Natalie Kennedy | CEO
The founder and owner of Kennedy Creative Events, Natalie is our fearless leader. With over 20 years of experience in the event industry, she uses foresight, hindsight, and x-ray vision to give clients the experiences of their dreams. A fitness fanatic, sailing enthusiast, and world traveler, Natalie never met a challenge she couldn’t summit. Natalie and her husband are parents to two boys and one adorable dog.
Heather Niemeyer, DMCP | COO
From financials to client/partner relations, corporate events to collective office sanity, Heather keeps our whole operation on track. Her chameleon ways make her a remarkable team player and an excellent resource. With a personable nature, unyielding vitality, and an infectious laugh, Heather facilitates and maintains the relationships we value most.
Sam Rhodes | Controller
Sam comes to Kennedy with a finance degree from UT and 20 years of experience in accounting. This analytical rockstar loves to cook and once even owned a food trailer in downtown Austin that served southern comfort food. How cool is that!? You can find Sam walking around Town Lake and hitting as many Blues on the Green events as possible in summertime or designing and creating handmade jewelry on more relaxing days in.
Director of Design
Sunny came to Kennedy from Louisiana with an immense amount of experience while working at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. (In case you were wondering, Sunny’s disposition absolutely lives up to her nickname.) This ultra-talented experience designer and producer loves cooking, wine… and doing her signature dance move – “the flight attendant” – after indulging in a bit of the latter. Her weekends are spent with her husband and their two pups, Emma and Ava, and they’re all as lucky to have her as we are.
Avery Koch | Event Producer
Avery started out as a Kennedy intern and quickly became a crowd favorite. We’re so lucky to have snatched up this bubbly, fun loving girl for our production team. This high achiever double majored and minored at UT Austin, studying International Relations and Communications Studies. She also gets a healthy dose of live music and vegan cooking into her weekly routine. Avery is a proud puppy mama to her adorable Cocker Spaniel mix, Nelson. She adopted him through the Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin, where she also spends her time volunteering when she’s not busting her behind at producing events! Contact her if you’re interested in adopting!
Director of Kennedy Collection
Amber Crausby | Director of Kennedy Collection
Amber graduated with a BBA from Mississippi State University and has a plethora of experience ranging from event management in Tennessee to directing business development in South Carolina and even attraction hostessing at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida! We’re so lucky this talented lady joined the Kennedy team as our in-house rental guru. Amber might be an interior stylist during the week, but on weekends she’s an outdoorsy woman; you can find her hiking and kayaking or getting her creative juices flowing by writing short stories and poetry. She may or may not also be a fan of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (HINT: she is).
Accounting & Procurement Coordinator
Tyler Howdeshell | Accounting & Procurement Coordinator
Tyler graduated from Texas A&M with a BA in Communication and a minor in Psychology. She started with a Kennedy internship, then joined our production team as an independent contractor and was officially hired on full-time 14 months later. Tyler loves exploring new cities and spending time wining and dining with family and friends. At the end of the day, she’s a big animal lover who lives for the summer – Tyler and her pup can be found at the pool or river almost every weekend. We’re happy to have this fun-loving and reliable gal on our team!
Kaitlyn Lamm | Creative Director
Kaitlyn’s clients describe her as a “bright, creative and incredibly hard worker.” We do not disagree! Her passion for this industry shows as she’s created unforgettable event experiences at Kennedy for the past two years. Kaitlyn’s creative background definitely does not stop at the office. She will never say no to a project if it’s an opportunity to use that wild imagination of hers. This gal loves a good happy hour and is our go-to girl to find the newest hot spots around Austin. If she’s not out exploring the city’s hidden gems with her friends and boyfriend, you can find Kaitlyn curled up with a good book and her adorable Cavalier King Charles pup!
Lindsey Pecora | Experience Designer
Lindsey graduated from the University of Alabama and moved out to Austin to explore the world of experiential marketing and event planning. After just a few short months of interning at Kennedy, Lindsey quickly became an absolute necessity to our team! Lindsey collaboratively dives in on many aspects of our client programs, but some of her main tasks include vendor outreach and communication, and event budget coordination. A lover of books, wine and traveling, she can be found soaking up the sun at Barton Springs or trying out the city’s latest and greatest coffee shops on the weekends.
Executive Assistant to the CEO & Office Manager
Anika Tripp | Executive Assistant to the CEO & Office Manager
This Austin native comes to Kennedy with her Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Ole Miss. She began working as an executive assistant in Dallas, but her roots have since called her back home to Austin. Anika (pronounced Ah-Nih-Kah) loves all types of food. Really, she’s a self-proclaimed foodie and also loves traveling, scuba diving, and cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels. Hotty Toddy! Go Rebels!
Senior Event Producer
Lauren Williams, DMCP | Senior Event Producer
Although she’ll always be a New Orleanian at heart, Lauren came back to her native city of Austin, Texas and joined the Kennedy family! She’s obtained over 10 years of experience in the event industry, working specifically in meeting planning, weddings, social events, DMC and venue management. Lauren’s got a knack for singing and even auditioned for American Idol. She’s also a die-hard Beyoncé fan and loves to blare her tunes at the office! She’s usually loving on her pit bull Kai, finding restaurants in Austin with delicious tacos, or binge watching crime documentaries on Netflix.
Lerin van Buren | Account Manager
Lerin is an extremely ambitious, motivated, and dedicated event management professional with over six years event planning related experience in various industries. Along with being one of the talented and highly skilled ladies that make up the Kennedy team, she is the trendiest girl in the office and is always dressed to impress. Lerin also has a huge passion for fitness and nutrition. When Lerin isn’t hanging out at at her favorite juice bar or hot yoga studio, she’s kayaking or running on Lady Bird Lake with her husband!
Jeylan Yolac | Experience Designer
With almost a decade of experience under her belt, Jeylan rounds out our design team with her NYC perspective. Jeylan moved to Austin in 2016 and brings with her an eclectic blend of experience, skill and taste. Her production background includes high-end designer New York Fashion Week shows, luxury brand photo shoots, celebrity owned night club openings, exclusive summer concerts in the Hamptons, massive Comedy Festivals at Madison Square Garden, Art Festivals in SoHo and even a concert teaming up KRS One and Flying Lotus! Her branding experience ranges from the glossy pages of fashion magazines to SXSW pop-ups for internet radio legend East Village Radio. Jeylan began her training at Pratt Institute and holds a degree in Advertising and Art Direction. Her husband Rinaldo and their 2 year old daughter Ayla love going on adventures in their new city.
Kennedy Collection Rentals Warehouse Manager
Mike White | Kennedy Collection Rentals Warehouse Manager
Mike, Mike, Mike. There are an endless list of things we could say about the Kennedy Lone Star (what we like to call our solo male employee). Mike loves spoiling the many lovely ladies he works with here. This stand up guy is loyal, extremely hardworking, and will do anything for his friends and family. This Jack of all trades has got it all! He’s never met a sport he could not play and is a master crafter; if you can describe it, he can build it. We would be lost without him.
Senior Event Producer
Scott LaLonde | Senior Event Producer
Scott joined the Kennedy team after having 15 years of experience producing events in Washington DC and Charlotte. Once he visited Austin, he knew he had to experience life as a Longhorn! Luckily, his transition has been incredibly easy as he’s already a foodie, brunch-addict and lover of the live music scene. Events come naturally to Scott as his first taste in events was planning his annual cousin Olympics at his Grandma’s house as a little boy. From business conferences to philanthropic events (and even weddings), Scott is truly an expert at all things events!
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Whitney Hatano | Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Whitney is a proud graduate from Ohio University (Bobcats, not Buckeyes) where she majored in Communication Studies with a specialization in Journalism and English. She loved being involved at OU and found herself in several organizations that sparked her interest in events, social media and marketing. She moved to Austin after graduation on a whim and her career at Kennedy began as a Marketing and PR intern. Whitney loves all things pop culture and is always up-to-date on celebrity news and trends. When she’s not keeping up with the Kardashians on Twitter, you can find her curled up on the couch watching “Gilmore Girls,” jammin’ out to One Direction or cheering on the San Francisco Giants!
Cassie Robinson | Event Producer
A born and raised Californian and San Diego State Alum, Cassie decided to make the (looong) drive to ATX in 2016. Events have been in her blood ever since she can remember! The feeling when she sees that client’s reaction to an AWESOME event is like when the San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series. When she’s not producing the heck out of programs, Cassie loves trying new delicious bites, craft brews and soaking up the sun at Barton Springs.
Assistant Warehouse Manager
We have another born and raised Texan on our hands, folks. Jack has been professionally moving furniture around Austin for the past six years, but his manual labor career started when he was just a youngin’. Growing up on his parents’ ranch, Jack was always outdoors learning the skills of an agriculturalist. He has quickly taken to everyone on the Kennedy team and is quite the dynamic duo with our Warehouse Manager, Mike. Along with being a pro at moving furniture, Jack has quickly become a masterful carpenter, too! Even though Jack lives outside of Austin, he loves taking his daughter to Zilker Park and playing disc golf.
Senior Account Manager/Event Producer
After graduating from Texas State University, San Marcos in 2008, Dana moved to Austin and worked as the editor of an Austin-based home and lifestyle magazine and then as an account manager and experiential marketing producer for an environmentally-conscious advertising agency. Her most notable role at the agency was launching Daimler’s car2go service in many of the company’s North American markets. She moved to San Antonio in 2014 and started working for a local DMC, where her events won many local, state and national awards through ILEA and NACE. She obtained her DMCP distinction in August 2015 and served as director of sales for the in-house DMC for La Cantera Resort & Spa and Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio for three and a half years. She also worked closely with large convention center groups at the Grand Hyatt in downtown San Antonio. In May 2017, the siren call of Austin lured her back to the capital city, where she’s now putting her DMC expertise to work for Kennedy, focusing specifically on the Fairmont Austin.