The Ultimate anniversary planning master class

Join us for a virtual gathering in 2024
date TBD

Join Us and Learn To:

  1. Optimize budgets for outstanding outcomes.
  2. Leverage the powerful “anniversary effect.”
  3. Create experiences fitting to the occasion’s significance.
  4. Deploy actionable strategies and creative tactics.
  5. Leverage the anniversary to drive organizational change and brand purpose.
  6. Turn the anniversary into a high-ROI business decision.
  7. Use anniversary as transformational catalyst.
  8. Engage your CEO/President in the significance of the anniversary.
  9. Design with clear strategic purpose, focusing on “why” over “what.”
  10. Mobilize leaders, identify global stewards, and lead boldly.

Widely Regarded as THE Must Attend Masterclass for Anniversary Planning


The Anniversary Forum was absolutely invaluable to jump start our planning!

Chief Marketing Officer
Opry Entertainment

The Anniversary Forum is essential for learning how to leverage your anniversary. Regardless of the industry or planning stage you are in; the information is incredibly pertinent and the knowledge sharing invaluable!

Chief of Staff
DePaul University

The Forum is the best conference I’ve been to. Every attendee is tasked with planning and learning from others, and collaborating, is extremely important.

VP Global Brand Systems

The Forum is the ideal masterclass for planners seeking to deliver a meaningful, memorable anniversary. A significant advantage saving us time, money, and stress!

Chief Communications & Branding Officer
Golden State Foods

Leverage the Power of Your “Tribe”!

The Anniversary Forum is a (2) half-day live virtual event that brings together those in the early stage of planning with your experienced peers who have executed exemplary anniversaries. Presenters, who are Milestone Masters, pull back the curtain and share planning strategies that work, pitfalls to avoid, indispensable insights, and signature programs that engage stakeholders.

Established in 2014 as the only gathering of its kind. The Forum continues to be the definitive masterclass.

2023 Forum Presenters

Talk Topic


CCO & Branding,
75th Anniversary lead
Golden State Foods

Golden State Foods
75th Anniversary
An Unforgettable Campaign
that Indulged all Stakeholders

Celebrating a milestone anniversary is exciting and daunting, especially for organizations like Golden State Foods, a family of global companies. The 75th Anniversary took years of planning and alignment at the highest levels. And it required pristine execution of multi-faceted programs which engaged all stakeholders in GSF’s journey from the beginning to what’s next.

Shellie Frey will detail how she effectively led her Global Brand and Communications team to create a year-long emotional souvenir for its 6,000 associates and 125,000 customers to bring GSF’s 75-year legacy to life in a way they had not done before. From creating multi-media programs, rich storytelling, gamified learning maps, and trivia contests to establishing signature scholarship and community service programs, you’ll understand why the media couldn’t resist covering their Anniversary.

Takeaways Include:

  1. Developing a viable road map for planning successful milestone anniversaries while maintaining effective budgeting with discipline and flexibility
  2. Engaging associates and partners at all levels for success: associates, executives, cross-functional steering committee, and third-party support
  3. Leveraging an organization’s culture to achieve the celebration’s goals and objectives, while producing immersive, multi-media legacy programs that inspire, educate, and entertain
  4. Illustrating the process of publishing commemorative anniversary books and creating captivating storytelling throughout the anniversary year
  5. Leveraging CSR: community service, scholarships, and giving back as part of a milestone year of celebration
Talk Topic


Ex. Dir. of Development,
100th Anniversary lead
Murray State University

How Murray State Racers Stayed on Track to Deliver a Winning Centennial

An anniversary celebration requires time to plan and bold leadership to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. As co-Chair for the Centennial, Tina Bernot will share the strategic planning process, goals they established, and how they methodically centennialized existing programs and created signature anniversary elements designed to engage key constituent groups who experienced the “good feels” of 100 years!

Tina will also share how the team established the budget, created a multi-faceted marketing and branding campaign, and organized the year-long anniversary that resulted in transforming aspects of Murray State University. The Centennial planning team learned a lot about the greatest stories of Murray State’s institutional history, a privilege that comes with working on an anniversary!

Talk Topic


Director of Centennial Coordination
Texas Tech University

Eyes on the Horizon: Texas Tech’s Centennial Celebration

Leading by example has been the key to success for Blayne Beal as he has led Texas Tech University’s Centennial efforts over the last four years. Being both a leader and doer has ensured that this massive undertaking has been a success. Eyes on the Horizon, Texas Tech’s Centennial Campaign, originated after thorough research across the universities various stakeholder groups and has grown into the University’s largest and most comprehensive marketing campaign.

Blayne Beal, in his 22nd year at Texas Tech, will share the University’s approach to its Centennial and provide valuable insight on how such a large organization came together for this milestone occasion.

Talk Topic


Founder, CEO, Chief Creative Officer
Tribe Pictures

Video Storytelling to Transform Milestone Moments into a Movement

Most organizations understand that video is an important addition to their content distribution plan, but exceptional organizations understand how to make video a strategic part of their communications efforts. Throughout the session, Vern Oakley, owner of Tribe Pictures, professor of corporate communications, and creative director behind multiple award-winning anniversary films will discuss how to leverage the power of video storytelling to unite your people around a mission.

From creative ideation to production to distribution, Vern will discuss how prioritizing strategic storytelling at every step of the process will make your video content have ripple effects that last far beyond your organization’s anniversary celebration. In addition, Vern will share a selection of proprietary creative development tools to help guide you through the initial phase of your video strategy.

Talk Topic


Dir., Corp. Affairs Lakehouse Comms, 125th Anniversary lead

Beyond 125: Celebrating Our Legacy, and Our Path Forward

Throughout our history, KPMG has risen to the occasion. For 125 years, we have been essential to significant moments of history and have evolved to meet the needs of our people, clients, and society. Our 125th Anniversary – Beyond125 – was a moment in time to celebrate all we’ve done and all we can do in the future – it served as a connection from our past to the future and gave us pause to reflect with pride on where we’ve been and where we’re going.

In her conversation, Jennifer Muccioli, Director of Corporate Affairs for KPMG Lakehouse, will bring you through the firm’s 125th Anniversary planning and how they used this as an opportunity to create a year-long campaign celebrating their amazing professionals, clients, and the local communities in which they live and work through volunteer service. Through several tent-pole moments (a term adopted from this Anniversary Forum!), the firm created storytelling opportunities that engendered pride in their people and anchored to the firm’s rich culture, purpose, and the important role it plays in society. Stories of the past acted as the prologue to set the future vision and the ambition of diversity, equity, and inclusion as an everlasting firm priority. All of this culminated in a celebratory day of service across the entire firm on August 2, 2022, a day that has now become an annual day to give back.

Talk Topic


SVP, Mktg & Comms,
200th Anniversary lead
Crum & Forster

Crum & Foster’s 200th Anniversary: Where Legacy and Innovation Meet

In 2022, Crum & Forster (C&F) – a leading national property, casualty, and accident & health insurer – celebrated its 200th anniversary, a year-long once-in-a-lifetime celebration. The company’s structure is highly decentralized and had not held a producer/client event at the “corporate” level in more than 20 years. However, C&F knew it wanted to host a series of events for the ages, celebrating the company’s enduring heritage and optimism for its continued success with VIPs, company leaders, partners, producers, clients, and employees.

In this presentation, Hallie Harenski, C&F’s SVP of Marketing & Corporate Communications looks forward to sharing what a took for the team to plan and execute this monumental celebration, the centerpiece of which took place at Ellis Island attended by VIPs, company leaders, partners, producers, clients, and employees, including a U.S. Past President.Hallie will share key results and learnings along with the challenges of chronicling its 200-year history when not much had been catalogued.

Talk Topic


Managing Director
Winthrop Group

Your Milestone Anniversary: A Powerful Platform to Tell Your Story

Milestone anniversaries are largely made up of stories and it’s the people in the stories that bring the anniversary to life. Looking back to founding principles, startup stories, innovations, achievements, challenges and successes along the way, reveal the true character of your organization, that is still part of your DNA today. An anniversary is an ideal time to update, modernize, or even wholly transform the narrative about your organization.  Getting your story “right” is imperative.

As a historian and leader with The Winthrop Group, Stephen has worked closely with many organizations to capture their stories for a commemorative publication, video, exhibit, digital platforms, archives, museum and more.  There are many ways to express your authentic story which, done well, will be the foundation of all you do with your anniversary.

Stephen will focus on the important things to know before considering a physical and/or digital commemorative publications and he looks forward to your questions.

His discussion will include lessons learned along the way, particularly related to common questions:

>When should we begin the process of excavating our story?
>What assets can be used to capture the story and what formats work best to bring the story to life?
>What type of budget is appropriate for physical and/or digital publications, what are the options, and how can costs be reduced?
>How does the story achieve real impact, well beyond the anniversary?
>What types of anniversary publications have been well-received by peer organizations?

Talk Topic


Anniversary University®

Making Milestones Matter

Whether you’re marking your twenty-fifth year in business, a bicentennial, or anything in between, anniversaries offer an opportunity to pause, reflect on all you have accomplished, and forge a path to where you want to take your organization next. Leaders, communicators, and marketers worldwide have successfully integrated milestone anniversaries into their growth plans. Now it’s your turn, and taking advantage of Anniversary University resources will set you on the right path, starting with attending The Anniversary Forum.

As the Founder of Anniversary University®, Lisa had the privilege of interviewing hundreds of executives who embraced the challenges and opportunities of planning a milestone campaign. Their collective insights added to her own, and one of them is that there are common threads of best practices, regardless of the sector, no matter how large or small, global or local, big budget or none.Lisa will share key planning considerations detailed in her playbook Milestone Anniversary Planning, a comprehensive playbook for leaders. Lisa will also talk about the “Anniversary Effect,” which contributes to transformative and measurable outcomes beyond what may be imagined.


Learning from other’s experiences at The Anniversary Forum is invaluable! Gaining knowledge before an intensive process like this pays dividends, allows you to avoid costly mistakes, and advance your ideas further.

David French

SVP Marketing and Centennial lead
National Park Foundation

Anniversary University is the ideal masterclass for planners seeking to deliver a meaningful, memorable celebration. AU will save you time, money, and stress! A significant advantage during your planning process.


Chief Branding & Communications Officer
75th Anniversary lead
Golden State Foods

Lisa Alonge understands the real purpose of an anniversary. Lisa’s book will help you develop a sound strategic plan and get you there faster and smarter.

Kevin Bishop

Head of Global Brand and Centennial lead

Milestone Anniversary Planning is an exceptional handbook that every cross-functional leader on the team must read!

Dan Hasler

EVP Communications and 150th Anniversary lead
Purdue University

Our thanks to Lisa and her crew for a valuable Anniversary Visioning Workshop, which opened our eyes to the unique possibilities for our 50th Anniversary and helped us align our thinking. We had no idea this resource existed!

Senior Managing Director and 50th Anniversary lead
Southwest Airlines

I devoured the playbook and cited it over 30 times in our Centennial strategic planning meeting with our CEO.

Laura Hollingsworth

CMO and 100th Anniversary lead
Opry Entertainment

Attending The Anniversary Forum is essential for learning how to leverage your anniversary regardless of the industry or stage in the planning process.

Steven Stout

Chief of Staff
DePaul University

Finally, the most informed expert on anniversaries shares all she knows to master the challenge. Lisa’s playbook is a game changer, so much more than benchmarks. It has proven structures and tools to create a successful, one-time program.

Michael Merk

Director Corporate Communications and Centennial lead

The Anniversary Forum was time very well spent. It helped us “look around the corner” and shift mindset to “it’s much more than a party.” Collaborating with others was invaluable.

Kristin Calcagno

Director Corporate and Employee Communications
Charles Schwab

Partnering with Anniversary University®️ was an exceptional experience! They skillfully designed and conducted a planning workshop for our 250th Anniversary. Their knowledge with planning anniversaries was extremely valuable.

Paul Patrick

Chief Financial Officer
College of Charleston

Lisa Alonge was a godsend as we began planning for our 100th Anniversary. She inspired us to “think big” and “lean in” with confidence. Her connections to vendors were invaluable. More than that, Lisa’s fun and just the right “coach” I needed.

Tammy Robbins

Sr Dir. Marketing Communications and Centennial lead
Shriners Children’s

The Anniversary Forum exceeded our expectations by exposing us to valuable insights and great connections. We took away actionable plans and strategies to implement.

Eric Haman

Director Global Communications
West Pharmaceuticals

The Value of Attending


Learn from your peers, avoid pitfalls, and gain valuable insights.


Network with peers and creative partners for strategic collaboration.


Discover how to use your anniversary as a legacy gift for societal good.
One day = a year of ideas!

Who Attends

Members of the anniversary planning committee including Communications, Marketing, Brand, HR, Chief of Staff, Institutional Advancement, Executive Directors, Historians, and CSR leaders.

Previous Attendees

Speaker Interviews

Karen Kozak, Cargill 150th Anniversary
Kevin Bishop, IBM Centennial
Ted Ryan, Coca-Cola 100th Anniversary
Dan Hasler, Purdue University 150th Anniversary