About Michelle Durpetti
Michelle is the founder of Michelle Durpetti Events, with offices in both Chicago, IL and Palm Beach, FL. She is the Managing Partner of her family’s business, Chicago’s original Tuscan steakhouse, Gene & Georgetti. Named a Knight of Alba in 2023, she is honored to represent her Italian heritage. Further, she actively seeks opportunities to help her community and sits on the board of PAWS Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association. She earned the title “One of the Country’s Top 50 Planners in 2018, was named “Woman of Style” in 2017, was selected as a “Bride’s Choice” winner on Wedding Wire in 2013, and “Best of” wedding planner by The Knot in 2014. She has been a member of Style Me Pretty’s “Little Black Book” and a Grace Ormonde Platinum Wedding vendor. Her work has been featured locally in Chicago Social Brides, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman, Your Trendy Magazine, and Chicago Style Weddings. It has been seen nationally on Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde, MOD weddings, Wedding Chicks, and Style Unveiled.
In 2008 McGowan Durpetti & Associates was founded on the principle that event planners must be a reliable source of creative ideas combined with practical experience, flexibility, and know-how to manage an event from beginning to end.
Over the next two years, MD&A worked with various corporate, social and non-profit clients, producing numerous events, including the top event of BizBash Chicago’s Top 100 Events list – the Green Tie Ball. Exhibit City News, the nation’s only tradeshow industry newspaper, named Michelle as one of their top 40 under 40 of 2009. Michelle was also thrilled to join the Chicago Chapter of Wish Upon A Wedding: the World’s first nonprofit wedding wish granting organization.
In June of 2010, Michelle steered McGowan Durpetti & Associates in a new direction with the re-launch of the company as Michelle Durpetti Events, expanding its list of services to include wedding coordination and destination management in addition to event management and creative development.
Named “Woman of Style” in 2017
While attending college in both the United States and Italy where she would eventually obtain a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Italian Language studies, she kick started her career with an internship at Jasculca/Terman & Associates: a Chicago based public relations firm specializing in PR and event management. During her time there,, Michelle worked on many events for both corporate and non-profit clients alike, including: After School matters, AT&T, the Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCEO) Illinois, Midwest Generation, the Chicago Housing Authority, Washington Mutual, (then) Senator Hillary Clinton’s book signing tour, President Barack Obama’s 2004 IL senate campaign, and the 2004 AFL-CIO democratic primary presidential debates. Michelle was also part of a team that spent much of 2004 traveling to college campuses throughout the country for Declare Yourself – a non-partisan youth voter registration initiative created by famed television producer Norman Lear. She topped off her 3 year journey at Jusculca/Terman & Associates by being a member of the 60+ team that produced the William J. Clinton presidential library Grand Opening dedication ceremony.
Michelle moved on to accept a position at Edelman, a full service global public relations firm, working on various accounts including Unilever and AXE men’s body spray. However, she soon realized that the corporate life was not for her and began working for the Italian Trade Commision and freelancing as an events specialist at Chicago restaurant Gene & Georgetti. There she produced various private events including birthdays, weddings, the grand opening of the sales office at Lincoln Park 2520 and both the 60th and 65th-anniversary celebrations of the restaurant. This involvement in the Chicago Italian eatery was a milestone for Michelle as Gene & Georgetti has been a family owned and operated business for more than to 70 years, and founded by Michelle’s grandfather, Gene Michelotti.
Michelle has also been responsible for producing events for her family’s business for many years. Other clients include the Tennis Opportunity Program, Chicago Opera Theater, The Tripp Healy Foundation, and Ben Mahoney Productions. Through Michelle Durpetti Events’ contributions to their non-profit clients, they helped to raise over $350,000 towards various charities in 2014 alone.
In 2018, Named “One of the Country’s Top 50 Planners”
Wish Upon a Wedding, a national nonprofit and the world’s first wish granting organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances regardless of sexual orientation has acknowledged Durpetti as one of three recipients of the 2014 Shining Star Award. This honor was their way to thank and pay tribute to the professionals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.
Michelle was selected as a “Bride’s Choice” winner on Wedding Wire in 2013, and “Best of” wedding planner by The Knot in 2014. She has been a member of Style Me Pretty’s “Little Black Book” and a Grace Ormonde Platinum Wedding vendor. Her work has been featured locally in Chicago Social Brides, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman, Your Trendy Magazine, and Chicago Style Weddings. It has been seen nationally on Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde, MOD weddings, Wedding Chicks, and Style Unveiled.
She has been featured as an industry expert on Chicago’s WGN TV, Fox 32, WCIU The U, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine, CS Magazine, and Illinois Meetings & Events among others. She was also a nominee for Social Event Planner of the Year for the BizBash Readers’ Choice Awards.
At almost the 15 year marker with MDE, Michelle still loves designing events and working closely with couples to help bring their unique and ideal wedding vision to life. She balances her time between MDE and being a managing partner in her family’s business here in Chicago while also being a competitive amateur equestrian and volunteering her time with various charitable organizations. She was named a “woman of style” in 2017 by Chicago Social magazine and one of the top 50 planners in the country by Partyslate in 2018, and looks forward to sharing her experiences with you!