About The Team

Meet the team behind your event:

Nicole T. Samolis, CSEP

President and Creative Director

I stumbled upon the Events Industry in 1996 while looking for a career change when my youngest son, Sean, headed off to school with his big brother Matthew. Not knowing what I wanted to do, I bought a couple of books to get the ideas rolling. Through that process, I discovered the up-and-coming industry of Special Events. This appealed to my love for gatherings with friends and family, my creativity as a fashion designer, and the challenge of business from the 9 years I’d spent in retail management. My first company, The Events Company, was born and since then I have spent time planning events for clients in all the other venues across CNY, the US, and even Cancun.

When planning events in other cities across the US, we would find unique venues that had great ambiance and got our clients and their guests out of the traditional conference ballrooms. I longed to have something similar in Syracuse and another idea started to percolate and a new business plan started to be formulated. I wanted a venue that was not only unique in its ambiance, but provided the event planning and offered exceptional food with exceptional service. We would customize each event to the needs of the client and the experience they wanted to create or allowed us to create for them.

As we crunched numbers, saw the increased demand for unique event space, and the need for more venue space in Syracuse, we realized that we’d be crazy not to pursue our idea – although I think everyone else thought we were crazy for pursuing it. What people may or may not know about me is that once I decide to do something, I will persist until I achieve it.

Fast forward from the germination of the idea and, voila! SKY Armory. The ‘voila!’ consisted of a lot of blood, sweat, and sleepless nights and the support of my father, whom I lovingly refer to as ‘the bank of Dad,’ for if it weren’t for his support, guidance, and belief in the project, the idea of SKY would have remained only an idea.

I’m so proud of the amazing team that I have; it makes coming to work every day such fun. I’m thankful for the clients who chose SKY Armory for their event and I promise that we will continue to wow! you and your guests with our beautiful space, fabulous food, funky cocktails, and our friendly event team.


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Amy Preble

Sales Manager

Before coming to SKY in 2013, I was the Senior Sales & Catering Manager at Vernon Downs Casino where I assisted in opening a 5 million dollar expansion and leading the sales team. Prior to that, I worked in Sales/Wedding Planning at the Hotel Syracuse. I worked with clients on designing menus, cakes, floor plans and the overall timeline for their event. I also assisted in helping clients find vendors and managed the overall planning experience. Before that, I lived in New Orleans, LA for eight years and worked at Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House in Sales where I planned weddings, corporate and social events. I started as a back waiter at their sister location, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, and worked my way up to sales manager for their largest location. I officially became hooked on sales, food and beverage after that. 

Everything about SKY made me want to be a part of it! Farm-to-table food, customized bars, turn-key service that ensures a flawless event, and the idea that nothing will ever be the same from one event to the next. My job is to inform people about how unique and different this property is and that there is nothing like it in Syracuse. I break down each of the details and let clients know of all their options. I love working with all different people and seeing that we can execute everybody's vision. I am so happy to be a part of something with an approach that is all about the client and what they are looking for. I love getting out there and just talking about SKY. My passion for the industry and SKY shows the minute I start talking about it.

In my free time, I teach spinning and love working out at Metro Fitness in downtown Syracuse. I also spend as much time with my family and friends and have just signed up for my first half marathon!

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Katie Sipple

Event Planner

I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY where I returned to after college to start my career as an Event Coordinator. I learned the operations behind large scale events and the effectiveness of teamwork while developing client relationships through exceptional communication, customer service and responsiveness. SKY Armory has led me on a new creative path into the innovative event planning field where I find the opportunity of ideas to be endless! SKY starts with a blank canvas and transforms each space to make it totally your own. No two events are ever the same. With the creativity and imagination we have on our team, we see this unfold on a daily basis. I love planning events because with every event comes a lifetime of memories for the client.

In my spare time I enjoy designing, participating in sports, and spending time with my friends and family!

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Rachael Demling

Event Coordinator

Before coming to SKY, I have always worked in the restaurant industry as a bartender and server but have always wanted to take part in events. I fell in love with SKY when I attended a summer wedding here. The atmosphere, service, and staff made me want to be a part of it all. It was my dream, and SKY made it a reality. Being an event coordinator is an incredibly rewarding career, from making sure the room is perfect before the event, to watching the client leave the building with a smile on their face raving about their experience. My friendly personality and love for people along with my high attention to detail helps me thrive to fulfill any clients request. Our staff's customer service and professionalism helps create the best guest experience every time, and I love being the driving force behind that. I am honored to be a part of the SKY Team. 

In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, traveling and exploring new cities. 

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Janet Czornij

Bar Manager

I have always worked in the restaurant industry.  I feel this type of customer service has given me an opportunity to thrive and to make an impact on people's lives.  I've sincerely always enjoyed all aspects of the business; my position now at SKY gives me so much more satisfaction.  Working closely with the clients really makes it possible to make an everlasting impression, personally and professionally.  This establishment is full of women and men that I look up to and constantly learn from.  It is a busy environment here at SKY, and I'm honored to be a part of it.

I have a beautiful little, growing family at home that fills my days when I am not working here!

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Sara Zieniuk

Marketing Specialist

I graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2017 where I majored in communications and minored in sport management. Upon graduation I accepted a sales position in athletics at Syracuse University while picking up extra hours as a dining attendant here at SKY Armory. While sales was a good stepping stone to get me to where I am, I always knew the marketing aspect of driving business was more my scene. I love exercising my creative abilities while working in a team atmosphere to bounce ideas off of one another. I love the environment I have been welcomed into and being a part of the SKY team!  

Outside of SKY, I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my friends and family, and watching Ellen!

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Shannon Connor

Digital Marketing Specialist

After deciding in 2010 that I was not cut out for a career in forensics, I graduated from Hilbert College in 2013 with my B.A. in English and a minor in Criminal Justice Law. My first full-time job was working as a copy editor for an outsource company in Buffalo where I edited obituaries for several large newspapers across the United States and Canada before becoming an account representative. Wanting to have a better grasp on advertising and with the hope of one day owning my own business and being able to handle my own marketing, I applied to and was accepted into the master's degree program in advertising at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University where I emphasized in digital marketing. Following graduation in 2016, I started working at Terakeet where I had the opportunity to dig further into SEO, email marketing, and writing content. I became interested in working client-side and in an industry that’s always moving and changing, and SKY Armory was the perfect fit. I enjoy working on different projects with a broad range of responsibilities and learning as I go.

After work I love to practice calligraphy, spend time with my friends, visit my family in Buffalo, and experience new places.

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