Who We Are

Putting people first since 1905.

Our Mission

As employee-owners who are committed to delivering success, we will provide our customers forward-thinking solutions through insight, collaboration, strategy, and personalized service.

Our Vision

To deliver industry-leading service that enables our customers to create memorable experiences while maintaining a commitment to strengthen our community.

Employee Owned. Employee Driven.

As an ESOP company, Shepard’s team is personally invested in the success of every event we produce.

Our Values

The guiding principles that help direct what we do and how we do it.

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

We bring integrity and straightforwardness to all of our partnerships.

Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.

We strive to be available to our customers and ready to meet the moment.

We bring enthusiasm and determination to everything we do.

We are kind and caring with everyone we encounter.

We foster a culture of inclusion and celebrate our diversity.

We’re building a more inclusive culture, one conversation at a time.

As a value-driven company, we are committed to building a workplace that champions equality, values different backgrounds, and embraces diverse perspectives. By fostering an inclusive culture, we strive to remove barriers and create equal opportunity for all Shepard associates. We continue to be intentional with our efforts and encourage collaboration, to create an engaging work environment and better serve our customers.

Health and Safety

From our warehouse protocol to our health and wellness policies, ensuring the safety of our associates and customers is our top priority.

Community Impact

We give back to the places where we live and work. See what we’ve been up to!

Sustainability

We understand the impact our business has on the planet. Learn about the green practices we’ve put in place to reduce our carbon footprint.

We are committed to providing industry leading service. To honor this commitment, you will always deal with the same account production team from start to finish.
When the event lifecycle is short, speed matters. Shepard’s fast—and our turnaround times are guaranteed.

Communications Response: 24 hours

New Design: 6 days

Redesign: 3 days

New Floorplan: 6 days

Maxfit Floorplan or Show Guide Floorplan: 3 days

Maxfit Floorplan or Show Guide Floorplan: 3 days

Customer service

A Century of Events (and Counting)

Since 1905, we’ve been creating extraordinary event experiences. Our business is built on a foundation of customer service with a uniting passion for bringing people together.

Over the years we’ve had the privilege of working alongside people and organizations who have made history. We planned the first event at the Georgia World Congress Center. We produced the release event for Gone with the Wind in 1939. And we have managed everything from the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival to the induction ceremony for the Golf Hall of Fame.

As thrilled as we are to have been behind the scenes of so many amazing events, it’s the personal connections that matter most to us. We are recognized in the industry for our personal touch, professionalism, and can-do culture.

Shepard represents the evolution of the general service contractor to event business partner. We operate on the premise that the impact we have on our customers’ success will directly impact the success of our own business.

We’re at the forefront of virtual and hybrid events, eager to take up the latest technological innovations without ever forgetting what really matters: the incredible feeling of pulling off a memorable event. Here’s to another 100 years.

Leadership

Our leadership team brings decades of combined experience and a uniting passion for the events industry.

Carl F. Mitchell

Executive Chairman

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Carl is a Georgia native, having grown up on a dairy farm. He was educated in Morgan County public schools, University of Maryland and Georgia State University. He spent 18 months on active duty with the U.S. Army in South Korea.

He has spent his entire career in the trade show industry, starting with Manncraft in Atlanta in 1971. He was appointed vice president and general manager of GES in 1976, moving up to regional vice president of GES in 1978. Carl purchased Shepard with his then partner, Sherman Wade, in 1982.

He has served on the board of the Atlanta Convention Visitor Bureau and the local boards of the American Red Cross and the National Kidney Foundation. He was one of the original commissioners representing the convention services companies on the APEX Initiative of the Convention Industry Council. In addition to all of this, Carl has served on the board of the Exhibition Service Contractors Association, acting for two terms as ESCA president.

As Shepard has grown to a combination of 16 offices nationwide, Carl has transitioned to the role of Executive Chairman – still active and involved with Shepard business on a daily basis.

Steve Basch

Chief Executive Officer

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Steve Basch joined Shepard in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer, leading all aspects of the company’s financial management, including his instrumental role in implementing Shepard’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Shepard in 2016, assuming an expanded leadership role in all aspects of the company.

Prior to joining Shepard, he held leadership roles in financial planning and analysis, operations planning, investor relations, and tax with Price WaterhouseCoopers, Twelve Baskets, and Star Packaging Corporation.

Frank Villamar

Chief Financial Officer

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Frank is a seasoned professional. After receiving his first Master’s degree in accounting from Florida State University, he successfully established himself in the accounting and “start-up” spaces. He earned his second Master’s degree from Emory in 2007, and from there he has held titles such as Controller, Senior Director of Finance, and VP of Finance. Most recently, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Turnberry Innovations. Outside of work, Frank enjoys spending time with his wife and four dogs, traveling, and wine tasting.

Kevin Bird

Executive Vice President, Sales

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With more than 20 years of sales and event industry experience, Kevin Bird’s career has been marked by establishing high-performing sales teams and achieving outstanding results in driving business efficiency and growth in fast-paced markets. He stepped into the role of Executive Vice President of Sales in spring 2018 to oversee the global championing of innovation in sales, marketing, and new product and service deployment with a focus on driving profitable growth and customer satisfaction. In his prior role at Shepard as Vice President of Sales Operations, Bird led the company’s strategy in creating a sustainable infrastructure to increase customer engagement and growth in strategic accounts.

Prior to Shepard, Kevin was with Nielsen Business Media (now Emerald Expositions) where he was Group Show Director for their healthcare portfolio of events.

Steve Margos

EVP, Operations

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In winter 2017, Steve Margos became Shepard’s Executive Vice President of Operations, taking on the pivotal role of spearheading Shepard’s industry-leading operations and logistics. Serving various leadership roles within Shepard since 2013, Steve has more than 15 years of event operational experience, including General Manager of the Las Vegas branch where he was instrumental in the branches exponential growth from 2007-2016.

Ayla Carswell

Human Resources Manager

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Ayla Carswell became Shepard’s Human Resources Manager in 2019, bringing nearly a decade of experience in the field. She oversees all aspects of human resources management for more than 300 active employees. Her efforts are focused on employee relations, legal compliance, benefits administration, recruiting, managing performance, creating policy, and fostering an inclusive, engaged, and dynamic culture at Shepard.

Jody Weathington

Head of Info Tech

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Jody Weathington started his career at Shepard in 2005 where he has progressed from warehouse associate to logistics and accounting. In 2009, he took over as IT Director. Jody holds Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Managerial Sciences. Jody is the proud father of four children; two boys and two girls.

Sarah Feske

Senior VP, Acct Production

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Sarah Feske is Shepard’s Senior Vice President of Account Production. She oversees all aspects of account management and department productivity. She is responsible for Shepard’s strategic and systematic approach to account management and has a heavy hand in the development of innovative tools that will improve customer experience during all aspects of the event planning cycle.

Sarah began her career with Shepard as an intern while enrolled in Georgia State University’s Hospitality Program and returned to Shepard immediately after graduation to begin her events career as an Account Executive. She has grown her career at Shepard, occupying several positions within the account management team that have provided her the knowledge and skill set to succeed in her current role.

Sarah is passionate about customer service and is known by her colleagues for her creativity, responsiveness, and problem-solving abilities. When Sarah isn’t on the road, she’s enjoying time at home with her dogs or can be found hitting the soccer fields to get her heart rate up.

John Henley

EVP, Audio Visual

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John Henely, Executive Vice President of Shepard AV, has over 25 years of experience in the audio visual industry. Prior to joining Shepard, he served in various capacities but most recently as an Area Director where he was responsible for operations and business development strategy for multiple properties in the Atlanta region.