July 18, 2018

Christmas in July! Holiday Trends Panel
July 18, 2018
11:00 AM CDT - 1:30 PM CDT
Le Meridien Houston Downtown
1121 Walker St
Houston, TX 77002
Laura Campbell (Austin), Lauren Twichell (Dallas), & Billinda Wilkinson (San Antonio)

What better way to chill down this Summer than with a Holiday Trends Panel! Join us as we discuss the upcoming trends for this Holiday Season while visiting with some of Texas' best!

**Parking: $15 Valet Parking Available, as well as street and garage parking surrounding the hotel**


Meet the Panelists:

Laura Campbell, Austin

Whim Hospitality Services

A small-town girl from Edna, Texas, Laura received a BS in Nutrition and Minor in Business from the University of Texas and an Associates Degree of Applied Sciences in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Blue at Texas Culinary Academy.  A lover of food and wine, she also completed Wine Fundamentals I and II from the International Sommelier Guild.  

After graduating from UT, Laura started her hospitality career in the kitchen as a Line Cook/Baker at Westminster Manor before attending culinary school. After Culinary School, she moved to front of the house restaurant management at Lakeway Resort and Spa.  She was there for almost 10 years, gaining the majority of her experience in hospitality - starting as a Room Service Supervisor, Restaurant Manager, Outlets Manager and finally Assistant Banquet Manager. To grow her career path outside of food and beverage, Laura transition to the Sales Department where she was a Conference Sales Manager for three years before being promoted to Director of Catering and Conference Services. Looking for a change from hotels but still in hospitality, she went to work for Aztec Events and Tents as a Sales Manager in Tents and Rentals before finding her way to Whim Hospitality.

Laura and her husband enjoy off-shore fishing, trying new wines with friends, travel and reading.  Whimsical and fun to be around, she once owned her own sno-cone stand!


Lauren Twichell, Dallas

Wolfgang Puck

Lauren earned her Hospitality Degree at the University of Houston for Hotel and Restaurant Mgmt in 2009. She went on to manage multiple restaurants across Texas and was happy to come back home to Dallas in 2011.  Lauren accepted her first catering position with Kent Rathbun Catering as the Sales Manager, hired to develop their catering program. By 2012 she was promoted to the Director of Catering and truly realized she was meant for this crazy industry. 

In 2014 she accepted a position with Food Glorious Food and managed multiple properties, further expanding her knowledge of venue management and honing her skills in off premise catering.  In 2017 she accepted a position with Wolfgang Puck Catering as the Senior Sales Manger for Off Premise Catering in the Texas market.  As an active member of Dallas’ wedding and event industry, Lauren serves as a board member of both, AACWP and the DFW NACE chapter and enjoys any opportunity to connect with other event professionals.  At home, Lauren and her husband Caleb have two little girls and a cute puppy, Creede, that keeps them busy around the clock! 


Billinda Wilkinson, San Antonio

Billinda Wilkinson’s experience and knowledge of art, history, design, travel, and theater has made Wilkinson-Rhodes one of the premier event planning and production companies in the Southwest. Her client base includes Buena Vista Pictures, Walt Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Hyatt Regency, AT&T and UPS. The scope of her resume includes wondrous weddings, grand galas, adorable bar/bat mitzvahs and dazzling debutante parties for her prestigious clientele.

In 2003, Wilkinson began the Wilkinson-Rhodes event company. In only one short year, Wilkinson began party planning for the stars when Buena Vista Pictures and Disney accepted her proposal for the premier party for the movie, “The Alamo.” Over the years, Wilkinson has also gone on to design and execute award winning events for numerous non-profit organizations, social clients, and weddings throughout the US and abroad. Billinda Wilkinson’s knowledge, experience, and impeccable taste have made her one of the most sought after event planners and producers in the country. Her ability to astound and amaze is legendary.


Can't beat our Sponsors!:

Host Venue, F&B: Le Meridien Downtown Houston

Event Decor: Ideal Party Decorators

Photography: Genesis Photographers


Donation Collection

We will be collecting Toys for Tots at this Holiday Themed Program! When donating toys, please remember the following: 

What kind of toys can I donate?

  • new
  • un-wrapped
  • preferably around the $10 or above price range
  • books are also needed (children receive 2 toys each and 3 books count as ONE gift!) 
  • homemade toys are also accepted

What kinds of toys are NOT allowed?

  • used toys
  • toys with military theme
  • toys with candy
  • toys related to weapons, law enforcement or military
  • toys with chemicals (i.e., experimental labs, acid, crystal projects, etc.)
Future Meetings

February 20, 2019

How To Make Non-Profits A Win-Win

February 20, 2019
11:00 AM CST - 1:30 PM CST

Big Brothers Big Sisters
1003 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77002

With panelists: Ryan Allbright, Roz Moore, Jacqueline Hill

March 20, 2019

Wedding Trends 2019: Live, Work, Play

March 20, 2019
5:30 PM CDT - 10:00 PM CDT

The Revaire
7122 Old Katy Rd
Houston, TX 77024

With Guest Speaker: Emily Clark

April 17, 2019

Friend(ors) & Lovers!

April 17, 2019
5:30 PM CDT - 9:00 PM CDT

Omni Riverway
4 Riverway
Houston, TX 77056

With Guest Speaker: Andrea Eppolito