Team Members


President and Owner

Diane Lyons, CMP, DMCP

Diane Lyons, CMP, DMCP

President and Owner
dlyons@accent-dmc.com

Diane is passionate about happiness and works diligently to please her clients by making each event vision a reality. Using her creative talents, resources and expertise, she excels in producing top-notch, worry-free events for clients and their guests to enjoy. A native New Orleanian, Diane brings her vast knowledge of the local culture, food and music to every event and is able to seamlessly merge new trends with long-standing traditions. Throughout her impressive 30-year career, she and the ACCENT-DMC team have won numerous awards. Diane actively supports several nonprofit organizations, including FestiGals, a celebration for women she created in 2011. She has been recognized twice as a “Top Woman in Business” by New Orleans City Business magazine and was the recipient of the inaugural HandCraft Heroes Award for her contributions to women with cancer.

 

Getting to Know Diane

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

Oh I don’t know if I have a favorite! New Orleans now has more than 1,400 restaurants, which is nearly double compared to 2005. My mood defines my favorite food/chef. Cute helps. A hottie in the kitchen adds flavor to any meal!

 

What is your favorite festival?

FestiGals the Ultimate Girl Party

 

Do you have a favorite food?

Lump Crabmeat

 

What is the favorite cocktail?

There are so many, again it depends on our mood. FestiTini, FestiRita — just about Festi-anything when I’m hanging out with girlfriends.

 

Do you have a favorite pastime/hobby:

Painting Zulu coconuts! Exploring New Orleans with friends and being a tourist in my own town. Anything, anytime with my 6 grandchildren. Speaking about New Orleans to anyone around the world.  Have to keep reminding myself to take a breath.

×
Vice President

Jonni Adams, CMP, DMCP

Jonni Adams, CMP, DMCP

Vice President
jadams@accent-dmc.com

Jonni Adams serves as both the ACCENT-DMC Vice President and Director of the ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements. Her exhaustive knowledge of the New Orleans hospitality and tourism industry and the superior customer service that she delivers to clients is from advancing at ACCENT from an accounting professional, to production manager to General Manager. Jonni graduated from the University of New Orleans with a degree in Business Administration, and also holds her DMCP and CMP certifications.  Her attention to detail, organizational skills and love for the industry have made her a rising star.

 

Getting to Know Jonni

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

Sushi Bros!

 

Do you have a favorite food?

Sushi but since this is NOLA based, Seafood, crabs specifically.

 

Do you have a favorite pastime/hobby?

Spending time with family.  Love going to Mardi Gras parades with my daughter.

 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An Astronaut

 

Your Nickname/or AKA?

J-Lynno

×
Vice President

Jody Halter, CMP, DMCP

Jody Halter, CMP, DMCP

Vice President
jhalter@accent-dmc.com

Passionate and enthusiastic about everything New Orleans, Jody Halter has enjoyed every minute of her 30 + year career in the New Orleans hospitality and tourism industry. She joined the ACCENT-DMC team in 2003 to help expand the DMC division that focuses on producing special events and guest programs for association, corporate and incentive meetings. She is also an expert in client  and proposal development as well as working on special projects for the ACCENT team. Her genuine interest in trying new things and meeting new people makes her well-suited to build lasting relationships with her clients and colleagues. Jody is the current president of SKAL International New Orleans.

 

Getting to Know Jody

What is the best place to listen to music?

You cannot go wrong with any location on Frenchmen Street.

 

What is your favorite festival?

French Quarter Fest

 

Do you have a favorite food?

I love the “When Godzilla Meets Fried Green Tomatoes” at Jacque Imo’s (fried soft shell crab atop fried green tomatoes) or their fried chicken and greens. R & O’s serves up one of the best roast beef po-boys.

 

Where is the best bar and what is your favorite cocktail?

The bar d.b.a. on Frenchmen St. is where I can listen to great music and enjoy my vodka on the rocks. They also have a huge beer selection for beer lovers.

 

Do you have a favorite pastime/hobby?

Playing with my grandson, cooking and photography.

 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Hair dresser or flight attendant.

×
Outside Sales Manager

Wendy DeBen

Wendy DeBen

Outside Sales Manager
wdeben@accent-dmc.com

With 25 years in the hospitality industry, Wendy is a veteran at providing excellent customer service for her clients. She prides herself on being available 24/7 to all of her clients. Wendy is extremely involved in the culinary, music and art scene in New Orleans. Her deep love for New Orleans is infectious and when working with Wendy the love she has for New Orleans is sure to rub off on your team!

 

Getting to know Wendy

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

Very large question that I will have to answer in two parts…

There are so many amazing restaurants in New Orleans that I (as a self proclaimed foodie) have a very hard time picking one –so I am going to pick one based on the whole experience and say Galatoire’s in the French Quarter. Everything on the menu is delicious, but the overall energy of Galatoire’s is just an incredible backdrop for creating the best memories with friends. It is always packed full of our most eccentric locals having a great time.  I love this about our city!! I typically spend every birthday there with plenty of friends.

 

Favorite Chef- Right now I would say Alon Shaya. Other than being completely gifted in the kitchen and bringing the most diverse and incredible food to our city—he has great moral character and work ethic thus being named by James Beard as Best Chef South and SHAYA being Best New Restaurant in America.

 

 

Where is the best place to listen to music?

Again, so many incredible places it is hard to narrow it down, however, I find myself at two most often….House of Blues Foundation Room and Main Music hall  and then Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street which has great live music and Jazz every night of the week and also a favorite of many famous musicians when they come to our city—oddly enough also where Robert Plant and I got kicked out together! That’s an interesting story for sure! (not as bad as it sounds)

 

Do you have a favorite festival?

Jazz Fest hands down! I love it so much and look forward to it every year! The music, the food, the people…it is AMAZING!!! My favorite Jazz Fest moment ever was sitting with Allen Toussaint on stage while watching Elton John play to a record crowd in 2015. Allen Toussaint was one of the most influential musical icons in New Orleans history…sadly it turned out to be his last JazzFest. An honor and a memory that I am so incredibly grateful to have.

 

What is your favorite cocktail?

My go-to is a dirty Tito’s Vodka Martini straight up…however, when I am in the presence of our amazing NOLA mixologists I would never insult them by ordering anything specific. I just say “make me something” and I get a wink and they do not disappoint!  I highly recommend it!

×
Operations Manager

Jordan Kempf

Jordan Kempf

Operations Manager
jkempf@accent-dmc.com

Jordan Kempf grew up in the New Orleans area, and after attending the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, chose to stay and promote our great destination city.  Jordan also served our country in the Marine Corps. His background includes working with many of the local DMC’s and the New Orleans hospitality and tourism industry partners. As Operations Manager, his job is to produce the dreams that are sold by our sales team and he is truly passionate about client satisfaction.

 

Getting to know Jordan

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

Brigtsen’s

 

What is your favorite festival?

Louisiana Crawfish Festival

 

What is your favorite food?

Hot Sausage Poor Boy

 

Where is the best bar and what is your favorite cocktail?

Avenue Pub / Ketel One and Soda

 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Fireman

×
Event Coordinator

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith

Event Coordinator
msmith@accent-dmc.com

A graduate of University of New Orleans in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, Michelle has been working in the New Orleans hospitality and tourism industry since she was a teenager.  Her years of restaurant and party venue experience including sales, coordinating food and supplies, scheduling, training and managing staff, are all a part of what makes ACCENT-DMC events seamlessly executed. As part of the Events Production Team, Michelle passionately executes the client’s vision of their event and makes it happen!  “To see the smile on a client’s face because their event is in NOLA and the joy on their face of thanks for all the hard work, is the best reward for what we do.”

 

Getting to know Michelle

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

Commander’s Palace

 

Where is the best place to listen to music?

Frenchman Street has a lot of great places

 

What is your favorite festival?

French Quarter Fest

 

What is your favorite cocktail?

I have two – Madras and Bourbon Milk Punch. Everyone visiting New Orleans should try the Bourbon Milk Punch.

 

Do you have a favorite pastime/hobby?

Hobby- Scrapbooking & Crafting

 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Lawyer

×
Sales and Marketing

Nancy Weinstock

Nancy Weinstock

Sales and Marketing
nweinstock@accent-dmc.com

Nancy was born and raised in New Orleans. She studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurial Management at Texas Christian University. During her undergraduate work, Nancy interned for Legends Hospitality at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Following graduation, Nancy returned home because of her love and passion for New Orleans. Nancy is excited to immerse herself into the corporate, DMC world, and she looks forward to playing a part in the growing hospitality industry in New Orleans.

 

Getting to know Nancy

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

Definitely GW Fins! Their menu changes daily, based on whatever seafood is fresh.

 

What is your favorite festival?

Oyster Fest

 

What is your favorite cocktail?

The French 75 at Arnaud’s French 75 Bar.

 

Do you have a favorite food?

Fried Shrimp Poboy

 

Your Nickname/or AKA?

Fancy Nancy

×
Office Manager

Laurie Singletary

Laurie Singletary

Office Manager
lsingletary@accent-dmc.com

Born and raised in New Orleans, Laurie has over 25 years’ experience working for hospitality industry companies.  Her incredible organizational skills keep our team running smoothly. She is the friendly voice that our clients have grown so accustomed to hearing when calling in to our office, and she takes great pleasure in making sure their needs are met efficiently and correctly.  Prior to her arrival at ACCENT-DMC, she worked in the convention sales department at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.  She spends her spare time with her family and friends.

 

Getting to Know Laurie

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

John Besh is my favorite chef and La Provence is my favorite restaurant.

 

What is your favorite festival?

French Quarter Festival

 

What is your favorite food?

Boiled shrimp

 

Do you have a favorite cocktail?

Favorite cocktail – French 75

 

Do you have a favorite pastime/hobby?

Reality TV junkie

 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Ballerina

×
Marketing and Community Affairs Consultant

Sandra S. Dartus, CFEE

Sandra S. Dartus, CFEE

Marketing and Community Affairs Consultant
sdartus51@gmail.com

Sandra is a native New Orleanian who entered the New Orleans hospitality and tourism industry in the early 1980s as public relations director/tour & travel coordinator for the Jackson Brewery.  She served as executive director of French Quarter Festivals, Inc., for more than 20 years and was founding director of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. During her tenure with FQFI, Sandra created and produced several festivals and events, including Christmas New Orleans Style, Satchmo SummerFest and various tourism projects for the city. Since 2011, she has served as partnership liaison for FestiGals, Inc., a nonprofit empowerment organization for women created by ACCENT-DMC president Diane Lyons. Sandra loves interacting, connecting people, and discovering resources that not only support the mission of FestiGals, but also provide a memorable and authentic New Orleans experience for the women who attend.

 

Getting to know Sandra

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

I don’t have a favorite. Love Richard Hughes and the lobster at Pelican Club. Pho Orchid and Nine Roses for pho and Vietnamese egg rolls. Boiled seafood from Big Fisherman or Capt. Sid’s. Horst Pfeifer’s fettuccini when he does it. Snug or Lakeview Harbor for burgers. Crazy about food at LA Thai or Suhko Thai. I’m all over the place…

 

Where is the best place to listen to music?

Palm Court for traditional jazz, concerts at the Dome or Arena and French Quarter Festival, of course, when my old favorites pop up there.

 

What is your favorite festival?

I’m not at all objective and have to say French Quarter Festival and FestiGals. Don’t actually get out to the others much.

 

Do you have a favorite food?

Nothing beats a good chocolate snowball with cream!  But boiled crabs and lobster are strong seconds.

 

Where is the best bar and do you have a favorite cocktail?

I love the frozen Irish Coffee at Monahan’s on Decatur Street, Cosmos just about anywhere and I whine for wine.

 

Do you have a favorite pastime/hobby?

Travel, reading, shopping, and exercise so I can eat and drink more I love keeping in touch with friends.

×
Program Coordinator

Jolene Bopp

Jolene Bopp

Program Coordinator
jbopp@accent-dmc.com

Jolene was born in Minnesota and spent half of her life in Austin, Texas. She joined the Marine Corps in 2008 as a Public Affairs Specialist. Jolene relocated to New Orleans in 2015 with her husband and two young children. She graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and a Marketing Minor. She started with ACCENT as a FestiGals intern, and transitioned to a full-time position with three months.

Getting to know Jolene

What is your favorite restaurant/chef in New Orleans?

Tout de Suite

Where is the best place to listen to music?

Tickler’s Piano Bar on Bourbon

What is your favorite cocktail?

Moscow Mule

Do you have a favorite pastime/hobby?

Baking and singing

Your Nickname/or AKA?

Jo Jo

×