• Meet Bruce and Donna Horii, Two Industry Veterans

     
    POSTED October 28, 2015
     

Even after 30 years working in meetings and events, Bruce and Donna Horii find plenty of motivation in what they do.

“We both have a passion for the mountain lifestyle, Colorado as a state and Breckenridge as a home base; I think that kind of shows through to our guests and clients,” says Bruce, director of sales and marketing at Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center in Breckenridge for the past 15 years.

You could say it was a string of happy accidents that brought the two together. Halfway through college, Donna, then still a New Englander, was on a tour across country when she drove through Colorado. She stuck around as a ski bum long enough to get state residency and graduated from University of Colorado in Boulder. Since then, she’s worked for various convention and visitor bureaus including Denver and Grand Junction, before becoming the director of sales at Breckenridge Tourism Office six years ago.

She got to know Bruce—a native Coloradoan— through various networking events held by local industry associations. At one of these events, while taking a bus tour of the newly built Denver International Airport, she ended up literally landing in Bruce’s arms when the bus slid off the edge of the road.

The couple celebrated their 19th anniversary in August. With two kids in high school and a vibrant tourism scene keeping things busy at work, they are as passionate about Breckenridge as they were when they first moved there in 2000.

COM+E: How do you balance your professional and personal relationship?
DH: I will admit, there are times when we’re home business will come up. We try to keep that to a minimum and say, “Let’s not talk about this tonight; give me a call tomorrow and we’ll talk tomorrow.”
BH: There is definitely some overlap and a challenge in keeping the business side away from home. But I think we do it pretty well.

COM+E: How have you maintained enthusiasm for your work throughout the years?
BH: There are always opportunities for improvement and even though we both have done this a long time, it’s still not perfect. And there are plenty of challenges between the economy and the competitive nature of our business.
DH: I think the people we’ve been able to work with and the product we’ve worked with has made it enjoyable as well as keeping it challenging while we try to raise the bar.
 

Get Connected
BRECKENRIDGE TOURISM OFFICE | 970.453.5068
BEAVER RUN RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER | 970.453.8781 

Originally from Ontario, Heather Odendaal got her start in event planning early, serving as her high school’s head of social events. She ended up on the West Coast, courtesy of her studies at the University of British Columbia, and launched her career in Whistler, working for the resort in marketing and events. Today, she’s CEO of Bluebird Strategy, a boutique event planning firm, and CEO and founder of WNORTH, a global community of women who have their sights set on the C-suite.

 

Denver native Keisha Makonese’s passion for planning events dates way back. Her latest gig as director of sales and corporate events at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum began nine years ago. In this role, Makonese helps oversee an average of 150 private events at Wings Over the Rockies each year, from making meetings for 20 people to annual dinners for 2,000 fun and interactive experiences.

 

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?