January 28, 2020

Location:  Embassy Suites Crystal City • 1300 South Eads Street  • Arlington, Virginia 22202 | Metro: (Blue and Yellow Lines) Crystal City Station | Complimentary Parking

Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm   Registration Deadline: January 23rd  Late Fee: extra $10 after January 23rd, 5pm.

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The Panelists:

GILLIAN DE SOUZA Caribbean Caterers

The story began in 1983, with our President & CEO, Gillian de Souza. Gillian opened and ran several popular fine dining vegetarian restaurants in her hometown of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, before moving to the
Washington D.C. metro area. Gillian worked as an IT professional when she first moved to Maryland. After receiving persistent requests to create personal meals at home from her former restaurant patrons, Gillian realized that sharing rich, inspiring dining experiences with others was her true passion. In 2000, she transitioned from her corporate job and opened Caribbean Caterers, building upon and moving well beyond her vegetarian roots.

SARA FRANKLIN Social Scene Events

Sara grew up in Reston, Virginia and moved back to the Washington D.C. area after college to work in the hospitality industry. She has been the Owner/President of Social Scene, LLC, an event planning company, since 2008 and worked for Northern Virginia Bridal Services planning weddings prior to starting her own company. Her career in events began in 1995 while working for a prominent metropolitan Washington catering
firm as a sales associate and then sales executive for more than 12 years.

Sara believes that a coordinators job is both to alleviate the stress for the bride and groom during the wedding day and during the entire planning process. Her background in catering has given her extensive knowledge of event venues, vendors and an eye for creating elegant and stylish events. She is very organized and will bring enthusiasm and unique ideas to planning your special day.

Sara received her baccalaureate from the University of Alabama in the school of Restaurant and Hospitality Management with an emphasis in event planning. She resides in Arlington, Virginia with her family.

BABAR ROMAIL – AVS 360 Photo and Video

Whether it’s telling the story of a couple on their wedding day or providing a brand experience to customers for a product launch, Chief Visual Story Crafter Babar and his team construct visual stories that make viewers feel a part of the experience. The AVS 360 staff of photographers, videographers, information architects and editors have a wealth of expertise in visual storytelling.


Halima is the Founder of The Floral Guru. A Bride turned Event Designer, Halima started the company in 2017 after her own dream wedding. Today, The Floral Guru has become synonymous with unique & stylish events. It’s portfolio includes some of the most trend setting and luxurious weddings in Washington, D.C. and the company’s work has been recognized globally. 


MIMI EBICHI – Mimi Ebichi Events

Mimi is the creative director and principal planner of Mimi Ebichi Events Inc., a wedding and event planning boutique located in Washington D.C metro, specializing in multicultural events. Born into a Nigerian Royal Family, Mimi’s love affair with “white-glove” service began at an early stage having experience exquisite events perfectly planned and executed. As an avid learner and student Mimi’s strong analytical skills were sharpened while studying law. She went on to obtain a Masters in Healthcare Administration where her finance skills were polished.

While working in corporate America, Mimi’s leadership skills were shaped and thus, prepared her to build the legacy she has embarked on. 10+ years ago, Mimi planned and executed her first wedding which eventually lead to over 65+ multicultural destination weddings and numerous weddings within the United States (and counting). Having planned and executed weddings ranging from $75,000 to $49 million and managing guests counts of 45 to 3000, Mimi is no stranger to the complexities of the wedding and event business requiring extreme privacy and non-disclosure. Her clients include royal families and politicians across the Arab world and Africa, Medical Professionals and individuals with a refined taste.

To bridge the gap in the event industry, Mimi launched a “private” coaching program in 2015 to bring alongside aspiring and established wedding and event professionals who desire to stand out and contribute to serving multicultural clients. In 2017 she went public with the program and continues to mentor and support the mentees.

As a visionary and born entrepreneur, Mimi has launched several businesses to include a concierge medicine business because she believes that at the core of everything she does is a “heart to serve.” The Mimi Ebichi Experience as her clients put it can be summed up to describe Mimi as Mindful, Intentional, Meticulous, and Intuitive.

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