• Meet Beth Koenig, Pennsylvania's Wonder Woman

     
    POSTED November 21, 2017
     

    Beth Koenig takes dedication to a whole new level.

At 4 a.m., most people are lying peacefully in bed with at least a couple of hours left to snooze. At 4 a.m., Beth Koenig, president at Brass Tacks Events PHL, has already started her day and is up working and sending emails. She sleeps only about five hours a night, leaves for work at 6 a.m., comes home and then gets back to even more work. 

“I have an extra pack of toothpicks to hold my eyelids up most of the day, but it all works out in the long run,” she says. “The busier I am, and the more stressed I am, the better I do in business.”

Koenig spent 17 years in catering before leaving to take a breather in 2016. Turns out that break was short lived— she opened her wedding and event company just a few months after stepping away from her job.

“I took a sabbatical from catering because I worked all of the time,” she says. “Now, I’m kind of right back into it.”

As if running a less-than-one-year-old company wasn’t enough, Koenig also took on the position of director of events for the Schulson Collective restaurant group in February 2017 and is the presidentelect of ILEA, an organization she credits for helping grow her professional career.

With so many responsibilities and plates in the air, it’s clear that Koenig enjoys what she’s doing—you don’t spend 15-plus hours a day doing something you hate. She’s been in the industry since high school, having worked for her local country club, then later majored in hotel restaurant management at Penn State. It’s almost as though meeting and event planning is in her blood. If anything, it’s definitely a part of her personality. 

“I’m very type A and I like organization, so I thrive on planning events for people and keeping them organized,” she says. “Every day brings new challenges, and when you overcome those challenges, you feel good about yourself.” 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better champion of Amarillo than Hope Stokes, director of brand management for the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council. Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle city, she graduated from nearby West Texas A&M University and her first job in the tourism industry was as an intern at the council. Stokes shared with us her love of her hometown.

What is your favorite thing about marketing Amarillo?

 

Ken Hayward has spent nearly his entire career serving at one hotel. But when you start your career at one of the most iconic and historic hotels in Michigan— even the nation—it’s hard to see yourself anywhere else. Hayward, executive vice president and managing director of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, was recently named Hotelier of the Year by Historic Hotels of America. This honor comes decades after Hayward was given an unexpected opportunity.

 

A lifelon New Yorker, Emily Schmalholz was a TV producer at VH1 before moving into the events industry and landing at Westchester’s The Capitol Theatre. As director of special events at the historic space and its bar, Garcia’s, she says creating events and working in television have lots in common. “The ultimate goal for both is to tell a great story and create memorable moments.” Schmalholz, a self-described “event therapist,” had more to say about her work.

What’s the biggest difference between producing for television and producing events?