Andrea Elizabeth Michaels

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Andrea Elizabeth Michaels
Andrea Accepting AwardCropped3.jpg
Andrea Michaels at the Special Event Convention in 2005.
Born Andrea Elizabeth Gerson
(1943-12-14) December 14, 1943 (age 74)
Rab, Croatia
Alma mater University of California at Los Angeles
Occupation Event producer, business owner, author and speaker
Organization Extraordinary Events

Andrea Elizabeth Michaels (née Gerson; born December 14, 1943) is an American meeting and event producer, author and speaker.[1] As founder of an international event production company, Extraordinary Events, Michaels and her company produce large corporate events. She is an original member of the special events industry Hall of Fame[2] and the author of a business biography,[3] and is featured in three anthologies.

Early life[edit]

Andrea Michaels was born in the Arbe concentration camp (today Rab, Croatia, on the northern shore of the Adriatic Sea) to Lelja Kauders (b. Zagreb, Yugoslavia, August 25, 1923 – d. Los Angeles California, May 30, 2009).[4][5] Michaels and her mother, along with her mother's Jewish parents, Paul (Palvo) Kauders and Elza Ackerman Kauders, escaped in a small boat across the Adriatic to Italy.[5] Michaels lived in Italy to the age of four with her grandparents until her mother, who had married an American pilot, sent for her to come live in America.[5] The marriage ended, and after Michaels arrived in America, her mother married Peter Gerson, who adopted Andrea and moved the family from Silverlake, California, to Hollywood.[5] When Michaels was ten, the family moved to Burbank, California.[5]

An only child Michaels graduated from Burbank High School in 1961.[6] Michaels attended the University of California at Berkeley in 1961 and 1962, transferring to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) before marrying Bob Spritz on February 1, 1964.[5] The marriage lasted ten years, and they had a son, Jon (b. July 24, 1970).[3] After her divorce from Spritz, she changed her last name as well as that of her son's to "Michaels."[3] Michaels returned to UCLA in 1970 and earned a degree, with honors, in Psychology.[7]

Early career[edit]

Instead of pursuing a career in Psychology, Michaels began working with the Ron Rubin Orchestras in 1973.[8] During that time, she became interested in the event planning business when there was no formalized industry. She produced her first event in 1978—-a bicentennial celebration for Marsh McClellan Insurance Company. By 1982, the company had been restructured and renamed Michaels, Rubin and Associates.[5] Michaels and Rubin dissolved their relationship in December 1988, and on that same day, Extraordinary Events was launched.[9][10] At that time, Michaels began to bring to the corporate world the spectaculars that had been produced on football fields, Disneyland and in entertainment venues[1] by the late Tommy Walker and the late Robert (Bob) Jani.

Later career[edit]

Extraordinary Events has specialized in planning and producing corporate events globally including Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.[5] In 2006, Special Events magazine listed Extraordinary Events as one of the "Top 50 Event Planning Companies."[11][12] The Los Angeles Business Journal named it Number 28 on its list of the "Fastest Growing Private Companies"[13] in 2006, jumping from Number 80[14] in 2005 and then to Number 48[15] in 2005 and then to Number 48[16] in 2007.

Michaels and her company began to incorporate charitable activities into its events with the rebuilding of an elementary school in Leona Vicario, Mexico, with client CEMEX, a concrete manufacturer, in 2005. The Los Angeles Business Journal[17] and Financial and Insurance Meetings magazine[18] covered the event.

Michaels and Extraordinary Events have won the following awards:

  • 34 Special Events magazine Gala Awards[19]
  • 2 Special Events magazine Gala Awards of Excellence[1]
  • 2 WOW Awards[19]
  • 1 Meeting Planners International Paragon Award[20]
  • 2 Society of Incentive and Travel Executives Crystal Awards[19][21]
  • 3 EIBTM Awards[19][22]
  • 1 Successful Meetings Super Six Award[23]
  • National Association for Women in Business Hall of Fame 2002[24]
  • Event Solutions Magazine Hall of Fame 2002[20][25]

In addition to her business biography, Reflections of a Successful Wallflower—Lessons in Business; Lessons in Life, Michaels contributed and was featured in three business anthologies in 2010. They are: Stepping Stones to Success,[1] featuring Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Andrea Michaels and Dr. Denis Waitley; Yes You Can! Reaching Your Potential While Achieving Greatness,[5] featuring Dr. Warren Bennis, Andrea Michaels and Jim Rohn and Bushido Business —The Fine Art of the Modern Professional[19] with Tom Hopkins, Brian Tracy, Andrea Michaels and Stephen M. R. Covey.

Michaels has authored several magazine articles. Two of the most recent ones were published in WE Magazine for Women and are entitled Growing a Business with Creative Thinking, Part 1[26] and Part 2.[27] Michaels is a regular contributor to Special Events magazine writing about her experiences speaking internationally.[28] Michaels was also highlighted in Anaheim University's CEO Video Interview Series.[29]

Michaels has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles. A few include Smart Business,[30] Antelope Valley Proz,[31] Special Events magazine,[32] Los Angeles Times,[33] MICE Exchange,[34] Southern California Meetings & Events,[35] The Los Angeles Business Journal,[36][37] Antelope Valley Proz,[31] Special Events magazine,[32] Los Angeles Times,[33] MICE Exchange,[34] Southern California Meetings & Events,[35] The Los Angeles Business Journal,[17] ExhibitorOnline,[38] Event Solutions,[39] All Business/Successful Meetings,[40] and Meetings & Conventions.[41]

In 2007, Michaels developed a mentor program[42] to offer an in-the-field special event education and international exchange program to assist event newcomers. Michaels is currently a faculty member at California State University, Long Beach College of Continuing and Professional Education[43] and teaches event management.


  • Past President of Meeting Planners International, Southern California Chapter[44]
  • Member and Committee Chair for the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives[45]
  • Founding member of the International Special Events Society (ISES)[46]
  • Founding member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International[47]
  • Member of National Association of Women in Business[24]


  1. ^ a b c d Wright, David, Stepping Stones to Success - Experts Share Strategies for Mastering Business, Life and Relationships - with Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Andrea Michaels and Dr. Denis Waitley. Sevierville, Tennessee: Insight Publishing, 2010, pp. 237-248.
  2. ^ Baragona, Carolyn, "Spotlight Award/Hall of Fame Inductees," Event Solutions magazine, December, 2002.
  3. ^ a b c >Michaels, Andrea, Reflections of a Successful Wallflower - Lessons in Business; Lessons in Life. Denver: Outskirts Press, 2010.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wright, David, Yes You Can! Reaching Your Potential While Achieving Greatness - with Dr. Warren Bennis, Andrea Michaels and Jim Rohn. Sevierville, Tennessee: Insight Publishing, 2010, pp. 77-88.
  6. ^
  7. ^ 2002 Hall of Fame,
  8. ^ Barnett, Maggie, "Spectacular Events Keep Encino Firm in Demand," Features Section, Los Angeles Times, November 23, 1999.
  9. ^ "Coffee With Andrea Michaels - Meetings And Conventions". 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
  10. ^ Barnett, Maggie, "Spectacular Events Keep Encino Firm in Demand," Features Section, Los Angeles Times, November 23, 1999. Found online as an abstract at Los Angeles Times archives. Accessed March 17, 2011.
  11. ^ "" (PDF). 
  12. ^ Hurley, Lisa, "5th Annual 50 Top Event Planning Companies List," Special Events magazine, September 12, 2006, pages 45-50.
  13. ^ "" (PDF). 
  14. ^ "DataJoe" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  15. ^ "DataJoe" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  16. ^ "Women-owned businesses; L.A, County–based; ranked by 2007 revenues" (PDF). Los Angeles Business Journal. 
  17. ^ a b Emily Bryson York (8 January 2007), Event Heaven (PDF), Los Angeles Business Journal, retrieved 2011-02-09 
  18. ^ Lisa Hurley (2009-04-01). "Do-Good Events | Today's teambuilding events are about giving back". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Wright, David, Bushido Business - The Fine Art of the Modern Professional - with Tom Hopkins, Andrea Michaels, Brian Tracy and Stephen M.R. Covey. Sevierville, Tennessee: Insight Publishing, 2010, pp. 65-76.
  20. ^ a b "Andrea Michaels". Event Solutions. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  21. ^ Barbara Scofidio, ed. (2007-01-01). "winners of SITE's Crystal Awards". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  22. ^ "Only 1 Week left to enter prestigious Meetings and Incentive Industry Awards". 2009-09-08. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  23. ^ "And the Winners Are...2004-12-01," Successful Meetings, December 1, 2004.
  24. ^ a b "2002 Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  25. ^ Baragona, Carolyn, "Spotlight Awards/Hall of Fame Inductees," Event Solutions, December, 2002.
  26. ^ "Socal". Retrieved 2011-02-09. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Growing a Business with Creative Thinking – PART TWO". WE magazine for women. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  28. ^ Andrea Michaels (2008-10-01). "Event Professional Andrea Michaels Finds Sophistication, Cooperation in India's Burgeoning Special Event Industry". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  29. ^ "Online MBA, Online Green MBA,and Online TESOL programs - CEO Video Lecture Series". Anaheim University. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  30. ^ "Extraordinary results - How Andrea Michaels builds a sense of community at Extraordinary Events". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  31. ^ a b "Andrea Michaels | Public Relations". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  32. ^ a b Elizabeth Arnold (2008-08-01). "Advice on Winning a Gala Award". Special Events Magazine. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  33. ^ a b "Articles about Extraordinary Events Company - Los Angeles Times". 1999-11-23. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  34. ^ a b "MICE Exchange " Blog Archive " One to One with Andrea and John Michaels of Extraordinary Events". 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  35. ^ a b "Tips From the Pros". Southern California Meetings and Events. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  36. ^ Emily Bryson York (8 January 2007). "Event Heaven" (PDF). Los Angeles Business Journal. 
  37. ^ Extraordinary results - How Andrea Michaels builds a sense of community at Extraordinary Events,, retrieved 2011-02-09 
  38. ^ "Corporate EVENT magazine - Article: Four Problems, One Solution: Philanthropy". June 2006. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  39. ^ McKibben, Carol, "A Night at the Theatre," Event Solutions magazine, October, 2010, pp. 28-29.
  40. ^ "What' on the Pillow?". 2003-08-01. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  41. ^ "Check List - Meetings And Conventions". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  42. ^ CHRISTINE LANDRY (2007-03-01). "Event expert Andrea Michaels plans mentor program". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ "M.P.I. Southern California Chapter Installs New Board". BizBash. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  45. ^ "A city not quite on the map" (665)). St. Petersburg Times. 27 April 2001. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  46. ^ Membership Directory, International Special Events Society. Chicago: Smith Bucklin, 2007.
  47. ^ "" (PDF). 

External links[edit]