The ZAP Creative team is made up of several core members and a pool of the most seasoned meeting veterans in the industry. Click the arrow to the right to meet our core team.
Jeff Rogers is a best selling author, professional meeting host, award winning creative director and performer and sought after public speaker with 20 years experience engaging corporate audiences.
A veteran of The Second City Theater Jeff performed with Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey. While there, Jeff became a Creative Director and helped to build Second City Communications, the corporate entertainment division of Second City.
As a creative director and a performer, Jeff specializes in understanding his client's strategic goals for an event and then making them come to life onstage. Jeff's clients include Fortune 500 companies across all vertical industries. Click here for more information about our clients.
Jeff is also active with a number the charitable organizations with an ongoing role as the Co-Host for Cure Autism Now/ Autism Speaks annual Oscar Party Fundrasier as well as an active sponsor for JDRF and the Special Olympics.
Sam Hajdu is a young, award winning new media and meeting producer. Sam has experience in television broadcasting, media and documentary production, onsite production, and virtual meeting execution. She has applied her skills for clients such as Abbott, Motorola, Cardinal, PCMA, Lawson Software, Forsythe Technologies, UGL Services, and many more.
She specializes in social media project coordination and management for virtual events, live events, and communications campaigns. She possesses strong client-relation skills, an insistent drive and a creative aptitude that readies her to take on any project and challenge.
Her positive attitude, enthusiastic presence and fresh ideas bring a bright and vital dynamic to the team. Sam is currently pursuing a Certified Meeting Professional designation.
DG Garrity is a diehard and a true seasoned professional. With over 20 years of experience in event planning, she has extensive management skills in the meetings and special event industry. Her experience includes conventions for up to 20,000 people, two Olympic Games, multi-city programs, top management meetings, incentive programs, charity events and vendor/ union negotiation.
Before joining Zap Creative, DG spent seven years at ProActive, Inc and nine years at McDonald's Corporation planning events. She also worked with Hyatt and Starwood hotels in their convention services, catering and sales departments. Prior to that, she spent 5 years with a production company as an Associate producer. DG’s clients include Samsung, Chicago 2016, ESPN, Follett Higher Education Group, The New York Times, optionsXpress, USI Holdings Corporation, Waste Management, YRC Worldwide, Ford, Volkswagen and BMW.
DG is involved in many community initiatives, holds the Certified Meeting Professional designation, and is active in Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC).
Carol McCoy has a passion for perfection and the drive to make it happen. Over 20 years of experience in meeting and event planning has honed her skills to a fine edge. Managing events that have included domestic and international company programs, corporate forums, trade shows, charity functions, and corporate parties, has given Carol a strong sense of what is needed to create and support the client’s goals and objectives.
Professional guidance, consistent reliable communication and a great sense of humor brings the “pleasure of the party” back in it for the client. Exceptional follow through and precise management of all details from conception to completion ensures every meetings’ success.
Carol delights in meeting new people, listening to them with complete attention, then uses her skills to deliver their personal vision. Her positive energy impacts all who work with her in an uplifting way.
Marty Zitlin is a true Pro. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication from Southern Illinois University. He is an MPI Paragon, EMMY, Cable ACE and Chicago International Film Festival award-winning producer whose 30+ years of experience primarily in “live” and digital corporate communications includes production services for CBS Network and other major entertainment organizations. He also has produced “live” national and international sporting and theatrical events for broadcast television. Marty will challenge the production and creative teams so that every tactic remains “on strategy.” He will also administer a post event survey that will be benchmarked against the pre-event questions with measurable results. He is a communications strategist with knowledge of all media, as well as a master of presentation. Marty has trained C-level executives from Fortune 500 organizations around the world and has vastly improved their presentation effectiveness.
Barb Nolan is a seasoned member of the business meeting production community. With over a decade of experience coordinating and producing business meetings, both small and large scale, she brings to the table a wide range of skills and attention to detail necessary to execute the perfect meeting experience.
Having mentored under a wide range of experts in their field, Barb is a unique, hybrid player on the production team. This versatility enables her to switch gears quickly and step into a variety of roles. Whether it’s budget maintenance, speaker presentation support, schedule development and management, backstage management, video production, talent management or breakouts production, Barb can handle it all with ease.
Barb’s project experience includes live business meetings, video shoots/edits, training seminars, team-building facilitation, marketing road shows, incentive trips, live concert productions, and virtual meeting management.
Patrick Brandell possesses a strong attention to detail and consistency coming from over 17 years of marketing, communications and production experience, specializing in video, print, digital and event production. He knows how to assemble and manage project teams that execute effectively, while building client relationships. He’s also a strategic thinker with a flair for the creative, including creative concepting, creative direction and copywriting.
His clients include Abbott Laboratories, AssetMark, Avaya, BP, CDW, Celanese, Chicago 2016, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Echo Global Logistics, ESPN-ABC Sports, Hostess Brands, Household Financial, International Trucks, Motorola, PCMA, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Seyfarth Shaw, Starwood, SunTrust Bank, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, TAP Pharmaceuticals, USF, USG, Waste Management and Yellow-Roadway.
His strong, results-oriented work ethic defines his keen awareness of what it takes to execute a project from concept to delivery. He fully understands that treating co-workers, project teams, clients and vendors with professionalism and respect provides the ideal work environment and produces results.
Sharon Wilson is an award winning member of a select group of business communication professionals. With over 20 years of experience producing innovative, large scale, face to face corporate communication programs and communication media in multiple formats, Sharon possesses the creative and technical expertise necessary to bring your vision to life – graphically, interactively, and experientially.
Sharon’s business assets include a purposeful focus on building client relationships, strategic execution, team leadership and satisfying client objectives. She understands the importance of working closely with clients to bring them the most positive outcomes. Her approach to project management is solutions-oriented, providing appropriate resources, and tight management of budget and schedules.
Her project experience includes strategic communication campaigns, business meetings; video, interactive presentations, entertainment, training, and trade show exhibits.
Jim Benefield is an award-winning communications professional with more than 30 years of national and international experience. His background in business meetings, special events, live TV, videotape production, and still photography has served clients such as: Abbott Laboratories, Accenture, Avaya, Bridgestone-Firestone, Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy, CNA Insurance, Publix Super Markets, Motorola, Nordstrom, Pfizer Incorporated, Republic Services, StorageTek, Target Corporation, Sprint, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Waste Management, Xerox Corporation and YRC Worldwide.
Jim’s work has taken him to more than 40 states and 20 countries while managing or documenting product launches, national meetings and retail events. Other work has covered environmental ocean-based services in the North Sea, Europe, the Middle-East and Oceania as well as assignments at the Olympic and Pan Am games.