Giving Thanks: Event Pros Take Action

As in every profession we event professionals lead lives dictated by strenuous schedules generally consumed with work and more work – current projects and future proposals. Five years ago however, a couple of our industry leaders, whom a few of us have come to revere as “the Wolfpack,” came together and thought … what if they took a moment out of their own lives and businesses to give back to not just their community but to people whom they’ve never met. To truly put their talents and influences to use for the greater good. As such, EPTA: Event Pros Take Action was born. This week, it’s particularly appropriate that we look back at their work, giving thanks for all they do.
David Merrell
Lead DesignDawg

EPTA 2015: New Orleans, Louisiana


2015 marks the fifth year that Susie Perelman of Party Mosaic and Larry Green of Rentals Unlimited made the decision to tap into their resource of friends and colleagues and ignite a philanthropic fire under their feet. And for the last five years that fire has grown and spread from coast to coast roping in #eventprofs from all disciplines to join EPTA and travel to the great city of New Orleans where they’ve partnered with local and national charities to work to rebuild the city. During this time they’ve lent their talents and learned new ones, becoming true design angels for those whose lives they touched.

Five years after this journey began, it was amazing to see our volunteers engage in our biggest and best yet! In addition to designing and refurnishing the two homes, in August 2015 we made a significant impact on life for troubled teens in New Orleans.  While assisting those in need, our industry volunteers were reminded of how fortunate we are, and that if we each do a little,  it adds up to something that can change the quality of life for generations to come. Each summer we come together in NOLA, and welcome new volunteers to our team. Some are new to our industry and return home pumped up to be in such a rewarding profession. Others who join the effort are industry veterans. Despite years of experience, these pros have these eye opening experiences as well. Together our entire team works hard, sweats tons and has a blast.  – Susie Perelman

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There are few words that can truly capture the feeling of comaradery and purpose that working with EPTA teammates and fulfilling the dreams of deserving families with my art.  As artists we are called upon to make a difference in our clients’ lives but rarely, if ever are the differences so profound as when we help the Saint Bernard Project Clients, through EPTA.  To be called upon to lead a team of leaders in order to fulfill a selfless goal of enriching a life in need, is humbling and profoundly influential. – Design Angel, Mark Wells

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Working with ETPA has truly been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life. Being able to help these families is something for which I am extremely grateful, and the fact that I have been able to do it along side such great friends and industry peers makes it even more meaningful. EPTA reminds us that humanity and hope can be restored when thoughtful, compassionate minds and hearts just make a little effort. I along with my team are proud to contribute and look forward to many more opportunities to help in anyway possible. Many people talk about helping others, and then there are those that actually get out there and get the work done. EPTA does the work, and it does it with integrity. – Design Angel, Evan Carbotti


Susie, far right, organizing the day ahead.

 Upon returning home and reflecting on my experience,  I always feel proud. I am proud that we have made a difference to a community in need. I am proud to have helped act as a catalyst for industry relationships that are literally formed while slaving away in the heat. And, I am proud that though clients around the country get to see our  collective talent and creativity,  Event Pros Takes Action provides a platform for our industry to showcase our big hearts and desire to give back. Together we are making the world a better place. – Co-Founder, Susie Perelman

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Marcus Anthony Gray

Marcus Gray is Editor At Large for Designdawgs. The epitome of young talent, Marcus’ social connections (in addition to his role at DesignDawgs), have paved way for his work as both a marketing and lifestyle public relations consultant to various businesses in the Southern California region under the newly inspired company, The Little Gray Book. Prior to DesignDawgs and The Little Gray Book, Gray worked as a fashion and lifestyle expert and brand influencer, whose talents have linked him to various luxury names within the fashion and events industries.

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