Named Top Event Industry Leader Under 40, Collaborate Magazine

Latoya Shanell, CMP has a blended and dynamic background with more than 12 years of experience in corporate meetings, events, marketing and project management across a variety of industries. Outside of her day-to-day corporate event planning career, she plans weddings and social events through her small business, L’ Shanell Events. As a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Ms. Shanell has achieved a level of experience and education that represents the industry’s highest standard of professionalism. In 2015, Ms. Shanell 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. Ms. Shanell is a member of Meeting Professional International (MPI), Chicago Area Chapter and volunteers as a social media coordinator for the career ministry at Victory Cathedral Worship Center. Ms. Shanell 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.


I create experiences that celebrate love, fashion, life and success. I also create first-class events for companies and entrepreneurs that allow them to showcase their brand. I strive to create a memorable experience that takes people away from everyday life and allows them to be a queen {bride}, rock star {guest of honor}, fashion icon {fashion professional}, or a true BOSS {business professional}.

I've been blessed to live my passion out loud. I've always had a “Why Not?” point of view and I truly believe you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT...WHY NOT? 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 uplift others. 

L’ Shanell Events began in 2008 as a fashion production company. I started the company because I saw the need for professionally managed, unique fashion events/productions in the Chicago area. I did not over think the need or entertain the “what if’s”…I just began planning and producing creative dance/fashion productions, fashion events, talent training workshops and creating monthly networking events that connected Chicago fashion professionals. This introduction to event planning sparked the desire to bring the same type of professionalism and creativity to other types of events.

My goal is to present myself and my business in a way that demonstrates excellence in everything I do. I have a passion for other people’s enjoyment. It is very fulfilling to see someone’s vision or message get delivered in a way that exceeds their initial thinking and expectations, which is what I always strive for…to blow your mind and have you saying “WOW, that was the best event I've ever attended”.


- Corporate marketing, communications, events, and meetings

- Weddings

- Fashion events and productions

- Social events


- Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

- Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, minor in Communications, Northern Illinois University

- Professional event and meeting planning certificate, Harper College


- Meeting Professionals International (MPI)

- International Special Events Society (ISES)

1. Hi. My name is Latoya and I'm extremely addicted to sweets. 

2. BEYONCE' is my girl/style crush as well as J. LO and KATE MIDDLETON.

3. Pink orchids, white roses, and white calla lillies immediately cheer me up.

4. I'm a foodie - and I have an appreciation for sushi and wine. 

5. I was a professional model for 5 years with experience in runway, print, and television. I was featured in national advertisements in various magazines (People, Restaurant, Hype Hair, Essence, Chicago Red Eye, etc.), CBS and NBC TV fashion segments, and as a cover model of a local magazine.