Michelle Russell, Editor in Chief

Michelle joined Convene in 2003 and has overseen the growth of the magazine to a monthly award-winning print and digital publication. She has more than 30 years of experience as an editor and writer, and began her career as a nonfiction book editor at Random House. Prior to joining Convene, Michelle served as editor for variety of trade publications and websites in such industries as commercial real estate and food and drug retailing.

Chris Durso, Executive Editor

Chris wants to make it clear he is not a comic book collector, he just enjoys buying and reading them. He is responsible for helping run the team that produces the award-winning monthly magazine, Convene — shaping coverage, following trends, and editing and writing articles about the meetings and conventions industry, with an emphasis on new ideas and innovative practices.

Barbara Palmer, Senior Editor, Director of Online Content

Barbara has spent her career as a writer and editor working for a variety of nonprofit and news publications, ranging from a stint as a science reporter and columnist at The Daily Oklahoman to covering arts and humanities at Stanford University for the Stanford News Service. She joined Convene in 2008 as senior editor and became the magazine’s director of online content in 2013.

Casey Gale, Associate Editor

Casey has spent her career thus far exploring the hospitality space. She served as online editor for the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Lodging magazine before joining Convene in 2017. She graduated from Rider University, where she majored in journalism and American Studies.


Business Development/Sales


Doug Allan, Director, Business Development

Territories: Midwestern US states, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East, and New Zealand.
Contact: +1 312.423.7277 |

Diane Griffin, Director, Business Development

Territories: Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Contact: +1 312.423.7213 |

Wendy Krizmanic, Director, Business Development

Territories: AK, CT, DC, DE, ID, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, NV, OR, PA, RI, VT and WA.
Contact: +1 312.423.7248 |

Mary Lynn Novelli, CMP, Director, Business Development

Territories: AL, AR, CO, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OH, SC, TN, VA, WV, Caribbean
Contact: +1 312.423.7212 |