Barbara Siska, CSEP
For more than 25 years, Barb has worked in the events industry producing corporate, non-profit and social events. Her background consists of facility rental and events management in many of Chicago’s most notable museums, such as the Museum of Science and Industry, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Chicago History Museum. Barb has also worked for Berkshire Hathaway-owned Pampered Chef as their U.S. Meetings Manager. At Pampered Chef, Barb planned and executed more than 12 meetings a year, including a national conference for nearly 10,000 attendees, as well as a leadership conference for 3,000. She traveled the U.S. extensively, executing meetings and scouting future locations.
In her role as Executive Director of the Office of University Events and Ceremonies at the University of Chicago, Barb serves as the lead event planner for all Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and other campus partner events. She manages a team of seven that collectively orchestrates and executes more than 100 University events and conferences each year, including the annual Convocation ceremonies, which welcomes more than 18,000 guests to campus each June.
Barb currently serves as the Regional Vice President for the Midwest for the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the principle association representing the creative events professional, globally.
Katelyn is an Associate Director at the University of Chicago, where she is responsible for the planning and operational oversight of the University’s annual Convocation ceremony. In addition to Convocation, Katelyn coordinates several other University events as part of the Office of University Events and Ceremonies team.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Katelyn worked at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law as an Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement where she planned, produced, and executed engagement events and programs for the Law School community.
Katelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in professional communications from Elmhurst College.
Events & Communications Manager
Victoria is an Events & Communications Manager at the University of Chicago, where she serves as the lead project manager in producing all communications and collateral for the University’s annual Convocation ceremony. In addition to Convocation, Victoria contributes to several other University initiatives as part of the Office of University Events team through event planning and coordination as well as on-site production.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Victoria worked as a Senior Experiential Project Manager at GT Universe, where she ideated, planned, and executed various multicultural and specialty events for brands such as Pernod Ricard and Jewel-Osco.
Victoria holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Media School of Indiana University.
Nicole is an Event Specialist at the University of Chicago, where she is responsible for managing a diverse events portfolio, including venue scouting, planning and ideation, cross-functional collaboration with subcontractors and campus partners, menu development, design of event materials, and budget tracking. Nicole directly supports the University’s Convocation as well as other events and initiatives within the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and other University departments.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Nicole worked for The Walt Disney Company where she coordinated the planning logistics for a wide range of events across the Walt Disney World property.
Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree in tourism, conventions, and event management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Vanessa is an Event Administrator for the University of Chicago where she is responsible for providing event administration support to the team. In addition, Vanessa supports the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and other campus partners with the creation of invitations, guest list management, and on-site event support.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Vanessa worked for Bulley and Andrews Construction Firm where she took on a variety of roles within Accounting, Human Resources, Marketing and Office Management. Within each of these departments, she oversaw essential functions including event and meeting coordination.
Vanessa holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Studies from Concordia University Chicago.