Meet the Staff

We’d love to get to know you better – in the meantime, here’s a little bit about us! We started out with the same old stuffy bios (written in very precise 3rd person, of course) but decided it would be much more fun – and maybe more informative – if we wrote each others bios!

Rebecca Takemoto (as told by client Austin Matthews)
Rebecca Takemoto literally makes elephants dance!  She spent her college years studying music (vocal performance and pedagogy) and Human Resources/Management in college. Post school Rebecca needed a ‘real job’ , so decided to tip her hat at the planning world. She quickly found she had quite a knack for it and has been using her abilities to get things moving at Syncopate since 2000.  Rebecca effortlessly makes easy work of planning events for ten to 10,000, and intersperses that work with helping her clients get the most out of their meetings and events. Her favorite part of any client experience is helping a client realize their potential as an organization. (We didn’t say she’s not a control freak). Sailing, skiing and racing around with four kids (and a husband) use the same skills as her company:  planning, mapping, moving, synchronizing and, above all, getting it all done on time.  Perfectly.  Each time.
Saige Burns (as told by: Rebecca Takemoto)

SaigeSaige has an adventurous fun-loving personality that people just want to be around. Early in her career Saige became a Capitol Hill staffer and worked for U.S. Senator Bennett. Saige loves traveling and as Miss Rodeo Utah, she was well on her way to visiting all 50 states! She’s now working on countries. Saige earned a Bachelors degree in Marketing Communications from Southern Utah University, and has been communicating ever since. Saige uses her talents throughout the community, volunteering for the things she loves; her kids’ schools, food drives, clothing drives, and most recently as the Vice President of the PTA. Her laugh is contagious and we guarantee you’ll go away happier after meeting Saige.

Allison McMullin (as told by: Gene Summers)
Allison is the all-american, Bluegrass-listenin’ girl who needed to spend time in all parts of the country so she could appreciate calling Northern Virginia her home. After growing up on the east coast she up and moved to the wild, wild West to attend college at Brigham Young University. Yep! Wild. She spent enough time there to earn a Bachelors degree and a Master in Public Administration. She moved onto the mid-west while her husband attended graduate school in Bloomington, IN before returning to Virginia to stay. Now, the mom of three very active girls, she spends her days running from from the office to swim practice, soccer games and over to music lessons. Once she even dressed her daughter for a recital wearing shin guards and cleats! (I’m kidding…maybe.) She uses her expertise in Public Administration to boss around the community members, PTA, church youth group and anyone else who will give her the time of day. Allison is the epitome of a hard worker, who enjoys the pieces of the puzzle as much as the full picture itself. And all the while she carries on with a pleasant smile and gregarious personality which puts clients and co-workers at ease! Allison is currently on a sabbatical of sorts while she and her family discover life in the Outback. We refuse to take her off the payroll – she just has a MUCH longer commute!


Sarah Sherman (We all pitched in on this one)

Sarah is the voice of Syncopate. We know that we’re not always sitting in the office (what meeting planners are?) but if you catch one of us on the phone, it’s probably Sarah. We feel extremely lucky to be Sarah’s first grown up job, after her recent graduation from the University of Virginia. Sarah is the nicest person any of us have ever met. Enough said!


Gene Summers (as told by: Allison McMullin)
Gene Summers is a client favorite onsite. He is super organized (likes to clean up Registration when Rebecca is not looking!), is always willing to do the Diet Coke or chocolate runs, and always has a smile and a good story to tell.   Gene spent college singing, where he met Syncopate owner, Rebecca. If you’re really nice – they might sing for you one day. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Vocal Performance. He sang roles with Boston Lyric Opera, Baltimore Opera, Opera Omaha, Utah Opera, Utah Festival Opera, etc, etc. Gene moved around a lot as an Air Force brat – but has now settled in Southern MD with his wife and 4 kids. A love of languages and need for stability led Gene to seek a teaching position with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, but still works part-time for Syncopate. Diehard Redskin and Orioles fan, living in MD suits him well. One thing Gene still hopes to do? Be the voice of a Disney character in a movie. We all agree he should be singing his way to saving the girl in the next big Disney flick!


Kelly Thornton (as told by: Rebecca Takemoto)
Boring Stuff: Kelly grew up in Salt Lake City and attended the University of Utah. She worked for Delta Airlines for 14 years doing everything from reservations to shlepping bags. She joined the ranks of Syncopate when she moved to Virginia in 2006. Currently, Kelly lives in Tucson with her husband and 3 crazy kids. Fun Stuff: I have never seen anyone work a registration desk like Kelly Thornton. It must be all of those years at Delta Airlines, but everyone leaves the registration area smiling after they’ve dealt with Kelly (and lets face it, sometimes there’s not much to smile about). Kelly and I started Syncopate Catering several years ago — pretty much so we could buy cool dishes. We had lots of fun, and made some pretty great food, too. In 2012, Kelly and her family moved to Tucson – where she now holds down the fort of our first expansion office. Kelly is our marketing guru – always looking for fun new ways to expand our book of business. She can sell ANYTHING and usually takes on the task of exhibit and sponsorship sales. Kelly loves to cook, watch chick flicks and she reads about 10 books a week (why sleep when you can read a trashy novel??) She is an avid volunteer for children with disabilities, the local schools & community and annually, she and her son spend several weeks on a volunteer trip to Uganda. Most importantly, Kelly is a fiercely loyal friend – one you always want on your side!