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Deborah Somers, CEM

Bringing people and places together!


I am an experienced partnership builder that brings people and places together with focus on how relationships work to get the job done in a positive, efficient, timely and cost efficient manner. Hard working, hands on, not afraid to get my hands dirty, quick thinking decision maker that works best under pressure!   With fifteen years domestic experience and ten international (Europe and Latin America), I know that proper planning really does prevent poor performance.   I have a proven ability to produce programs with satisfied attendees while adding revenue to the bottom line.

Work experience


Events Manager


Communications & Events Coordinator

National Fire Sprinkler Association, Inc. ,International Fire Sprinkler Association, Ltd
  • Complete  management of annual domestic and biennial international conferences, training programs, and tradeshows. 
  • Responsibilities include budget development and management, vendor contracting, liaison with venue(s), development of tradeshow displays including new displays for specialty conferences. 
  • Management of in-house registration coordinator staff and on-site registration desk staff.  
  • Successful at producing meaningful events by building relationships with attendees, vendors, and other organizations that share common goals.

Special Events Coordinator

National Fire Sprinkler Association, Inc. ,International Fire Sprinkler Association, Ltd
  • Managed association's annual domestic conference and began international conferences.
  • Successfully managed first exhibition in conjunction with the International Fire Sprinkler Association Conference in Berlin, Germany in.
  • Managed all arrangements for board and staff meetings, including but not limited to site inspections, contract negotiation, AV, room block, special requests, F&B, and event budgeting and master account reconciliation.
  • Detailed Domestic and International experience with the following:
  1. Perform on-site inspection of property.
  2. Liaison with property convention services.
  3. Source and oversee vendors such as entertainment, transportation and other contracted services.
  4. Assist speakers with logistics if necessary.
  5. Liaison with exhibition manager
  6. Oversee hotel food and beverage as it relates to menus and guarantees.
  7. Analyze room block on an on-going basis to recommend either additions or reductions in contractual obligations.
  8. Promote the sale of booth space for the Association's alternate year exhibition.
  9. Promote the sale of advertising in the Association's annual seminar program.
  10. Manage Association's presence including booth/stand freight, handouts, publicizing, staffing, furnishings, etc at various industry related trade shows. Staff booth when necessary.

  • Sole staff person performing the following in the international arena:
  1. Source venue for international conferences & exhibitions.
  2. Negotiate and secure contract with venue.
  3. Design and manage floor plan.
  4. Sell exhibit space.
  5. Assign booth space.
  6. Source and manage general services contractor and sub-contractors.
  7. Source and manage simultaneous session translation and document/presentation translation.
  8. Facilitate installation and dismantle.
  9. Assist exhibitors with freight issues.
  10. Organize off-site excursions.
  11. Create budget, track expenses, reconcile budget.
  • Contract and manage annual staff meeting, Board of Directors' meetings, one-and two-day training meetings, write and post news to company website, and represent associations at various tradeshows and exhibitions both within own industry and others.

Executive Assistant to Corporate Secretary and Vice President

National Fire Sprinkler Association
  • Performed administrative duties for corporate secretary including planning annual conference and exhibition, Board of Director's meetings, and staff meetings.



The Berkeley School (now Berkeley College)

Full Scholarship