Marka Waechter
President and CEO

Marka came to SHW with unique experience combining travel and technology. Her vision is to build a stellar team that shares her passion for providing exceptional customer service and amazing creativity.

Lorie Thomas
Senior Vice President of Event Services

For more than 20 years, Lorie has designed and operated corporate events, large and small, from Seattle to Seoul. For her, each program is a delightful puzzle to be solved. 


Brett Robertson
Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Brett leads the sales team from the perspective of an accountant, ensuring SHW’s clients are getting the best value for their dollar. His sense of teamwork and fun comes from his years on a competitive racing squad. 

John Ellard
SVP of Creative & Production

John has spent more than 25 years building and leading teams, producing events, and designing experiences for diverse audiences both large and small. A 10-year Microsoft veteran, John led Experiential Marketing for the Entertainment & Devices Division, and Global Event and Partnership Marketing for Xbox. Possessing both client and agency side experience, John has overseen dozens of high-profile product launches, executive keynote programs, and consumer activations at events such as CES, E3, Cannes Film Festival, Coachella, and SXSW, among others. 

Possessing both client and agency side experience, John has overseen dozens of high-profile product launches, executive keynote programs, and consumer activations.

As SVP of Creative & Production, John provides strategic insight for the SHW team, ensuring that we deliver compelling creative, innovative technology, and holistic production solutions for our clients.

John was born in Colorado and has lived in the Seattle area for more than 30 years where he attended the University of Puget Sound. He has a passion for the great outdoors and for live music.



Alesa Cullens
Director of Finance

Alesa’s enthusiasm for finance keeps SHW rolling. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and understanding of the business, so each team member can execute their jobs most effectively on behalf of clients. 

Korrin Bizek
Director of Event Operations

Korrin hasn’t met an event she can’t manage. Her experience, kindness, grit, and a sense of humor makes Korrin a keeper for any project. A great leader for the SHW event management team, Korrin is a certified transportation genius. 


Kim Stewart
Director of Client Services

Kim’s entire career has focused on corporate PR and marketing, beginning at Nordstrom. Her love of events – which calls on her poise and creativity – eventually brought her to SHW, where she oversees a team with a primary focus on large, high-profile events for Microsoft. 

Cheryl Barnet
Sr. Manager of Site Sourcing, Housing & Registration

After years in hotel sales, Cheryl joined SHW to lead the hotel sourcing team. She now oversees the teams who deal with vastly detailed complexities around meetings and events: hotel contract negotiations, creative registration solutions, and conference housing management. 

Nolan Frame
Manager of Business Operations

Nolan combines creativity with a natural aptitude for technology to keep our business systems aligned with our vision. Nolan is involved with every aspect of the business, as he helps identify and launch best-in-class technology solutions for both internal departments and clients. 

Rita Mills
Director of Customer Engagement

Rita’s position at SHW combines the elements she loves most from a varied career: telling a great story, trying new things, and making connections. Rita works with a creative team who produce proposals and communications on behalf of SHW. 

Julie Keaton
Director of Employee Engagement

With nearly 15 years at SHW, Julie has watched the company morph from a destination management company into the full-service event agency. Her compassion and deep understanding of the company serves her well in welcoming new employees, and creating a vibrant learning program.