Designing Digs

This program enables the event industry to use our expertise and resources to create home interiors for special families in NOLA who are trying to move home and start a new chapter in their lives. Design angels act as the lead designers for the home interiors that we create. In the months leading up to our arrival, these “angels” work with the clients to help learn what they want their home to look like and feel like, and then bring these visions to life in their interior design.

In order to do the work we do for communities in need, it takes an army of volunteers and some key folks in the industry to lead them! Over the years we have been fortunate enough to work with plenty of these “angels.” Not only are they leaders in the special events industry, but  they have donated their time and talent to make sure that many families in need can start a new chapter of their lives.  In designing the homes for special families in  NOLA from 2011 to the present,  and supervising our volunteers on site as together we brought their vision to life, these industry icons have made a profound impact on a community in need.

Meet our Design Angels!


Lenny Talarico

Lenny‘s involvement in the industry spans a quarter of a century, ranging from live entertainment and production for clients, to event management.

He is an Advisory Board member for Biz Bash Magazine, and was named by them as one of the “Most Innovative People in Events”. He has served on the Advisory Board for Event Solutions Magazine, a leading industry publication. He has been an Honorary Board member for the SEARCH Foundation (Special Events Assistance & Resources with a Caring Heart). He is honored and proud to be supporting EPTA (Event Pros Take Action) in their ongoing efforts to continue the support of those still impacted by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

He received a GALA Award from Special Events Magazine recognizing his work on the Grand Opening of Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, was recognized as “Event Planner of the Year”, and received the prestigious “Spotlight Award” thru Event Solutions Magazine and is a recipient of numerous WESTIE-Awards. He received an Esprit Award- Best Event with a Legacy for his work producing the Convention Industry Council (CIC) Hall of Leader’s Gala.

He is actively involved in the industry and has served as the president of ISES-Las Vegas. Lenny currently sits on the ISES International Industry Engagement Committee, evaluating partnership opportunities with other industry associations and events, with a focus on international and domestic conference engagements. In 2012 he designed and directed the 25th Anniversary Celebration of ISES International at the Dallas Fairmont Hotel. He is among the 325 event professionals worldwide to have obtained a CSEP certification. He was a founding member of IACEP (International Association of Corporate Entertainment Producers), and worked with the association on standardizing industry entertainment practices. He is a member of both MPI (Meeting Planners International) and the LVHA (Las Vegas Hospitality Association).

As a speaker he has guest lectured at UNLV and Temple University for their event management curriculum and been a part of the education seminars for industry conferences such as G2E- Global Gaming Expo, The Special Event Show, Canadian Special Events Live, Catersource Event Solutions and numerous others. He is a proponent of education in the field of events and is involved with TISOH (The International School of Hospitality), where he is an instructor for the event design and production curriculum. He developed and continues to lead their “Design Lab”, a tactile learning environment, the only one of its kind in the industry.

His connection to the events and entertainment community in Las Vegas is long standing. As a Las Vegas resident almost 30 years, the early part of his career was spent performing and entertaining on the Las Vegas strip in showrooms and lounges.

Interspersed during his performance career he quietly began a career in the special event production. He served as the personal shopper for the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” during on location taping in Las Vegas. He is the Executive Director of Event Sales for MGM Resorts Event Productions, one of the most recognizable names in the hospitality industry.

Evan Carbotti Bio Pic

Evan Carbotti

After graduating Wheaton College (MA.) with an English and Creative Writing degree, Evan, the youngest son of Special Event Hall of Famer, Richard Carbotti, soon found ways to utilize his creative and writing talents.

As the third partner of Perfect Surroundings, Int’l for over a decade, Evan works to develop innovative event design concepts in addition to his marketing role.  As well as being published in several industry magazines, in 2009 Evan self-published his first book with a portion of all proceeds going to the SEARCH Foundation of which he recently finished a 2 year term on the PR Committee.

Also, as a co-founder of Spero, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit, Evan has harnessed his many industry relationships, working along side numerous special events industry partners to produce amazing events that have raised tens of thousands of dollars for local children in need.

Jordan Carbotti Bio Pic

Jordan Carbotti

As the oldest son and partner of the Richard Carbotti, it seems Jordan has always had a place in the special events industry. Born into the business, Jordan has had the opportunity and good fortune to grow up and work with the top industry professionals.

As a lead designer, he takes the leading role in all conceptual and developmental stages of the event design and production. His creative input and innovative visions are indispensable resources for Perfect Surroundings, Int’l, and his onsite presence plays a vital role in each event’s completion. After more than 18 years working along side his father, Jordan’s creative and artistic efforts have been recognized by Event Solutions Magazine earning him the Rising Star award at the Spotlight Awards.

This marks the first time in this industry’s history that a father and son have been nominated for a prominent industry award in the same year, as Richard was nominated for Designer of the Year.

Mark Wells Bio Pic

Mark Wells

Bahamian Born and Southern California raised, Mark has always been on or behind the stage. Before joining Hello Florida! in 2003, Mark spent eight years performing and managing entertainment for corporate nightclubs in California, plus nine years designing and producing various events and shows around the United States and Mexico.

Mark Wells, serves as Vice President, Creative Services for Hello! Destination Management. Through his dedication to his craft, clients and suppliers, Mark has been instrumental in growing the DMC event market for the Hello! Destination Management Brand. Besides being awarded top honors from Special Event Magazine, ISES International, Biz Bash and being named a top industry innovator, Mark has also served as President of ISES Orlando and is an ISES Orlando Hall of Fame Award recipient.

His varied professional experiences give him a clear understanding of the resources available to meet each client’s needs. He also enjoys Camping, Cooking on his smoker, reading, tennis, biking, swimming and spending time with his wife and children.

David Merrell Bio Pic

David Merrell

Since he founded AOO Events in 1989, the name David E. Merrell has become synonymous with cutting-edge design for live events and staged productions. He is a sought-after producer with a growing list of Fortune 500 and international corporations for product launches, corporate events, celebrity-attended fundraisers as well as intimate weddings.

David and his team at AOO have been honored with many professional awards from such prestigious industry organizations as BizBash, Special Events Magazine, Event Solutions Magazine, International Special Events Society (ISES) and the Society for Incentive Travel Executives (SITE). Personally, David was named “Designer of the Year” by Event Solutions Magazine and was awarded the prestigious Crystal SITE Award from the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives. He is a valuable member of the event and meeting community and is frequently asked to speak at national and international conferences on business, design and event marketing. David has also served on numerous industry boards including the ISES as President of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter.

Currently, he sits on the Advisory Board of top industry publications, BizBash and Event Solutions, and on that of the premier educationalentity, The Wedding and Event Institute. David led the industry into the age of social media with as publisher of the digital magazine for the event design industry,

David Price

David Price

David Price joined Rentals Unlimited in 2008 as the Director of Product Development, and was later named VP of Product Development and now is Chief Operation Officer. Through his creative direction and management, Rentals Unlimited has won awards for tabletop and event design, as well as accolades for Rental Company of the Year.

David Price has been a fixture in the hospitality industry since 1989 in such capacities as:  Creative Director/Owner of DEP Floral and Event Design, Private Chef, Director of Catering for Blackstone Caterers, General Manager of The Market on the Boulevard, and Company Manager of the Peterborough Players. He also worked with Ron Alose Interior Design Group. He holds a BS in Business Administration and Theater Management. He is a sought after speaker for industry organizations as well as national conferences such as The Special Event Show, Event Solutions, and Catersource. David is originally from the small town of Ashland, Illinois and currently lives in Rhode Island with his partner, Brian, and their two dogs, Floyd and Endora.

Richard Carbotti Bio Pic

Richard Carbotti

Richard was a true educator, designer, innovator, mentor, and devoted husband and father. For almost 30 years Richard Carbotti transformed spaces of any scale into detailed custom-designed environments. As a graduate of Parsons School of Design in Manhattan and the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, he employed his knowledge of visual, interior, and graphic design to produce spectacular events internationally. Richard’s work and efforts in the events industry won him great recognition and numerous awards, most notably his induction into the Special Events Hall of Fame, but his most lasting impact and thing of which he was most proud, exists in the many lives he touched along the way through his sharing of countless ideas, visions and experiences.

His true passion to teach and educate also led him to an almost 40 year career dedicated to  progressive art, design, and events education, through which he enthusiastically shared his love of the arts and design with students from kindergarten through the graduate level. He truly loved spreading creativity and given back, and was always so honored and proud to be a part of the EPTA team with so many of his close friends and colleagues.