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Team

NEXT Events

Michael Schneider

President/CEO, Northeast Sales

Michael Schneider is a hospitality industry connector and business leader. Michael founded the Boutique Design brand in 2005, which recently was a acquired for a second time by a publicly-traded company for $45M. As a serial entrepreneur, Michael has spent the last 15 years leveraging relationships and developing innovative ways for his clients to market their business. Now, Michael is looking forward to reinventing and transforming the hospitality interior design industry all over again. Michael enjoys fitness, flying planes, and hanging out in his upstate home with his wife, three sons, and rescue dog.

Leeza McKeown

COO

Leeza McKeown is a business strategist on a mission build a happier, healthier, and greener world. Combining experience in management consulting, economics, and entrepreneurship, she now partners with leaders in the design, wellness, and sustainability industries to breathe life to their ventures. Leeza has led management consulting teams all over the world; co-founded two growing NYC-based startups; and completed over fifty strategy assessments that helped her clients unlock the full scope of their mission-driven impact while dramatically increasing their profits. Leeza holds a degree in Economics from the University of Chicago, is also a certified yoga instructor, and is a lover of art, nature, and travel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and their loving rescue pup.

Leeza McKeown

COO

Leeza McKeown is a business strategist on a mission build a happier, healthier, and greener world. Combining experience in management consulting, economics, and entrepreneurship, she now partners with leaders in the design, wellness, and sustainability industries to breathe life to their ventures. Leeza has led management consulting teams all over the world; co-founded two growing NYC-based startups; and completed over fifty strategy assessments that helped her clients unlock the full scope of their mission-driven impact while dramatically increasing their profits. Leeza holds a degree in Economics from the University of Chicago, is also a certified yoga instructor, and is a lover of art, nature, and travel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and their loving rescue pup.

Scott Rickles

Vice President, Southeast Sales

Scott Rickles started his advertising sales career straight out of college from Florida State University in 1978. He moved to Atlanta and began working in his father’s advertising rep firm Ray Rickles & Company which was established in Florida in 1952. Scott took over the family business when his father retired in 1988. Scott has experience in both trade and consumer publications for over 40 years! His expertise includes sales both print and all phases of digital marketing, and trade shows. He started in Hospitality in 2006 as the southeast sales manager for Boutique Design and their speed dating annual event, Hospitality Match. In 2009, Scott became a part of the sales team for BDNY, now is its 10th year. Scott believes in building relationships and still prides himself on face-to-face calls, and sales with a large dose of Southern hospitality.

Ben Skidmore

Manager, Southwest Sales

Ben Skidmore has been helping companies with their marketing strategies for almost 20 years.  His experience is within the B2B market and has worked with suppliers in the design community for over a decade.  From 2007-2012, Ben managed the central US territory for Boutique Design media and its events.  Ben started his own marketing firm, Partners PR, in 2005 and has been assisting companies with their marketing strategies and representing great companies like Next Events since then. Ben lives in the Dallas, Texas area with his wife, Sally and their 4 children.  When not working, Ben spends his time on the lake, traveling to the mountains, or learning how to run a small farm in Southern Oklahoma.

Ben Skidmore

Southwest Sales

Ben Skidmore has been helping companies with their marketing strategies for almost 20 years.  His experience is within the B2B market and has worked with suppliers in the design community for over a decade.  From 2007-2012, Ben managed the central US territory for Boutique Design media and its events.  Ben started his own marketing firm, Partners PR, in 2005 and has been assisting companies with their marketing strategies and representing great companies like Next Events since then. Ben lives in the Dallas, Texas area with his wife, Sally and their 4 children.  When not working, Ben spends his time on the lake, traveling to the mountains, or learning how to run a small farm in Southern Oklahoma.

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