About Planners Plus
To provide an exceptional event and project management client experience, every time.
Full-Service Event Management from Planners Plus
Proudly based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Planners Plus is your full-service event and project management firm.
We have worked on events of all shapes and sizes, overseeing every aspect from program planning and registration to décor and entertainment.
At Planners Plus, our mission is simple: to provide an exceptional event and project management client experience, every time.
To carry out our mission, each member of the Planners Plus team is dedicated to his or her role in making sure that each event is planned and executed with the utmost care.
In the event management world, repeat business is the truest sign of success, and we are proud that our clients continue to trust us with their meetings, tradeshows, conventions, galas, conferences and any other event imaginable.
The Planners Plus Difference
What sets Planners Plus apart from other event and convention management firms is our attention to detail, our bilingual service (French and English) and Indigenous event complement. These are cornerstones of Planners Plus Inc.'s ability to provide exceptional service to our clients, every time.
Only the Best of the Best
With our vast network in Winnipeg, across Manitoba and throughout Canada, Planners Plus works with exceptional service providers, hotels, convention centres and tourism industries to bring you everything you need to make your event a complete success. We can only be the best when we work with the best!
Meet our dedicated team of project managers, finance experts, registration managers and on-site management support personnel. The entire Planners Plus team works together to achieve one unified goal: making your next event your best event.
Riel ree Dion B.A. (hons.), M.A. (dual), CCRML (Certified, Conflict Resolution, Mediation & Leadership)
President & CEO
Riel ‘ree’ Dion is Planners Plus Inc.’s President & CEO, and he is no stranger to Manitoba’s premier event management firm. Ree was first introduced to Planners Plus as a client before taking on project management duties with the firm in 2008, while working full-time in the corporate and public sectors.
After nearly 20 years of serving the public, ree brings his wealth of Project and Organizational Change Management knowledge and experience to Planners Plus. This includes his propensity for Communication, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, as well as his Guide on the Side leadership style that benefits Planners Plus Inc.’s valued clients.
ree has worked directly on the following events and more:
- Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada
- Agricultural Biosciences International Conference
- Beyond Borders Media Awards
- Canadian School Boards Association Congress
- CropConnect Conference
- Manitoba Start Gala Awards Dinner
- Rotary Career Symposium
Vice-President / Chief Operating Officer
Elena Gagliardi joined Planners Plus in the fall of 2011 as a Project Manager. Demonstrating exceptional leadership skills and event management experience, she was quickly promoted to Vice President in 2013, and again to Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer in 2016.
Elena’s wealth of hospitality industry knowledge is second to none, as she was responsible for organizing and securing a multitude of events at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre. Since joining Planners Plus, Elena has worked as the Lead Project Manager on numerous conferences, with attendance ranging from 150-650 delegates. Elena’s portfolio consists of Winnipeg’s cornerstone agencies and associations, such as Safety Services Manitoba, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, Myers Weinberg and the Canadian Association of Human Resource Management Association.
Elena’s clients admire her energy, loyalty, dedication and attention to detail to each event and project. Her positive disposition and outlook on life are contagious, and we dare you not to smile when she’s around!
Manager, Finance & Registration
Tamara began her career at Planners Plus as Registration Coordinator in 2013. Since that time, she has honed her skills in data management, registration logistics, delegate relations and on-site personnel management. There isn’t one event Tamara doesn’t personally attend in order to ensure a warm and welcoming delegate reception.
In 2016, Tamara was promoted to Manager, Registration & Finance, and now oversees Registration, Business Finances and Client Trust Account fiscal management. Tamara’s affinity for streamlining processes and improving operations are invaluable benefits to her colleagues, the company and her clients.
Tamara’s passion for event and project management has continued into her “downtime” as well, as she is leading the charge on Aboriginal-focused events such as the Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Awards. Eventually something may come up that Tamara can’t do, but we’re guessing it won’t be anytime soon.
Kelly Forgala B. Comm (Hons)
Passionate about the event industry, Kelly loves to bring a client’s vision to life through impeccable event design and execution. Her strong communication skills, leadership and outstanding customer service provide each client with a customized, unique and stress-free event experience. She is an organized and detail-oriented multitasker, with strong relationship building skills.
Kelly followed her heart after graduating from the University of Manitoba with a degree in Marketing and Human Resources to pursue a career in event management. Her years of hands-on experience managing various types of events have contributed to Kelly’s expertise in all aspects of event planning, including registration, marketing, speaker and sponsor fulfillment, budget management and logistics.
Barbro Dick B.A.
Senior Project Manager
Barbro, Senior Project Manager, joined Planners PIus in 2009, and since then clients have relied on her to organize their open houses, conferences, nature summits, gala events, award celebrations and more. With a background in management, marketing and strategic communications, Barbro provides value-added services in these areas. Prior to Planners Plus, Barbro was Director of the Victoria Hospital’s Victoria Lifeline, and before that worked in communications and media relations for Manitoba Public Insurance and the Health Sciences Centre Foundation.
Barbro is a graduate of McGill University and St. Mary’s Academy.
Barbro has worked on the following events:
- Adolescent Parent Interagency Network (APIN) Conference
- Assiniboine Credit Union Staff Events
- Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Gala
- Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame
- Manitoba Nature Summit
- Volunteer Manitoba Awards
- WinnServ’s Coming of Age Conference
After a very successful career as a member of the Winnipeg Police Service, Susan Swan joined Planners Plus as a part-time event planner. She has been instrumental in successfully organizing a number of events including the Aboriginal Education Research Forum (Shawane Dagosiwin) and the Red River College Legacy Golf Classic.
ede Fast CIM
Association Management Specialist
ede joined Planners Plus in October 2009. Her prior experience consists of over 20 years of association management, including being an Executive Director in the education field where organizational, planning and administrative skills were vital.
That expertise, as well as her experience in event management, has proven to be the perfect fit with the Planners Plus mandate. ede is “very pleased to be part of the Planners Plus team,” as she provides expert association management services for Adolescent Parent Interagency Network.
Danelle Hueging PMP, RPT, BA
A designated PMP and member of the “Project Management Institute”, Danelle has held lead roles in a variety of environments for over 15 years that include new construction builds, software launches, organizational change and restructuring, training program development, military workshops, board operations and event management.
Described as “a hard-working, energized person who bleeds ambition,” Danelle has a knack for recognizing potential and helping to maximize it through connecting, collaborating and creative thinking with industry experts and stakeholders.
She’s also one of the biggest fans of Winnipeg we know; you’ll often find her out and about in the community volunteering with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, JCI Winnipeg/JCI Canada, Tourisme Riel, and Junior Achievement promoting the unlimited opportunities our province offers. This constant engagement keeps her thumb on the pulse of what’s happening in our city and further adds to the insight she brings our clients and the Planners Plus team.
Audrey Blatz PMP cand.
An enthusiastic, confident and reliable professional who has vast experience of managing technically complex projects, Audrey possesses a forward-thinking approach to the management of clients and assignments. Audrey has a long track record of delivering complex projects with a global reach, and is able to manage the project delivery team through entire life-cycle, from client inquiry to invoice. Possessing excellent interpersonal skills, she is able to elicit cooperation from a wide variety of sources, including senior management, clients and other departments.
Project Management Experience
Canada Wings Flight Training School Program Implementation
MTS Connect Expansion
MTS Connect Software Design and Implementation
Vision Aid Canada Clinical Demonstration for Health Canada
The Salon Professional Academy Student Aid Designation
Robertson College Online Program Designation
Robertson College Online Student Aid Designation
- Anne & Bob Gross
- Charlotte Magnusson
- Danelle Hueging
- Deb Semkowski
- Dennis Dyck
- Gen Gobeil
- Glenda Deforel
- Ian & Pat Mowat
- Marilyn Ouimet
- Mary Parker
- Murray Krushel
- Nettie Wallace
- Paige Thomas