About Spotlight Meetings & Events
Spotlight Meetings & Events is a full-service, woman-owned event-planning company that began in 2001. With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and planning business, our team is highly qualified to plan conventions, dinners, fundraisers, parties, weddings, reunions, and many other types of events. Our clients include corporations both large and small as well as nonprofits and individuals who just don't know where to start. For years, we have enjoyed serving customers like you by managing the planning process, keeping you on budget, and making sure that your company is in the Spotlight!
Meet the Team
Peggy has been in the hospitality industry since completing a certification in hospitality management from Echols International Hotel and Travel School, Chicago Illinois. Immediately after receiving her certification, she accepted a position with Marriott Corporation as a hotel manager responsible for coordinating conventions, catering, and guest services.
After 5 years with Marriot, Peggy accepted an opportunity to become the Director of Catering at the prestigious Whitehall Hotel Chicago, a vintage boutique hotel catering to the social and corporate needs of many in the Metro Chicagoland area. After a couple years with the Whitehall, Peggy went to work for American Express negotiating and managing corporate meetings and events for CNA Insurance Company.
In 98’ Peggy transitioned to McGettigan Partners coordinating and managing corporate meetings for pharmaceutical companies and physician advisory boards. After McGettigan, Peggy took a leap of faith and started Spotlight Meetings and Events, Inc. coordinating meetings, special events, and trade shows for businesses throughout the Chicagoland area.
For the next four years, Spotlight flourished as she worked with top clients such as McDonalds Corporation, Plante Moran, GETCO, Case IH and many more. In 2004, Peggy’s oldest daughter, Riley, was born and shortly after, Peggy made the decision to move her family and business back to her hometown of Kankakee, IL.
Since then, Peggy has emersed herself in local business and the community. Spotlight continues to grow and evolve locally and nationally serving both corporate and personal clients.
- Bishop McCann
- Bishop McNamara Catholic School System
- Catholic Education Foundation, Joliet Diocese
- City of Kankakee
- CSL Behring
- Economic Alliance of Kankakee County
- Edward D. Jones
- Kankakee Community College
- Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Kankakee Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Knights of Columbus
- McDonald’s Corporation
- Riverside Healthcare
- St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Kankakee
Renee has a natural flair for design; with a background in retail, she spent years developing her skill as she designed and decorated windows and other displays. For many years, she has also been the go-to for events hosted by friends and family.
Her passion fuels her! She loves attention to detail — down to the napkins or intricacies of a centerpiece. She also enjoys a good theme. But most importantly, Renee looks forward to meeting with clients, soaking up their vision, and then making that vision a reality.
Her favorite part of event planning is watching a vision unfold from conception to a finished, polished, and successful event — from the beginning all the way to the end.
Heather began her career in Event Marketing and Planning for Intersport (Chicago, IL) over ten-years ago, as an on-site Event Representative for sports and culinary events such as Cadillac Golf Clinics, Chase Sapphire Golf Experiences, NCAA Final Four (New Orleans), NCAA College World Series, NFL Super Bowl XLVI (Indianapolis), and Buick Discovery Tour with Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines.
Heather also served as an Experiential Marketing Specialist for General Motors, Cadillac division, with GM R*Works (Naperville, IL). Heather’s diverse background in event coordination is emphasized in every detail at every event. Her favorite part of being an event coordinator is working closely with the client to see that their vision to brought to fruition.
Makaia has Bachelor of Associate Arts degree in Fashion Design and a minor in Event Management from Central Michigan University. Her eye for detail can be attributed to her knowledge of current trends and love for color.
She has a resume of diverse events she's coordinated, including: fashion shows, children's camps, student and university events, weddings, banquets and more!
Makaia doesn't shy away from a challenge or a new experience, making her a confident event coordinator fit for any event.
Marissa Vander Ploeg
Marissa worked for Spotlight as an intern for one year before coming on as an official Event Coordinator following her graduation from Olivet Nazarene University in May 2016.
During her time at Spotlight she has grown in her design and decorating skills, developing an already keen eye for detail and plenty of innovative ideas. She has also worked with event-planning in roles with Your Best Moments and Zonta Club of Kankakee, and she served as the Strategic Events Assistant at Olivet Nazarene University as well as a teacher’s assistant to a professor of event planning.
Her creativity is matchless and she is an asset to the Spotlight team!