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 in Wellesley, MA and an Executive MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, 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 located 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 began operation with its first winery client. Marshall lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, Leslie, their teenage son and large golden retriever. There they enjoy skiing, shooting, golfing and motorcycling.
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 insures the Milestone clients’ experience exceeds their expectations.
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. 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.
Jennifer Hanshew is the newest member of the Milestone team and brings 10 years of hospitality and event experience with her. Originally from the Midwest, Jennifer moved to California at an early age. First introduced to the wine industry following college, she has never looked back. Her passion for all things food and wine has led her to devote the last several years to the hospitality side of the wine industry. Jennifer’s journey began as an office manager at a cult winery in St. Helena, followed by running a highly successful wine club which involved planning the parties and dinners for the members. In her most recent role, Jennifer developed, grew and managed a successful winery events department which included the management of several on property guest houses. Jennifer is married with two active young boys who keep her busy when she is not working. She enjoys time with family, friends, weekend hikes, and traveling whenever possible.
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.
Naomi Hirshfield joined the Milestone team in April 2015 as the Office Manager. Born and raised in Santa Rosa, Naomi frequently volunteered at after school sporting events and began her first job at Mary’s Pizza Shack when she was sixteen. Naomi loved working there and interacting with the varied people in her community. In 2005, Naomi graduated from Bryman College and began working at a medical department where she discovered her love of all things accounting. Married in 2007, Naomi has two little girls and loves coaching her daughters cheerleading team, as well as cheering them on while they race motocross.
A Santa Barbara native, Krista Polizo became fascinated with events as early as high school where she took charge of planning and managing everything from the annual fundraising gala to the high school dances. Krista took what she had learned and headed to California State University, Northridge where she volunteered on and off campus for events throughout her time there, graduating with her Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Hospitality and Tourism Management. As much as Krista loved Santa Barbara, having landed an internship there, she knew she needed to make a move to grow in her career. Krista joined the Milestone team and has never looked back.
Born and raised in Sonoma County, Briana Adviento, always had an eye for design. During college, she volunteered for many local events and was a Special Projects Intern for CAVE, a student run organization, which developed weekend events for students on campus. In May of 2016 she graduated from California State University Chico with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication Studies with a minor in Recreation, Hospitality, and Tourism Management. This gave Briana the skill set to pursue her profession in the event industry. Following graduation Briana moved back home knowing she wanted to follow her dreams of working events within the wine country. She landed her first job after college at V. Sattui Winery as an event coordinator and hospitality administrator where she booked, planned, and executed events ranging from private group tastings to large scaled winery events. When she’s not creating a memorable event experience, you can find Briana relaxing outdoors with her dog, indulging in a good book, hanging out with friends or family, or enjoying and nice glass of red wine.
Macenzie is a San Diego native who fell in love with all that is Wine Country when she arrived four years ago to attend college. Shortly following graduation from Sonoma State University, Macenzie joined the Milestone team. Through her many leadership roles while at SSU, Macenzie found she had a knack for the rigor and detail required to plan successful events. With her passion for learning and her love of tackling new challenges, Macenzie is an adaptable and capable addition to our team. On the weekends, while not at an event, you will find her lounging by the river, planning her next adventure, spending time with family and friends or crafting at home!
Danielle Illing was born in Florida but now calls Santa Rosa her home. She grew up watching her dad plan events and took interest at a young age. To pursue a career in events, Danielle headed to California State University Chico to graduate with a Bachelor in Recreation Administration with an option in Event Management. Prior to graduating Danielle worked at a local winery in the event department as well as a catering company to gain experience in the event industry. To fulfill an internship for graduation, Danielle has joined the Milestone team. When she is not working you will find her spending time with friends and family, backpacking, rock climbing or traveling to new places.