Established in 2005, our proactive, professional team offers our partners only the best to lead and grow their associations. Founded by Natalie Nardone, CAE, CMP, NCG has slowly grown from a one-association managing company to the successful association management firm that it is today.
Both strategic and logistical in our management style, our clients benefit from experienced team members dedicated to raising the bar year after year. We look forward to being a partner in your success.
Natalie Nardone, CAE, CMP
Natalie Nardone, CAE, CMP has almost 20 years of experience in association and event management. Prior to starting NCG, she was the Director of Education and Conventions for Georgia Automobile Dealers Association and a sales manager for two hotels and a conference center in Augusta, GA. Her experience is invaluable in project deployment involving multiple decision makers. She specializes in strategic planning and governance of associations poised for membership and bottom-line growth. Her personal passions are Chapter and volunteer growth.
Natalie serves as President of NCG, a proud member of American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE)- including service on the Board of Directors, PCMA and a long time member of Meeting Professional International (MPI’s). In 2006, Natalie was awarded MPI’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award as well as being the 2015 recipient of GSAE’s Skelton-Massey Award.
In 2006, Natalie earned her Master of Science degree in Information Design and Communications. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees from Piedmont College in education, business and English. She has published several articles in the area of association and event management for trade publications. She holds both the Certified Association Executives (CAE) and Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP) designations.
Natalie’s expertise is in the areas of strategic planning, governance, resource management, site selection, meeting planning and volunteer management. In her spare time she enjoys coaching her YMCA soccer teams and helping others find motivation and success in health and fitness. She is often found outside with her husband and two kids. She works with a local animal rescue, serving as a foster mom (and repeat foster failure) of two dogs and four furry felines.
Sarah J. Berke, CAE
Director of Client Services
Since joining us in 2009, SarahBerke, CAE has become known for her strategic thinking abilities while managing the finer details. She oversees the management of NCG’s academic associations.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences and a Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership from The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) where she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors Program.
She is a proud graduate of the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE)’s 2010 Leadership Academy and in2013 earned the Certified Association Executives (CAE) credential. Sarah is a member of GSAE and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Sarah serves on the GSAE Board of Directors.She presents annually at GSAE’s CAE Study Group and Leadership Academy, presented at the GSAE 2016 Annual Conference and was interviewed in 2015 for GSAE’s Connections Magazine.
Sarah’s experience and expertise are in the areas of strategy development, project management, governance, leader cultivation, volunteer engagement and committee development, organizational management, data driven decision makingand budgeting.
When not working, you will find Sarah reading, cooking, at a Kenny Chesney concert with her baseball-loving husband, or out on a walk with their daughter.
Megan Hayes joined NCG in November 2016 as Executive Assistant to Natalie Nardone. She is primarily responsible for managing administration for NCG, from human resources to daily operations. She also consults internally on partners with legislative and advocacy interests.
Megan earned her BA and MA degrees, both in Journalism, from the University of Georgia. She found her passion at age 11 when she worked on her fifth-grade teacher’s campaign for city council. She has worked on numerous local, state and national political campaigns. After serving as Congressional press secretary to Nathan Deal in Washington, D.C., she returned to Georgia and was Executive Director for the Medical Association of Georgia Alliance. She brings eight years of association work and over 15 years of operations experience to NCG. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with her husband and two children.
Ellen SheA, CMP
Manager, event services
Conference & events manager
Ellen Shea, CMP came to NCG in 2014 with over 22 years experience in association and event management. Prior to NCG, she was with the Georgia Association of REALTORS® for over 18 years as the Director of Association Services overseeing the Events and Education for the Association. Before GAR, she was the Director of Communications for the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association. Ellen specializes in event management, meeting logistics, trade shows, sponsor revenue, project management and graphic design. Ellen manages conferences and volunteer engagement for three of our association partners annually.
Ellen is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE). She also holds the Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP) designation from the Convention Industry Council and is a graduate of the Sustainable Events Professional Certificate (SEPC) course.
She received a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from The Women’s College of Brenau University and later returned to her alma mater to serve as President of the Alumnae Association. She received the Outstanding Alumnae Award from the University in 2007.
In her spare time, Ellen enjoys spending time with her family and serving as a volunteer with the Girl Scouts.
Creative Services Coordinator
Reagan earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design in the Spring of 2018 from Kennesaw State, where she served as the Marketing Director for KSU Miracle, the largest philanthropy organization on campus, benefiting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Reagan has only been with NCG a short time, but made an incredible impact to NCG and our partners alike. Aside from her amazing creative skills, she enjoys brainstorming and supporting marketing strategies, creating social media campaigns and other member/stakeholder engagement plans, and providing pre-onsite and post event support for our partner events.
In her free time, Reagan is balancing school, family, and friends while pursuing a Masters of Arts in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design's Atlanta campus.
Reagan Langston joined NCG in August of 2018.
Karen Lowe, CPA
Karen Lowe joined our team in December 2014.
With over 15 years experience in accounting, auditing and project management, she has held positions with companies including Ernst& Young, BellSouth/AT&T and The Wendy’s Company.
Karen earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Georgia State University.
A mom to one young daughter, Karen enjoys reading, running, bicycling, camping and spending as much time as possible with her husband, daughter, friends and extended family.
Senior Association Manager
Lisa Kraus Gardner joined NCG in December 2014. With a diverse background and over 23 years of experience in human resources and operations management, customer service training, specialized sales, sales fulfillment, event coordination, marketing, and business development. Lisa’s ability to “juggle many balls” allows her to provide multiple services and specialties for NCG’s partners and their members. In her current role, Lisa focuses her time on communications, marketing, event planning, and membership for our clients.
Lisa plunged into the hospitality industry when she joined the events education firm, Plan Your Meetings in 2007. She has been a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) since 2008, chairing various marketing committees with both organizations. She is a new member of Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE) and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Her business passions are customer service, handling the marketing, planning and execution of events, and developing programs that exceed customer expectations.
Lisa’s savvy approach to marketing for meetings and events starts with developing the compelling reason why that event is relevant and important to prospective registrants, then building a platform of marketing arms to help convey the message, including website design, email marketing, and engagement through multiple social media platforms.
Patricia Bagley joined the NCG team in 2016.
Patricia earned her BBA in Accounting from Kennesaw State University and has since been working in the private industry in the metro Atlanta area for over 20 years. Her past roles/experience vary from budgeting, payroll, human resources, accounting manager, corporate accountant and controller.
When she is not working, Patricia enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two children.
Michelle Eriquez has been working at Nardone Consulting since August 2017, focusing on educational program development and management.
Before joining NCG, Michelle spent over 20 years in product development and management, working for a diverse range of organizations, including HD Supply, International Greetings and American College of Rheumatology.
Michelle earned her Master of Business Administration in Marketing at Georgia State University, and her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing at University of Georgia.
David (Dave) Nardone, is an Atlanta native that focuses his time on management of a large association in the building automation world. Prior to joining the firm, Dave was in facilities and materials management for over twelve years in the medical industry. After his daughter was born he decided he wanted to spend more time with family and focus his facility management skills in the non-profit world.
His passions focusing on efficiencies in operations, mentorship recruitment, retention, and volunteer engagement. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives.
Dave is a devoted father, avid runner, cyclist, and fitness enthusiast. In his down time you’ll fine Dave out for a run or on a bicycle with one or both of his kids.
Kelsey Battle (re)joined NCG in June 2017 as an Association Assistant for a global trade association in building automation. Kelsey never turns down the opportunity to help her colleagues and is eager to learn all aspects of the industry. No detail is too small for Kelsey to take care of; not only does she loves taking care of her customers and finds true joy by being able to bring to life NCG’s core values.
Kelsey graduated from Young Harris College with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Public Policy, where she played four years of collegiate soccer. Kelsey had a work-study where she gained experience working VIP events which lead her into the event planning field. Immediately upon graduation she worked for Presenting Atlanta, a destination meeting planning company and was later hired on at Nardone Consulting Group (NCG). As she began working conventions she discovered her love of working with the customers and setting up the event on the supplier end. Kelsey left NCG for a time to pursue opportunities at the Alpharetta Marriott where she worked as Convention Coordinator and wore several other different hats (Banquet Lead, Captain, Supervisor, Red Coat, AV Tech, Event Admin). After one year, Kelsey switched to the sales side and worked as the Catering Sales Coordinator at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead. Kelsey served both Marriott locations as Children’s Miracle Network Champion and Kickball/Softball Coordinator. After a time, Kelsey was promoted to Event Manager at Alpharetta Marriott, where over the course of 2 years, she managed over 650 corporate and social events ranging from 1 to 800 attendees. Kelsey returned to NCG searching for work-life balance in 2017 and found it.
In her free time, Kelsey enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family.
Yvonne Irby joined NCG in January 2018. In her role as an association assistant, her primary focus is on client service, registration, conference planning and administrative support.
Prior to joining NCG, Yvonne worked for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operation as a Senior HR Specialist. While her main focus was on recruiting, her specialities also included performance and compensation management and employee relations. Earlier in her career, she spent over 10 years working in the Atlanta Commercial real estate industry with her main focus on leasing and portfolio management.
Yvonne attended the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.
Outside of work, Yvonne enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and can often be seen cheering them on the soccer fields and basketball courts.
Jessica Atkinson joined NCG in February 2015. Her focus is on member services, client engagement, and marketing.
Jessica graduated from The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration. She is also a new member of the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE). Jessica was lucky enough to get a random internship in 2014 with the Alabama State Nurses Association. She saw what a positive effect an association could have for its members. That was when she knew that association management was what she wanted to be a part of.
Jessica believes that growth through learning new skills is what makes a person not only more productive but also more successful. Her ability to be a quick learner, brainstorming techniques and her analytical skills have proven successful for her clients her at NCG.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family. And a little bit of trivia is that Jessica was fortunate to be a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide Marching Band for, as she says, four long BUT enjoyable years.
Lynda Swindell joined the team as Association Assistant in January 2018. Her primary areas of focus are customer service, registration support, and administrative support.
Lynda earned her BA degree in Management from University of Louisville. Early in her career, she spent time working for the Department of Interior and Social Security Administration. She was then fortunate to be able to stay home for several years while raising four children. She spent two years living in Germany working in human resources and administration for a private company and the Black Forest Academy. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling and spending time with her husband.
Michele Doyle joined the team as Association Assistant in September of 2016. Her primary areas of focus are customer service, registration support, and administrative support.
Michele earned her BA degree in Psychology/Human Resources from Roanoke College and MBA from Georgia State University. Early in her career, she spent time in Human Resources in the insurance and construction industries. After several years in a client services group within Coca-Cola, Michele did freelance project-work as a consultant. Outside of work, she can be found walking her dog with her husband, driving around her two busy kids, or working in her yard.
Senior Association Manager
Kelly Lass brings 32 years of Association Management experience and 35 years in event planning. Prior to joining the Nardone Consulting Group, she held the Executive Vice President’s position with a statewide trade association. Kelly also is a State registered lobbyist. Kelly studied Marketing and Business Management at Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
Kelly’s experience and talent in the trade association area is invaluable. Her expertise is in overall operations to insure a successful association, specialties in governance, policy, membership growth and retention, legislative and regulatory affairs, political action committee, scholarship funds. Excelling in excellent member services and the overall financial health of the association. She also created many coalitions and served on several various board of directors.
Kelly is a proud member of Georgia Society of Association Executives.
In her spare time she and her husband of 28 years are the owners of Willow Run Ranch, LLC a equine facility featuring board, care and horse riding lessons. Kelly’s riding discipline of choice is dressage with her beloved Arabian mare, Kalila.
terry Doughtry, cmp
Senior Association Manager
Terry Dougherty, CMP joined NCG in October 2018 with over 30 years of experience in both association and event management. Prior to joining NCG she was with Benchmarc360, Inc as Director of Events, but other positions include Vice President and Executive Director of Organization Management, an association management company, Project Manager for medical meetings and controller/meeting manager for a national women’s sorority.
Terry is an active member of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) where she is honored to currently serve as President of the Board of Directors for their Southeast Chapter. Other professional affiliations have included Meeting Professionals Georgia Chapter (GaMPI) were she served on committees and on their Board of Directors and the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE), where she was awarded The Stephen Styron Award. This award is given to the volunteer leader that the current chair feels has done the most outstanding job.
Terry earned her Associates Degree in Accounting from Dekalb Community College. When she is not spending time with her family, Terry leads small groups at her church teaching children in grades 2-5. For relaxation she enjoys long walks and does not start her day without a good cup of coffee.