Dream Team

We live for orchestrating unforgettable events, and we love making you look good. Here’s a little background on the people moving your events forward:

Lori James-Brownell

President & Owner

AZA Events President and Owner Lori James Brownell has been one of the Southwest’s most creative, innovative and successful event producers for nearly thirty years, lending her considerable talents to an extraordinary broad range of clients and businesses.

Lori’s penchant for professionalism, visionary take on the event-planning process and undeniable Midas touch when it comes to destination event management has made her one of the most sought-after DMC professionals across Arizona, Southern California and the Southwestern United States. Single-handedly responsible for taking AZA Events from a small, Arizona-specific operation to a thriving multi-million dollar company, Lori is perhaps most recognized for her ability to not just anticipate client needs before they’re even discussed, but to deliver them well beyond what’s expected.

Roger Brownell

CFO & Owner

Roger Brownell brings an abundance of business experience to the AZA Events team, stemming from a long and storied past in business, finance and real estate. A behind-the-scenes machine of sorts, Roger handles the financial, legal and human resources side of the business and ensures that all AZA administrative tasks stay firmly on track.

Born and bred in Buffalo, New York and a proud graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo, Roger ran his own business for forty years before becoming an integral part of the AZA team. During rare off-the-clock moments, he’s an avid day trader who also holds pilot, scuba and real estate licenses, and when it comes to his work, he’s a firm believer that if you take great care of your clients, success will take care of itself.

Ciara Franklin

Senior Program Manager

This smart and savvy second-generation Arizona native boasts a background in both tourism and meeting planning, and uses her keen memory, sharp eye for detail and abundant creative and marketing talents to keep clients coming back event after event.

Passionate about family, hiking, her rescue pup, Jackson, and her career, Ciara brings an impressive combination of youthful exuberance and professional wisdom to the AZA Events team. When it comes to dotting I’s and crossing T’s in preparation for a big event, rest-assured that Ciara has every facet covered.

After two years in our Scottsdale headquarters, Ciara and Jackson set sail for San Diego where she continues to represent AZA’s premier destination management services throughout Southern California.

Jessica Hendricks

Program Manager

Jessica Hendricks knows a thing or two – or 10 – about how to celebrate special occasions, having grown up under the watchful eye of the owner of The Paper Place, a Scottsdale institution known for its unique and eye-catching invitations, stationery and other goods and accessories. A Phoenix native and proud University of Arizona graduate, Jessica was raised in an environment where even the simplest “family dinner” turned into a full-scale affair, and it shows in her ability to take events of all sizes and make them lively, inviting and unforgettable occasions.

A master of managing high stress times, Jessica prides herself on her ability to minimize tensions and keeping everyone smiling. Having essentially been born in the industry before working events across Arizona, Los Angeles and the western United States, Jessica finds that her biggest success come in not just putting on great celebrations but taking a blank space and creating something significant and memorable.

Whitney Olinger

Program Manager

A born-and-bred Wisconsinite, Whitney Olinger worked in public relations and event planning for some of the nation’s most notable names before finding her footing at AZA Events. A proud graduate of Savannah, Georgia’s Savannah College of Art + Design, Whitney streamlined her public relations and event-planning prowess while representing Roxy/Quicksilver, Urban Outfitters and Neiman Marcus at Scottsdale Fashion Square before settling in at AZA to focus on event-planning, exclusively. 

Whitney prides herself on her ability to see special projects and plans through from conception to completion, and her inherently organized nature lends itself well to the trials and stresses that often arise in the event-planning industry. When not on the clock, the Arizona transplant enjoys cultivating her collection of cacti, spending time with her beloved boxer and embarking on outdoor adventures across Arizona and beyond.