Sarah Gazi, CAE, ALP CEO
Sarah Gazi is an accomplished and dynamic association executive with over 20 years of diverse experience managing scientific, trade, and medical associations of varying sizes, budgets, and geographies. A proven change agent, Sarah believes in every association’s mission is to make something better by uniting causes, professions, and people. The chance to work with members who have such diverse backgrounds and passion for what they do is what first drew Sarah to work with ALP.
Sarah is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a graduate of Rowan University, where she graduated with a B.S. in biology. She has also received the recognition of IOM from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management program.
Erik Spence, Conference & Event Coordinator
Erik is a native of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from the Pennsylvania State University in 1992. Shortly after college, he entered his management career with Chi Chi’s Mexican Restaurant, earning promotions within two years to Executive Chef, and then promoted to Assistant General Manager.
With his skill and ability to work with others, Erik became part of the Corporate Training Team to open new restaurants in the Pittsburgh region for this established chain. Erik then expanded his hospitality experience by moving to central West Virginia, where he was hired as the Assistant General Manager at Garfield’s Restaurant and Pub to oversee staff training, advertising and marketing, instituting cost control measures, and improving guest experiences. Later, while still living in West Virginia, Erik was hired by Stonewall Resort and Conference Center, a Four Diamond AAA Award Winner. As the General Manager of Stillwater’s Restaurant and TJ Muskie’s Lounge, their premier food and beverage outlets, he oversaw restaurant and lounge operations and worked side by side with banquet and conference teams, and sales department personnel. Later, he assisted in the opening and management training for two more dining venues at the resort, one being the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course’s Clubhouse Restaurant, and the second a dinner excursion yacht.
In late 2004, Erik moved to Northeast Missouri and was hired at the Garth Mansion Bed and Breakfast for their newest addition, The Woodside Restaurant. After just four months, he was promoted to Restaurant Manager and six months later became their Executive Chef, creating elegant six course daily features, preparing wine lists and training restaurant staff. Erik also served as the Wedding Planner and Events Coordinator at the Garth Mansion. In 2011, he was hired by the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council, a not for profit organization, as the Director of the Twain on Main Festival. Erik held this position for the past five years, and each year the springtime arts and crafts festival continued to grow and flourish, bringing ever increasing tourism to the city of Hannibal, Missouri.
His one-on-one personal approach, willingness to go the extra mile, and innovative approach to festival planning with interactive mapping and web page design, consistently brought a high vendor return rate. In 2012, Erik began specializing in business functions, weddings, festival planning, and event consultations, building a solid reputation with his clients through past experience, honesty, integrity and dedication as the benchmarks for his success.
Erik has been married for 23 years to his wife Sandra, who is also from Northeast Pennsylvania. Together, they have two daughters who are active in community events and school programs.
Lydia Hallock, Marketing Director & Membership Coordinator
Lydia Hallock spent 8 years in the beauty industry as a hair stylist, 5 of which were in a salon management position. Soon after welcoming her first child, she spent some time at home to be with her babies, and is now the mom of 3 little boys. She eventually entered the digital marketing field and now runs her own digital marketing agency called Sunshine Digital Marketing LLC where she focuses on providing financially accessible social media management and other digital marketing services to small businesses.
In her spare time, she enjoys tending to the flowers in her yard, spending time with her family, and sneaking away for the occasional date night with her husband, Justin, to try out new restaurants.
Josie Lemay is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has spent the past decade working in the hospitality industry. With a wealth of experience in hotels, bakeries, and restaurants - Josie's blend of management and customer service experience make her a natural fit as our new Membership Coordinator. New Hampshire, born-and-raised, Josie moved home in 2019 from Nantucket Island, where she was a pastry chef and owned her own wedding cake business. She is now settled back home with her best boys, Tucker & Teddy (her sweet golden retrievers.) She enjoys cooking at home, and exploring the White Mountains of New Hampshire.