Mara Walsh, Director of Business Development

Mara Walsh




Mara brings over 23 years of technology and consulting sales experience and has worked with many technology leaders including Capgemini, Microsoft, HP, Intel and NCR. In addition to her sales experience, she has also worked as an Alliance Manager with a number of leading software technology partners including Oracle, Salesforce, Guidewire, SAP, Pega and many others.


Mara earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Organizational Management from Ohio University.  Mara is also actively involved in the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and KPMG Friends and Family for Literacy.

Kristin Quinn, co-founder of Gravel Experiential

Kristin Quinn




Kristin Quinn is a 18-year event marketing veteran with a proven track record of creating and executing multimillion-dollar programs for Fortune 500 companies and non-profit associations.


Kristin has spent her career creating branded sales strategies by building bridges of opportunity between big ideas, great products, global businesses and best-in-class production.  At Gravel XP, Kristin relies on her years of experience and networking in multiple industries to manage Client Services and to lead the Business Development division.  


Over the past four years, Kristin has produced the MillerCoors Distributor Convention. In addition to those events, Kristin produced the McDonald’s sledding with Ronald activation in Kuala Lumpur, Nando’s Peri-Peri launch in Chicago, Bridgestone Tire corporate party in Las Vegas, Smith & Forge launch Nationwide, and many more.


Kristin holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Iowa in Psychology & Dance with a minor in Business.  With her love of health and fitness, she teaches at the Dailey Method in her free time.



PRODUCTION COORDINATOR - Provide comprehensive support to Executive Producer and Production team. Assist with the management of...


Gravel Experiential is pleased to announce that
Mara Walsh will be...


June 8, 2017, Women's Business Enterprise National Council for excellence in the field of event management...

Katie Albrecht, co-founder of Gravel Experiential

Katie Albrecht




Katie is a 16-year event professional who truly believes the "devil is in the details." Attention to detail is the difference in an event being ordinary or extra-ordinary. She enjoys being involved in the creative process and feels there is nothing more gratifying than seeing an event through from concept to reality. Katie has executed programs of all sizes for clients such as SABMiller, MillerCoors, Coors Light, Smith & Forge, Optimal Blue, Nando's, Old Navy and Kraft.


Katie is a native Texan; she attended TCU (Go Horned Frogs!) and graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Merchandising and Promotions. Prior to graduating, she wanted to "see the world" and traveled to 11 countries in one semester, gaining a global perspective and appreciation for cultural diversity.


She is a certified meeting planner with experience in the non-profit and
for-profit sectors. She spent many years with Chicago’s largest catering company and enjoyed working in the city's most prominent venues with its major organizations.


Outside of work, Katie enjoys traveling, experiencing Chicago's amazing culinary offerings, interior design and spending time with friends and family.

Melisa O'Keeffe, co-founder of Gravel Experiential

Melisa O'Keeffe




Melisa O’Keeffe brings focus, vision and creativity gained from 16 years in the industry to generate sustained positive outcomes. Melisa is an accomplished marketing professional who specializes in developing cost-effective programs with maximum results. With expertise in managing a broad range of responsibilities efficiently and effectively, her strong communication skills help translate needs into action.


As one of three founders of Gravel Experiential, her responsibilities run the gamut from client management, brand execution, as well as agency marketing and communications. Creating successful experiential marketing events for top clients comes from a solid foundation of vocations in a variety of industries, including non-profit, sports and alcohol & spirits and working on both the client and agency side.


Melisa graduated Summa Cum Laude from the George Washington University School of Business, where she received her master’s degree in Sport and Event Management. She holds a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from Michigan State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

 With a collective 45 years in the industry, our diverse backgrounds offer strategic insight, bold creative and impeccable execution while successfully integrating multiple clients, agencies, venues and vendors across the process.