Owner, Clever Bird Events
I find great pleasure in creating moments that leave a lasting impression. That’s me in the 1984 Christmas picture below with the perm and the fancy holiday dress. That day stands out in my memory because both of my brothers were frustrated with me. What they didn’t realize at the time was that I was growing into the professional event planner I am today.
My family spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning that year at my grandparent’s house which was a few hours drive from home. We were robbed of the magic of waking up in our own beds on Christmas morning. As soon as we got home, my brothers ran for the tree to open presents. Much to their annoyance, I made them wait. I insisted we could still make the morning extra special if we first did a few simple things. I put on the right attire, played some Christmas music to set the mood, and made sure everything was set up just right. At seven years old I saw value in the small details that create a memorable experience.
My event planning philosophy hasn’t changed much over the years. I give attendees more than they expect at every event I plan, whether it is a simple meeting, educational conference, or grand celebration. Attendees leave with new ideas, stronger connections, an increased sense of pride, or feelings of pure delight. The very best events appear effortless. Attendees simply get what they want and need without having to make the request.
I have a degree in Natural Resources and the Environment from the University of Michigan (a perfect degree for an event planner, right?). I worked at the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, a non-profit land trust, as the outreach and communications coordinator for nine years. I created the marketing materials, managed the website, and organized the member, fundraising, and workday events. This experience allowed me to fine-tune my graphic design skills, truly value the generous support of sponsors and donors, and become a master at delivering events that maximize the budget. All of these skills have proven useful time and again.
In 2004 I began freelancing as the event planner for Century 21 Real Estate LLC in Michigan and Ohio, planning their statewide conferences, awards celebrations, customer appreciation events, golf outings, and board meetings. With a growing list of clients, I decided in 2018 to formally start Clever Bird Events.