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Catersource and The Special Event
Feb 24 – 27, 2025
Broward County Convention CenterFort Lauderdale, FL

Opening Keynote
Common Grounds with Laura Schwartz

Wednesday, February 14
9:00am - 10:00am

2024 Keynote

Common Grounds with Laura Schwartz

Laura believes that you as caterers and event planners are the original creators of experience. Now that the world wants to immerse in experience—it’s up to all of us to keep it innovative, dynamic, and original. How do we keep ourselves and our businesses at the forefront? Laura trusts it is the Common Ground we share right here and right now at Catersource + The Special Event 2024 where it begins with Laura’s original ways of looking at opportunity, networking, and ourselves.

Get ready for a keynote with a twist that will start your Catersource + The Special Event on Common Ground with an infusion of energy and just the jolt we need!

Meet Your Keynote - Laura Schwartz

Professional Emcee, Keynote Speaker, Television Commentator and Author of Eat, Drink & Succeed
Laura served as The White House Director of Events for President Clinton and remains the youngest female presidential appointee in history.

Named one of The 100 Most Influential People in the Global Event Industry by Eventex 2019-2023 and one of the top 7 speakers in the United States, Laura Schwartz has been a Professional Emcee and Keynote Speaker since 2001. Laura began her professional career in 1993 as the youngest female presidential appointee in history serving as the White House Director of Events for the Clinton Administration. After which, in addition to speaking, published her first book "Eat, Drink and Succeed” and currently appears on television as the American contributor on Australia’s #1 Today Show. Laura has been featured by and is a published writer in Fast Company, Elle Magazine, Marie Claire and other periodicals. In 2021, along with her cast from ITV News, was awarded the International Drum Award for Podcast of the Year.

Laura and her wife reside in Chicago where they are involved in civic and philanthropic endeavors. Laura is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the City Club of Chicago and the American Heart Association. Globally, Laura serves as an active board member on the Keystone Board of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and the WASH Foundation, an endeavor of Clean the World Global, a member of the United Nation’s WASH Cluster.

Event Chair

Scott Frankel, Animatic Media

Scott Frankel is the President of Animatic Media, an industry leader in event production and sought-after speaker at industry events. Animatic is a full-service event production company founded with the idea of offering agency-style service without the agency price tag.  Since 1996, Scott and his team have produced events for clients of all sizes, from Fortune 500 conferences with thousands of attendees to smaller road shows and events.  Scott is an innovator in the event technology space and insists on perfection and flawless execution for all of his events. In 2020 Animatic Media relaunched their on-demand web service as Conference-On-Demand +LIVE, a full-service virtual/hybrid event platform for fully “produced” virtual and hybrid events and will soon be introducing an Augmented Reality offering built for the live events industry.