Meet Our Team


Kristen Prestwood Owner, Chief of Event Planning & Design

An entrepreneur at heart, Kristen started her first company, By Design Event Group, in 2007 after realizing her love for events.  In 2010, she decided to merge her company with Sterling Events Group to create Sterling By Design- Carolinas as the Director of Event Design for the company.  In this next venture, Kristen returns to her passion by taking a spark of an idea and producing her biggest project yet: Spark By Design.  This company represents the conglomeration of Sterling Events Destination Management Division and Sterling By Design.  She is able to explore two of her strongest talents: full service event planning as well as event design.  Passionate about producing unique and unexpected events, she finds inspiration everywhere traveling both nationally and internationally to attend leading design conferences to bring the latest and greatest award winning trends back home to the Carolinas. Kristen has served on the Board of Directors for ISES (International Special Events Society) and NACE (National Association of Catering and Events) and is currently serving on the UNC-Charlotte Meeting and Event Planning Board of Advisors.


Helen Apple Director of Event Operations

This North Carolina native thrives on sorting through the nuts and bolts of events to bring life to abstract ideas. Since 2006, Helen has been known in the Charlotte industry for tackling logistical challenges by uncovering the most effective event solutions and solving the most challenging ‘how-to’ problems…all with a smile!  She loves the creative process of building the foundation of events through timelines & fabrications and executing a perfect event experience with our dedicated DMC Staff and Design Crew. Helen began her career in Events at Discovery Place and then moved on to Sterling Events Charlotte as Manager of Operations.  She has served on the Board of Directors for the International Special Events Society of Charlotte since 2010 and began her term as President in July 2015.


Claire Williams Event Specialist

Claire Williams Event Specialist

Claire’s love of planning started early in her home state of Maryland where she practiced the art of blending customer service with design at an upscale furniture store and interior design studio. She carried her experience to Charlotte where she worked with a firm to create marketing strategies for unique and hand-crafted jewelry while attending Queens University.  At Queens, she broadened her leadership and planning skills through campus involvement. Throughout her education, she found that her talents most suited her for a degree in Business and Interior Design. Upon graduation, she started her career with a company where she expanded her customer service and operations skills. Through client management and vendor coordination she has grown to love the organization and attention to detail needed within special events. Claire’s creativity, enthusiasm, flexibility, and professionalism combined with her sense of humor under pressure makes her an integral part of our growing Spark team.


Our Staff

Our Project Managers, Teambuilding Facilitators, Tour Guides, DMC Staff, and Design Crew are integral members of our team. They are the smiling faces that greet you upon arrival, the trouble-shooters behind the scenes, and the skilled artisans that build your event from the ground up! Always providing the highest level of customer service, our team shares in our desire to provide the perfect experience for your event.

Our Affiliations

Spark By Design is a proud member of the following industry organizations: