Wedding Blog


Meet The Pavilion Team

Meet The Pavilion Team

Are you curious as to who is involved with making our weddings 5-star?! We introduce to you our ever so talented and passionate event coordinators that help create the most magical experiences for our wedding couples.  Read on to meet each of these unique individuals and hear about where they came from!…

Kacie Benjamin, Sales Manager


“I began my career at Orchard Ridge Farms as the assistant to Jennifer Weldon (now Jennifer Elsen). I started this position shortly after graduating from Roosevelt University in 2011, where I earned a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. During the time I began working with The Pavilion, I was also working part-time in Lake Geneva, WI. at Geneva Ridge Resort.  But after working each new event with The Pavilion, I slowly began falling in love with weddings; it was having the opportunity to see a bride’s vision come to life and being such an important part of that process made me so excited to go to work. And so it was that — just 1 year later I began working full time coordinating, and then shortly moved into a sales position.”

“I’ve become very passionate in my position here at Orchard Ridge Farms, and I still get chills of happiness when I see a bride meet her groom for the first time at the end of the aisle. Nothing is more rewarding.”

Jennifer Elsen, Property Manager

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“I graduated from University of Iowa with an Elementary Education degree. I taught in the Chicago area for five years and moved to Minneapolis where I began my career in event planning at Wells Fargo. I used the organizational skills I had gained as a teacher to plan corporate meetings and events for Wells Fargo for over five years. In 2009 my husband was transferred to the Chicago area and I was approached by an old friend, Rich Spanton, to help coordinate and sell events at a new venue he was building, The Pavilion.”

“The most exciting part of working at The Pavilion is seeing how far we have come. In the past six years The Pavilion went from hosting 10 weddings a year to over 84 events! We are attracting couples from all over the Midwest and are receiving rave reviews from not only our guests but our industry peers. I am so excited to see what the next six years has in store for this great property, The Pavilion!”

Shane Finely, Event Coordinator


“I’ve been working in the professional event industry for just over two years.  As a very organized and detail orientated person, event management is a natural fit for me. Over a year ago, I started working with a florist in the Indianapolis area and provided day-of-coordination services to brides.  I started working with clients about a month out from their event and helped them organize every detail to make their special day stress free.

“Working for Orchard Ridge Farms has been amazing, The Pavilion has helped me take my event industry experience to the next level. My favorite part about working here is seeing how each client uses our venue differently. I learn something new every weekend that helps me with future events. Another great aspect of working at Orchard Ridge Farms are my fellow team members. We strive to provide excellent customer service and professionalism to make each event a success.”

Taneel Fraley, Event Coordinator/ Preferred Wedding Planner 


“I have a varied professional background in custom jewelry design, financial planning and interior design.  From traditional to modern, from elegant to whimsical, I strive to create events that satisfy the clients’ aesthetic style without sacrificing the budget.”

“My favorite part about coordinating at The Pavilion is that every event is like a new adventure. A new adventure held at a property that’s beyond gorgeous.  Working at The Pavilion is always exciting — it is a new couple starting their lives together, with the joining of two families. There is simply no day more special in a person’s life to be a part of than their wedding day.”

Summer Mccollum, Event Coordinator Summer Mccollum

“As an event coordinator, with over 200 events worth of experience, I specialize in customer service that nurtures positive, productive relationships with clients and guests. I respond quickly to changing circumstances and thrive under pressure. I advance our guests’ events by making the most of their event experiences while maintaining an upbeat, can-do attitude.  My attention to details, problem-solving talents, including the ability to think fast on my feet, makes me an agile part The Pavilion’s team.”

“I enjoy travel, music, wake boarding, my puppy Rodg, weekends at the lake and laughing often!”

Ellise Seever, Event Coordinator Ellise Seever

“I graduate in May 2016 with a degree in Business Management from Rockford University. I enjoy caring for others and hosting events. My passion for hospitality is deeply engraved in my upbringing. I was raised in the south and learned early on how to accommodate guests and do whatever is necessary to ensure everyone is well taken care of. I began my start in hospitality through the restaurant industry. I love the high energy and diverse personalities this field entails. I also went on to work in the banking industry, which required an immense amount of professionalism while still being personable. Through both my careers, I have learned my future is brightest when handling the needs of others. I feel my purpose in life is to assist others on their most important days.”

“I am eager to begin my position as an Event Coordinator with The Pavilion. The joy of being a part of someone’s most treasured day is an honor!”

So there you have it, Beloved Fans… The Team! Now sit back, relax, and allow us to take care of your big day. Contact Kacie to reserve your wedding or event. (815) 629.2220 ext. 10 or

Posted by kbenjamin
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