The University Events Team

Michael Kloss, CSEP (email)
Emory University Chief of Protocol
and Executive Director, Office of University Events
Certified Special Events Professional

Michael came to Emory University in 2005 to establish the Office of University Events and to provide creative and logistic direction to the University's central events.  In 2007 and 2010 he produced the award-winning series of events known as "The Visit" for the installation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as Presidential Distinguished Professor. In 2008, he directed the Campaign Emory Gala and Celebration events, including Enquérir, an international award-winning original Cirque du Soleil-style production. In 2009 and 2010, Michael was a national Event Solutions Magazine "Spotlight Awards" finalist.  In 2012 he was presented with the Spotlight Award for Organizational Event Planner of the Year.  Within Emory, Michael has received the 2010 Staff Sustainability Award for his work creating Encore! a campus-wide event recycling initiative, and the 2010 D.V.S. Senior Society Award for "beyond the call of duty" service to Emory.

In 2011, Michael partnered with Emory Continuing Education to create a new Event Planning Certificate program at Emory.  He serves as a contract instructor in the program which provides over 30 hours of in-depth event training to future event planners.

Prior to Emory, Michael served as director of university events for the University of Southern California where he also served as director of their 125th anniversary program. He received his bachelor of arts degree in honors liberal arts from the University of Central Florida, and a master of fine arts degree in screen and television writing from the University of Southern California. Prior to working in the events industry, Michael worked in television and film production for Universal Studios and other production companies.  He is a Certified Special Events Professional by the International Special Events Society, a "hallmark of professional achievement in the special events industry. It is earned through education, performance, experience, and service to the industry, and reflects a commitment to professional conduct and ethics."

Joan Gershon (email)
Director, University Board Relations

Joan started at Emory University in 1981 as a writer before moving into special events and donor recognition.  In her time at Emory she has helped to break ground and dedicate over 35 buildings, and has produced many campus-wide celebrations, forums, and receptions. As the manager of the Board of Visitors program, Joan is responsible for programming as well as the nomination, recruitment, and election of new members.  Beginning in 2009, Joan took on logistics planning for many of the Board of Trustees functions. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from New College in Sarasota, Florida and did graduate work at Georgia State University's Urban Life School.  Prior to joining Emory she was the first director of the Pretrial Release Program for the City of Atlanta.

Primary areas of responsibility: Board of Visitors program, Board of Trustee events, and University groundbreakings and dedications

Suzanne Eden-Antola (email)
Senior Event Manager

Suzanne joined Emory University in March of 2007.  She has served as the lead project manager for the WoodPec events featuring the Dalai Lama, as well as the Campaign Emory Gala and Celebration.   She is a graduate from Valdosta State University with a Communications degree and received her teaching certificate from Georgia State University.  Prior to Emory, she worked in Los Angeles in the events industry for Fox Family Worldwide and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and has served as personal assistant and/or estate manager for several Hollywood producers.

Primary areas of responsibility: Presidential events, Lullwater Ambassadors, lead project manager for university-wide event initiatives.

Andrew Shahan (email)
Event Manager

Andrew joined the Office of University Events in the summer of 2006 and has served in the roles of Office Manager and Guest Relations Manager before assuming the role of Event Manger in July 2010.  Prior to joining the office, he served as Event Manager at Emory's Houston Mill House. In addition to other event related positions, Andrew served the Georgia Department of Transportation for thirteen years as a Public Relations Manager.   He received his degree in Communications from Troy University with minors in both English and Journalism.

Primary areas of responsibility: At-large event manager

Helen Starks (email)
Administrative Assistant