Creating Atmosphere Cultivating Possibilities

Meet the Team

Dani JohnsonDani Johnson is the President and Founder of Special Gathering, LLC.

Dani has been an Event Producer and Brand Strategist for over 10 years serving the philanthropic and not-for-profit community nationally.  Dani is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a degree in Advertising and Communications.  Dani also received a meeting and event planning designation from Goucher College in Towson Maryland.  Dani loves spending time with her family, friends, and her shih tzu Roxy during her off time.  Dani also enjoys the culinary arts.  Dani spends her free time volunteering with the Minority Philanthropic Society. An organization with a mission to promote education and advocacy for diverse minority people about personal responsibility for yourself, family, and your community.  It also serves as a conduit for awakening the philanthropic spirit within minority communities through connecting with the philanthropic world.

Dani recently polled her clients and colleagues and asked the following question “Name 3 things that make me memorable to you” and here is what they said: Deep, Loving, Creative, Ebullient, Spiritual, Free Spirit, Smile, Passionate, Infectious Laugh, Chance Taking, Integrity, Spirit, Big Heart, Dedication to Humanity and causes that impact others, Honesty, Influence, Intelligence, Voice, Light, Driven, Compassionate, Loyal.

Grace GiermekGrace Giermek, Event Agent

Grace Giermek has been an event agent for Special Gathering since 2006. Grace has worked on many community-building projects in the foundation world for the last 12 years. Her client list includes: Arkansas Community Foundation, Associated Black Charities, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Charitable Choices, Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media, JWS Consulting, Kathryn Shagas Design, Special Gathering, LLC, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

Through the Diarist Project, a project she has worked on since 2003 with Charitable Choices and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, she has been exploring a new approach to documenting and learning from the work of the Making Connections initiative.  The idea has been to record, over time, the thinking of key people involved in this work.  The diarist approach is a mix of journalism, oral history, process documentation, reflective practice and communications strategies.

Grace received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Communications from The American University with minors in public relations and advertising and studied political science and cultural arts at The University of London, Birkbeck College.

Tracy HetzelTracy Hetzel, Creative Designer

Tracy is a talented designer with over 15 years of experience. Originally trained in art at Alfred University she soon moved on and is a graduate from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Art History. She has also completed several courses at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) to further her art training. She has been a part of the Special Gathering team for over 4 years. Born and raised in Western New York she found her way to Baltimore 19 years ago. She is the mother of two and in her spare time she enjoys painting and making jewelry. Check out her jewelry shop here.

Philip IglehartPhilip L. Iglehart, Web Designer

When Phil is not developing web sites for his clients you can probably find him in an ice rink somewhere watching hockey and sometimes playing. That black vulcanized rubber disc has truly infected his mind. He likes to watch tennis and squash too but not as much. Oh yeah. He also loves to body surf. When coaching others about his unique body surfing technique you can often hear him recite his mantra, “Be the Board.” Other than that he really enjoys the challenge of getting his clients’ messages to the people in a clear, concise and easy to use way. Phil likes to think of himself web architect. Dani affectionately calls him Sgt. Phil.