SERV Boston & New York Board
Founder & President
serv national board
A Texas native, Lisa Flores moved to Boston to attend Boston University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. In 2001, she was hired as a hostess at Mistral, quickly working her way to Reservations Manager and then to Special Events Manager after impressing Chef/Owner Jamie Mammano. In 2008, Lisa was promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing, and spearheaded marketing campaigns for the opening of all additional businesses in the Columbus Hospitality Group. This includes Mistral, Teatro, Sorellina, Mooo, L’Andana and Ostra restaurants, as well as the Inn at St. Botolph and XV Beacon Hotel. She continues to plan private functions and restaurant buyouts for Mistral, Ostra, Teatro and Sorellina while managing all marketing campaigns, media relations, and branding for the company.
Recognizing the need for a more formal network within the hospitality community, Lisa founded the Society for Event Planners: Restaurant Venues (SERV). SERV is an organization of private event managers that hosts quarterly panels focusing on topics such as the value of private events in the restaurant’s bottom line, hospitality marketing, and public relations. SERV aims to provide a network for people in the industry to learn from each other and grow sales at their restaurants.
Vice President of Programs
SERV national board
Kelly Fay was destined for the restaurant business from a young age. Her parents purchased a seafood restaurant, Tom Shea's, in Essex, Massachusetts the year she was born. This established the foundation of her love for the industry and she worked her way from hostess to manager over the 26 years it was a part of her family. After moving to Boston, she spent five years honing her hospitality skills with The Briar Group at their food and beverage establishments inside the Lenox Hotel. Today, Kelly is the Events Director for the restaurant family that encompasses Les Sablons, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34 Fort Point & Portsmouth, The Hawthorne, and of course, Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks. Her role is one of the few global positions that spans all of the restaurants and she is excited to play a key part in growing the company.
Vice President of Communications
SERV national board
Maura Lacy, a Virginia native, has worked in the hospitality industry for over nine years. After interning with Longwood Events while still in college, Maura began her career in restaurants at Sel de la Terre. She joined Sel de la Terre as a hostess and was quickly promoted to the position of Event Coordinator for Au Soleil Catering. After working with the catering team for several years, Maura was again promoted and become the Catering Director for Au Soleil where she was an instrumental member of their team. Under her leadership, the company was awarded "Best Caterer" by Boston Magazine.
In 2013, Maura joined Menton. Knowing her passion lay in event planning, Maura was swiftly promoted to Events Assistant and then Events Coordinator. Today, Maura is the Private Events Director for the Barbara Lynch Collective. She works diligently with every guest to ensure that the details of their event are thoughtful and precise. She enjoys the inherent challenge of helping to create memories for her guests, as well as the joy of watching her events come to fruition.
Vice President of Membership
An avid traveler with a passion for life, Kerry Lynch comes from a vast and colorful background. She started in the financial industry working in commodities and went on to work at Merrill Lynch for about six years while simultaneously going to school part time, traveling overseas and working as a marketing and promotions rep in bars all over town. She left Boston and took refuge in the mountains of Vail, Colorado, where learned to snowboard and fell in love with the restaurant industry.
When Kerry landed back in Boston, she worked on the People Strategy team of a local start-up while bartending at some of Boston’s hottest spots. Throughout the many lives she has lived, event planning has been the constant thread running through them all. Whether it was planning Investment Seminars for the Northern New England District of Merrill Lynch, planning holiday parties and outings for her co-workers (always under budget!) or building and consulting on event planning positions around Boston, she has had her hand in the creative and business sides of many a celebratory endeavor. As the Director of Private Events for the former Vox Populi and Radius restaurants, Kerry gained a reputation for extraordinary attention to detail and a commitment to excellence. She joined Big Night Entertainment group in 2011 as a Sales Manager and is now Director of Sales for Boston handling Red Lantern, EMPIRE, GEM, The Grand and Explorateur.
Courtney McCabe is a Southern California native that has called Boston her home for more than a decade. Courtney has worked in the hospitality industry for over 16 years in various roles, from hostessing to management at some of Boston's favorite establishments, including Sonsie and Alibi, eventually leading her to the field of event management in 2015.
Courtney started in the event department at COJE Management, overseeing and managing events for Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar. Her role has grown along with the company to oversee the entire events department for the group which now includes Yvonne's and RUKA Restobar as well. Courtney is constantly inspired by the talented people she works with in the ever-changing, growing restaurant industry in Boston.
AMIRA R. GERTZ
vice president of programs
serv new york
Amira Gertz is the Director of Catering for Rosa Mexicano Restaurants. Her department is responsible for the sale of all onsite group and private dining, as well as off-site catering and the development of B&I catering accounts. Amira joined the Rosa Mexicano team in 2013, helming sales for the New York region and was promoted in 2014 to oversee the division nationally. Prior to joining the team at Rosa Mexicano, Gertz was the director of private dining at City Hall Restaurant, where under the direction of Chef Henry Meer she grew the private dining department to a premier wedding and corporate venue in lower Manhattan. She began her career working in off-premise catering, planning and catering events all over NYC including the New York Public Library, Radio City and the Museum of the City of New York. Ms. Gertz is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality and actively donates her time to City Harvest, Temple Shaaray Tefila and the Fresh Air Fund. She holds a BS from New York University and has continued her food and wine education at the New School.
vice president of communications
serv new york
Spiewak began her career by re-opening Goldbar. She then launched Sweetwater Social as well as Bleecker Kitchen & Co. Spiewak expanded her profile as Sales Manager for Gurney's Montauk and Seawater Spa, where she was brought in to rebuild its sales office during commencement of a management partnership with LDV Hospitality. Since then, Spiewak has launched her own business as a private event and hospitality consultant. She has cultivated clients throughout Manhattan, the Hamptons, and several other major US cities, customizing their event sales portfolios, smoothing transitions, increasing sales, and improving customer satisfaction. With her company, Dandy Life, Spiewak currently specializes in curating and developing event sales programs for newly opened or in-need venues; organizing and launching event sales and operations, generating hype, and implementing new event management systems. Spiewak sits on the NYC board of SERV, Society for Event planners Restaurant Venues, and works to organize educational panels and mentor restaurant event sales managers throughout New York City.
vice president of membership
serv new york
Marisa Colangelo is a seasoned New York City director of sales and private events, having spent the last 10 years working with an impressive roster of hospitality groups and private event firms. She found her niche in helping brands grow and in opening new properties. Marisa has been instrumental in streamlining the events departments of restaurants all over the country including Miami, Las Vegas, Boston, Los Angeles, and more. She is currently the Director of Events at Zuma where she leads her growing department and has established the first private dining department in the company’s 15-year history.
Raised by an Italian family just outside Boston, Marisa grew up with a love of hospitality, entertaining, and an appreciation of great food. She nurtured these skills while at New York City’s Fordham University, where Marisa acted as the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) President, and she successfully held the inaugural St. Jude’s Carnival Fundraiser. She graduated in 2008 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration.
Marisa began her career at Francesca Events where she quickly elevated to Executive Producer executing multi-million dollar corporate and private events such as Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef party. In 2010 Marisa joined ESquared Hospitality as an event sales manager for their BLT properties, where she doubled year over year sales. Her talents for mentorship and organization were recognized early, and her role quickly evolved to include hiring and training, creating operational procedures, and opening new properties. Marisa joined A VOCE Restaurant in 2015 as Director of Private Dining where she developed marketing initiatives to increase revenue resulting in the company’s highest yearly sales to date.
In 2016 Marisa began recruiting her contacts with the intention of establishing a community that focuses on continuing education and professional development. She connected with the Founder of SERV, Lisa Flores. The New York chapter was created shortly thereafter where Marisa serves as the Vice President of membership. SERV is the society of event planners with a focus on restaurant venues that provides support and ongoing educational seminars, structured networking opportunities, vendor relations and marketing -- all pertaining to the private events industry.