OUR TEAM

Leadership

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Jean Steppe, Chief Engineer and Founder

Jean Steppe founded Steppe Solutions in 2001.  Jean has had a diverse professional resume that includes positions as program director with Artrain USA, a visual arts exhibition that travels the country by train; an artist representative with a national musical performance booking agency; and stints as a UPS driver and a landscaper. Jean's career choices have always balanced her intrigue with new challenges, her creative talents and her penchant for bringing organization and structure to new situations.  Steppe Solutions is the perfect culmination of these interests. She truly enjoys the process of building relationships with new clients, strategizing each new project, and executing a plan for meeting the client's needs in the best way possible. She has managed hundreds of events, and the satisfaction of an event that exceeds client expectations never grows old.

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Laura Olech, VP of Engineering

When she joined Steppe Solutions in 2012, Laura Olech came with years of experience in fundraising, event planning and marketing.  Before joining the team, Laura spent four years as a major gift fundraiser for the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  In this role, she partnered with physicians to solicit funding for their departments and programs through private donors and national foundations. Laura’s understanding of development and the importance of each interaction with guests - from invitations, to e-mail communications, to greeting them at a registration table - makes her a valuable partner to our clients.  She has a strategic approach to planning, and a keen eye for detail, which will be experienced by event guests and appreciated by clients.  Laura studied Public Relations at Western Michigan University, focusing her studies in the non-profit sector.

Event Engineers

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Jodi Brzustowicz

With experience in event management, marketing, and social media campaigns & analytics, Jodi Brzustowicz has a passion for planning event logistics and a dedication to building relationships with clients in order to produce innovative events from concept to execution. Before joining Steppe Solutions in 2018, she planned and executed multi-day trade shows for an international company in the food service industry, and other sectors including academic, non-profit, and commercial trade shows.  Jodi has gained an appreciation for the vital role of strong organizational skills, attention to detail and budget management skills in guaranteeing each event is extraordinary. Jodi holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing from University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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Stephanie Van'T Land

Stephanie Van't Land joined Steppe Solutions in 2022 following 7 years in Sales and Events with Zingerman’s Catering. While at Zingerman’s, she also grew the Catering department’s marketing and social media by acting as the Marketing Liaison. Stephanie’s event experiences range from managing catering for social and corporate events to assisting with large galas and fundraisers for many non-profit organizations. She was recently certified in Google’s Project Management program and is passionate about organization, superior customer service, and bringing structure to big ideas. Stephanie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management. She strives to create memorable event experiences for each and every client.

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Bryan Weiss

Following a 20+ year career in event planning with the Zingerman's Community of Businesses based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and A.G. Ferrari Foods in Oakland, California, Bryan Weiss joined Steppe Solutions in 2022.  In these roles, Bryan has served his clients in menu planning, event design, event logistics and event production from the most intimate dining experiences to large scale and complex events.  No matter the scope of the event, Bryan is driven to deliver a great experience and peace of mind for his clients from the first meeting to the final event breakdown. Bryan thrives under pressure, and in challenging circumstances.  Every obstacle has a solution, and finding that solution quickly and calmly brings him great satisfaction in his work.  Bryan earned his B.A from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science.

Logistics Engineer

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Molly Lipham

Molly Lipham joined Steppe Solutions in 2020 and brings with her over 20 years of experience working in the classical music industry.  Her experience includes major gift fundraising, special events, and artistic planning with a focus on budgeting and contract negotiation. Molly also served as the executive assistant for a prominent symphony orchestra conductor for over 10 years. She brings a detail-oriented approach with strong multi-tasking skills.  Molly holds a Master of Arts degree from American University.

Special Projects

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Kara Carter

Kara Carter joined the Steppe Solutions team in 2022 after 20 years in event catering with Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor. There, she planned events ranging from weddings to corporate retreats, nurturing a passion for exceptional customer service and a calm energy under pressure. She enjoys connecting with community-driven organizations, building lasting relationships with clients and working as part of a team to accomplish the vision. Kara earned her BA in Sports Management & Communications from the University of Michigan and is certified in Radio Broadcasting. Her other professional experience includes radio post-production, recreation facility management and faculty administrative support.  This diverse skill set and attention to aesthetic detail contribute to the success of her events and projects.

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