is a series of unparalleled
MEET THE TEAM
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.
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 tradeshows. He started in Hospitality in 2006 as the SE 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.
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.
Leeza McKeown is a business strategist on a mission to 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.
Megan Baughman is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of experience in Meeting and Event Management. Megan is known for outstanding customer service, organizational, and time management. She focuses on building lasting, authentic relationships with clients, vendors, and industry partners while creating a successful event for all attendees. Good at wearing multiple hats, Megan is adept at responding quickly to changing circumstances, always maintaining an upbeat, can-do attitude. Megan enjoys camping, watching sports, volunteering at the animal shelter, and spending time with friends and family. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, 2 kids, and her dog and cat.
Tracy-Leigh Mahan received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego, and her Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked as an educator, counselor, realtor, event planner, and sales & marketing rep. She applies her experience in sales and marketing both in the real estate arena as well as the publishing /advertising / tradeshow arena. She utilizes her eye for real estate and contract negotiation in scouting out locations for events, securing venues, menu selection, consulting, and coordinating events. She successfully planned and executed NFASG summer camp and trade fair for individuals with disabilities, as well as the first BD18 awards dinner for the hospitality industry. She is excited to bring her experience, passion, and attention to detail to NEXT Events.