Our team shares eclectic creative/arts backgrounds. This, combined with our sharp business skills, have set us apart from our competitors. We know the value of a well executed and aesthetically pleasing event, as we simply wouldn't stand for anything less.
Laurie DeJong brings more than 20 years of event and business strategy and leadership experience to LDJ. As chief executive, she oversees the strategic direction, culture and structure of the company.
Laurie is sought after as a director of high profile fashion, beauty, tech, media, and luxury automotive events globally. She is Agency Producer for WME / IMG's New York Fashion Week platform and has spearheaded the multi-million dollar platform's strategic move to semi-permanent homes over the past 5 years. Under her leadership, LDJ has made multiple appearances on the Inc. 5000 list, the Women Presidents Organization's list of the "50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Businesses in North America" and was named one of New York's 50 fastest-growing companies by SmartCEO.
As a longtime mentor of women and girls globally, her philanthropic efforts have led to the formation of the Paper Fig Foundation, the purpose-driven initiative of LDJ Productions. She is a regular speaker on women’s empowerment, mentorship and the economic impact of fashion on global economies with specific emphasis on developing nations and recently spoke at the World Economic Forum Africa. Laurie is a Trustee of Marist College, a member of the Women's Presidents' Educational Organization, and the National Association of Professional Women. Laurie was recently selected "Enterprising Woman of the Year" by Enterprising Women Magazine and is a guest writer for Entrepreneur Magazine.
President & CFO
Adam Cook brings over 15 years of strategic and financial management, with expertise in agency, venture-funded startup, and non-profit financial modeling to the LDJ executive team. In his role, he is responsible for all organizational finances, growth modelling, long-range strategic forecasting, and leads New Business and Partnership initiatives.
His career highlights include the raising of $35MM and $25MM respectively to purchase and restore a two separate historical NY landmark buildings for the Manhattan Theater Club and St. Ann's Warehouse, which are both 30+ year pillar arts organizations.
He worked in client finance for Ogilvy & Mather with clients such as: Blackrock, Coca-Cola, General Electric, IBM, TD Ameritrade, and UPSS. He became CFO/COO for American-Made startup, Flint&Tinder, before it’s sale in 2014, after which he joined the team at LDJ.
Chief Creative Officer
Randy McConnell has built a reputation for developing innovative marketing campaigns for some of the most influential brands of our generation. He offers deep agency experience and a strong record of success in managing global creative teams.
He has been able to take brands to new heights in brand recognition by driving brand launches and meeting demanding client objectives. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Old Spice, Gillette, Tide, M&M Mars, Cathay Pacific, Budweiser, Verizon, Nestle, Bacardi, and Dewar's.
His specialties include: Creative Development and Production, Interactive Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Brand Awareness and Recognition, New Business Initiatives, Staff Leadership and Management, and Campaign Development.
Executive Producer / Creative Director / Owner, Untitled 8
Melissa has gleaned experience from 20 years of the unexpected events that happen “Only in Events.” She has worked with clients to create dynamic, motivating experiences for their audiences. Her broad expertise in entertainment events and corporate communications includes staging, live broadcast, tradeshow design & installation, design & execution of company-wide learning programs, digital media and corporate identity. For 10 years, Melissa & the Untitled 8 team were the production partners for Scripps Networks Interactive Upfront Tour, traveling to and producing 8 major events in 7 different cities. In 2018, Discovery completed the merger with SNI creating a powerhouse media company just 11 days prior to the Upfront Tour. Untitled 8/LDJ was thrilled to be on board for this moment in media history and help Discovery create a successful road show for their first Upfront as one unified company.
Melissa has directed projects for a wide range of clients in varying industries including: Discovery, Scripps Networks, Comcast, CES/CEA, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kat Von D, Abercrombie & Fitch, Deloitte, Channel Four Films, Cisco, Cole Haan, GHD, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, American Airlines, Campbell’s, and Canon.
Executive Vice President
David brings more than 20 years of event operations and production experience to LDJ Productions. He manages the firm's most complex productions and services the Matrix, Kerastase, Automation Anywhere, Roden & Fields accounts, among others. Through his many years at LDJ, he has led events for the company in Europe, China, Africa, India, Haiti and almost every state in the United States.
David was born in Monrovia, Liberia, later spending several years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), and three years in Ivory Coast as the son of a diplomat and a journalist. In between tours in Africa, David grew up in the suburban Washington DC area. He is thrilled that LDJ’s non profit efforts through the Paper Fig Foundation have given him the opportunity to revisit the continent.
David moved to NYC to join the inaugural class of the New Actor's Workshop where he studied with theatre legends Mike Nichols and Paul Sills. Following this program, David's interest in theater production expanded and he began to work in the wider live events production space. David joined LDJ Productions in 2002 and specializes in production management, set concept and design and technical direction. His broad experience and talent with complex event programming has been vital to the expansion and success of the company.
Nicole leads LDJ’s Event Management division and fills the role of Senior Producer for the majority of the business’ logistically challenging projects. Her 20 years of event management and technical production experience spans all facets of the business, including entertainment and fashion production; corporate meeting and incentive management; community-based events; and political and non-profit functions. She possesses a deep background in operating high-touch programs in international destinations, including VIP corporate hospitality programs at the Beijing and London Olympic Games.
Nicole’s expertise lies in breaking down a project into its logistical components and figuring out how best to make them fit the event. She shines when working on large-scale, complex projects with infinite details and she’s able to interface between technical event production teams and logistical, client facing event management teams.
Charles has over 20 years of experience in the meeting & events industry; creating long-lasting relationships and working as a trusted liaison between clients and production teams. Throughout his career, he has worked closely with clients on content development and strategy, working to identify proper corporate messaging and how to effectively communicate it through live events.
His work has been focused in the fashion, beauty and luxury industries building and reinforcing corporate standards and brand image to inform, motivate and educate audiences, working with brands such as: Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, and La Mer.
Chief of Staff
After graduating from Amherst College, Danielle moved to New York to fully utilize her degrees is Spanish and Political Science by pursuing a career in the fashion. Courtesy of a job history that includes the CFDA, Tod’s, PR Consulting, IMG Fashion, and Skylight Group, she brings with her to LDJ Productions a strong grounding in luxury clients and events along with the talent and budget management that they require.
Her trajectory also makes her a font of information on subjects including encouraging ticket sales (stalk invite list), delivering a chic invite (match stamps to the envelope color and never, ever use multiple denominations), properly selecting equine event presence (Arabian horses are too small to be ridden by naked male models in a visually appealing manner), managing multiple creative voices (flattery...and money) and securing new partners (substance wrapped in razzle dazzle).
Growing up in San Francisco and a career touching all aspects of events, has perfectly positioned Danielle to communicate with and manage diverse groups of people with a range of capabilities - central to her duties as LDJ Chief of Staff. In her off hours she can be found enthusiastically eating her way through New York City or halfheartedly training her Pomeranian, Elliot Stabler, while binge watching Law & Order SVU.
Ryan Griffin came to LDJ in 2008 from the corporate accounting arena and was overwhelmed by the vitality and creativity of the event production world. After working in the accounting department for several years he was promoted to Director of Finance in 2013.
Ryan has a masters in tax accounting and uses his skills to run the companies day to day financials, budgets and corporate taxes. Ryan is also the LDJ resident expert in all things insurance and is often asked by many clients to weigh in on complex liability insurance issues. As the man who writes the checks he is a favorite amongst the staff and continues to be a valued part of the LDJ team.
Show Director / Senior Producer
Rachel is a seasoned Director/ Producer and Casting Director with relationships with major modeling agencies all over the world. She has worked closely with and managed major industry brands events/shows such as; New York Fashion Week/Mercedes Benz Fashion Week/IMG New York and Miami, Academy of Arts University, Betsey Johnson, BET, Christian Siriano, Jenny Packham, L.A.M.B, Leather Japan, Lela Rose, L’Oreal Matrix, NEO by Adidas, Project Runway, Victoria’s Secret, and many more.
Rachel is very passionate and proud to be a part of an amazing team and family. She continues to add value and a fresh approach to production with the motto “calm under pressure”.
Danielle joined LDJ’s internship program in 2011 as a Marist fashion student, and returned 2 years later as Executive Assistant to CEO, Laurie DeJong, while managing all company social media accounts. Danielle gained hands-on experience in a multitude of client-facing areas including overall event coordination and production, backstage, show-calling, and business development.
She put these learned skills towards her combined role of Production Assistant/Event Coordinator while still supporting Laurie and was promoted to a Project Manager position in 2015. Danielle appreciates every step of the process, from creative conception to onsite execution. Danielle actively seeks opportunities to take on the most demanding and difficult tasks and will do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth event and air of calm.
Senior Event Manager
Since joining LDJ in 2011, Sara has been an expert and leader of our Event Management division. With her diverse background working all over the world for notable hotels chains like Four Seasons and Marriott, LDJ is fortunate to have Sara’s expertise on our team.
As account lead for Matrix, Sara is responsible for the smooth operation of their many shows and events throughout the year. Her expertise lies in hotel contracting and hotel management, and complex registration sites and list management to ensure a smooth and positive guest experience. Additionally, Sara is an active member of our fashion show production team and handles backstage management for many of our top clients.
Jenna Wittman has been part of LDJ’s extended family since 2009, joining LDJ’s fashion show team twice a year for New York Fashion Week. Outside of those dates, Jenna has been working across a diverse set of industries to build a unique mix of skillsets; Jenna has managed a golf club, completed Apple’s global leadership training, managed key accounts for Apple Business in London, created curriculum for a big data software platform, and won an Emmy for her work in video production. At the start of 2018, Jenna accepted the role as Venue Manager for New York Fashion Week, managing 22 shows, and then stayed on with LDJ to work on additional events.
The LDJ team, mission, foundation, and CEO made joining LDJ, as a full-time Producer, an easy choice for Jenna. She is excited to see where this adventure will take her.
Dale joined LDJ Productions in June 2015 after graduating from Marist College with a Bachelor's of Science in Fashion Merchandising. Her interest in event production began during her sophomore year of college, and only further developed during her internship at the company during the summer of 2014.
Since then, Dale has worked as a Production Assistant at New York Fashion Week, the NYTimes DealB%k Conference, teenVogue University, and a host of L'Oreal Matrix events. She is excited to continue to learn from the industry's top Event Producers and take on projects of her own using the skills she's honed since 2014. She thrives in the fast-paced yet collaborative aspects of the industry.
Alex joined the LDJ family in 2013 as a freelancer, working on New York Fashion Week. After graduating from the International College of Management, Sydney, with an AD in Business & Events, she moved to New York to pursue her career goals in the events world. Her passion for event production began in college and has only grown stronger with each project she is involved in.
Since June 2017, Alex has been a full time Production Coordinator with LDJ, where she has worked on events for: Shiseido, Reebok, WWD, Crowdstrike and NYFW. Alex is looking forward to what the future holds and is incredibly honored to be a part of such an amazing team.
Brenna began her association with LDJ Productions during an internship in January 2015 while completing her Master's Degree in Public Relations at Hofstra University. She always knew she wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry, and LDJ was the perfect starting point.
During her internship at LDJ, Brenna was a Production Assistant for NYFW, Teen Vogue and Scripps Network Interactive tours. These experiences solidified her interest and passion for the fashion and events industry. After leaving LDJ, Brenna continued her work in event planning in the beauty industry at ghd North America. At ghd, Brenna managed logistics, booth development and a variety of creative concepts at industry-related events and trade shows. After 5 seasons away, Brenna rejoined LDJ as a full-time Project Coordinator.
Executive Assistant to the CEO
After graduating from Marist College with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications, Kate joined the LDJ family in June of 2017 as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Laurie DeJong and as an Operations Coordinator. Her passion for the event production and planning industry grew during her sophomore year of college while staying involved in The Marist College Fashion Program, which led to an internship with LDJ Productions in the fall of her senior year of college.
Since her internship experience she has assisted on many events such as Reebok with Gigi Hadid, multiple seasons of NYFW and our Paper Fig Foundation Benefit. Kate always takes the initiative and has a knack for detail while always keeping a smile on her face. She is more than thrilled to be a part of the LDJ Productions team once again.
Eric has been working in the event production world for 20 years, and NYFW since 1999. He has coached CEO’s in onstage presentations, choreographed model walks, directed for theater and film, and is a highly sought after project manager. His clients have included Calvin Klein, Bureau Betak, Silhouette Group, Buckley Hall Events, Asia Society, Untitled 8, BLT Productions, Sequoia Productions, the All Stars Project and more.
He recently oversaw the prep, install and strike of the immersive audio/video landscape of international artist Phillipe Parreno at the Park Avenue Armory. He specializes in events with high profile presenters, and has extensive and positive relations with most unions in NYC, and his well rounded experience in the industry is a valuable asset to all his projects.
Kate Kelly has been part of the LDJ team since 2011, wearing many technical and project management hats. She is an expert in project budgets, event staffing and management, production meetings and schedules, vendor quotes, organization, event print and video graphics coordinator, onsite load-in/strike management and post-event reconciliation.
In her time with LDJ, Kate has managed on average five to twenty team members, including union and non-union labor, and up to 350 volunteer personnel for small and large-scale events. She has built extensive production schedules and event budgets, researched and created venue decks, hired vendors and implemented event themes through CAD drawings, renderings and layouts. She has analyzed and negotiated detailed event contracts, attained hundreds of COI’s, permits and TPAs and has been lead on budget implementation and reconciliation.
Senior Designer / Animator
Bob Kretz has been immersed in the NYC event world for much of the last 20 years. He loves a good challenge—finding the crossroads where complicated visual ideas can be made into gorgeous reality.
As concept artist, a print designer, a presentation designer, a 2D and 3D animator, and as a 3D scenic renderer, Bob loves working closely with the team to bring a cinematic flare to meetings, launches, and celebrations of all sorts. He has designed for Armani Exchange, Redken, L’Oréal Designer Fragrances; Coty’s International Fragrances, Calvin Klein Fragrances, Cartier, Godiva, Estee Lauder, Pfizer, Shire, WE television, Discover Card, BareMinerals, et al.
Bob started working with the LDJ family in 2012, on projects for L’Oréal’s Kérastase and Shu Uemura brands; for the last six years he has worked on developing visuals and concepts for a host of other projects; most recently for Crowdstrike, and the Automation Anywhere touring show.
He couldn’t be happier with the level of support he has found working with the LDJ team; and their never-flagging enthusiasm to see what lies along the road less traveled.
Production & Operations Assistant
Kara started her adventure with LDJ in the fall of 2017 after graduating from Marist College with a BA in Communications. Her first project was freelancing on the New York Times Dealbook Conference where she gained key insights into the world of production. Shortly after, Kara took on the big LDJ Move from Spring to Leroy Street exemplifying her ability to organize and make a big project into a seamless transition. Through this project Kara demonstrated her ability to assist the Operations and Production Teams full time.
Since becoming a full-time Production and Operations Assistant Kara has worked on projects for clients including WWD, Reebok and Shiseido brands. Kara brings to LDJ the ability to adapt to any situation or environment and remain calm under pressure. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge of production and working with an array of clients as she’s learned each project is unique. Kara is excited to see what the future holds while working for a company as amazing as LDJ.
Sarah Derrick started as a summer intern after her Junior year at Susquehanna University. She graduated with a degree in Luxury Brand Marketing and Management in the Spring of 2018. Her passion for event planning began through her involvement in campus organizations and community service efforts.
Sarah loved her experience as an intern and participated in events including Sheseido Brands, New York Fashion Week, and the NYT DealBook Conference. She is excited to continue in her full-time role as part of the show team and supporting the finance department. She is excited to learn and apply her positive work ethic toward future endeavors.
Digital Media Director
Jonathan received a Masters degree in Media Production and a Bachelor of Arts degree at Ryerson Universities Radio & Television Arts program. He has worked on digital assets for clients such as: Adidas, L’Oreal Australia, Matrix, Pioneer, Rolls-Royce, Sony, Yahoo!, TD Bank, McDonald’s, Ryerson University, DuPont, and Shiseido Americas.
Richard Adamski brings an architectural background to LDJ’s technical and creative teams, through his previous work at David Hotson Architects. He is excited to use this extensive knowledge in creative design and physical layouts to increase LDJ’s technical capabilities as it relates to renders and conceptualized realization for clients.
Technical Creative Director
Aaron has been working with LDJ since 2015, and has been involved in some of our largest technical & creative projects to date working with major beauty and technology companies as they continue to strive for more interesting ways to push meeting content and messaging in new and exciting ways.
Aaron specializes in moving and conventional lighting instruments, AVO lighting consoles, RoadHog lighting consoles; line array PA systems (EV, JBL), stage monitor setup/operation (wedge, SF, in-ear) Yamaha analog and digital audio consoles, Digi-design Venue audio consoles, and festival/multiple act lineups.