Colorado Hall of Fame 2018

  • Colorado Hall of Fame 2018

    The seven newest inductees are among the state’s most creative and dedicated industry pros.

     
    POSTED March 13, 2018
     
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Roll out the red carpet and get the gold stars ready as Colorado Meetings + Events announces its latest Hall of Fame inductees. These seven professionals were selected by the magazine’s editorial advisory board, made up of industry professionals from around the state. Congratulations to these talented individuals who are making a positive impact on Colorado and beyond! 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Janie McCullough
Owner; McCullough Marketing

1. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

» Began her career in the tourism industry cleaning condominiums in Winter Park during college

» Upon graduation, worked for the ski industry and Colorado Ski Country USA, working her way up to vice president of marketing for Ski Country

» Started her own company, McCullough Marketing, and Destination Colorado was among her first clients, launching a 20-plus year career in the meetings industry

» Also oversees the Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations and Tourism Industry Association of Colorado

2. BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“I love the people in this industry. Many of them have become great friends of mine, and all of them have been true professionals who care deeply about what they do and who they represent. ... Whether you run a DMC, work for a destination management company, represent a small meetings venue at a dude ranch or represent the Colorado Convention Center, our people all work together to promote Colorado.”  

3. HOPES, DREAMS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:

McCullough hopes that the meetings market becomes more of a priority with state tourism offices, the focus on planning experiential meetings continues, and natural amenities in destinations are utilized by groups. “I really hope that meetings involve a ton of face-toface interaction in very creative ways.”

4. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“Get to know as many people as possible and network! Look for industry events that you can attend, and find one or two really good mentors that can help with introductions.”

5. WAYS THE INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED:

Meetings have become “more inspirational and fun.” Colorado is incorporating its natural resources into experiential meeting value, McCullough observes, and event planners are using what is available to them at the venue (e.g., dressing up an outdoor fire pit area with faux fur). Sustainable meetings and team-building continue to evolve, she says, along with charitable tie-ins and community service. 

BEST MEETING PROFESSIONAL
Keith Templeton

Owner/Managing Partner; Fairway Graphics LLC Partner; Rocky Mountain Event Consultants

1.CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

» His graphics and print career began in 1975 and he grew to management positions in pre-press and the beginning of electronic printing

» Since 1997, he’s been the majority partner of Fairway Graphics, LLC, a graphic design and printing sales company

» He joined forces with sister company, Rocky Mountain Event Consultants, LLC (RMEC) owned by Freddie Buckland (now Freddie Templeton) in 1998

» He runs the operations, marketing and event production for RMEC’s association and meeting planning company

2. BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“Hands down it’s the camaraderie. ... Working as association managers, we have had the opportunity to work with some incredible people and a lot of different boards over the years.”  

3. HOPES, DREAMS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:

A third-generation native of Denver, Templeton hopes to continue expanding the collaboration of meeting and event professionals. “It is certainly a win-win for the Colorado hospitality industry when we work together to create things that are so much bigger than we are individually.”

4. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“Without hesitation, join an association and get involved. ... Business is built on relationships, and the best way to build those is through association involvement. You can attend most as a nonmember a couple times so check out a few of the MIC of Colorado member associations and see where you might get the best return.” 

5. WAYS THE INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED:

“The past five years have been booming in our industry. I don’t know how many hotels have opened, but the fact that we now have names for different portions of Denver (e.g., LoDo, LoHi, RiNo) is proof of the expansion in Denver. ... Just watching the area around Union Station alone is pretty exciting.” 

UP-AND-COMING MEETING PROFESSIONAL 
Lauren “Lo” Wiltshire

Event and Marketing Manager; The Gardner Effect

1. BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“Overall, I love the feeling you get when seeing a client’s face after an event with a huge smile, and you know that it was a success. ... The creativity that comes from each event is as unique as the people that throw them. ... Let’s be honest: I plan parties! And what is more fun than a party?” 

2. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

» Double majored in marketing and management at Drake University while on a D1 soccer scholarship

» First job out of college was a marketing position with Meredith Corporation

» Took a leap and quit to work part-time in hospitality, finding a passion to pursue » Returned to her home state of Colorado, was hired as an event coordinator for The Gardner Effect and is now the firm’s event and marketing manager

3. HOPES, DREAMS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:

“Denver is such an exciting town for events, and experiencing all types of forums is continuously giving me new inspirations. I strive to stay on the cutting edge. ... I want to be an inspiration and a resource for others in the community I call home.” 

4. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“Meet and retain strong reliable people that have the same passion as you do and make them your clan. ... Everyone has something to teach, so learn to embrace that wisdom. It is important to identify and honor valuable relationships; I have found past clients and vendor partnerships are always the best marketing.”

5. WAYS THE INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED:

“Almost everything has changed in the industry over the last five years, and Denver has come a long way from ‘cow town’ to sought-out event destination. ... Clients also are desiring more … more from their venue, menu, entertainment and planner.” 

BEST SPECIAL EVENTS PROFESSIONAL
Danny Findley

Senior Sales Manager; DSC, An Alliedpra Company

1. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

» Started hospitality career as wait staff for Panache Catering in Centennial and worked his way up to manager of events and event designer

» Continued growing his career working in catering, events and sales positions with The Pinnacle Club; Wellshire Inn; Sambuca, REM Inc.; and Catering by Design

» Began working in business development for destination management companies with offices in Denver, starting with The Arrangers and now DSC, with a year at History Colorado Center in between

2. BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“This is such a creative industry with fabulous people. It is amazing to collaborate with industry peers to create unique experiences for our clients and guests. It’s all about the wow effect.” 

3. HOPES, DREAMS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:

A native Coloradoan, Findley expresses awe “that I am still here creating amazing experiences and working with this fabulous group of industry legends, giving back to an industry that has given me so much.” In exchange, he has been president of both MPIRMC and ILEA locally, was a founding member of the Downtown and South Denver Restaurants Leads Groups, and served on MIC of Colorado. 

4. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“You are your own brand! Take very good care of it, always work to improve and don’t tarnish it. Also, answer the door when opportunity knocks and get involved with industry associations. You will meet so many people by volunteering and learn so much! You never know who you will meet that will leave a lasting impact on you and your career.” 

5. WAYS THE INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED:

“This industry is always evolving, that is why it’s so exciting to be a part of it! ... Technology has totally changed how we communicate, plan, market and experience events and meetings.”

 

UP-AND-COMING SPECIAL EVENTS PROFESSIONAL
Brittney Griffin

Venue Development Manager; Blue Eyes Consulting

1. BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“From a venue standpoint, I love seeing the full circle of not only the event but all vendors involved. It is amazing to see how clients/professionals transform our venues so differently and how many creative visions are out there.” She also cherishes the passion people in the industry have for their professions. “At the end of the day, the most rewarding thing for me is to see a client happy and proud of the event that we helped produce!”

2. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

» Between her junior and senior year at Colorado State University, Griffin interned for Blue Eyes Consulting

» After graduation, Griffin began working full time for Blue Eyes Consulting

3. HOPES, DREAMS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:

“Personally, I hope to continue expanding both my experience and knowledge in the industry by surrounding myself with people who challenge me,” shares Griffin, a Colorado native. “I hope to continue contributing to Blue Eyes Consulting and assist in expanding our ever-growing list of venues and with the business development of other hospitality clients.” 

4. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“By working together as one greater force we are able to produce a much more impressive and joyful experience for the client. ... In addition, do not be afraid to make those ideas that seem impossible at the time come to reality. … Be the person that creates the new trend and vision!” 

5. WAYS THE INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED:

Client demand for creativity and uniqueness continues to increase, she observes. “They are constantly striving to have the newest and hottest element at their event. In turn, this only benefits us as it pushes us to think like we have never thought before and to new capacities.” Also, hands-on experiences and advanced technical features also have become a must, she says.

BEST SUPPLIER
Andrew Klosterman

President and CEO; Peak Beverage

1. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

» Started working for San Diego catering companies at the age of 16

» While acquiring a degree in hospitality and tourism from San Diego State University, he worked in the events and beverage industries and progressed to food and beverage management with the Manchester Grand Hyatt

» After graduating from college and earning $13 per hour at a hotel and being frustrated, he launched Peak Beverage in 2013 

2. BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

For Klosterman, every day is different and a new challenge. “Every time I think I have seen the most innovative or unique idea to bring to an event, I am always surprised to find another. ... Meetings and events are all about bringing people together to create a great memory, and I have always strived to achieve that.”

3. HOPES, DREAMS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:

He hopes to expand on the concept of beverage catering. “My dream is really to make the bar at special events a place that adds value to the event, and not mainly just a place to get a drink. Catering companies are experts at this, and I feel like the beverage industry is just scraping the surface of what is possible.” 

4. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“I think success in any industry—but especially in meetings and events—is all about your courage to try something new. Take a leap and introduce yourself to new people, new experiences, new ways of thought. ... I have been in ILEA, NACE and MPI since I started sales in this industry in 2010. I don’t think there is a better way to build a great network of friends and business partnerships.” 

5. WAYS THE INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED:

“Colorado is amazing in that the events professionals here are constantly striving to outdo one another with amazing and creative ways of bringing life to an event. ... I feel like a lot of folks, myself included, are just starting the ball rolling for the next five years of innovation and possibility.”

 

UP-AND-COMING SUPPLIER
Stefanie Hofmeister

Owner; Stefanie Hofmeister Lettering and Design

1. BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

Hofmeister loves the production side of events, especially all of the moving pieces with each team member doing their part. “When it all comes together and you know that you’ve put together something great for your client, it’s so rewarding.”

2. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

» Her first job in high school was working for a small company that planned class reunions

» Majored in hospitality administration at Florida State University and accepted a job with a New York City florist

» Upon moving to Colorado, she freelanced for a wedding florist and an off-site caterer until accepting a hotel catering coordinator position at Holiday Inn Denver-Cherry Creek. She moved up to banquet manager and assistant food and beverage manager, with a couple years in between working at Pink Posey Design in Arvada » Established a lettering and design business in 2016

3. HOPES, DREAMS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE: She plans to expand Stefanie Hofmeister Lettering and Design from mainly wedding-related design work to a wider audience in areas such as designing print materials or live lettering at a corporate event. 

4. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY:

“Only you have your unique mix of experience and expertise. Focus on what sets you apart and try not to worry too much about what everyone else is doing and how they do it.” She also stresses the importance of the human element of the industry. “Meet in real life. Make real connections. Not only are you likely to find more of your ideal clients and vendors, it truly makes the work more enjoyable.” 

5. WAYS THE INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED:

“I’ve seen people wanting a more authentic, personal experience with less cookie-cutter and more creative details, whether that means out-of-the-box venues, local sourcing or more activities for guest/attendee interaction.” 

Congratulations to the finalists for Colorado Meetings + Events Best of 2018 readers' choice awards. We look forward to celebrating with each of you at the awards celebration on Monday, March 12 at Denver Place, where the winners and 2018 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced.

* Connect with us on social media before, during and after the awards with the hashtag #BestofCO2018

Click Here for Event Information

 

Colorado’s Meetings Week in March always kicks off with the industry event of the season, Colorado Meetings + Events magazine’s Best of Colorado reader’s choice awards. Join 500 planners and suppliers from around the state and beyond on March 12, 2018 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at Denver Place to celebrate excellence, network with industry peers, and experience the latest in food, beverage and entertainment.

 

A bike retreat, Olympic venue, Nordic center and ice rink demonstrate peak possibilities.