It is our team that sets us apart from other venues. Get to know our staff and all the talent, experience, and knowledge behind your successful event. Our expertise is just one of the many benefits to planning your next event at the Northshore Harbor Center.
Kathy Lowrey, General Manager
Kathy Lowrey has worked at the Northshore Harbor Center since before the facility opened its doors in May 2005, first as the Sales and Marketing Manager. In this position, she successfully negotiated significant contracts which allowed the facility to move forward with a steady revenue stream after Hurricane Katrina's devastation and continued to establish a strong client base.
In 2007, she was promoted to General Manager, where she has served as the catalyst for successful business development and overall growth of operations. She has a track record of making decisions that deliver the best results for long term success, while establishing and maintaining lasting customer loyalty. Through every step of her career, she has demonstrated a dedication to excellence and an ability to get the job done. Her motto "no problems, only solutions" has become an attitude that she and her staff utilize to create lasting and long term relationships with clients.
Kathy is a graduate of the International Association of Venue Managers Venue Management School, IAVM Graduate School and as a member of IAVM, serves on the membership committee at the national level and as the Louisiana representative for Region 5. In 2012, she has been selected to and will attend the Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell University, which is widely regarded as number one internationally in the field of hospitality management executive education. Prior to joining the Northshore Harbor Center, Kathy successfully managed sales and operations at several prominent New Orleans area attractions.
Kathy's commitments extend beyond her duties at the Harbor Center. She is also dedicated to serving the community, as is evident through her volunteer efforts with a variety of organizations. She currently serves on the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is Vice-President of the SMH Women's Health Alliance, is a 2009 Leadership Northshore graduate, member and past President of the Slidell Women's Civic Club, a Relay for Life Participant, a Habitat for Humanity Women's Build Volunteer, and a volunteer and coordinator for the East St. Tammany Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program. Her business and community efforts have earned her recognition both on the local and regional levels, including selection as one of City Business's 2009 Women of the Year Award Recipients. She balances her career and volunteer work by spending time with her husband, Bruce, and their four children, enjoying such hobbies as cruising Lake Pontchartrain and exploring the natural beauty of our area.
Arthur "Art" Baudoin, Director of Operations
Arthur Baudoin, a long time resident of Slidell, serves as senior manager for maintenance and operations of the facility, including oversight of our full-time operations staff. He is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the overall building systems and is a key partner to the General Manager to ensure a clean, safe, and inviting facility for all visitors.
Before joining the Northshore Harbor Convention Center team in 2005, Baudoin served as the Building Superintendent/Engineering Supervisor for the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, where he was a member of their operations team for over 10 years. His previous years of experience and knowledge in event and building operations have made him an invaluable member of the Harbor Center team.
When he is not at the facility, Art enjoys spending time relaxing at home with his lovely wife, Kelly, and four children.
Valerie Waeltz, Sales Manager
Valerie Waeltz is an experienced hospitality professional, with nearly 20 years of experience. A New Jersey native, Valerie moved to South Louisiana 20 years ago and began her hospitality career in New Orleans. She has worked for several major hotel chains, in Food and Beverage, Convention Services and Sales. When offered the opportunity to open a new hotel in the Central Business District of New Orleans, she took the occasion to expand her career with that challenge. Years later, that opportunity would come again as she was on the opening team of the Homewood Suites by Hilton Slidell, where she successfully operated and maintained the Sales Department.
Her experience and passion for hospitality has been recognized, and her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. She is a graduate of Homewood Suites by Hilton MVP Elite Program, and received numerous accolades for success over the years. Valerie believes in top notch customer service, and understands customer needs. Her philosophy is “hospitality is like shipbuilding. Building relationships and nurturing friendships is a key part of building the ‘ship’ that is an event and hospitality”.
Valerie is actively involved in our local community. She is a member of the Stennis Space Center Rotary Club (past Treasurer), St. Tammany Hotel, Motel and Campground Association (past Secretary and Treasurer) and is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Northshore. She was a recent representative for the St. Tammany Hotel, Motel and Campground Association to the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission Board of Commissioners. She is also active with the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, and is involved in the Slidell Chapter of Business Women’s Network.
In her leisure time, Valerie enjoys spending time with her 2 sons and friends. She often travels to Florida to visit family and enjoy theme parks.
Eileen Sementilli, Events Manager
With over 25 years experience in the hospitality industry, Eileen Sementilli knows how to plan a successful event. Eileen is a Louisiana Certified Travel Professional and has worked for an international themed restaurant, a destination management and motorcoach company, a city/plantation/swamp tour company and a large concept retail store. With each new career opportunity over the years, she became more involved in the event planning aspect of the industry.
At the Harbor Center, her responsibilities include implementing all aspects of events which are booked at our facility. She attends to the individual details of every event and coordinates the ordering of the necessary pieces of the puzzle that form together to create the event.
She is a seasoned professional that provides each client an opportunity to have a creative and unique event. In this role, she wears many hats and finds the challenges of each event to be an opportunity to provide each client with a little something extra beyond their expectations.
Shari Appel, Events Manager
With over 10 years of Event Management experience and over 20 years of Hospitality experience, Shari Appel uses her trademark skills of problem solving, creativity, and flexibility to help clients produce memorable events and meetings. She excels at logistics and operations, and her attention to detail means that events and meets go smoothly from concept to completion.
Shari is adept at responding quickly to changing circumstances, and she always maintains an upbeat, can-do attitude. As Event Manager, she specializes in customer service that nurtures positive, productive relationships with both clients and suppliers. Shari advances her clients' mission by making the most of their experiences.
It's not surprising that Shari was drawn to event planning with her entertaining nature. Her favorite quote provides some insight to why her events are remarkable. "In every job that must be done there is an element of fun" - Mary Poppins.
A native of New Orleans, Shari connected with the Sheraton New Orleans in 2001 where, throughtout her journey, she held positions of Food & Beverage Supervisor, Banquet Coordinator and Executive Meeting Specialist. In July 2012 Shari delighted at the opportunity to work for the AAA Four Diamond rated Royal Sonesta New Orleans. She was part of a team that managed many high profile events and clients. For 4 years, Shari successfully managed the Royal Teddy Bear Tea, Holiday brunches and coordinated many off-site events including French Quarter Festival, Oyster Festival and the New Orleans Wine and Food Festival.
Shari has also worked for Marriott and most recently for Intercontinental Hotel Group where she excelled in the role of Sales and Catering Manager. Shari is actively involved in our community as a member of the Northshore Lodging Association (past Secretary) and Ambassador for the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce.
Shari resides in Slidell with her husband Bill and two children. In her leisure time she enjoys sporting events, festivals, theater, shopping and crafting.
Matt Rowe, Building Services Manager
An essential part of the Harbor Center management team, Matt is our Building Services Manager and has been with the Northshore Harbor Center since March 2005.
His responsibilities include management of both full and part time maintenance and operations event staff. Matt oversees event equipment set up and break down, as well as maintenance of the inside and outside grounds of the convention center. You will always see Matt with a smile and great attitude, something we have coined "MATTititude."
He is very active in his church, enjoys working out, and reading. Matt is a Slidell native and attended Northshore High School.