Where do you find inspiration?
In the faces of resilient children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected. They motivate and inspire me to be the best I can be and do the most I can to support them.
What excites you most about the year ahead in the events industry or your personal business?
I’m excited that the meeting industry is pacing at very strong numbers for 2011 and 2012 and it excites me that there is a wonderful opportunity for event industry professionals to change their way of thinking and really start providing the customers what they need in way of meaningful, sustainable and impactful events.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s more my mantra then advice anyone ever gave me: “In A World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Yourself!”
What do you hope attendees will take away from your session?
That creating meaningful, sustainable and impactful CSR projects and events can be the most rewarding experience they may ever experience in their careers. To understand that seeing the results of your labor and the smiles on faces from Corporate CEOs to five year old foster children is more ROI than you may ever receive from any other special event experience.
With a degree in theatre arts/performance, Sarah’s passion for the stage and entertainment landed her a career start in the special events arena. After stints booking celebrity entertainers and working with recording artists at upscale venues in Minneapolis, MN, Sarah came to Las Vegas as an Entertainment Coordinator for MGM Grand and was quickly moved up to Sales Manager. Sarah spent seven years total with MGM Resorts International climbing up to Executive Director and producing events and overseeing Audio Visual, Event Sales and Production departments at all of its high end Las Vegas properties. Sarah also spent three years producing entertainment, mainly Cirque and Broadway-style productions, out of Southern California for high end corporate and incentive groups, traveling extensively with clients to bring headline entertainment to their programs in remote parts of the world. Additionally, she’s worked with R&R LIVE and R&R Partner’s; Nevada’s largest and most prestigious advertising and PR company focusing on Experiential Marketing events and live branding opportunities for clients, as well as producing corporate, press, PR, red carpet, Grand Opening and large city wide events. Sarah’s experiences have afforded her top level proficiency with corporate clients, interfacing with hotel and casino operations, sales, catering, convention services and banquets, meeting and event planners and production companies.
In addition to writing marketing plans and managing up to 75 employees, for six years Sarah has volunteered as a Clark County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Foster Care Children. This unique background makes her perfect for her current role as Director of Community Relations at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a nonprofit therapeutic foster care organization currently with campuses in Southern Nevada and Texas. Sarah’s role has her raising awareness for SJRC, garnering local and national press, handling media and community relations, PR, marketing, fundraising and special events.
Sarah has been a member of the International Special Event Society, has twice served as a guest speaker at the CaterSource and Event Solutions Idea Factory Conference, has been nominated four times for international event awards and twice won a Special Event Gala Award and an Event Solution’s Spotlight Award. Sarah was also instrumental in creating the Master Series Program at the Event Solution’s Idea Factory conference and was the moderator for the first two years. Sarah is an advanced equestrian, a downhill skier, loves football (go Vikings!) and is very proud to serve as a CASA, advocating for children trying to navigate the often difficult and ugly family court system.