Meet new ILEA Chicago member - Kelly Jandura

Who / what inspired you to go into event planning?

My mother Nicole was definitely the first person to inspire me to take a step into the event industry. One afternoon, after a conversation about what I planned on doing after college, she boldly told me to pick a career path that brought me passion so that it didn't feel like I was doing as much work. After listening to her advice I told her I was unsure what I was passionate about. She was the first person to initially make me aware of the fact that I loved being a host and socializing. That being organized and paying attention to detail always came naturally to me. She taught me to lean into my networking skills and continue to explore my passion for decor and design. Her encouragement inspired me to hone in on my natural abilities and that is what eventually excelled me into the career path that I am on today.

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

I love prank jokes. I am known for gag gifts and getting people when they least expect it.

What do you love the most about what you do?

The final product. Seeing all of your hard work and creativity come to life.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in Plainfield Illinois where I stayed until my family and I relocated to the small farm town of Manhattan Illinois my sophomore year of high school.

What is your event gone wrong horror story?

I had a bride taking photos, prior to the wedding, with her wedding party and her heel got stuck during the shoot and literally snapped off into two. She was beyond upset since every woman pictures her big day to be perfect. I quickly sprung into action and tried to relieve her stress by letting her know I would purchase her another pair of shoes so she and her wedding party did not have to leave the venue. So I played the role of personal shopper, took her shoe size and purchased new white shoes for her to wear the rest of the wedding. She was so happy she did not have to leave and rush back before her big day. She trusted me to select a wedding shoe and she ended up loving the selection I made and it was a crisis averted.

What made you interested in participating in ILEA?

Rachel Fersten from Windy City Linen and Jeff Durocher made it hard to say no. I attended a couple of their events, met some great contacts and had fun while networking so it ended up being a no brainer.


To find out more about Kelly and Chicago Venue Rental, check out their website at  

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