• Meet Wendy Porter, 2019 Best Special Events Planner

     
    POSTED April 29, 2019
     

    Minnesota Meetings + Events is proud to introduce our 2019 Hall of Fame, made up of seven top-notch individuals who are positively impacting the meetings and events industry.

BEST SPECIAL EVENTS PLANNER
Wendy Porter

Owner/Chief Events Officer; Wendy Porter Events LLC

On getting into the industry: “I completely fell into events. There was no degree in event planning at the time so it wasn’t on my radar. I was in corporate marketing for UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement [a division of UnitedHealth Group] when someone said there was a trade show coming up and they needed someone to take it on. I thought ‘I’ve never done an event in my life, but I’ll figure it out.’ … They ended up creating a position for me.”

“My biggest challenge has been helping management understand the value of a professional planner. A lot of people think anyone can do what we do. ... I’m actually working with another planner to draft a research proposal for Oxford University to gather those concrete metrics and data.”

“My secret weapons are my experience and my network. With my experience I’m able to ask those big questions to find what the client is trying to achieve and translate that to the tactics needed to make it happen. ... And with my network, if there’s something I don’t know how to do I have someone I can call who does.”

On starting her own company: “I was actually working on a United event when I was in an elevator with an AARP exec. ... She said, ‘I’d never miss one of your events. You should start a company and call it Wendy Porter Events.’ That totally surprised me. I’d thought of starting a business, but it didn’t feel real until she gave it a name.”

Minnesota offers vibrant autumn color and provides a kaleidoscopic backdrop for your event.

New England often gets the most credit for its spectacular fall color, but many rank Minnesota in the top tier for seasonal beauty, making fall an ideal time for meetings anywhere in the state. From the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Twin Cities and Rochester, there are a variety of venues with ideal seasonal settings that can cater to groups of all sizes. 

Duluth

 

Experience Rochester MN appointed Angie Richards to the position of vice president of sales. She previously held the position of area director of sales for Avra Hospitality in Rochester, Minn. 

Richards will lead Experience Rochester MN’s sales team, which is responsible for the booking of meetings, conventions, and other events at Mayo Civic Center as well as group sales for the entire city.

 

Radisson Blu Mall of America promoted Kate Anastasi to director of sales and marketing. Anastasi has been with the Radisson Blu Mall of America team for eight years and has held many support and leadership roles within the sales team. She had most recently served as the assistant director of sales and marketing. Anastasi won the 2021 Radisson Blu Manager of the Year award.