• Meet Andrew Heidt, From Boulder to Boise

     
    POSTED July 26, 2019
     

    Andrew Heidt has capitalized on opportunities to build a livelihood in thriving cities that bump up against the mountains.

The latest stop on Andrew Heidt’s career train is the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau, an organiza - tion he joined last April as a convention sales manager. The fact that this booming Idaho city has new hotels, a recent convention center expansion and an abun - dance of recreational opportunities was enough to lure the Virginia native away from the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he most recently served as director of group sales and marketing.

While working at hotels and studying hotel manage - ment at Virginia Tech, Heidt discovered the world of destination marketing organizations. “Around 9/11, I was able to land a marketing coordinator job with the Annapolis CVB that turned into a sales role; that’s how I got into the meetings side.”

He grew up skiing on the East Coast and trips to Loveland Ski Area and Breckenridge resulted in an itch to live in Colorado that had to be scratched. After six years working for the Annapolis CVB, Heidt accepted a position with Groople, a new startup in Denver at the time. “I wanted to get into the automation of group business,” he explains.

Groople was purchased and the headquarters moved, so Heidt turned lemons into lemonade by accepting a group sales position with the Boulder CVB. As the organization’s budget increased, the sales team grew to three full-time staff members and Heidt became the director of the department.

“I was still loving Colorado and the position in Boulder was ideal, but I had a gut feeling it was time to see what else I could learn from the meetings and conventions world. I went on a sightseeing and camp - ing trip through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and fell in love with Boise,” he says.

In his free time, Heidt enjoys his surroundings, espe - cially trail running, mountain biking and skiing. “When you are in a town in the U.S. Mountain West, you get a really welcoming vibe. It’s more casual. Everyone works hard, but it’s all about the adventure and the outdoors that other places can’t offer. I think one of the biggest reasons I stay out here is that every season has its own unique activities.”

For Andrea Mokros, Minneapolis-based public relations executive and independent event consultant, the last decade has been a whirlwind. From serving as special assistant to President Obama and director of strategic planning for then-first lady Michelle Obama, to welcoming newcomers to the Bold North as the vice president of communications and events for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, Mokros shares the key takeaways that inspire her work today. 

 

Nickole Kerner Bobley describes her childhood in The Woodlands as charmed. Summer days were spent exploring the community just north of Houston. One of her favorite activities was watching the installation of The Woodlands’ iconic public art. She and her friends would sit in awe, perched on their bikes, as the giant cranes carefully positioned the sculptures in place. It had a lasting impact on her. “I attribute my adult love of art to where I lived,” she notes.

 

Tony Michaels is no stranger to navigating choppy waters. The CEO and executive director of The Parade Company, which puts on traditions like America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Ford Fireworks, took the helm of the Detroit nonprofit during tough times, at the height of the financial crisis. “2008, 2009, are you kidding me?” says Michaels.