About

Who We Are

Core Values

  • We believe in integrity, professionalism and fairness without compromise.
  • We believe relationship, partnership and collaboration are our top priorities.
  • We believe in a global, educated and forward thinking view of event design.
  • We believe in consistency in product and excellence in delivery of every detail.

What We Do

AOO has successfully led the way in customized event design and production by taking the elements of popular culture, architecture, lifestyle and fashion as inspiration. These elements are reinterpreted to create award-winning, personalized experiences for all types of events.

  • Customized Designer Decor
  • Live Show Entertainment & Production
  • Large Scale Event Management and Logistics
  • Brand Strategy for Corporate, Charitable, and Social Clients

Social Events - Corporate Events - Charitable Events

AOO is a multi-faceted creative company, specializing in event design and show production. David Merrell founded the company in 1989 with an understanding of social and corporate client objectives. Meeting and exceeding these goals have made AOO one of the nation’s most respected and sought-after design and production firms and has garnered it many Gala Awards for individual events as well as an individual award for Designer of the Year, 2007, for Merrell himself. AOO designs and produces corporate meetings, marketing events, movie premieres, private parties, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvah celebrations and more throughout the United States from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara to New York, Florida and Washington, D.C. in addition to numerous international destinations.  AOO has an in-house floral design studio, lead by floral artist, Jason Vorse.  

David Merrell

CEO/Creative Director

David MerrellSince its inception in 1989, David E. Merrell, CEO & Creative Director of AOO Events, has taken the event industry by storm. With a name synonymous with cutting-edge and innovative event design and production concepts, Merrell has transformed the market and captivated audiences worldwide.

For over 25 years it has been David’s philosophy that “All special events truly demand a customized approach in order to fully achieve the client’s vision and purpose.” It is this vision, passion, and dedication, to each and every client that has inevitably led David E. Merrell and AOO Events, to become one of the most sought-after producers with a growing list of Fortune 500 and international corporations for product launches, corporate events, celebrity-attended fundraisers, and intimate weddings.

A pioneer of his time, Merrell and AOO Events have perfected the art of creating and designing that “wow” moment for each venture they pursue. David’s inspiration and eye for design has been recognized and praised by clients and colleagues alike, which have amounted to being awarded numerous honors, in a multitude of categories, including Best Event Décor, Best Entertainment Concept and Execution, Best Corporate Event, Best Social Event, Best Wedding, Best Association Event, and Best Non-profit Event. This diverse list of awards speaks volumes about the far-reaching talent and capabilities of David E. Merrell and the team he’s assembled at AOO Events. Personally, David has been bestowed “Designer of the Year” by Event Solutions magazine and was awarded the prestigious Crystal SITE Award.

David’s keen understanding into design and production, coupled with AOO Events continued success throughout the years has solidified Merrell’s status as an event aficionado in the industry. As such, David is frequently invited to contribute articles to professional publications as well as speak at national and international conferences on business, design and event branding and marketing. David has also served on numerous industry boards. Until recently, he was on the ISES board as president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter. Currently he sits on the Advisory Board of the top industry publications BizBash and Event Solutions and on the board The Wedding and Event Institute, a premier online educational entity.

Continuously leading the market in a forward direction with authoritative momentum, David E. Merrell and AOO Events can respectively be considered a driving force in today’s event industry.

David E. Merrell : CEO & Creative Director : AOO Events

Creator and Top Dawg of Award Winning Blog and Internationally recognized online magazine and forum, DesignDawgs.

Mark Sheldon

COO

Mark 1 (533x800) (2)Mark utilizes 30 years of professional event experience to partner in managing and operating AOO Events. Having occupied almost every niche of the special events industry, Mark has a unique talent for getting to the source of any challenge and quickly implementing the solution.

With a know how for operations and management, Mark understands that the keystones of successful execution require detailed planning and decisive problem solving capabilities.  He has spent much of his time perfecting systems and procedures specifically geared toward special events. Assembling and honing a professional team has been Mark’s focus and his leadership is paramount in pumping the oil that keeps the AOO machine running.

Brandis Protenic

Business Development Director

Brandis ProtenicBorn in Newport Beach, and raised in the west Texas town of El Paso, Brandis returned to Southern California to pursue a culinary career. When she quickly realized her love of food and beauty regimen didn’t quite translate to 4:00 AM bakery wake-up calls she took her passion to a new direction in special events where she found a home for the last 15 years. An even split of left-brain and right-brain Brandis brings both creative and keen logistics planning to her events. Having worked in hotel conference services and program development in the DMC sector Brandis brings well rounded knowledge corporate and social events paired with superior customer service as the Director of Business Development for AOO Events

Anil Pacheco

Lead Floral Designer

Born and raised in Orange County, CA, to a Latin-American family, Anil Pacheco isAnil 1 (355x533) visionary floral /event designer known for his one of a kind arrangements and innovative design. After graduating high school in Garden Grove, Anil embarked on becoming a teacher. During his college days, he worked full-time in a bucket shop, which is where he began to realize his true passion was art. Anil decided he would change course and pursue his dream of becoming a full-time floral and event designer. 

Anil gained experience working on several high-profile events in the entertainment industry. He began to work with some of the industry's most renowned floral decorators, including Mark’s Garden. This is where he developed a holistic perspective of design and became inspired to create arrangements that would not only stay true to his client’s vision but also reflect the myriad of new ideas he gained from working on major productions.  Anil also won the hearts of many viewers as a contestant on Logo TV’s The Arrangement, a high-end floral design competition.

Most recently, Anil’s versatility can be seen at AOO Events, where he is the Creative Director of AOO’s in-house floral studio, AOO Floral. With an eye for what’s trending and an emerging voice in forward-thinking design, Anil consistently creates cutting-edge products that set him apart as an artist who truly understands the industry’s rapid development and modern aesthetic.

Erick Badillo

Production Manager

Erick BadilloErick's role as Production Manager is the perfect fit for him and for AOO. With an entrepreneurial approach to all new projects coming his way, Erick's process is efficient, creative and always on target.

Erick is the producer’s direct link to the warehouse for all custom-built items.  He communicates the designer’s vision to his team of carpenters and craftsmen to ensure that all projects are built to specification on time, and on budget.

Juggling duties and hectic schedules is second nature to Erick.  He manages multiple on-site installation and strike crews with an attitude that inspires and empowers his team.

JR Dasilva

Event Producer JR 4

JR Dasilva, was born in Minas Gerais Brazil as the oldest sibling in a family of six. After acquiring a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science with a minor in business, from the The Federal University of Viçosa, JR relocated to the United States where he began a career in operations and logistics, as Assistant Manager of operations at The Gap.

Since then JR has expanded his expertise in organization and customer service, serving as the executive assistant to the Vice President at Ann Taylor. At Ann Taylor, JR assisted with the planning and execution of local, regional and national meetings. After deciding to develop his passion for event design and production, JR recently joined the AOO Events team as an in-house producer.

With an enthusiasm to create meaningful experiences, JR strives for perfection by paying close attention to detail and maintaining seamless communication with his clients. In his free time, JR enjoys traveling and hopes to apply his well-rounded worldview to his upcoming productions.

 

 

Jaka Jaiteh

Event Producer

JakaA German native, Jaka graduated from European Business College Hamburg, University of Applied Sciences, where she attained her Bachelor of Arts in International Tourism & Event Management. In 2012, she traveled from Hamburg to California to study and intern under AOO Events. After returning to Germany to complete her education, Jaka requested an extended year-long internship with AOO.  Recognizing that her level of enthusiasm, commitment and devotion to the industry was irreplaceable, AOO jumped at the chance to have her back on the team.

Jaka has an international flair and worldly knowledge, currently learning and expanding her understanding of the special events industry directly under AOO’s Creative Director. She has an attention to detail that is enviable and her talents are a vital contribution to the team.

Jimmy Surace

Event Producer

Jimmy 3 (635x800)Everyone in special events has that one moment that ignited their passion for the event world … this is Jimmy’s: In 6th grade each student was given an ‘egg baby’ to keep alive and safe for a month. Any crack in the egg resulted in failing the project. The health teacher gave Jimmy his egg and almost immediately he dropped it and it shattered. Instead of claiming defeat, Jimmy decided to plan a funeral for his ‘egg baby.’ Pulling from his creative mind he developed a celebration of life for his lost egg baby from programs, floral designs, memento pictures, and last but not least involving the student choir to perform at the service. The result, a first ever ‘A’ given to a cracked egg parent. At this moment Jimmy knew he had the passion and drive for event production.

Hailing from the great state of Ohio, Jimmy moved westward after graduating from Bowling Green State with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and minor in Journalism. He took his first professional leap into the world of special events working in the production department at DreamWorks Animation, focusing on production coordination and in-house events. Jimmy took his skills to the open sea working for Atlantis Events, planning charter cruises and resort takeovers around the globe. He worked as a member of the opening management team for Shore Hotel in Santa Monica before refocusing on event design with AOO Events in Los Angeles. Ever one to expand his craft Jimmy worked with a leading DMC on corporate events before returning to the AOO Events team focusing on event production and design.

Kalifa Madden

Social Media Manager

Kali 5 (2)

Kali is a source of organization and motivation with an unmistakable passion for the special events industry.

Originally from Kingston Jamaica, Kali has been a Los Angeles native for ten years. Kali graduated from California State University, Los Angeles, where she earned her B.A. in Organizational Communication and Public Relations and has been working in the events industry ever since.

With an expertise in digital strategy, social marketing and communication, Kali assists with the development of AOO’s social media presence and web content. With a commitment to AOO’s core values, Kali also lends her enthusiasm by providing daily support for production operations.

Kelly Melo

Senior Producer

Kelly MeloKelly Melo is a logistics powerhouse, capable of managing and executing multiple projects with extreme precision. As Senior Producer, Kelly lends her expertise to the team at AOO Events Inc., where planning events from concept to execution is her specialty.

Over the last 19 years, Kelly has been involved with a wide variety of clients and projects working in both corporate and social event production.  Kelly takes the time to understand her client’s culture and their message.  She works alongside them to deliver an experience that is beyond expectation, whether it is an intimate social event or a large corporate meeting.

Kelly earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, concentration in Management, from California State University, Los Angeles.  She also graduated with honors from Loyola Marymount University with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, concentration in Marketing.  Kelly’s business acumen and love for the event industry provide a solid foundation upon which to extend her talents in the realm of experiential event design and production.

Rheana Coon

Senior Sales Executive and Event Designer

Rheana CoonRheana Coon has been in the hospitality industry since the age of 15 when she took an after-school job at a local flower shop.

Her experience as a young floral designer sparked a lifetime of passion for special event production, which was then stoked by a position at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. This is where she honed her craft in wedding and event floral design by working for royalty, celebrities and VIP clients.

In 2008 , she returned to her hometown, San Diego, as lead designer of the event design firm, White Lotus Productions. Two years later, she purchased the company and grew White Lotus into an award winning event company.

In 2016, Rheana moved to Las Vegas, where she joined the AOO team full-time as a senior sales executive and event designer.


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