Q.How long have you been working in the event industry?
A.My first “formal” event position was in the Country Club business 8 years ago, but even as a child I was planning my friend’s birthday parties. During high school, college, and professional career event planning has continued to be a major part of each experience and position. It is truly wonderful to know in your heart that you are doing what you were meant to do in life.
Q.What type of events do you have the most experience in?
A.My experience is vast because of the length of time planning events, but if I had to select one type it would probably be weddings. During a 3 year period I booked and planned over 142 weddings. I still enjoy weddings very much, however, being at Classic allows me the freedom and opportunity to plan events for anyone and everyone.
Q.How would you describe your design style?
A.When I design events I like to understand the “mind set” of each client. It’s their vision partnered with my sense of style (clean, beautiful, creative, logistically sound with the ability to change gears on a moment’s notice) to create success.
Q.What was your most challenging event?
A.In 1997 I was contracted as Executive Planner for the Grand Opening Gala of an Event Pavilion in Enid, Oklahoma. The VIP guest count was 850, the meal “plated” the bar “forever flowing” and the space…fit for a Rodeo King. Our challenge was to make the massive arena feel like an intimate dinner in your personal dining room. With the arena dome height ceilings, very limited kitchen/food service space and décor we had a great challenge ahead. My first task was to gather the “team”. With our Governor, many dignitaries and military heroes attending, we had to deliver! Yes – I will brag…the event was absolutely amazing and it would have not been possible without my counterparts. We all learned a great lesson at the end of the event – how to appropriately manage unruly guests. Can you imagine: she was dressed in her finest gown, rubbed noses with all the important “folk” and at the end of the event came to me carrying 2-5 gallon buckets and demandingly said “I’m taking all the leftovers home to my pigs. Where is the kitchen?” Due to health regulations that was not an option. She was not happy, but with a bit of finesse and patience on our part she left the event with a few carry out boxes for “guests unable to attend.” In a nutshell – every event is an opportunity for learning and personal growth.
Q.What was your favorite event?
A.My 40th birthday. I was moving back home to North Carolina from Oklahoma and wanted to do something very special. I invited 12 of my most important friends, most of whom did not know one another. The party was at my home in the back yard by the pool and fireplace. The chairs were all arranged in a circle. We chatted, snacked and sipped wine all night. As everyone was leaving I presented each individual guest with a hand written letter, some of them 8-10 pages, looking back at our relationship, how we met, how much they meant to me and why. That night created new friendships, strengthened the bonds between us and left lasting impressions for all….Hopefully each and every time a client walks in the door we put this type of heart and soul into making their event as memorable as one we would plan for ourselves.
Q.What’s your favorite type of venue to work with?
A.Venues that keep the customer in mind – beauty, functionality, appropriate service areas and the ability to transform without breaking the bank. We can create all types of wonderful events but at times venues can be a logistical nightmare. Staffing and personalities can also be a big factor with venues.