• Meet Deanna Curtis, Sport of Kings and Queens

     
    POSTED August 14, 2019
     

    Deanna Curtis, The Broadmoor’s first female falconer, shares how she landed in a unique career.

Falconry, often called the “sport of kings,” should perhaps be given a new nickname, one that is inclusive of women like Deanna Curtis. As a falconer at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, she teaches individuals and groups about the art of hunting wild quarry with a trained raptor.

Curtis first became involved in falconry when a raptor organization visited her two sons’ Cub Scouts group. She fell in love with the birds and started volunteering with the organization, eventually being brought onto the staff. A few years later, Curtis started her own nonprofit organization, Wild Wings Environmental Education, which she ran for 11 years before joining The Broadmoor.

“Connection with the wild animals” is why she loves the sport. The program at The Broadmoor aims to leave guests feeling the same sense of admiration for the birds that Curtis felt 20 years ago. Among the raptors in the program are Harris’s hawks, saker falcons and a Eurasian eagle owl.

“You get up on the hill, and you’re flying these birds, and the teenagers who were looking bored are suddenly smiling and getting engaged and really connecting to something,” Curtis says. “That’s what I like the most. To get somebody to connect with the wild outdoors because it’s so lacking right now.”

Two decades ago, when Curtis was first exposed to the sport, there were not many women engaged in falconry. But over the course of her career, Curtis has seen more and more women getting involved.

She says, “I think it’s cool that women are finally in a position where they’re like, ‘I can be a mom, I can be a wife and I can have hobbies on the side.’”

As working from home has become the norm since March, so has connecting with coworkers using webcams and Skype. Button downs and sweatpants have become a work-friendly outfit, and Zoom happy hours were the only way to grab a drink with friends. Especially for teams that used to meet in the office every day, a chance to shake up the (new) same old and safely reconnect in person is much needed after months apart. An out-of-state trip could be a memorable way to sync up with coworkers again, as well as do wonders for motivation and productivity upon return.

 

So far, webcams and Zoom meetings have been an essential part of 2020. While digital options are functional placeholders for meetings, chatting with a coworker over Skype doesn’t always set up a team for success. Human connection is vital to team building, and hosting safe, small meetings is a great way to revitalize teams after months of working from home.

 

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.