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David VanderSloot, CMM, CASP
Director of Conference and Event Planning & Hospitality Services
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 M. Wright, CMP, CTA
Assistant Director of Conference & Event Planning
Kathleen M. Wright, CMP, CTA joined the Conference and Event Planning Department in May of 2000 as a Client Services Manager. In January of 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 six years on the Grand Rapids Gymnastics Executive Board and also serves as one of the Committee Chairs to help plan their annual Gymnastics on the Grand Invitational that brings 2400+ gymnasts, coaches, and many spectators to Grand Rapids each year. Kathleen also takes time to serve as the Faculty/Staff Advisory for the GVSU Gymnastics Club Team in which she runs a NAIGC- National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs Meet each December to bring other college club teams to the area.
Kari L. Czarnecki, CHSP, CTA
Business Development Manager
Kari L. Czarnecki, CHSP, CTA joined the Conference and Event Planning Department in September of 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. Kari is also involved in mentoring GVSU Hospitality and Tourism Management students and guest presenting in hospitality courses throughout the academic year. In August of 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 husband, Brian, with whom they have two active daughters. She is involved in her local community and enjoys volunteering.
Sherri L. Nelson, CTA
Conference Services Assistant
Sheryl L. Nelson, CTA joined the Conference & Event Planning Department in June of 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 of 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 her husband, 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.
Mike Ashcraft, CMP, CTA
Guest Housing and Summer Camps
Client Services Manager for Residential Camps & Conferences
Mike Ashcraft, CMP, CTA is in charge of Grand Valley State University’s Residential Guest Housing and Summer Camps & Conferences Programs. Mike manages and coordinates all housing, meals, meeting rooms and recreational events for groups attending camps and conferences on our Allendale and Pew Campuses. Mike also manages summer staff including Student Conference Managers and Conference Assistants.
Mike began his career at GVSU in the Conference & Event Planning Department where he handled events and groups at the L.V. Eberhard Center. Mike successfully led the coordination of wide range conference and event services for multi-site conference facilities on the Pew Grand Rapids campus. Later in his time at GVSU, Mike moved to the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences and managed sales and day to day event activities focusing on the medical industry. It was through these positions he demonstrated the ability to develop good working relationships with the many departments required to complete a successful event.
Mike received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Central Michigan University with a dual major in Hospitality Services Administration and Human Resource Management.
Mike is married to Robin and they have a son, Mitch who attends Grand Valley State University.
Jennifer May, CMP, CTA
L.V. Eberhard Center, Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences Center, Raleigh J. Finkelstein Center and Daniel & Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health
Client Services Manager
Jennifer May, CMP, CTA joined the Grand Valley State University Conference and Event Planning team in October of 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 husband, 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, CMP, CTA
Richard M. DeVos Center, L. William Seidman Center, The Bicycle Factory, Innovation & Design Center & Regional Centers
Client Services Manager
Amy L. Dettwiler, CMP, CTA joined the Conference and Event Planning team in October of 2013. Amy oversees staff and events in the Richard M. DeVos Center, The Bicycle Factory, the L. William Seidman Center, Innovation & Design Center 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 actively involved in her community and family activities. She coaches for the Girls on the Run program in Kent County where she is also responsible for communications and organizing coaching staff in her daughter's school district. Amy has a passion for running herself and participates in several 5K runs throughout the year.
Amy is married to husband, Josh, and they have two busy children Rylie and Graysen. Amy enjoys watching her husband and son compete in BMX races and watching her daughter cheerlead and play volleyball.
Erika VanDyke, CMP, CTA
L. William Seidman Center & Regional Centers
Client Services Coordinator
Erika Van Dyke, CMP, CTA joined the Conference & Event Planning Department in October of 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 her husband, Josh, and two children Ian and Zoey.
Joyce Miller, CTA
Richard M. DeVos Center & Alumni House
Client Service Coordinator
Joyce Miller, CTA became a member of the Conference and Event Planning team in August of 2016. Joyce graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature, History and Hospitality and Tourism Management. Joyce brings over 20 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry to GVSU. She has successfully held roles in Sales, Catering and Convention Services with the majority of her career at the Amway Grand Plaza. Joyce has extensive experience in leadership, logistics, business development and departmental coordination.
In addition to her time at the Amway Grand Plaza Joyce worked at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and Walt Disney.
Joyce is married to her husband, Rorick. They enjoy taking their two dogs, Lucy & Carl, to Shaggy Pines Dog Park to relish in the outdoors. Joyce and her husband are active on the Bourbon Tours circuit and spend time traveling to new distilleries all over the country. Joyce is an avid movie and concert goer and takes great pride in working in her yard.
Joyce has a passion for volunteering and participates in programs at the West Michigan Humane Society and Kids Food Basket.