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With over 20 years of experience in the events industry,

owner Lani Ballonoff’s business philosophy is simple:


Provide creative designs, great customer service, attention to detail, and utmost professionalism.


Lani infuses his extensive background in theatre and the arts to bring flair to weddings, social and corporate events, gatherings of all types. Along with his team of dedicated event directors, technicians, and specialists, Lani and all the experts at SPARK Creative Events have one goal—creating your perfect event.

Get Inspired. Find Your SPARK.


Brides & Grooms

LGBTQIA Weddings

Wedding & Event Planners 

Caterers & Rental Companies

Private Parties & Celebrations

Corporate Events

Nonprofit Groups



Santa Barbara



Santa Ynez

San Luis Obispo





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Lani Ballonoff

President & Chief Designer

A California native, Lani’s passion for art and technology led him to the theatre to design lighting, sound, and sets. After spending ten years working in the theatre and completing his business degree at UCSB, Lani founded what has grown to be SPARK Creative Group in 2006. The company combined his fascination with creating illuminated worlds and his considerable technological know-how. Lani prides himself on excellent customer service paired with unique custom realization of each client’s vision. He leads an exceptional and ever-growing team that is raising the bar for event production throughout the central and south coast. When not managing events, you can find Lani working in the garden or in the kitchen with his wife, daughter Annabelle and son Zac, or restoring vintage cars.

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Alexander Jillson

Operations & Event Director

Alex is a Redlands native with family ties to Santa Barbara.  He loves exploring the central coast's natural beauty and as an avid cyclist, can be found on 100 mile rides or quick trips to the local breweries. Alex is a people person which led him to a degree in psychology. He can walk you through each step of planning your perfect event, from design to execution.

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Stephanie Nguyen

Event Director

Stephanie is a San Jose native who now resides in sunny Southern California. Her master craft is the art of turning everyday objects into one of a kind masterpieces. With her background in visual merchandising and marketing, she brings a unique twist to the event industry. Outside of the office, you can find her catching fly balls at the softball fields!  


Janina Mason

Event Director

Janina is a Santa Barbara native who has been active in the local performing arts and events community for most of her life. Formerly a dancer and a theater kid, she combined what she loves most about the theater + her love of celebrating life events and turned them into an exciting career! She studied Hospitality and Event Management at the University of Nevada Las Vegas; with an emphasis on luxury and entertainment events including: music, film, and food festivals. Janina's hobbies include: quad roller skating, bartending and craft cocktail mixology, stand up comedy, and analyzing films for deeper meanings. 


Skip Stecker

Rentals Manager

A Santa Barbara native and a long-time member of the Music and Entertainment community, Skip is a professional and experienced musician, touring sound engineer, and tour manager responsible for all aspects of shows and productions. Whether it is intimate to grand, mild to wild, or anything in between, Skip's desire is to ensure the client is wowed and inspired. Skip's longtime history of installation, design, and professionalism makes him a great leader for our Rentals and Lightscapes divisions. In his spare time, Skip loves to DJ for the SB locals. 

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Kate Ferrian

Office Manager

Kate has spent the last twenty years in Santa Barbara applying her business degree to office management and support for local profit and non-profit organizations. In her personal time, she satisfies her love of theater by attending concerts and stage productions. She also enjoys pottery and giving back to the community by volunteering at events.


Sarah Flores

Warehouse Manager

Sarah is a Santa Barbara native who loves all things Halloween. She went back to school to work in a more creative industry and received degrees in Studio and Theatre Art. She has since worked in local theatre honing her wig and makeup skills before joining SPARK. At SPARK, Sarah enjoys bringing the artistic vision of the consultants to life as well as keeping an organized warehouse. 


Nathan Gibbings

Production Lead

Bio coming soon.


Nikki Faitell

Executive Assistant

Born and raised in New York, Nikki developed a love for the performing arts from a very young age. After training to be a professional dancer at Gelsey Kirkland  Academy of Classical Ballet, Nikki moved to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB and graduated with a B.A in Communication and a Certificate in Technology Management. Her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit led her to start a business with her mom after graduation, opening Faitell Attractions, a vintage furniture store. There she refined her skills in customer service, sales, marketing and design. Nikki has also been involved in a variety of performing arts and has experience in the music/entertainment industry, working events of all kinds. Nikki brings her enthusiasm, artistic vision, and attention to detail to SPARK and is thrilled to join the team!

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Jessica Ballonoff


Jessica has an extensive background in performing arts production. As a producer for numerous theater companies in Santa Barbara, Jessica brought her administrative and creative skills together to make each event spectacular. She is delighted to bring her unique perspective to the SPARK team to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

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