About Us

Our Team

One of our greatest strengths is a team of highly experienced event designers who have literally managed and executed over 2,000 events all over the world. We have seen it all.

From a client perspective, this wealth of experience and expertise significantly reduces the risk of issues, adds pragmatic creativity and provides smooth and creative experiences before, during and after events.

Jennifer D. Collins - President and CEO of JDC Events
Jennifer D. Collins - President and CEO of JDC Events

Jennifer D. Collins, CMP, DES

Empowering Leader / Calming Presence / Moment Maker

As JDC Events’ President and CEO, Jennifer is often coach, therapist, encourager, breadwinner and peacemaker, and still manages to do it all with a smile.


She’s well versed in the art of communication, in tune with what it takes to build a successful business, and to top it off, she’s the author of a book titled Events Spark Change, available on Amazon.


Having started the business as the sole employee in a basement apartment in Washington, D.C., she is proud to have built a company that not only positions clients to build stronger brands, but also changes the lives of their beneficiaries in adopting new skills, learning new ideas that help others or participating in memorable experiences.


A native of Boston, Massachusetts, The American University was the reason for Jennifer’s relocation to Washington, D.C. where she graduated with a B.A. degree in Public Communication. Always cognizant of paying it forward, Jennifer remains active with her alma mater through guest teaching in one of her former professor’s classes (she’s thankful he still invites her after all these years!). She’s served on the Alumni Association Board, the School of Communication’s Dean’s Council, and committed a gift toward construction of the School of Communication’s first-ever building, where an office bears her name.


When not creating transformative experiences for her clients, Jennifer can be found cheering on the New England Patriots (especially when they’re winning Super Bowls!), biking along the picturesque Baltimore-Annapolis Trail and mining her online store of notecards and prints of landscape photos she’s taken. Clearly, one business is simply not enough!


After nearly 20 years under Jennifer’s leadership, JDC Events has grown into an established business and is going strong. Pretty impressive when you consider it all started with one desk and a (mostly) paid-off credit card.

Kara Dao - Senior Director, Client Engagement and Operations at JDC Events

Kara Dao, CEM, DES

Supreme Optimist / Global Event Juggler / Food and Flora Flaunter

As someone who believes everything is possible, Kara is a natural as Chief Operating Officer. Whether working with a client on a shoestring budget or a colleague learning a new task, Kara has an open and approachable nature that makes others feel confident she will help them reach their goals.


When it comes to events, Kara is a true innovator. From simple tweaks that enhance the look of an event to elaborate changes resulting in a complete transformation, she can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. And she does it with events of all sizes, across multiple time zones and continents. One of the first events of her more than 25-year career was an exhibition that ranked within the top 100 USA tradeshows and the seventh largest IT industry event. She also managed five international trade shows, working with a remote and global team to achieve an 80 percent profit margin. Insurmountable hurdles? Not to Kara. She knows what it takes to hold events within months of terror attacks and hurricanes.


When she’s not being amazing at work, Kara enjoys being with family and growing things. She loves to cook for others and is a pro at whipping up tasty and creative dishes from her garden paradise.


A graduate of George Mason University, Kara studied psychology and gerontology.
She is certified by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and has earned both her Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM) and her Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification.

Kara Dao - Senior Director, Client Engagement and Operations at JDC Events

Shafer Busch | JDC Events

Shafer Busch, DES

Director, Portfolio, Strategy and Operations

Dee Cariglino

Project Manager

Donya Cobb

Donya Cobb, CMP

Project Manager

Akyra Davis

Project Support Specialist

Nakia Wilson

Nakia Wilson, CMP

Project Manager

Joe Heeter

Joe Heeter

Project Manager

Cameron Iron headshot

Cameron Irons

Executive Assistant

Brittany Jackson

Brittany Jackson

Project Manager

Shannon Lockwood

Shannon Lockwood, CEM, CMP, DES

Project Manager

Josette Paige

Josette Paige, CMM, CMP

Government Events Project Manager

Vanessa Schneider

Vanessa Schneider

Project Manager

Sara Stehle

Sara Stehle

Project Manager

Mission & Core Values

Create events that spark change in the lives of those who participate and benefit from them.

Core Values

We care about people. We believe in being flexible with time so that our team can be present for those meaningful life moments.

We believe in education. Knowledge is power. The more we know, the better this makes us, and the more we can offer our clients.

We deliver. No matter the details, complexity or challenges, we move mountains to ensure our clients’ success.

We own it. Coming to the table with thoughts and ideas offers growth opportunities for our team and our client programs.

We speak the truth. We believe in integrity, and respect each other as people, professionals and leaders.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

At JDC Events, we take a holistic approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). We are committed to looking inward as well as outward as we foster an equitable company culture; as a result, DE&I is a vital principle in how we structure our internal operations and how we produce events for our clients.


We believe that a diverse team is a strong team. We have assembled a team with a wide range of origin stories. We know that a rich variety of perspectives and backgrounds helps us better understand one another, as well as our clients. 


We aim to create an inclusive environment to exchange ideas, free of judgment, and conducive to transparent and honest dialogue. We hold each other accountable while respecting the beliefs and opinions of others. We strive to remain self-aware and seek others’ perspectives in order to more deeply appreciate their humanity. We are open and active listeners.


We seek to incorporate equity and accessibility into each client event, starting from a baseline of industry best practices and targeting our clients’ unique needs. We remain committed to staying up to date on the event industry’s accessibility recommendations and the assistive technologies that make events welcoming to all participants, regardless of age, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, language, physical or intellectual ability, religion, or any other protected class recognized by law. When partnering with vendors, we also aim to actively source other small, minority-owned, or woman-owned/led businesses to broaden our reach.


Ultimately, we value every opportunity to learn from one another and our clients. JDC’s portfolio of events – big and small – is vast, and the cycle of educating ourselves about new ways to plan with openness and empathy is never-ending.


Open Positions: Project Support Specialist

JDC Moments

Contract Vehicles


General Services Administration



Multiple Award Schedule






SIN 541 4D; Conference, Events and Tradeshow Planning Services


National Institutes of Health



Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)






Conference, Administrative and Travel Services


National Institutes of Health



Blanket Purchase Agreement



75N90021A00003 – 75N90021F00002



Event planning services and travel accommodation services on behalf of the NIH Clinical Center

OCRTME Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP)


National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
SBA 8(m), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)
Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP)
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM)
Digital Event Strategist (DES)


561920 Convention and Trade Show Organizers
541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting
541430 Graphic Design Services
541613 Marketing Consulting Services
541613 Public Relations Services
541810 Advertising Agencies
541850 Display Advertising
541890 Other Services Related to Advertising
541910 Marketing Research and Public Opinion Polling
541922 Commercial Photography


Are you ready to take your event to the next level? We’d love to help!
Use the form below to tell us your vision or give us a call. We look forward to working with you!


8401 Colesville Rd.

Suite 503

Silver Spring, MD 20910


Email: info@jdc-events.com

Phone: 240.512.4220


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