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Meet the Staff

Here we are! You found us--the best team in the business. Curious about who you are talking with on the phone? Looking for the right contact to speak with about our services or capabilities? Just want to see who works at Leading Authorities, Inc. speakers bureau? See our great team in the tabs below. We look forward to meeting YOU!

  • Mark French
    Leadership
    President & CEO

    Mark French is president & CEO of Leading Authorities, one of the nation’s most prominent event firms & lecture agencies. French founded Leading Authorities in 1990 following more than a decade of achievement in the association community.

  • Matthew Jones
    Leadership
    Chief Operating Officer

    Matthew Jones is the chief operating officer at Leading Authorities Inc., one of the nation’s most prominent event design and lecture agencies, with unique capabilities in lecture representation, media and event production, and entertainment.

  • Rainey Foster
    Leadership
    Speaker Agents
    Partner & Executive Vice President

    Rainey Foster is executive vice president and partner of Leading Authorities, Inc, serving on the company’s Management Committee.

  • Charlie Polcsa
    Leadership
    Operations
    Chief Financial Officer

    Charlie Polcsa heads up the company’s finance, accounting, and human resources functions. He has over 35 years financial experience.

  • Kate Burns
    Leadership
    Marketing
    Senior Vice President, Marketing Chief Experience Officer

    Kate Burns is the senior vice president of marketing and chief experience officer at Leading Authorities. With a 15-year background in media and marketing, she leads a team of marketing professionals.

  • Tony Berardo
    Leadership
    Speaker Agents
    Senior Vice President

    Tony Berardo is a senior vice president of Leading Authorities, Inc. He is a certified meeting planner, and works with dozens of corporations and trade associations all over the country, helping to design world class meeting experiences.

  • Helena Lehman
    Leadership
    Speaker Agents
    LAI Video
    LAI Live
    Senior Vice President, LAI Video & LAI Live

    Helena Lehman is responsible for building the company’s business in content marketing strategy among its clientele.

  • Mimi Hair
    Leadership
    Speaker Agents
    Senior Vice President, Colorado Office

    Mimi Hair has worked at Leading Authorities since 1993. She assists corporate and association clients in securing speakers and entertainment for a variety of successful events.

  • Steve Bagshaw
    Speaker Agents
    Managing Director - London Office

    Steve Bagshaw is Leading Authorities’ first London-based employee, and he is in charge of managing speakers and events for the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.

  • Lucinda DeCastro
    Leadership
    Event Coordinators
    Vice President

    Lucinda DeCastro is a Vice President and focuses on leading a team of event coordinators who are responsible for the logisitcs and travel for our speakers at thousands of events each year.

  • Ned Jovanovich
    Speaker Agents
    Senior Vice President

    Ned Jovanovich is a Senior Vice President of Leading Authorities, Inc. He joined the team in 2007 after a 14 year career in the hotel industry. Ned and the LAI Mid-West team based in Chicago, Illinois, assist our clients in securing speakers and entertainment.

  • Debbie Saylor
    Speaker Agents
    Vice President

    Debbie Saylor is a marketing and public relations professional with more than 18 years of experience, including 14 years working directly in the lecture industry. She joined Leading Authorities in 1998 as the director of marketing.