Summer events in NYC made better by a yacht

Top 5 Event Planners to Work With in NYC

New York City is an event-planning Mecca. With thousands of venues, event vendors, planners and more, there’s no more competitive environment for events anywhere else in the country.  Hornblower New York has boiled down the top 5 event planners in NYC that have mastered the challenges of producing events of consequence and significance in the Big Apple.

briggsSarah Gippin
Director of Sales, Briggs NYC

Sarah left her home town of Akron, Ohio to attend American University in Washington DC. Between classes, she worked with Senator Jay Rockefeller’s press office and upon graduating from American University in 1995, Sarah ventured into Seoul, Korea to teach English as a second language. During this time, she hosted a popular English conversation television show and traveled extensively throughout the region. Sarah’s 11 years of event and hospitality experience brings a wide array of skills to the Briggs team. Some of her past experiences include sales manager with Tavern on the Green and sales manager for Restaurant Associates at The Metropolitan Opera, The United Nations, and The PGA Championship.


shackmanSara Poulin
Account/Event Manager, Shackman Associates

Sara Poulin is an Account/Event Manager at Shackman Associates New York, one of the city’s premier destination management and event companies which has been providing creative and customized event services to international & domestic corporate clients for 25 years.

Sara received her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from the University of New Hampshire, and has immersed herself in the service industry ever since.  She started her career managing front of house operations on a small cruise ship on the East Coast before she moved to Manhattan 9 years ago.  Since then she has been planning meetings and events for many types of clients such as medical education, sports & entertainment, financial, and health & beauty.  She’s planned events ranging from 5 to 2,500 guests, organizing program components such as transportation, product launches, spouse events/tours, and special events/gala evenings.  Although an avid New England Patriots fan, New York City is where Sara calls home, and she prides herself on finding the new hot spots this changing city has to offer.

Some of Sara’s clients have included: Amgen, UBS Financial Services, Inc., (in-house planner), Kiehl’s, Johnson Controls, Michael Jordan Brand, F5 Networks, Volvo, Hyundai, Nobel Biocare, Accenture, Adobe, Bridgestone and Statoil.


friends-houseAnnie Soriano
Executive Director, Friends House

Annie Soriano has served for 6 years as Executive Director of Friends House; a permanent supportive housing program for formerly homeless people living with AIDS and struggling with substance abuse and mental illness. Prior to this, she served as the Clinical Director at Friends House for 4 years. During this time, Annie initiated and procured funding for an HIV/AIDS prevention program for high school students directly involving PLWA known as PHANG (Preventing HIV/AIDS in the Next Generation). Annie has been the project manager for a variety of facility improvements at Friends House including replacement of HVAC and ventilation systems, the addition of a billiards parlor, coffee bar, new laundry room, library and roof garden for residents and staff to enjoy. Annie has opened the agency up to many other groups and organizations including multiple 12 step groups, Cherub Improv and of course the ICNY. Friends House is often the meeting place for other NYC AIDS supportive housing providers for policy and advocacy planning, and Annie serves as the host of annul fundraiser party.  Most recently, she has initiated the development and expansion of a second facility, Friends House Chelsea due to open in 2015 to serve more homeless PLWA.


ipsoftJessica Dube
Events & Communications Manager, IPsoft

Jessica leads IPsoft’s communications and events programs with a mandate to bolster staff appreciation, employee engagement and retention. Current priorities include creative design, vendor sourcing & integration, resource planning, procurement mobilization, office design and overall event management for monthly and quarterly employee events.
IPsoft is a global automation company, which provides autonomic and cognitive solutions to a majority of Fortune 2000 companies. Headquartered in New York City, IPsoft has offices in 15 countries across the world. Employee engagement in corporate culture is critical to the company’s continued growth. Partnership with Jacqueline at Hornblower has been a key to success at quite a few IPsoft events.

Jessica’s background includes marketing and event production for all of Manhattan Media’s publications. She graduated from New York University magna cum laude with a degree in English, Journalism & Mass Communications.


jtroccoli2Jacqueline Troccoli
Senior Business Development Manager, Partners & Promotions, Hornblower New York

The heart and soul of Hornblower’s Business Development team, Jacqueline is a distinguished events and hospitality professional with an extensive background in large-scale event production, event marketing and strategic partnership negotiation. With a knack for identifying innovative event partners, Jacqueline has spearheaded the production of some of Hornblower’s largest and most exciting events in New York.

Jacqueline joined Hornblower New York in February 2012 as a charter sales manager, and transitioned to the Business Development team in March 2014 to oversee the company’s key partnerships and promotional opportunities. Prior to joining Hornblower, Jacqueline managed events for BR Guest, Hudson Terrace, the 2006 Winter Olympics and elsewhere.

She graduated Villanova University with a double-major degree in International Business & Finance with a minor in Italian.


dgrafmanDaniela Grafman 
Wedding & Special Events Coordinator, Vision Entertainment Group LLC

Daniela is a Certified Wedding & Event Planner, coordinating and planning weddings, corporate events and non-profit galas for a wide range of clientele. Having graduated with a BA from Fordham University, she worked at STAMP Event Management & United Way of NYC in their special events department. She has been assisting in the growth of Vision Entertainment as the Special Events Coordinator & Partner for the last 4 years focusing on event coordination and entertainment production. She currently serves as a board member for the International Special Events Society.


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