Meet Kathy. As an Associations Meetings and Events Planner, Kathy loves getting to know different people, traveling to exciting places and watching her work come to life at events. From booking airline tickets to connecting with clients, you can count on Kathy to put on a successful event. Keep reading to learn more about Kathy including her journey to associations and one of her favorite moments from the job.
What do your family and friends think you do?
They would describe my job as something fun all the time, being a meeting and event planner. I think they understand what it means, but it’s more than what people think.
What do you actually do?
It is a fun job, but it’s very detail-oriented. When you’re holding meetings and event for groups of 5 to up to 1200 people at a time, there are a lot of details. I also book airline tickets, plan transportation, pick food and beverage and finalize meeting spaces at a hotel or resort, making it all come together. It is fun to see the outcome once the meeting or event begins, but it can be stressful up until that time.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is at the end of a meeting which it’s all said and done and you can see what you accomplished. I love going to different places to check out locations for people. I love getting to know people at different hotels and getting to know the associations clients.
What’s your favorite part of working at Celtic?
I love the people. I’ve worked a lot of places, but of all the places, Celtic truly has a home feel. My team being all women, everybody helps, everybody truly likes each other. I get that feeling from everybody here. I feel like I can come to anyone at Celtic with anything.
How did you find your way into associations?
I do not have an associations background. I’ve been doing corporate travel and incentives for over 20 years. I went to school for my secretarial diploma. When I was 50 I went back to school at Roosevelt downtown for meeting and event planning. I also went for my CMP which is certified meeting professional. I was at different jobs throughout the years. I started at Celtic June 1, 2020. I started virtually until we started to come back to the office. I had to learn everything about associations virtually. I’m still learning as I go along.
Were you always interested in meeting and event planning?
As a kid, I wanted to be an interior decorator. But my dad worked in divorce court for 34 years and that always interested me. So, I went to school to become a court reporter and ultimately got my secretarial diploma. And then I ended up doing meetings and incentives. I wish I had made that my priority back then, because I think this is where my niche is. When you’re young, you don’t know until you’ve been out in the world.
What was your favorite meeting you’ve attended that you planned?
Probably my best was in Grand Cayman. For my final night at the banquet, they got some long farm tables and hung lights. The whole beach was lit up. At the end of the night, I brought those lanterns that light up in the sky. Everyone came to the beach and we lit the lanterns. It was the most perfect ending to the trip.
What advice do you have for people getting into meetings and event planning?
It’s all about who you get close with on properties. That’s what you have to remember. Also, you have to ask people nicely for things because they are more likely to do what you want. Being respectful is critical. You can’t yell at people because then they aren’t going to help you. You have to explain what you need and remain calm.
Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Probably Turks and Caicos. The water, you can go up to your chin and see your toes. You can walk for miles. It’s an upscale island so it’s very clean. Turks and Caicos would be my place. It’s expensive, but if you want a memory with your family for a special occasion you have to go there.
What is a book or movie that you would recommend and why?
I’m not really a reader, but my favorite movie is American President. It’s always been one of my favorites. Another one is The Holiday. I could watch that in the middle of summer. I don’t think deep about my movies. I just like them because I like them. I like to lay back and watch a movie and not think about the plot.