Meet ILEA Chicago member - Howard Wallach


Meet Howard Wallach....

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning?

Always the pleaser, always the solutionist, hospitality came naturally to me. I distinctly remember DJing my first ever wedding. I loved the advocacy, the intimacy of the planning process, the rush of all the moving parts coming together. Non-stop with my questions: Why this way? Is there a better way?This led me to providing Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and theme party entertainment. I could introduce staging and screens and intelligent lighting with party motivators. More intricate coordination to make sure that every person in the room, from the youngest to oldest, had a complete and thrilling experience.

Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away?

Easily the biggest influence in my life has been my big-hearted storytellingfather, John Wallach. Kind to all: bank teller, servers, laborers – that he left people feeling better for having interacted with him made a huge impact on me.He lit up every room he was in. This panache for handling the spotlight rubbed off on me. When I’m on stage, I leave it all on the floor.

What do you love the most about what you do?

No two days are alike. I enjoy a fast-paced schedule filled with travel, fitness, and family. My week is sprinkled with performing, networking and industry events. While A-Z Entertainment continues to grow, I have a talented team of professionals supporting our clients, I still stay personally involved in all of them.

Where did you grow up?

Skevanston ( the border of Skokie and Evanston )

Always the organizer, Always vying for attention.Maybe a bit too rambunctious for my teachers. Ok, definitely . . . School pals could count on me for reciting back movie lines and celebrity impressions faithfully. I grew up playing ping pong, baseball and pinball. I dabbled in photography and theater. Larger than life were my childhood heroes: Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, & Evil Kneivel.

What's your event gone wrong horror story?

Early 90s. When performing at a bar mitzvah at Jim McMahon’s Restaurant, the entire building lost electrical power. Determined not to disappoint, my team ended up striking our set, driving to the family’s home and we were able to complete the young man’s celebration with his family and friends like nothing happened. Recently ran into him as an adult - great vibes, great memories!

What made you interested in participating in ILEA?

Never underestimate the power of a little fun mixed with some interesting people!  Sometimes it’s about taking a selfie with someone who’s influenced you or sharing a business idea with someone you admire, or making a connection that can lead to finding your next mentor. I thoroughly enjoy paying it forward; presenting best practices, lessons learned, and sharing ideas.


-Howard Wallach   





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