Background & Vision

Our story

For many years prior to starting Milestone Events Group, the founders were deeply involved in the North Bay and Wine Country events community.

Leslie and Marshall Bauer owned the areas’ largest event rental company for a decade, until it was purchased by a group of investors who have now grown it into the largest event rental company in California.  While they managed this business, providing services for up to 200 parties per week during the season, it became obvious that the primary sites where they worked struggled with the process of producing events.  This was often the case, as most of these locations were wineries, and the primary business of wineries is making and selling wine. Events in many cases were an afterthought, or if not that, were often characterized with high event personnel turnover and a production process that focused on the convenience of the site personnel, not the client.

Following the sale of the company, and a much-needed long vacation, Marshall and Leslie Bauer were discussing could there be a better way to simplify the event planning process, for both the venue and client, while enhancing the overall experience and success of the event for all parties involved? They started to explore this idea and met with many colleagues in the industry to collect thoughts, data, and opinions.

One of these colleagues was Leslie Fravel. At that time, Leslie was the Director of Hospitality at a local winery where she was building a successful events program that the Bauer’s rental company served.  Prior to that, Leslie Fravel and The Bauer’s had worked together for over a decade as vendor / supplier and customer when Leslie held a position in sales/event coordination with one of the largest caterers in the North Bay. After many meetings and discussions, the group decided to build a business where the event client would come first.  Clients would be offered options, value, and service at a higher level than they could get through the existing method of venue search, selection, and event production.

In March of 2014, Milestone started operations.  In the years since, the Milestone team has grown and helped hundreds and hundreds of clients to not only find a site for their event, but more importantly, find the right site.  This has meant that clients have been able to keep within their budgets, enjoy a much less stressful planning experience, and create an excellent experience for themselves and their guests.  

The team at Milestone is proud of the overwhelming number of 5-star reviews that have been published by clients who have expressed how the Milestone approach and process made all of the difference in the success of their event.  The Milestone team looks forward to continuing to grow the network of venues in their portfolio and to host many more successful events in the future.

Why Milestone?

Milestone works exclusively with some of the most beautiful and sought-after venues Wine Country has to offer. We began with a mission to provide our clients the convenience of choice and to enhance and simplify their experience. We guide our clients through the process of selecting a venue from one of our partnered sites ensuring it closely matches the desired location, style and budget they envision.

By selecting one of our Milestone managed properties, you will experience a level of support throughout your planning process that is unique to Milestone.

Once a venue has been selected, our team of event experts assist you throughout the planning process and the production of your event. We create a seamless transition from beginning to end. Our team is dedicated to producing an event that exceeds your expectations.

We know your time is precious and with one call you will receive a personal consultation allowing you to explore all of our properties beginning from the convenience of your home.

From the venue site tours, to the on-site meetings with various suppliers, our team is there for you. Understanding the ins-and-outs of your rental order, the ideal layout of the various spaces, and even providing a day-of-timeline for your event are all part of the Milestone difference.

We are at your service to manage each step of the process, and at your side providing support on every important decision.

Our values

We win as a team

Everyone’s opinion is valued and we recognize that the best solutions come about through collaboration.

You can count on us to do it right

We own our client’s experience and, as such, we own the responsibility for making sure expectations are met throughout the process.

Bad news fast and first

Things happen, and the sooner we know means the sooner we can take measures to fix the problem. We pride ourselves on stepping forward, owning it, and being a part of the solution.

We seek innovative ways to consistently improve our client experiences

We embrace new ideas and change because they provide us an opportunity to be creative and to improve the client’s experience.

Leveling

We owe it to each other to provide honest feedback intended to help us improve at every chance. Little improvements create big differences if we all work consistently on the honest assessment of our performance.

Have Fun

If we enjoy working together in an environment that is focused and fun, our clients will too, and that is something they truly deserve.

our team

Marshall Bauer

President

Marshall Bauer

President

Leslie Bauer

Creative Coordinator, Venue Design

Leslie Bauer

Creative Coordinator, Venue Design
About

Leslie Fravel

Director of Operations

Leslie Fravel

Director of Operations
About

Chris Henretta

CFO

Chris Henretta

CFO
About

Amanda Vineyard

Venue Selection Manager

Amanda Vineyard

Venue Selection Manager
About

Stacey Almy

Site Host Manager

Stacey Almy

Site Host Manager
About

Marie Miller

Administrative Coordinator

Marie Miller

Administrative Coordinator
About

Dayna Iverson

Site Coordinator

Dayna Iverson

Site Coordinator
About

Samantha Veader

Site Coordinator

Samantha Veader

Site Coordinator
About
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Marshall Bauer

President

About

Marshall Bauer brings to his role as President of Milestone Events Group a highly successful, 30-year career in sales and marketing. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Babson College and an Executive MBA from Southern Methodist University, Marshall has a track record of successes at companies including General Dynamics Corporation, ROLM Corporation, MFS RealCom, and GE Capital Rescom. 

After years of traveling as many as 40 weeks a year, Marshall and his wife Leslie decided to explore a lifestyle change that would enable him to be home more regularly. The goal was to bring his management skills, technology expertise and marketing sophistication to a new arena that ultimately was in in Northern California’s wine country.

Marshall purchased Wine Country Party & Events, established in 1976, in July of 2003. During the next decade Marshall helped build the business into the largest event rental business in the North Bay and in July of 2013, ten years to the day after it was purchased, the company was bought by a private equity group.

The concept for Milestone Events Group came out of the knowledge gleaned over the years from working within and for wineries as a member of their event services support network. Marshall believed there was an opportunity to help the wineries better support the events portion of their business and to provide a better level of service to clients wishing to host their events at a winery. Milestone Events Group was incorporated and by March 2014 our team began operation with its first winery client. Marshall lives in Healdsburg with his wife, Leslie and a large golden retriever. Their son lives in southern CA while attending UCLA. They enjoy skiing, shooting, golfing and hiking.

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Leslie Bauer

Creative Coordinator, Venue Design

About

Following graduation from Stanford University, Leslie spent her early career in technology sales and sales management before embarking, with her husband Marshall, on a career in the hospitality services industry in 2003. For over a decade Leslie enjoyed her role as co-owner and Design Director for the largest rental company in the North Bay. Her team was responsible for introducing a catalog of unique “Wine Country” specific looks and products that became the benchmark for excellence in this area. 

Leslie’s role at Milestone utilizes her creative talents, as she draws on the knowledge she gained in her previous role designing company and client spaces and showrooms. 

When a new venue becomes a part of the Milestone collection, a fresh set of design-focused eyes can make all of the difference to enhance the property both for wine club events as well as Milestone events. Leslie’s experience ensures the Milestone clients’ experience exceeds their expectations.

Leslie Fravel

Director of Operations

About

Leslie Fravel was first exposed to the hospitality industry at a young age, working as a hostess on the weekends at her parent’s restaurant in Virginia. Leslie moved to the Santa Rosa area to attend college and began working at a local catering company, where she soon knew she had discovered her passion.

For the next twelve years, Leslie worked with a premier catering company in sales and event production overseeing 600 plus events ranging from intimate dinners, fundraisers, celebrity galas, to weddings.

To further her career in hospitality, Leslie joined a family-owned winery as the Director of Hospitality where she was brought on to develop their events program and food and wine experience. During her three years at the winery, Leslie developed one of the most successful and imitated events programs in the area.

In March 2013, Leslie was recruited to join the team at Milestone Events Group. Bringing motivation with experienced leadership, event production, and venue management to Milestone, Leslie thrives on the development of the diverse and dynamic properties in the Milestone portfolio and in our team.

In the summer months, you’ll find Leslie playing on the Mudhens, a local softball team, or on weekends, cheering on her kid’s sports teams. Date nights with her husband and spending time with her family are Leslie’s favorite pastimes.

Chris Henretta

CFO

About

Chris is a career entrepreneur with experience owning and participating in a variety of businesses. These companies have all focused on the delivery of high quality services in one form or another. Satisfied clients, positive reviews, new client referrals and seeing career growth in team members all bring him a sense of accomplishment. Chris has both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Engineering from the University of Florida.
He and his wife live in Florida, with their faithful dog companions, and spend their time golfing, boating and traveling.

Amanda Vineyard

Venue Selection Manager

About

Amanda began her event coordination career over 15 years ago when she was thrown into planning several weddings in one year for friends and family. The experience was surprisingly enjoyable, so she chose to enhance her Marketing & Interior Design backgrounds with a certification in Event Planning. She immediately started her own Wedding Coordination company and built a strong and steady brand in Wine Country. While coordinating at beautiful venues across the county, Amanda fell in love with the Milestone staff and the values instilled among our team and the associated properties. It seemed like a perfect fit to partner with the MEG team in early 2018.

When out of the office, Amanda spends endless time in the kitchen cooking, laughing and entertaining with her three kids and great friends. If she can squeeze in a day out on the links once a week, she’s a happy girl.

 

Stacey Almy

Site Host Manager

About

Stacey started planning events and choosing the perfect event sites while planning her Southern California High School’s Prom. After graduating from Vassar College, she moved on to the corporate world of large client meetings, software user’s meetings, trade shows and non-profit events. 

She learned early that much of an event’s success depends upon the venue and the team who understands all its nuances to make it perfect. Her time as a client choosing event sites has been an asset in helping Milestone clients find the venue that’s the right fit for the occasion. All events are special and Stacey enjoys working with clients to make their vision come true.

Marie Miller

Administrative Coordinator

About

Marie has been in a customer service-related business for the past 30 years.  Her business experience includes working for an insurance company, owning a couple of businesses, one of which was a floral/gift shop, and she followed that up with 20 years as a Notary Public.  With a background as diverse as this, Marie brings a special set of talents to the Milestone team (including complimentary Notary services for our clients if needed).  As a believer in supporting her community, Marie has been involved in Jaycees and Kiwanis, including holding board positions and managing projects.

Marie grew up in a military family and traveled throughout the United States.  She landed in Sonoma County in 2000 and is firmly rooted here now. She is married to an electrician and has a daughter who graduated from University of Arizona and was part of the Alpha Phi Sorority. 

Fun Fact – Marie has always had a love of animals and a bit of a competitive spirit.  In her youth she competed in Hunter Jumper Equestrian competitions and currently she competes with her Doberman in Obedience Trials.    If you have questions about dogs or flowers she is happy to chat about her two favorite things.

Dayna Iverson

Site Coordinator

About

Dayna was born and raised in beautiful Sonoma County. She graduated from Sonoma State University in 2015, and quickly returned to school to take hospitality classes, where she discovered her love for the events industry. With this new found passion, she worked as the event coordinator at the local fairgrounds where she planned many large public events and small private events for the community.

She wanted to work more one on one with clients, so when she discovered Milestone, it was a no brainer!

In her free time, Dayna loves going to Giants games, country concerts, and playing with her dogs.

Samantha Veader

Site Coordinator

About

Samantha’s passion for weddings began after her sister became engaged, when she found herself carefully watching the wedding planner from the sidelines. It was then that she knew pursuing a career in events would suit her well.
Born and raised in Sonoma County, Samantha’s love and knowledge of the area are brought forward in her client’s events. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Business Management and Hospitality and brings a sense of leadership and attention to detail to every event.

Samantha joins the Milestone team with a background in wine, event planning, and floral design.

When Samantha is not handling wedding details, she can be found channeling her creativity into Pin-worthy craft projects or strolling through the farmers market with her famil,

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