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Special Events Blog

TSE Featured Speakers: Meagan Culkin & Meggie Hess

Meet the speakers of Catersource + The Special Event!

Meagan Culkin, Owner, Magnolia Collective 

Culkin, Meagan.jpg

Meagan is the owner of Magnolia Collective, a wedding planning and design company in its 13th year of business, with teams serving both North Carolina and Virginia. She is the Director of Programming for the NACE Richmond chapter, as well as the Design Chair for the NACEYs gala. She is currently working towards her CPCE certification and has developed a training course for newly engaged couples to better prepare them for the process of wedding planning. When not designing event spaces, Meagan spends her time offering consulting for wedding businesses, discovering foodie haunts and searching for the perfect gin cocktail, and trying to get her dogs to cooperate for TikTok videos. 

Ensuring Inclusive Events for All
1:45 p.m. Tuesday, February 13 

When planning a wedding or event, it's important to take all of the guests into consideration, whether they be in a wheelchair, vision or hearing impaired, or have more sensory sensitivities that can be triggered by things like loud lights and music. Positioning yourself as a more inclusive vendor will not only set yourself apart from your competition but will also create the opportunity for more meaningful discussions earlier on in the planning process with your clients. 

Meggie Hess, Director of People Services, Veterans United Home Loans 


As Director of People Services for Veterans United, Meggie leads the Employee Experience teams within her organization. She is focused on company culture by ensuring VU is fun, highly productive and promotes a passion for taking care of each other, the community and veterans. Meggie loves the color lavender, winning at laser tag (or anything for matter) and being with her favorite people. Top of that list include her husband and three kids. 

Kylee Lawhead, Employee Engagement Manager, Veterans United 


In her role as the Employee Engagement Manager at Veterans United, Kylee leads teams focused on crafting memorable moments highlighting the power of connection in every interaction and detail. With a varied background managing an event venue and florist, she is passionate about making every event meaningful and impactful for all guests. Whether she is orchestrating events, or soaking in family fun, you'll find Kylee surrounded by lively personalities (including her Aussie puppies) sharing laughter and joy. 

Beyond the Party: Creating Meaningful Moments and Connections through Events 
2:00 p.m. Thursday, February 15 

Ever thought about the transformative impact that events have on the workplace and company culture? Well, buckle up, because this session is about to spill the beans on the magic behind event planning with a people-centric twist. Join us as we hear from the Director of People Services at Veterans United Home Loans, the nation's largest VA purchase lender and resident of Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For list. They'll dive into how they use events to further their company mission: enhancing lives. They show their employees love and care through events that are all about celebrating, having a blast and creating meaningful experiences. But hold on tight, because it's not just about the event itself—it's about how you plan those shindigs. Learn to tap into your inner child, take hospitality to new heights, sprinkle in some individuality, and ignite flames of generosity. No matter if you're plotting a cozy gathering for 40 or orchestrating a mega-event for 4000, prepare to be inspired to rethink your planning process and discover what your audience will truly cherish. 

You can see Meagan, Meggie, and Kylee LIVE at Catersource + The Special Event in Austin from Feb 12-15. 

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