In our last issue, we featured five of this year’s crop of “Young Event Pros to Watch.” Here, we’re proud to present Part 2—five more talents who are transforming the world of special events. Enjoy!
MAD ABOUT MIAMI
Danielle Blank, 35, event sales associate, Atlas Event Rental, Miami
Blank was handed the big job of building business at the new Miami operation of rental powerhouse Atlas, which has served the south Florida market for more than 30 years. And she’s getting the job done. Says Heather Rouffe, Atlas partner and director of sales, “Danielle’s energetic attitude for selling, a knack for solving problems, and a passion for being on-site for her events have all contributed to her taking the Miami area by storm.”
Blank is committed to Miami and to her brand. “I believe that I am great at my job because I truly love what I do and love Atlas Event Rental,” she says. “I have [brand color] pink in my blood! Having been with Atlas for six years, I have had the opportunity to create the greatest events in Miami while working with the world’s most fabulous event planners, designers, venues and caterers. Loving what I do and the people I work with makes my abilities shine even stronger.”
BEEN THERE, DOES THAT
Abby Borden, 33, owner/principal producer, Table Set Go, Los Angeles
A broad background in all aspects of events led Borden to launch her company Table Set Go, offering freelance event planning and catering coordination. “I built up my tenure in events working for various catering and event production companies, learning everything I could about every part of the industry,” she says. “Each time, I started at the bottom--a PA, busser, stage manager, runner or captain. What makes me good at my job is the wealth of experiences accumulated over time, and the relationships that were built with them.”
As a freelancer, Borden takes on a wide range of tasks. “As a freelance event producer, my job description varies between clients and projects. For the Recording Academy as their senior catering coordinator, I oversee menu curation, production logistics and event execution by over 350 staff for 5,000 guests,” she explains. For event production company JJ|LA, “I get to be creative designing spaces and activations for the events we produce,” she explains. “On any project, my goal is to always ensure that the guest experience is not just what the client wishes it to be, but more.”
READY FOR ANYTHING
Jeff Consoletti, 37, founder, principal and CEO, JJ|LA, Los Angeles
Since launching JJ|LA in Los Angeles in 2010, Consoletti has seen his event design and production company grow to include offices in New York and Boston as he oversees events ranging from public concerts, festivals and fan experiences to corporate brand activations, nonprofit benefits and private affairs.
“Part innovator and part creative, mix of counselor and confidante, chief strategist and organizer, both captain and crew, about sums up my day at JJ|LA,” Consoletti says. “I cultivate compassion and creativity in my colleagues and clients, and drive innovation and experience to not only imagine but execute the best events, no matter if it’s the first or 100th time we’ve worked on it. I feel lucky that I get to wear many hats every day, and find it a privilege to be trusted with the global brands, exceptional talent and unique projects we produce.”
He looks forward to the future. "As I set goals for myself and my company for the next decade, the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics are a top-level benchmark of where I am setting my sights,” he says.
Drew Dedo, 37, founder, Harbor Entertainment, Nashville, Tenn.
What’s the secret behind Dedo’s success with his event design and production company? “He is always committed to big ideas that make each Harbor event something truly custom and unique,” a colleague says. “There is no concept too crazy for Drew! He always goes above and beyond to ensure that the Harbor team and every vendor on-site has what they need to work confidently.”
Dedo is a hands-on professional. “From logistics and production to overseeing our shop and working on the specialty pieces, I enjoy getting my hands dirty and digging into every project,” he says. “I have a small company doing large events and a lot of output, so I work every day to ensure all projects are running smoothly.”
And he is proud that his company is a family affair. “I get to work with a very talented designer--who is also my wife,” he says. “We get the opportunity to travel together, work together, and hold each other accountable every day, and we love it.” He adds, “I am in my dream job. I get to own and run a small business with my wife, work on the ever-changing projects that come in our door, and continue to build a great company.”
Bron Hansboro, 33, owner and art director, The Flower Guy Bron, Richmond, Va.
Before he became a floral designer, Hansboro was an educator specializing in serving students with disabilities. As a result, he is skilled in the art of listening and relying on his intuition, two talents that are of great value in his current role, he says.
The other skill he brings to his work: a little bit of magic. “I am the person responsible for our clients’ experience from start to finish and in many cases, it takes a bit of magic to pull it all off,” he explains. “As a designer I recipe, design and manage all the details of our clients’ events, thus guaranteeing the experience will exceed their expectations. I typically supervise anywhere from two to five designers to create a cohesive look that reflects my brand and aligns with the client’s vision. I wear several hats, but as an entrepreneur this is what comes with the territory. I’ve learned that what I do can hardly be considered a job--it’s my life’s work, and I’m happy to call it my passion."
See the complete list in the Summer issue of Special Events. Not a subscriber? We can fix that; just click here.