About Us

Your Trusted Source for Event Planning in Harrisburg, PA

As a local leader in event planning services, our team of professionals are ready to take on your next community, corporate, outdoor, or virtual event.

More About Us

About Central PA’s Event Planning Experts

Since 2001 we have been helping clients create fantastic, memorable, and safe events.  We excel with Grand openings, anniversaries, large conferences, outdoor celebrations and even some rather strange requests. From conventions to exhibitions, pumpkin towers to pie fights, Olympic celebrations to formal banquets, we help clients grab the most from every event opportunity.

John Hanks, Jr. President

About the Founder

John Hanks, Jr.

Team Member Since 2001

John founded Make It Happen Events in 2001 after more than a decade of experience in the events industry. Starting as an intern working on a statewide conference, he went on to serve as the Director of Catering at the Penn Harris Convention Center, and Rental Manager at the Zembo Shrine, learning many facets of the profession. His passion for events, creative problem solving, and organizational skills, have given him the tools to create amazing projects. He is a founding Board member of the Lower Paxton Community Foundation, Chairman of the Mr. PA Football Foundation, Board member of the local Habitat for Humanity, and Vice President of the Penbrook Historical Society.

Meet the Team

Chris Lunden Senior Event Manager

Chris Lunden

Senior Event Manager
Team Member Since 2012

Chris has more than 15 years of event management experience. He has worked full-time with various nonprofit organizations planning large-scale fundraising and volunteer events. Chris works on most of our larger events organizing logistics before the event and onsite. He is a graduate of Lock Haven University. Chris takes pride in managing one of our largest events, Lower Paxton Christkindlmarkt.

Rebecca Wolf Event Manager

Rebecca Wolf

Event Manager
Team Member Since 2019

Rebecca served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as an E8 Senior Master Sergeant. She managed military event venues and managed the households of five 2-4 star General officers and base wide events. Her last assignment was as Superintendent and First Sergeant, Operational Mission Support, leading the hospitality branch for the entire USAF. She manages the complex details of our events, coordinating dozens of elements.

Brenda Pulaski Administrative Manager

Brenda Pulaski

Administrative Manager
Team Member Since 2008

Brenda handles the back office details of the team and can usually be found at the registration table at our events. She handles data management and keeps us organized from planning through thank you’s. Brenda graduated from Lebanon Valley College with a degree in Music Business.

Jo Brindley Event Coordinator

Jo Brindley

Event Coordinator
Team Member Since 2018

Jo has more than 15 years of event management experience. She has been a senior manager at various non-profit organizations, focused on top-tier fundraising. Jo is able to step in and execute a complex plan onsite. She attended Longwood University. Jo is past President of the Junior League of Harrisburg.

Kristie Davis Event Coordinator

Kristie Davis

Event Coordinator
Team Member Since 2019

Kristie has more than 15 years of event management experience. She has held senior positions at several non-profit organizations often involving children and families. Kristie is a graduate of University of Phoenix.  She helps to manage our onsite operations.

Why Choose Make It Happen Events?


Make It Happen Events is our go-to event producing partner!

“John & his team consistently supply the creative ideas, administrative and organizational structure, and passion to create memorial celebrations. Make It Happen Events is our go-to event producing partner.”

Representative Ron Marsico (ret) / Dauphin County Heroes Grove

They gave us the support to make our celebration a triumph!

“John & Chris are amazing! We didn’t know what we were missing until we hired them a year into the process. They gave us the support to make our celebration a triumph and our relationship continues.

Polly Murphy, Event Co. Chair / Linglestown 250th

Each sponsor received recognition and everyone felt supported!

“The content was well organized. The recorded segments gave each of our sponsors recognition and the presenters knew what was expected and felt supported.

Wayde Marsico / Executive Director

Our complicated agenda flowed easily!

“Our complicated agenda flowed easily because of Make It Happen Events’ detailed planning and solid execution. The speakers had their moment to shine, and the online balloting functioned smoothly.

Dave Feidt, Chairman / DCRC

Snapshots of Past Events