The education sessions available at Catersource are unmatched. Through four days of compelling sessions, industry experts from across the country will introduce you to new techniques, practices, and ideas that will enhance your operations. From back of the house to front of the house, topics will cover technology, sales and marketing best practices, culinary and design ideas, and much more!
New this year: The Art of Catering Food is joining Catersource 2017! Dive deep into your culinary offerings with this designated program designed to make your cuisine the center of your operation.
Check out the available education sessions in our Session Scheduler! We're always adding more, so check back often for the most up-to-date schedule.
Meet the Speakers
The Catersource 2017 education program features many expert speakers and great personalities! These are just a few of our headlining speakers for the 2017 schedule.
New Orleans resident, Chef John Folse, will bring a local perspective of Cajun cooking using Louisiana's pantry. He developed Chef John Folse & Company using his passion for the native specialties of Louisiana. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including "Louisiana Restaurateur of the Year" by the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA), "National Chef of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and "Silver Spoon Award" by Food Arts magazine for his contributions to the foodservice industry. Chef Folse was also inducted into the Louisiana Chef's Hall of Fame for his extensive promotion of Louisiana's food scene.
Jackie Huba is the author of three books on customer loyalty: Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics, Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force and Citizen Marketers: When People are the Message. Jackie is also a Forbes.com contributor, writing about customer loyalty and word of mouth marketing. A TEDx speaker, her work has frequently been featured in the media, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Advertising Age. She is an 11-year veteran of IBM and resides in Austin, Texas.
When Google wanted to explain digital marketing to the top brands in the world, they sought out Mitch Joel, one of the world’s leading experts on new media and emerging technologies. Mitch brings digital marketing and media insights from his always-on and always-connected world. Marketing magazine dubbed him the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” and called him, “one of North America’s leading digital visionaries.” He shares insights on the future of technology and business, including how to use big data to create brand loyalists, how to drive growth in a mobile world, the five technology trends changing the face of business, and how organizations can connect to an always-connected consumer. Joel is president of Mirum, global digital marketing agency operating in close to 20 countries (although he prefers the title, “media hacker”). Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, he has been called a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert, and community leader, and he was named one of the most influential authorities on blog marketing in the world. He is also a blogger, podcaster, passionate entrepreneur, and speaker who connects with people worldwide by sharing his marketing and innovation insights on the state of business.
Doug Lipp is a distinguished consultant, keynote speaker, eight-time business author and world authority on building esteemed organizational cultures. He helps companies see how values and culture form the essence of their business, and provides clear insights on how they can build an even stronger brand. The foundation is values-based leadership, teamwork and innovation. Doug was catapulted, at the age of 29, to the helm of the employee training team at Disney, one of the world’s most beloved and respected institutions. Fluent in Japanese, Doug helped Disney start its first international theme park as a member of the Tokyo Disneyland opening team. Today, Doug can be found inspiring audiences around the globe with his game-changing questions, animated stories, actionable content and engaging stage presence. And like Walt Disney, Doug believes that “laughter is no enemy to learning” infusing his singular style of fun and humor into every presentation.
Michael Cerbelli is the very definition of international events. For over 38 years, Michael has done more than change the paradigm of prestigious happenings – Michael has become the paradigm. Michael’s recent multi-million-dollar ‘Brooklyn Bar-Mitzvah’ at the Barclay Center grabbed the attention of the worldwide press from CNN to the BBC. Still, Michael’s passion is to do more than create incredible experiences. He would much rather be ‘giving back’ to the event community than fielding calls from the press. With “The Hot List™", Michael works to inspire producers throughout the industry, reveal the latest trends, and fill their creative toolbox with the latest event resources. It takes big personalities to do big events – personalities as big as the events themselves. And Michael Cerbelli is that person; larger-than-life, charismatic and in charge.
Chef Eric LeVine is the Executive Chef/Partner of Morris Tap & Grill, Randolph, NJ. You might recognize Chef LeVine from Food Network's cooking competition show, Chopped. Chef competed on that show and won the title Chopped Champion—and now he will bring his culinary chops to the Art of Catering Food, as well as on the Catersource Tradeshow floor, as emcee of the DICED competition. He is also the author of Small Bites, Big Flavor.
Since founding AOO Events, Inc. in 1989, David Merrell’s name has become synonymous with cutting-edge event design and production. David and his team at AOO have been honored by a wide range of professional organizations with more than 25 International awards in a wide range of categories, a testament to the diversity and talent within his company. David himself was named Designer of the Year by Event Solutions Magazine and has taken home the prestigious Crystal Site Award from the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives. Until recently he served on the ILEA board as president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter and currently sits on the Advisory Board of Catersource, California Meetings Magazine, Biz Bash, The Wedding and Event Institute and Santa Barbara Weddings. Continuously leading the market in a forward direction with authoritative momentum, David E. Merrell and AOO Events can respectively be considered a driving force in today’s event industry.
William R. Pannhoff (Bill) is a native of Minnesota. He co-owned Crystal Catering in 1983. He proudly served in the United States Army for six years; he graduated with honors from the Military's Club Management & Culinary Arts School, spent time with the Army Culinary Arts Team, and was a general's enlisted aide and the NCOIC of a Military Bed and Breakfast. In 1990, Bill founded B&B Catering Inc. in Spring Lake, NC, where he turned an old gas station into an office and designed and built a 9,000 square foot industrial kitchen that has hosted caterers from around the country for years. B&B has lead his market for over 26 years winning “Best Caterer” in the area 22 times. B&B opened 3 new divisions in 2010, C2C Consulting, Movable Feast & Busy Bee Florist. Bill has degrees in Food Service Management, Military Club Management and Military Culinary Upgrade Program and higher education in Marketing and Retailing. Bill has spoken nearly 100 times nationally for Catersource, NACE and other groups. He specializes in Operations, Management, Leaderships, New Kitchen Design, Company and Personal Growth while focusing on quality of life. Bill has written 3 books, is a member of the Catersource Consulting Unit, Catersource Senior Ambassador and a Board member of the International Caterers Association. If you have ever been in one of Bill's classes, you will have experienced his ability to tell a story while touching each listener, his passion, tears, and love for the hospitality industry and probably know his famous tag line R&D. "Rob and Duplicate".
David Rich has been called “The most personable speaker in America.” He has presented to well over one million people in 48 states and 4 countries and has earned the speaking industry’s highest designation. He is the best selling author of five books including, How to Stay Motivated on a Daily Basis, How to Click with Everyone Every Time, which has been printed in six different languages, You Mean That Isn’t in the Bible, and 7 Biblical Truths You Won’t Hear in Church, But Might Change Your Life, & his newest book, Contagious Selling.
Meryl wakes up at every morning with a big smile on her face because she knows that her clients are crushing it. They’re using what she teaches to reach their goals and increase sales within a matter of weeks (often even days) with laser focused training techniques.
Meryl has spent 28 years in the special event & catering industry as co-founder of Feastivities Events, OffShoots Decor and Philadelphia's Picnic Company. She also is the author of Booked It! and three how-to Style & Design videos. Meryl is a speaker and Senior Consultant for Catersource, the largest trade organization for caterers in the world. A passionate believer in entrepreneurship Meryl speaks with groups from the heart with warmth and knowledge, and covers the funny side of life and business.