About Our Wedding Planners & Coordinators
Leanne Valdes founded You Name It Events in 2010 with a vision to provide the kind of great service that is too often hard to find nowadays. Amongst her family and friends, Leanne is known for gathering folks together in multiple fashions. Coming from a background of various administrative roles including leadership training & development, student counseling, and personal administration, she brings a wealth and variety of experience to her role as a wedding/event planner and Owner/President of You Name It. She has a BA in Sociology from Carthage College and an MA in Educational Administration from San Jose State University.
Susan Sjogren enjoys her work as a wedding and event coordinator for YNI combining her innate administrative and logistical skills with a passion for aesthetics and decor. She and Leanne Valdes, both graduates of Carthage College, have been friends and colleagues for over a decade. Susan is currently a wife, a mother of two boys, and a regional director with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Recalling the joy and fun she experienced on her own wedding day, she wants to help make your YNI event just as enjoyable and memorable. This is Susan’s 5th season coordinating weddings for You Name It couples.
Jenifer Maggio works during the school year as a middle school art teacher, but spends the summer working with YNI in the office and coordinates a number of client weddings and events throughout the year. Her eye for composition and design helps her make sure your wedding looks gorgeous! Her management and organization skills bring a fresh take to your wedding. She was a YNI bride in December 2013 when she married her husband, Tim in a beautiful winter ceremony and reception. She has a BA from the University of Illinois and an MA from Northern Illinois University and is pursuing additional studies at the University of LaVerne. This is Jeni’s 4th season coordinating weddings for You Name It clients.
Danielle Flikkema is also recently married, having gotten married July 2013 at a beautiful local destination wedding in Galena, IL. Her wedding featured a number of DIY projects in a gorgeous setting, captured by a masterful photographer which landed her and her husband on the pages of Style Me Pretty. You can check their wedding out here. Danielle is a graduate of Dominican University. She also works in the Addison Trail High School Social Work department as an intern. She will be completing her MSW this spring when her internship concludes. Her creativity brings your wedding to the next level, while her organizational and people skills help everything run smoothly. This is Danielle’s 4th season coordinating weddings for You Name It clients.
Kristy Wynveen spends her weekdays taking care of her four adorable kiddies. She is also an entrepreneur in her own right who runs a successful local and airport transportation business called Roundtrip. Kristy and her husband Tim are truly the inaugural YNI couple, since Leanne was her Maid of Honor and helped with planning their gorgeous Hotel Baker wedding nearly 5 years ago. She has worked part time for You Name It Events for 4 seasons and loves having the chance to show you that we care about your events as if they are our own.
Danielle Yasak enjoys her work as a Buyer for Ace Hardware when she isn’t working weddings with the YNI team. She has been a part of the team for the past 3 years and since she recently got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Danny, she loves using her skills & talents to help with clients’ special days because she knows just how excited they are to celebrate! Her BA in Apparel Merchandising and MA in Marketing allow her to help her YNI clients showcase their unique style through their wedding days. Her keen eye for detail means she catches things others might miss and her organizational skills will help make any bride and groom’s special day run without a hitch. This is Danielle’s 3rd season coordinating events for You Name It clients.
Megan Fechner served as a You Name It Events apprentice for before joining the team as one of our coordinators. She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in Communication. She enjoys the challenge of making every wedding day special for the couple, as well as the creativity and problem-solving that go into making the wedding day as perfect as possible. Around the YNI office, she’s known for her optimism and friendly personality. Megan has been coordinating You Name It client events for 3 seasons.
Shereene Manimala John is a graduate of Columbia College – Chicago, where she earned a BA in Marketing Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. During her time as a student, her favorite classes related to event planning, so she knew she needed to pursue the field further. Post-college, she served as a You Name It Events apprentice, while simultaneously working with her husband Sanu’s DJ company to learn more about event planning. She spends part of her time professionally working in marketing and most recently enjoyed planning her first television commercial video shoot. YNI clients lover her unflappable nature – she is cool as a cucumber no matter what the challenge! She was recently a YNI bride herself, having planned her own destination NOLA wedding this past Labor Day weekend. Shereene has been making folks’ BIG days happy with YNI for two years.
About Our Apprentices
We are accepting applicants for our 2017 apprentices now! Check out our blog for more information.
Thank you to our Summer 2016 Apprentice: Flavia Briscan brings a truly unique perspective to our team as she is originally from Romania. She moved to the United States almost 3 years ago to join her husband here. She has been married for two years and is lucky in love because she was able to have not one but two beautiful weddings: one on the beach in Pensacola, FL and one in back home in Romania. Flavia has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communications and also works at Chase in the EFS bilingual department. She likes to travel, read and loves to take on fun projects. She considers herself a people person who is eager to help all the time, full of excitement and very open minded.
Special thanks to all of our former apprentices for their hard work and dedication!
Summer 2015: Marie Nicholas & Shereene Manimala John. Winter 2014: Jillian Martin. Summer 2014: Ali (Pavlik) Pisarczyk & Laura Zeller. Winter/Spring 2014: Taylor Anians. Fall/Winter 2013: Megan Miller. Summer 2013: Katie Arena, Megan Fechner & Jessica Huck. Summer 2012: Sarah (Pudell) Deeke.