Nice to Meet You!
AS SEEN IN:
MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT:
BECAUSE IT'S AN EXPERIENCE
ME UP, INSPIRES ME & EMPOWERS ME TO GET THROUGH TOUGH MOMENTS & POWER THROUGH WORK
SMALL TOWN GIRL
LADY BOSS DINNER WISH LIST:
NATIONAL PRINT, RUNWAY & TV MODELING EXPERIENCE
MODELING OPENED DOORS & BUILT CONFIDENCE
What Fuels Me
CHAI TEA LATTE
My Boss Journey
MULTIPLE PASSIONS. MULTIPLE BUSINESSES. MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME.
Founded L’ Shanell Events
WHERE DID YOUR HUSTLE & AMBITION COME FROM?
I was prepped for college since 4th grade as a participant in the Beloit College Help Yourself Program (Beloit Academy and Pre-Collegiate). This after school and summer program focused on minority students and included an unique interdisciplinary curriculum, monthly educational workshops, college preparation, tutoring and community service. This life changing experience propelled my path to success. I come from a single-parent family and despite this and other college prep, I was told that I couldn’t afford to go to college. Huh? I didn’t do all of this prep for nothing! So, my senior year, I made researching and applying for scholarships and grants my second job. 95% of my college tuition was funded by these scholarships and grants. My work ethic, drive, and determination was birthed out of that experience. Being told no pushed me into discovering and being my best self.
WHY DID YOU START
YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit since I was a child. I’ve had a passion for events since I planned external group and student events in college. I began my professional career in marketing and each role also had event planning responsibilities; however, it wasn’t enough experience to get event companies to hire me. So, in between jobs, I created my own experience. In 2008, I created an event planning company, L’ Shanell Events (at the time L’ Shanell Event Productions) not only to fulfill a passion but to also get experience. 5 years later, I was asked to manage all of corporate’s 80 annual events based on the experience and knowledge I gained from my event business, desire to grow in the meeting and event industry and my demonstrated ability to handle a large volume of challenging marketing projects. My professional career and event business has taken off since I had the audacity and perseverance to create my own opportunities.
In college, I created a quote for a student organization I started:
“If the building isn’t there, build it yourself.” I’ve lived by that quote since. Nothing is impossible.
SN: L’ Shanell Events was also created because while I was professionally modeling, I didn’t see enough creative and professional fashion productions in Chicago. I wanted to fill that void.
WHAT IS YOUR WHY?
I enjoy planning events because I am able to express my creativity and I love the challenge of taking an idea, developing a plan and design around that idea and successfully putting that plan into action. Event planning for me is a form of service. I am able to use my talents and gifts to empower and connect others. My goal is to present myself and my business in a way that demonstrates excellence in everything I do.
What is your greatest PROFESSIONAL
My greatest professional accomplishment is becoming a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). I earned this globally recognized badge of excellence in 2014 and I have grown so much in the industry in the past 6 years. Working for two global meeting management agencies has taught me a lot. I’ve traveled so much, planning programs internationally and throughout the country. Earning the CMP designation changed my life. It is equivalent to earning your MBA in the event and meeting industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education and a rigorous exam.
WHAT ARE some thingS THAT no one would guess about you?
I’m a homebody overall and introvert. Also, I second guess myself often. When I became comfortable with being uncomfortable, stretching myself, being obedient to God’s word, things started to come together. I don’t give up on myself, period. I function by being extremely ambitious, persevering, working my tail off, listening to God and doing all things with excellence. I know no other way. Let God use you. Listen to his word. Know that your life is bigger than you.
What is the greatest gift
you could give someone?
Connection. With my ability to bring people together through relationship building and networking events I host, I have helped people secure multiple clients, profitably take their business in a different direction, gain clarity about service and product offerings, formed partnerships that took their brand to a new level and even develop lifelong friendships. I don’t take lightly the assignment that God has placed on my life or the fact I am being used as a vessel for growth, connection, empowerment and change in other people’s lives.
Who has the greatest
impact on your life?
My husband, Brandon. He encourages, motivates, supports and challenges me to be better every single day. I admire his business savvy, drive, ambition, leadership and desire to help others.
Let's Connect + Engage
SEE MY BRANDS IN ACTION.
Educating Encouraging Connecting
I POUR INTO MY FELLOW LADY BOSSES JUST AS MUCH AS THEY POUR INTO ME! GRATITUDE.
LATOYA SHANELL, CMP
Latoya Shanell, CMP is an award-winning, certified event and marketing strategist and multi-passionate entrepreneur. Latoya has a dynamic multi-disciplinary background with more than 18 years of experience in corporate meetings, events, marketing and project management across a variety of industries. She is a visionary with a “nothing is impossible attitude.” In 2008, Latoya founded L’ Shanell + Co., which is a full-service event management and marketing agency that specializes in corporate, fashion, brand and social events. She also hosts networking and educational experiences for entrepreneurs through her brands Lady Boss Round Table (founded in 2018), I Am Chicago Fashion (founded in 2017) and Event Pros Unplugged (founded in 2015). Latoya created Etsy e-commerce shops L’ Shanell Party Boutique in 2015 and Culture Boss in 2021.
Latoya Shanell has a background in professional modeling with national advertisements in various local and national magazines, and experience in runway, print, and television.
Latoya’s entrepreneurial spirit began during her time in the beauty and fashion industry. She has had national advertisements in various magazines (People, Restaurant, Hype Hair, Essence, Chicago RedEye, Sister to Sister, etc.) and experience in runway, print, and television (CBS and NBC fashion segments) for companies such as Marshalls, Motorola, Hour Glass Angel, Chicago Tribune, Red Eye, Pilgrim’s Pride, Street Level9 and Chicago Midwest Beauty Show.
Throughout her professional career, Latoya has managed hundreds of complex corporate meetings and events nationally and internationally. She has worked in various corporate marketing departments managing strategic marketing campaigns, promotional materials, presentations, website design, email marketing campaigns, trade shows and internal and client events. Latoya has also managed client accounts for global meetings and events agencies. Types of programs planned and managed include executive strategy meetings, client events, employee incentive trips, industry trade shows, hospitality sporting events, sales meetings and multi-day client conferences with event program budgets up to $2 million.
As a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Latoya has achieved a level of experience and education that represents the industry’s highest standard of professionalism. In 2015, Latoya was named as a top event industry leader under 40 on Collaborate magazine, “40 Under 40” list, which honors the top young event industry professionals. Latoya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and a communications minor from Northern Illinois University as well as a professional meeting and event planning certificate from Harper College.