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Anne Chartrand and Ellyn Holzman are the co-founders of Unconventional Planning. Prior to forming Unconventional Planning in 1998, Anne and Ellyn had acquired a combined experience of thirty years in the hospitality industry. They had each spent ten of those years working directly in meeting and conference planning, leading successful convention services teams in first-class Canadian hotels including the Fairmont Château Laurier and the Westin Ottawa.


They had organized hundreds of meetings, conferences and special events for boards of directors, heads of state and corporate, association, charitable and government clients. It was this solid foundation that provided Anne and Ellyn with the knowledge, expertise and confidence to create Unconventional Planning Inc.



Anne Chartrand, who is fluently bilingual, has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality and conference management industries. She has extensive experience working with high-profile multi-day meetings with senior-level participants. Anne’s creativity, high standards and attention to detail ensure that the attendee always has a positive experience. Her ability to motivate people and to see the big picture enables her to successfully develop critical paths and ensure that the team responds. Her prior experience in Convention Services and as the Director of Banquet Operations at both the Fairmont Château Laurier and the Westin Ottawa has given her the operational background, the leadership qualities and on-site management skills that is second to none. Her attention to detail and high standards have earned her a reputation unmatched in conference management.



Ellyn Holzman has more than 25 years experience in the hospitality industry, with extensive expertise in conference management, event production and logistics. Her previous experience as Director of Catering and Convention Services at the Fairmont Château Laurier provides her with the expertise in venue and supplier negotiations, client relations and logistics management. This background leads her to strive for a win-win situation for both client and suppliers. Ellyn has excellent communications, team management and organizational skills, and has successfully led teams on numerous national conferences and events. She is recognized by the Convention Industry Council as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), and was President of the Ottawa Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) from 2000 to 2002.


Unconventional Planning has a highly skilled and motivated team of full time and part-time staff, as well as casual staff who assist as needed. The constant focus on quality vs. quantity of projects and assignments has enabled the company to maintain a strong core group of clients from year to year. 


In building their team, Anne and Ellyn seek out individuals who share their high level of expectations and work ethic.  Because they believe in allowing individuals to do what they do best, they look for team members with different strengths, then build and manage their team to ensure that the sum of its parts is stronger than the individuals. 



Dianne is fluently bilingual and has over 20 years of experience in hospitality, conference and event management. She has considerable experience providing exceptional customer service to high-calibre clientele, including at the Fairmont Château Laurier and at the Parliament of Canada, House of Commons. She is accustomed to dealing with a wide variety of clientele and suppliers in many different settings. She is a professional in the various aspects of event planning, with extensive exposure from diverse perspectives. Dianne has handled speaker, sponsor and exhibitor liaison and coordination, marketing, as well as staff supervision, on-site registration and logistics with Unconventional Planning since 2004.



Mary has been with Unconventional Planning for several years and is fluently bilingual. She has excellent writing, editing and communication skills, and is self-motivated and detailed-oriented. Mary is very experienced at working with clients, speakers and suppliers, and provides exceptional on-site customer service and management.



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