Conferences & Events

Our team of event planning experts have a combined 80 years of experience. From event planning agencies for Tier 1 brands to luxury hotels, nightlife, and higher education institutions, they are trained and experiences to understand, envision, and bring to life just about any event you have in mind!

UTM departments can find out who their designated Special Events Coordinator is by contacting (905) 569-4421 or emailing confserv.utm@utoronto.ca.


Meet our Team

Lisa Ali, CMP | Special Events Coordinator

Lisa is an Event Professional with over 15 years of progressive event management experience. Supporting this experience, one of her proudest achievements was receiving her Certified Meeting Professional designation (CMP), an internationally recognized elite standard of excellence demanded by the meetings and events industry. In addition, she has also successfully obtained her certification in Special Event Management.

Lisa’s past experience included the role of National Meeting Planner where she hosted meetings and conferences across Canada attended by leading doctors in the fields of science and bio-pharmacology.

In her most recent role prior to joining the UTM Conference Services Team, she worked as an Events Specialist for one of Canada’s largest landmarks in the city, the CN Tower. Lisa’s experience and strong industry knowledge have helped her foster key relationships with C-suite clients and other leaders across a full range of fortune 500 companies. As a dedicated professional, she has a record of exceeding client expectations through a wide array of multi-faceted events within the Corporate and Meetings & Events business markets.

Outside of work, Lisa is passionate about advocating for important causes like violence against women and mental health issues. She loves spending time with her family, enjoys anything wellness-related that involves promoting a healthy mind, body and soul and will never turn down an opportunity to dine out with friends, especially for brunch! 

(905) 569-5727 | lisaa.ali@utoronto.ca  


Sabrina Coccagna | Assistant Director, Conference & Events Services

Sabrina studied Hotel and Restaurant Management at Georgian College and has been in the Hospitality business ever since. She has spent several years working for high end hotels including the Chateau Whistler, Sutton Place Hotel, and the Windsor Arms where she learned how to understand, plan for, and effectively manage conference business and accommodations for such. She worked at Auberge Du Pommier, Steak Frites, and Biffs where she focused more on the food and wine side of the business, and before coming to UTM, worked as an operations manager for Horseshoe Tavern and Lee’s Palace where she organized film shoots. This combined 20 years of experience has prepared her to effectively oversee the conference business, as well as special events here at UTM with expertise across accommodations, event planning, food & wine selections, and more. She also oversees the film shoots on the UTM property as well. This role perfectly encapsulates her three passions - food, beverage, and entertainment!

905 828 5279 | sabrina.coccagna@utoronto.ca


Lauren Grenier, Special Events Coordinator

Lauren, affectionately known as LG, has experience in many roles in the hospitality industry, including manager, supervisor, marketing coordinator, bartender, server, and hostess. Throughout the last number of years she has travelled around the world and even lived abroad in Nice, France back in 2012, and says that she has learned a great deal about people, cultures, traditions and diversity through all of her experiences.  

LG studied Advanced Business and Marketing and received her Diploma from Sheridan College. As a student she joined the Enactus student group (helps students find their entrepreneurial spirit and develop leadership skills). She is now a supporter and advisor to the UTM Enactus team. She has also received a Post Graduate Certificate in Advertising Account Management at Humber College.

When she isn’t working you will find LG on the golf course improving her swing, attending sporting events & live concerts, leading a co-ed softball team on Tuesday nights, spending time with her family and friends, and planning her next adventure abroad.

(905) 828-5278 | lauren.grenier@utoronto.ca


Mireille Khreich | Special Events Coordinator

Mireille’s first role was in The Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at St. George.  Her experience include event planning, recruitment and outreach, administration and client services, as well as teaching! Mireille enjoys her job and especially the sales and event management part of it. She works on coordinating film shoots on campus, external conferences, and both internal and external events. She is passionate about building great relationships with her clients, and thrives in challenging and team oriented environments. 

Among the numerous events Mireille has worked on, some stand out. Her favorite was planning the Taste of Fame, a charity event in support of The United Way, hosting Chef Angus MacKinnon, a chef for celebrities who was touring with Roger Waters at the time. The other was a major Disney film shoot in June 2019. Even though this film shoot was time consuming and challenging, Mireille experienced the thrill of being behind the scenes, and was astonished by the extravagant set dressing that transformed the space into an aquarium.

Outside of work, Mireille is committed to her fitness goals and healthy lifestyle, at least most of the time. Mireille enjoys adventures, travelling and learning about new cultures, and she makes sure to take at least one long haul trip each year. 

(905) 569-4615 | mireille.khreich@utoronto.ca


Lauren Merton, Special Events Coordinator

Lauren joined the Conference and Events Services office back in 2007 as hasn’t looked back. Lauren’s background is rather unique having left Canada to live in a 3rd world country on a small island south of the Bahamas where she lived and worked for 18 years. During this time she owned and operated 3 businesses, managed a large complex of stores and apartments, and led a sales team of high-end luxury condominiums, & hosted promotional events. Upon her return to Canada she was hired on at Business Services for a contract – her first experience at UTM. She decided at that time this is where she wanted to be. As luck would have it, a new position was opened up in Conference Services and her career began. As Lauren says ‘it was just meant to be”.

Over the years Lauren has coordinated many events including televised Mayor’s debates, Grand Openings, and International Conferences with guests from all corners of the globe (literally). It can be very challenging with the language barrier, Lauren admits, but it’s rewarding to give them a great UTM experience.

When not working Lauren spends time with family and friends laughing and cooking and loves the cottage summer life. “I used to be braver” laughs Lauren –  skydiving, cliff-jumping, motorcycling, scuba-diving and travelling often island-hopping in a small plane. I even flew it! “Not solo, of course” she says, “never that brave!” Now, her feet are a little more firmly planted.

(905) 569-5727 | lauren.merton@utoronto.ca


Lindsay Passmore (née Gidomski), Special Events Coordinator 

Lindsay graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Criminology from Western Ontario, followed by a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sport & Event Marketing at George Brown College. Previous to this role, Lindsay worked at the St. George Campus in the Department of Advancement, and this is where she fell in love with planning events for the University of Toronto. From Alumni events, to family programming, to the historic and record setting BOUNDLESS Campaign that has raised over $2.6 billion, Lindsay gained experience planning and executing a wide scope of events for U of T. Prior to U of T she worked at a marketing agency where she gained experience in client relations and experiential marketing working with high profile clients such as Rogers and Molson/Coors.

Some of Lindsay’s most proud accomplishments at UTM are planning the ErinoakKids Summer Conference, an Independent Living Program provided to youth as an opportunity to develop skills for independent living in a community based setting focusing on preparing for the transition to adulthood. She is also proud of the Indigenous Menu Launch; this was an event for clients to come for a sit down lunch, meet the Chef Alan Paul, and taste all of the menu items with the opportunity to provide their feedback. Items from this menu are now offered for any events taking place on campus.  

Outside of work you can find Lindsay at her cottage, cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs and stopping to pet every single dog that walks by.

(905) 569-4894 | lindsay.passmore@utoronto.ca


Treizi Perihana | Manager, Conference & Special Events

Treizi graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Her previous work experience is in sales and events at the Chestnut Conference Centre and at the Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel. These event-focused roles working directly with clients to plan and execute events have prepared her to effectively multi-task in a dynamic and fast-paced environment in order to meet business objectives and exceed client expectations. Prior to events, Treizi worked in Human Resources at Marriott Hotels where she honed the “people-skills” she believes are needed to work in the hospitality industry.

Some of the events at UTM that Treizi is most proud of, are the Designated Survivor film shoot where they filmed in numerous locations across campus in a short time span including the MN building when it opened before she had been given full access to the space.  Against all odds, this film shoot was very successful. Treizi is also proud of arranging the Kids Camp meals for over 300 students over the course of two months. She worked with the athletics department and the kitchen to coordinate seamless meal services that would accommodate all students given their age and dietary restrictions.

Treizi is also currently working towards her project management certificate at the University of Toronto. Outside of work, Treizi enjoys traveling! She has currently visited 20 different countries and she particularly enjoys learning about different cultures and indulging in local cuisine.

(905) 569-4421 | treizi.perihana@utoronto.ca



Rachel Samson  | Special Events Coordinator

Rachel’s passion for service is grounded in her involvement in social development work. Prior to moving to Canada in 2014, she worked as a project manager in the Philippines where she spearheaded a rehabilitative play program for children affected by typhoons. She also worked in marketing and public relations for a leadership formation program at the Ateneo de Manila University – the same university where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Fun fact, she is also a graduate of this leadership formation program.

Rachel’s first job after moving to Canada is as a front desk agent at small independent hotel in Regina. From there, she fell in love with the hospitality industry and quickly worked her way up to a sales manager position. She eventually moved on to do sales and event management for DoubleTree by Hilton Regina. While at the DoubleTree, she coordinated events and travel groups from various market segments including Government, Aboriginal, Entertainment, Sports, and SMERF.  Her combined experience in event management and relationship building skills helped her earn many new and repeat business for the property. Aside from sales and events, Rachel also managed social media and provided marketing support for the hotel.

Recently joining the UTM Conference Services team, Rachel is excited to learn and contribute to the team’s goal of providing quality service to their clients. Outside of work, Rachel enjoys both travelling to new places and being a homebody. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends all over the globe, every chance she gets.

(905) 569-4887  | r.samson@utoronto.ca  


Questions? Contact us -


​confserv.utm@utoronto.ca
(905) 569-4421
Davis Building suite 3094H

Making experiences, exceptional