing unique events and products for brand recognition. One of the best examples of this would be the annual Farmers Dinner, which developed a cult like following, exemplified by tickets being sold out within minutes of being announced.
Kristina was instrumental in bringing Philadelphia's traveling beer garden to life. As the opening operations consultant for Parks On Tap, Kristina was responsible for hiring and training, developing each parks design, layout, flow and creating menus; additionally, she took on the role of the media spokesperson at the ribbon cutting, which was aired on local news stations. Other career highlights include cooking for 1000 of the most influential food & beverage professionals at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, moderating the Garces Group's Women in Hospitality Event in 2017, and teaching a Masters Class for industry professionals at COOK. Most recently, she created operational protocol and procedures for the new private event space at YARDS Brewing Company. She continues to mentor their events team, develop menus and consult on the design and décor of the raw space.
Her volunteer efforts have included Home and School Board President and Auction Chair of Greenfield Elementary School - resulting in many hugely successful fundraising events for her children's school. She loves to hike with her two little trailblazers, bike "the loop" in Philly with her family, drink champagne and eat oysters, travel and eat pasta as often as she can.
"Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It's that simple, and it's that hard." - Danny Meyer.
In addition to the executive team, Albrecht Events relies on the talents and experience of a dedicated team of partners. Each team member brings to the table creativity and a diverse background—to help our clients produce big-impact corporate events that inspire, motivate, and deepen relationships.