President & Creative Director
As President of The Dufour Collaborative, one of the nation’s premier experience design firms, Philip Dufour brings his signature style to every event. With formal training in graphic design and professional experience spanning government affairs, corporate relations, and event production, Philip marries strategic and diplomatic sensibilities with a finely-tuned design aesthetic to create experiences that move, delight, and unite people.
Prior to creating Dufour & Co, Philip co-founded the J Street Group, LLC in 2005. This followed his tenure as Director of Development and Events for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, where he led a 10+ person staff in creating, planning, and managing high-visibility development events, raising more than $8 million annually, attracting major celebrities, and garnering extensive media coverage.
During the Clinton-Gore administration, Philip served as Social Secretary to the Vice President of the United States. In that capacity, he coordinated all special events at the Vice President's residence including foreign and domestic policy exchanges as well as official visits with heads of state, foreign dignitaries, corporate leaders, and Members of Congress. He also served as Mrs. Tipper Gore's Deputy Chief of Staff, overseeing her official schedule and accompanying Mrs. Gore on foreign missions and domestic trips.
Earlier in his career, Philip served in the Office of Protocol at the Department of State, as the first Director of Events for the Human Rights Campaign, and as a Capitol Hill Press Secretary.
Executive Vice President
Nate Rohnke has more than a dozen years of live event production experience in the live music, corporate and non-profit spaces. He started in the industry at his local theater at age 17. Over the course of his career he has worked on more than 3500 projects. Prior to joining The Dufour Collaborative, Nate managed technical production in a 650,000 square foot museum in the heart of Washington, D.C., working with high profile clients including Sony Pictures, Google, Red Bull and Bloomberg.
Nate brings critical technical and logistical experience to The Dufour Collaborative. Having overseen events in multiple venues including the National Mall, the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and local Washington, DC theaters and hotels.
Megan Finnegan comes to The Dufour Collaborative with nearly two decades of experience in the event industry. Beginning her career with a local Destination Management Company, she produced many large-scale corporate events at various venues and outdoor spaces in the DC area. Her love of food and eye for design inspired a career change that brought her to Washington’s top off-premise caterer. While there, she created events for corporate, government, social, and wedding clients for up to 5000 guests. Understanding the guest experience was not only about the catering, Megan often managed all aspects of the event for her clients. The knowledge gained during her years of full service catering gave her the skills and experience in implementing details that The Dufour Collaborative is known for and so it was a natural transition for her to join the Dufour team.
Megan is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland.
Laura joined the Dufour team on the West Coast after gaining 15 years of experience in the hotel industry at five-star properties including the St. Regis Monarch Beach and Montage Laguna Beach, where she was known for her expertise in conference and event management for high-profile clientele. Her path to the industry was an unconventional one; Laura graduated from Wittenberg University with a degree in Biology, specializing in Marine Sciences. She then worked as a teacher/naturalist organizing and leading trips for school children into the wilderness for rock climbing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Event planning and attention to detail had always been a passion, so she turned it into a career in hotels planning large scale events, conferences and meetings, where she met the The Dufour Collaborative team and a great partnership was born. Laura has also served the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run and co-founded the Environmental Impact Committee at Montage, where she was instrumental in implementing sustainability practices across the brand.
Abby Haley comes to The Dufour Collaborative with a background in non-profit event planning, having previously worked for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation managing special events in the DC area and community events around the country. With the Foundation, Abby gained experience working on high-level events with many moving pieces and significant guest counts, including an annual conference and the Foundation’s first fundraising gala. These experiences, as well as her attention to detail, lend well to working on the broad range of client projects at Dufour. Abby is a graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.
Kathryn joined the Dufour team as an intern in 2017, and joined the team full time in 2018. While an undergraduate at The George Washington University, Kathryn completed internships with a range of disciplines, from a local knitwear company to the U.S. Department of State. These experiences, combined with her attention to detail and degree in International Business, allowed her to transition easily to the broad diversity of Dufour’s client roster. Kathryn’s kind spirit, strong work ethic and boundless curiosity make her an asset to the Dufour team. She is a native of Alabama.
Gabby began as an intern with the Dufour Collaborative during her senior year at the George Washington University, joining full time in 2019. As an undergraduate, Gabby had a number of politically focused internships including positions on Capitol Hill and at a DC bipartisan think tank. These opportunities, in addition to the leadership experiences she gained through her on campus organizations, have prepared her to be an asset in providing a quality client experience. Gabby’s positive attitude, adaptability, and creative spirit are vital in completing her day to day tasks, including guest list management, venue searches, and travel itineraries.
Business Development Manager
Emily Shaw has more than twenty years of combined political and policy experience working on Capitol Hill, in government relations, and in political fundraising and event production. Eight of her eleven Capitol Hill years were spent as political and policy advisor to Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-La), who rose to the ranks of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair. She began her Hill career as professional staff on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Most recently, Emily served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Emily spent many years in the private sector as senior consultant at two leading government affairs offices in Washington where she managed accounts including Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and other interests focused on energy, environment and telecommunications policy.
After leaving Capitol Hill, Emily created a leadership political action committee where she fundraised for both the PAC and other Republican members and candidates. Through her work with the PAC, Emily oversaw political event planning, fundraising and implementation, both inside and outside of Washington, D.C.
Lauren-Michelle Smith joins The Dufour Collaborative with almost twenty years of hospitality experience in both restaurants and live events. She most recently worked for a world renowned luxury caterer at one of DC’s top museums. There she seized the opportunity to broaden her special event experience. Lauren-Michelle was actively involved with coordinating technical specs, event logistics, guest flow, spatial layout, vendor acquisition, and overall design in addition to her catering duties. She has worked on a wide range of high-level corporate, government, and social events. Clients have included former presidents, c-suite executives, foreign dignitaries, global brands, media groups, political organizations, and professional sports teams. Although a food & beverage pro, she studied graphic design as an undergraduate and dabbles in photography and painting.