In 2008 McGowan Durpetti & Associates was founded on the principle that event planners must be good sources of creative ideas combined with practical experience, flexibility and know-how to manage an event from beginning to end.
Over the next two years MD&A worked with various corporate, social and non profit clients, producing numerous events, including the top event of BizBash Chicago’s Top 100 Events list – the Green Tie Ball. Exhibit City News, the nation’s only tradeshow industry newspaper, named Michelle as one of their top 40 under 40 of 2009. Michelle was also thrilled to join the Chicago Chapter of Wish Upon A Wedding: the World’s first nonprofit wedding wish granting organization.
In June of 2010 Michelle steered McGowan Durpetti & Associates in a new direction with the re-launch of the company as Michelle Durpetti Events, expanding its list of services to include wedding coordination and destination management in addition to event management and creative development. Michelle comes from a long line of entrepreneurial spirit and is proud of her company’s perpetual commitment to excellence.
Michelle attended college in both the United States and Italy, eventually graduating from Dominican University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Italian Language Studies. She began her career with an internship at Jasculca/Terman & Associates a Chicago based public relations firm specializing in PR and event management. She began her internship on the public relations side of the firm, on the creative and strategic development team where she worked on various projects providing her invaluable hands-on experience with grass roots outreach, media pitching and placement.
During her time at Jasculca/Terman, Michelle worked on many events for both corporate and non-profit clients alike, including: After School matters, AT&T, the Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCEO) Illinois, Midwest Generation, the Chicago Housing Authority, Washington Mutual, (then) Senator Hilary Clinton’s book singing tour, President Barack Obama’s 2004 IL senate campaign, and the 2004 AFL-CIO democratic primary presidential debates. Michelle was also part of an eight person team that spent much of 2004 travelling to college campuses throughout the country for Declare Yourself – a non-partisan youth voter registration initiative created by famed television producer Norman Lear. Along with an original (though unsigned) Dunlap version of the Declaration of Independence, they journeyed campus to campus with an incredible mulit-media exhibit, spoken word poets, cast members from various years of MTV’s Real World and the declaration of independence – all to inspire young Americans to have a voice in their government.
The journey with Jasculca/Terman & Associates ended with what still is a personal and professional highlight for Michelle: being a member of the 60+ team that produced the William J. Clinton presidential library Grand Opening dedication ceremony. The event was live in 30 countries, with thousands in the audience, including dignitaries, celebrities, politicians, and internationally known figures alike.
After more then 3 years at J/T, Michelle accepted a position at Edelman, a full service global public relations firm, working on various accounts including Unilever and AXE men’s body spray. By the age of 26, Michelle realized that the corporate life was not for her and accepted various positions utilizing her fluency in Italian while working for the Italian Trade Commission, an Italian government office throughout the United States that cultivates trade between Italy and the U.S.
During that time, she began freelancing as an events specialist and produced various private events including birthdays,weddings, the grand opening of the sales office atLincoln Park 2520 and both the 60th and 65th anniversary celebrations of Chicago restaurant Gene & Georgetti. This was a highlight for Michelle as Gene & Georgetti has been a family owned and operated business for close to 70 years, and that family is Michelle’s – Founder Gene Michelotti was her grandfather.
Although she currently operates and manages her own business, Michelle still collaborates on all marketing and public relations strategies and can be seen from time to time working the floor on the weekends with her family. She has been horse crazy for most of her life, and is an avid equestrian – and especially enjoys competing in various horse shows throughout Illinois and the U.S.
Michelle Durpetti Events is proud to have produced over 150 events – including celebrities such as Terry O’Quinn from the hit ABC TV series Lost, Cindy Chiang, winner of The Amazing Race, and Billie Jean King with the Tennis Opportunity Program. We have worked on such events as a DreamWorks film premiere and with esteemed clients including the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Chicago Gateway Green, the Chicago Opera Theater, and more. MDE also produces events for Michelle’s family business, legendary Chicago restaurant Gene & Georgetti, including the 70th Anniversary Film Premiere at Park West. In the last two years, we have produced over 45 weddings for clients at such sought after venues as the Chicago History Museum and The Palmer House among many more.
Michelle completed her term on the Chicago Chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding in the Fall of 2012. She continues to dedicate herself to producing flawless events for her clients and still enjoys donating time to charity, both professionally and personally.