Tonja Abel

Tonja Abel

Event Planner / Project Coordinator

Portfolio Highlights

The Walt Disney Company

Dallas Business Journal

Work History

Work experience
Feb 2012 - Jun 2014

Coordinator, Meeting Services

Tenet Healthcare Corporation
  • Managed portfolio of off-site meetings, and assist with the coordination of Corporate Board meetings, leadership conferences, and special events. Oversaw 20+ room conference center; Reserved meeting rooms, handled any catering, AV, and logistic needs.
  • Sourced, negotiated, and contracted with hotels and restaurants for small to mid-sized off-site conferences, dinners and meetings. Coordinated budget reports, travel manifests, BEOs, rooming lists, and off-site logistics.
  • Worked closely with internal clients to ensure all needs were met and communicated effectively to their meeting attendees.
  • Implemented best practice procedures and new policy guidelines to enhance internal customer satisfaction including developing new user guide and conducting training on scheduling system.
  • Prepared monthly report showing conference center and off-site activity, cost savings, and charges per department.
Mar 2010 - Present

Contract Coordinator & Consulting Positions

Self - Employed

Clients include: MEDCO Construction (A Division of Baylor Health), My Possibilities, The Walt Disney Company, The Walt Disney Studios, Dallas Business Journal and Steamboat Ventures (A Division of Disney)

Jul 2011 - Oct 2011

Event Co-Chair (Volunteer)

My Possibilities (Non-Profit)
  • Co-Chair - Event Fundraising Committee on two events.Managed relations with venue, caterer, and event décor.Oversaw logistics while assisting my co-chair with the coordination of volunteers, silent auction, raffles, and promotional materials.Worked closely with over 20 participating local merchants, oversaw marketing activities and the event’s fundraising activities.(Volunteer Position)
Feb 2011 - Feb 2011

Event Coordinator (Contract)

The Walt Disney Company
  • Stage manager of three breakout sessions given by senior level executives at Disney’s Investors Conference at the Disneyland Resort. Supervised set-up of venue, A/V, lighting, staging, security, the flow of presentations and coordinated movement of four attendee breakout tracks.
Jan 2011 - Feb 2011

Event Coordination Consultant (Contract)

The Walt Disney Studios
  • Provided event counsel and on-site coordination of a CES Expo at The Walt Disney Studios.Provided recommendations for technical set-up, advice on project timelines, and coordination of tradeshow logistics. Advised on audio visual and technical planning, agenda, marketing/communications, catering, coordination of vendors, and flow of event.
  • Managed trade show floor and supervised set-up of event venue.Coordinated A/V, lighting, props, networking, catering, security and signage for event.
Aug 2010 - Dec 2010

Interim Event Planner (Contract)

Dallas Business Journal
  • With guidance from the Publisher, plan and execute all details of Dallas Business Journal events to result in maximum profitability. Drive event attendance and revenue, generate subscriptions, and strengthen relationships with event guests and sponsors while achieving maximum profit on each event.
  • Track all event revenue and expenses to maintain current and accurate budgets for all projects.
  • Work closely with the Marketing Coordinator regarding all event program and marketing issues.
  • Assist the Publisher with other projects: customer development and retention, product development and improvement, media relations, employee relations, promotions, ad and signage development, marketing, sales development, etc.
  • Successfully managed the 2010 Best Places to Work Awards Luncheon for over 1000 attendees, the 2010 Best CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon with over 700 attendees, the 2010 Best Corporate Counsel Awards Reception and Industry Outlook CEO Panel with over 300 attendees each.
Mar 2010 - Jun 2010

Event Coordination Consultant (Contract)

Steamboat Ventures, LLC.
  • Provided event counsel for Steamboat Ventures and on-site coordination of the June 2010 Steamboat Expo at The Walt Disney Studios.Provided recommendations for technical set-up during weekly conference calls.Reviewed weekly progress of trade show and speaker panel coordination.Advised on audio visual and technical planning, agenda, and flow of event.
  • Coordinated trade show floor and supervised set-up of event venue.Coordinated A/V, lighting, props, networking, and digital signage for event.
Jul 2000 - Dec 2008

Sr. Planner, Events and Collaboration

The Walt Disney Company

Senior Planner, Events and Collaboration

  • Over 8-years large-scale event management experience.Produced quarterly forums, expos, conferences, and virtual events.Collaborated with the senior executive to develop event plans, scripts, speaking notes, and prepare material for Q&A sessions.Managed all aspects of planning for events including – partnered with other divisions, created and managed budgets, managed staff, cultivated internal and external vendors and resources, negotiated contracts, plus created and implemented marketing strategies and developed online communities.
  • Produced projects independently, maintained budget oversight, managed production schedules, designed and implemented marketing strategies, achieved project completion under budget and exceeding executive expectations. Managed multiple projects simultaneously, with the ability to direct others, set priorities, manage timelines, and give valuable feedback.
  • Acted as Technical Director for events – scheduled and ran production meetings and rehearsals; Coordinated AV equipment and video conference/steaming video resources. Managed technicians, coordinated with facilities, provided stage management.

Special Projects Coordinator

  • Coordinated quarterly forums, technology showcases as noted above and special events including holiday parties, private screenings and lunches, studio tours, and other enrichment activities for the department.
  • Partnered with multiple teams, senior technology executives, and key stakeholders throughout the company relative to events and projects. Interfaced effectively with VIP’S, CEO’S AND CTO’S of Fortune 500 Companies.
  • Coordinated marketing plan including creative development of promotional materials, event signage, handouts, and online marketing including use of wikis and blogs and ensured quality of creative materials.
  • Worked closely with Senior Vice President on multiple research and design projects.
  • Maintained, renewed and circulated all trades, newspapers, and magazine subscriptions for department.



Bachelor of Arts

University of Texas at Dallas

  • Graduated Cum Laude.GPA 3.67
  • Honors Thesis: “An Ethical Society: Valuing personal interpretation, involvement in community, and social responsibility”, 1993.

Technical Skills

  • Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word), Keynote, FileMaker Pro, SAP. 
  • PC/Mac OS.
  • Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Creative Suite, SmartDraw, Signup4, SalesForce, Peoplecube.
  • Wiki/HTML/Confluence, SharePoint – writer/editor of event, collaboration, and department sites.
  • Technical background with familiarity of leading emerging technologies.
  • Strong editorial skills; Chesterfield Writer’s Fellowship semi-finalist in 1999.