David VanderSloot

David VanderSloot, CMM, CASP
Director of Conference and Event Planning & Hospitality Services
[email protected]

David VanderSloot, CMM, CASP joined GVSU in 1998 where he oversees Conference and Event Planning & Hospitality Services for the Pew Grand Rapids Campus & Regional Centers.  

Prior to joining GVSU, David worked as Director of Sales for Bristol Hotels & Resorts, based in Dallas, TX, where he gained a reputation for impressive sales growth and creative solutions.  Other positions have included Banquet Manager, Restaurant Manager, and Bar Manager at various hotels and resorts.

David holds an MPA (Masters in Public Administration) Degree from GVSU, a Bachelor Degree in Hospitality Sales and Meeting Management and an Associate Degree in Restaurant/Institutional Management from Johnson & Wales University, and is also a graduate of Grand Rapids Community College's Food & Beverage Management program.  David holds a Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM) through Meeting Professional International, and Certified Auxiliary Services Professional (CASP).

Outside of GVSU David enjoys spending time with his two daughters, Ada and Chelsea, biking and boating.

Kathleen Wright

Kathleen M. Wright, CMP, CTA
Assistant Director of Conference & Event Planning
Detroit Center
[email protected]

Kathleen M. Wright, CMP, CTA joined the Conference and Event Planning Department in May 2000 as a Client Services Manager. In January 2012, Kathleen became the Assistant Director of Conference Planning.  In addition to her Assistant Director responsibilities, Kathleen manages the Detroit Center and President Office events. Prior to joining our team, Kathleen worked with the Amway Hotel Corporation from 1993 to 2000.  She worked at several of their properties holding numerous positions including front office agent (cross training in several departments), Concierge, Assistant Front Office Manager, Housekeeping Manager, and Sales and Catering Manager.   In 1997, Kathleen traveled to Amway Hotel Corporation’s Peter Island Resort, in the British Virgin Islands, as a consultant to their front office as they prepared to reopen the resort after a hurricane. Kathleen is a member of the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International and the Michigan Society of Association Executives where she previously served on the Certified Meeting Professional’s Advisory Board.   At Grand Valley, Kathleen has served on the Administrative Professionals Committee, the Faculty and Staff Welcome Back Picnic Planning Committee and many Building Opening Committees.  She also serves as a University Inclusion Advocate.   

Kathleen earned her Bachelor Degree in 1998 from Aquinas College.  

Outside of GVSU, Kathleen is married to Chris with whom she has two daughters, Mallory and Ellyson.  She has served ten years on the Grand Rapids Gymnastics Executive Board and also serves as the Event Director to help plan their annual Gymnastics on the Grand Invitational that brings 2400+ gymnasts, coaches, and many spectators to Grand Rapids each year.  This year, Kathleen has started the Calder Classic. She is working with West Michigan Gymnastics Clubs to create a two-day event that will bring area gyms and their gymnasts together to build camaraderie in the gymnastics community but also give the gymnasts an opportunity to give back to the community. Kathleen also takes time to serve as the Faculty/Staff Advisory for the GVSU Gymnastics Club Team.  

Kari Czarnecki

Kari L. Czarnecki, CHSP, CTA
Business Development Manager
[email protected]

Kari L. Czarnecki, CHSP, CTA joined the Conference and Event Planning Department in September 2012 as a Business Development Coordinator.  Kari’s role is to identify client prospects, generate qualified sales leads, and close business. Kari is involved in research, development and solicitation of new opportunities to meet and exceed individual and Department goals.  She implements conference marketing plans, markets special programs and amenities, designs and lays out ads, fliers, brochures and other promotional materials. Kari assists in training and development of Conference and Event Planning Staff in areas of sales and marketing.  Kari works closely with Experience Grand Rapids and local community organizations and businesses to bring conferences to Grand Rapids and Grand Valley State University. In August 2019 Kari became the Business Development Manager for the Conference and Event Planning Department.

Prior to joining our team, Kari worked with Marriott Corporation and InterContinental Hotel Group from 1993 to 2012.  She worked at several properties across the United States holding numerous positions including Front Desk Manager, Director of Sales & Catering, Special Events Coordinator and Corporate Sales Director.   

Kari received an Associate Degree in Hospitality Management from Northwestern Michigan College and earned a Bachelor Degree from Grand Valley State University with an emphasis on Hospitality & Tourism Management.  

Outside of GVSU, Kari is married to Brian, with whom they have two children.  She is involved in her local community and enjoys volunteering.


Sherri Nelson

Sherri L. Nelson, CTA
Conference Services Assistant
[email protected]

Sheryl L. Nelson, CTA joined the Conference & Event Planning Department in June 1993.  Sherri’s position started as an Office Coordinator and through dedication and hard work over the years her role in the Department flourished into her current position as Conference Services Assistant.   Sherri is involved in every aspect of the event planning function.  She is the true glue of our Department.  Sherri takes great pride in being a part of the exciting growth of Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus Conference Services over the past 20 years.  Sherri has played an intricate role in expanding and enhancing our staff and services to meet the needs of our ever changing, fast paced and valued clients.

Sherri is actively involved in areas outside her role in the Conference & Event Planning Department at Grand Valley State University.  Sherri is a member of the APSS (Alliance of Professional Support Staff) and serves as the GVSU’s United Way Campaign Coordinator for our department.  She is also a supporter of Allies & Advocates and serves as a University Inclusion Advocate.

Sherri is married to Jay, and they have two beautiful daughters, Jordan & McKenna.  Sherri and her family love to camp and enjoy a seasonal camping spot up north.  They also enjoy traveling and exploring new places and spending time with family and friends.  Sherri also volunteers on various ministries within her church.



Jennifer May

Jennifer May, CMP, CTA
L.V. Eberhard Center, Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, Raleigh J. Finkelstein Center and Daniel & Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health

Client Services Manager
[email protected]

Jennifer May, CMP, CTA joined the Grand Valley State University Conference and Event Planning team in October 2013.  Jennifer oversees day to day activities and all events at the L.V. Eberhard Center, the Cook-DeVos Center for Health and Sciences, Daniel & Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health and the Raleigh J. Finkelstein Center.  In addition to Event Planning for these venues Jennifer manages a staff of Event Planners, Coordinators and GVSU Student Support Staff.  She enjoys mentoring and the involvement of student successes at GVSU.

Jennifer brings years of experience in the Hospitality Industry to our team where she has worked since 1996. She has held various positions ranging from restaurant server, supervisor and assistant manager. Jennifer began her Event Planning career as a Catering Sales Manager at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids in 2006.  Jennifer has handled small to large events consisting of Government Officials, Presidential Candidates and many special wedding and social events throughout her time at the Amway and Grand Valley State University.  Jennifer has an eye for detail and elegance that shows throughout her events.

Jennifer obtained a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University. 

Jennifer is married to Jason, and is blessed with three children, Isabelle, Lawrence and Claire.  Jennifer enjoys watching sports, having a nice meal and spending quality time with her family and friends.


Amy Dettwiler

Amy Dettwiler, CMP, CTA
Richard M. DeVos Center, L. William Seidman Center, The Bicycle Factory, Innovation & Design Center, Alumni House & Regional Centers

Client Services Manager
[email protected]

Amy L. Dettwiler, CMP, CTA joined the Conference and Event Planning team in October 2013. Amy oversees staff and events in the Richard M. DeVos Center, The Bicycle Factory, the L. William Seidman Center, Innovation & Design Center, Alumni House and Regional Centers. 

Amy brings years of experience in the hospitality and event planning industry.  She was responsible for the sales and coordination of catered events at the Amway Grand Plaza and the Delta Plex.  Working closely with the clients and hospitality departments she was involved in events such as high profile galas, weddings, corporate meetings, concerts, rodeos, circuses, sporting events and political events.  Amy was also involved in movie premier events that Grand Rapids hosted.

Amy received her Associate's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Northwestern Michigan College and her Bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Grand Valley State University.

Amy is married to Josh, and they have two children, Rylie and Graysen. As a family they enjoy exploring the outdoors and visiting National Parks. 

Erika VanDyke

Erika VanDyke, CMP, CTA
L. William Seidman Center & Regional Centers

Client Services Coordinator
[email protected]

Erika Van Dyke, CMP, CTA joined the Conference & Event Planning Department in October 2003 as a Client Services Coordinator. Erika coordinates academic and corporate events on our Pew Campus as well as events at our Regional locations in Muskegon and the Lake Shore.   Erika’s previous experience encompasses marketing, advertising and event planning.  She was an Event Planner for First Floor Designs out of Holland where she was involved in off-site corporate events as well as internal training and employee relations events.  Erika also held the position of Marketing & Advertising Assistant for Holland Tulip Time organization.  This role put her in touch with the community and businesses surrounding this long standing historic event. 

Erika is an alumna of Grand Valley State University where she accomplished her Bachelor Degree in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program.  She is an active member of ACCED-I (Association of Collegiate Conference & Events Directors- International) and a CMP (Certified Meeting Professional).  Erika has also become a CTA (Certified Tourism Ambassador).

Erika enjoys attending baseball games and other outdoor activities with Josh, and two children Ian and Zoey.



Ashley Sierminski

Ashley Sierminski
Richard M. DeVos Center
Client Services Coordinator 
[email protected]

Ashley Sierminski joined the Conference and Event Planning Team in March 2022. As a Client Services Coordinator, Ashley assists with academic and corporate events at the DeVos Center on the Pew Campus, as well as specialty events and weddings at the Alumni House on the Allendale Campus.

Ashley is no stranger to campus, as she is a proud alumna of Grand Valley State University. In 2019, she obtained her Bachelor Degree in the Hospitality and Tourism Management program, with an emphasis on Meetings & Event Management. Ashley was attracted to the program because of her eye for detail and sense of creativity.  

Ashley has background working in various angles of the hospitality industry, including; food & beverage, weddings, floral, and public relations. She coordinated logistical and creative event details for a globally recognized brand in her role at SeyferthPR. In 2019, Ashley had the opportunity to intern on-site at the Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France. She assisted with high profile clients, sponsorships, and promotions during the two-week festival.  

In Ashley’s free time she enjoys cooking, golf, traveling to new places, fitness, and experiencing all that Grand Rapids has to offer.


Skye Lemmen - Client Service Coordinator

Skye Lemmen, CTA
L.V. Eberhard Center, Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, Raleigh J. Finkelstein Center and Daniel & Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health
Client Services Coordinator
(616) 331-6803
[email protected]

Skye Lemmen, CTA joined the Grand Valley State University Conference and Event Planning team as a Client Services Coordinator in March 2022. She coordinates academic and corporate events within all buildings located on the Health Campus. Skye also coordinates weddings, academic, corporate, and social events at the L.V. Eberhard Center on the Pew Campus. She is an alum of Grand Valley State University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a minor in Business in 2016.

Skye brings years of hospitality industry experience to her role at Grand Valley. She began her career at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids exploring different roles within the organization including; housekeeping, front desk, concierge lounge, and banquet serving. After discovering her passion for events during her banquet serving role at the hotel, she then accepted a position at the local John Ball Zoo where she was an event planner and venue coordinator for the Bissell Tree House. During her time with this nonprofit organization, she specialized in park rentals, weddings, corporate, and social events as well as assisted with planning large zoo-wide community events. She loves to see an event come to life after walking her clients through the planning stages.

Skye enjoys backpacking, disc golfing, snowboarding, roller skating and traveling during her time away from the office. She is married to Matt, and together they have a rescue dog named Luna and a tabby cat named Tycho.

Page last modified November 22, 2022