Andrea Casillas is the Owner and President of Group Concepts and serves as an Executive Director for our clients. Her areas of specialty include board structure, policy development, and corporate partnerships. She develops strategies for membership and sponsorship growth, member retention, and volunteer engagement. In collaboration with our clients, Andrea builds a foundation for the organization to ensure forward progress toward its mission and long term goals. Andrea has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from the University of Northern Colorado and a track record of successful branding efforts. Former sales and marketing roles have taught Andrea to listen to client needs and implement solutions with significant returns on investment. She is a budget minder and continually finds innovative ways to capitalize on revenue opportunities. Outside of the company, Andrea enjoys spending time with her children and is an avid golfer.
Michele Blair serves as the Executive Director for three of Group Concepts client associations. For 30 years, Michele has worked as an advocate and policy expert, working with elected officials, private companies, and non-profit organizations. She has developed and implemented strategic plans, government relations, communications programs, community outreach, media relations, and fundraising initiatives.
Most recently, Michele served as the CEO of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), overseeing all aspects of the business functions, day-to-day operations, and meeting planning. Michele provided the overarching vision, direction, and leadership for the organization. Under her leadership, the organization’s membership grew by 64%, the revenue and the reserves doubled.
Michele served as the Executive Director and CEO of the Orange County Medical Association (OCMA) in Southern California. She also simultaneously served as CEO of the OCMA affiliates: Orange County Foundation for Medical Care (OCFMC) and Orange County Preferred Provider Organization (OCPPO).
She has managed team efforts on high-profile projects and campaigns, including the successful grassroots and media outreach campaign for the National Tobacco Settlement for healthcare in Orange County (Measure H). Her leadership secured nearly $40 million annually for healthcare services.
Communications and Advocacy Coordinator
Heather Dauler is a former attorney and lobbyist. She has spent the last decade reading the fine print and acting as an adviser for businesses and governments. Her experience includes analyzing legislation, developing strategies for stakeholder engagement, and acting as President for three non-profit organizations.
Heather has honed her skills as a detail-oriented leader who delivers timely results. Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University, a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School, and a Masters of Law degree in Government and Public Policy from Pacific McGeorge School of Law.
Alex stumbled into the non-profit association management world nearly 20 years ago and has enjoyed various positions from webmaster to executive director, until becoming an event planner for Group Concepts.
Alex enjoys the variety and multi-tasked environment associations bring to the table, as well as managing events from conception to reality. Events include annual conferences, board retreats, board meetings, educational seminars, webinars, awards luncheons, social activities, golf tournaments, and tradeshows.
Born and raised in Germany, Alex’s favorite activities include enjoying the outdoors with partner Jason and dog Gibson, backpacking, camping, as well as photography and attempting to grow a garden.
Lynn Hanger is responsible for membership coordination for our clients. As a former executive director, she understands membership from both the member’s perspective, and the association’s perspective. She applies her depth and breadth of knowledge to every association she works with in any industry. She is also a member of ASAE and California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE). Her experience working at Disneyland before college taught her the value and techniques of high-level customer service. She still has her old nametag pinned to the wall as a daily reminder to go “above-and-beyond”. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California, she earned a broad liberal arts foundation while earning a BS in Business, Economics and Accounting with honors. A few of Lynn’s responsibilities are to support our clients with membership and association related questions, manage client databases, create reports and process membership documents, store orders, and all-around office management. She loves to camp, garden, sail to Catalina and chase after her two children, husband and cat.
Deb Johnson is a high-performance senior leader with over 20 years of experience managing non-profit organizations. She has the ability to drive change to improve organizational performance and management. Deb has a strong track record of success in motivating and developing volunteers while optimizing operational results. She is a self-directed professional that takes pride in the transformation of a vision into reality while building a sustainable foundation for continued success. Deb takes initiative to learn about the industries of each of our clients and is excited to apply her skills to grow client associations. When not in the office, you can find Deb traveling, dancing, kayaking or gardening.
Jenn Baker serves as an Executive Director for Group Concepts. As an Executive Director, Jenn has been successful in growing association membership, planning multiple annual events, working under the direction of a volunteer board, adhering to administrative protocols, developing and enhancing sponsorships and overseeing accounting functions. She provides daily hands-on service to clients large and small, offering timely, creative solutions to meet their needs. Her proudest achievement has been implementing an online learning management system (LMS) for Tax Consultants throughout California to receive online education. She has worked in the Association Management field for over six years and has a demonstrated knowledge on the implementation of different Association Management Software (AMS). Jenn graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Family Studies and Human Development. She enjoys wine by Diane Keaton and any Judd Apatow films.
Pam Ramirez has worked in finance for over 20 years. Her positions have included staff accountant and payroll accountant for large companies and government agencies. She has processed payroll proficiently for over 1,000 employees per pay period. Her financial background also includes cash receipts, garnishments, working with retirement funds, workers comp reports and processing quarterly and yearly payroll taxes. Throughout her financial career she has worked closely with all employees and has been awarded several Best Service awards. She has helped implement several payroll software programs and prides herself on attention to detail. Her knowledge of business applications are a big asset. On the weekends, you can find Pam with her family and friends on the golf course.
Morgan Burke serves as an Account Coordinator for Group Concepts and as an Assistant Executive Director for some of our clients. For over 10 years Morgan has worked with non-profit associations and organizations. Her background is in Recreation & Leisure Studies, focusing in non-profits and events. She has developed trainings, staff development, community outreach programs, and fundraising efforts. In working with clients, Morgan strives to be efficient in coordinating their needs, from board meetings to conferences.
When not behind the desk or re-organizing the office, you can find Morgan enjoying the outdoors, camping, hiking, spending time with her growing family, cooking & baking!
Derek Kozaites serves as the Communications Manager for Group Concepts. In this role, Derek serves our diverse array of clients and is responsible for their daily communications, website organization, marketing, and database maintenance. His commitment to client satisfaction, ability to multi-task while producing a high-level quality of work, and exacting attention to detail greatly contributes to the overall success of the Group Concepts team. Derek is a self-motivated and results-oriented professional eager to contribute his diverse talents toward collaborating with an organization to achieve targeted goals and establish comprehensive solutions. He graduated from Dominican University with a BA in International Studies and has an Executive Certificate in Marketing Strategy.
Senior Conference Manager
Rivka Kaminetzky has been a Corporate Meeting & Event Planner for over 20 years. She has a tremendous amount of experience planning and executing complex, high level meetings and incentive trips as well as large scale special events. She has operated programs both domestically and internationally for companies across a wide variety of industries including financial, technology, healthcare, automotive, sports, food, travel and more. She is passionate about producing dynamic and smooth-running programs while creating a memorable experience for attendees. Her expertise in managing cross functional teams, building collaborative partnerships, elevating program elements and on-site logistical management ensures that every detail of her programs is crafted to excel both in design and execution.
Rivka started her career in radio production and then moved into the television and film industries, managing production logistics and set operation of television shows in multiple genres. Her background also includes a number of years as Sales Manager of a Meeting and Incentive Forum which matched Hoteliers and Meeting Planners for one-on-one meetings as well as the planning and execution of consumer oriented experiential marketing events. Rivka is a strong leader with boundless energy and a wicked sense of humor. She loves making people laugh,
is always up for travel and a new adventure and can be counted on to have chocolate nearby.