by Kaylee Hultgren | April 01, 2010

Jennifer Winn is the owner of and national event planner for Dallas-based Winn Events LLC, an event planning and management company specializing in working with nonprofit and "cause-centric" organizations.

What attracted you to the nonprofit event sector? I saw a need for it, back when we started the company in 2004. There are lots of nonprofits, like church groups, for example, that have never planned events before. I find such groups rewarding, because they have a purpose that they're working toward. Corporate and training events may help you grow knowledge-wise, but then you forget it after a few days. With nonprofits, the life change is more impactful and long-lasting.

What's different about a cause-centric event?
The speakers and entertainment tend to be motivational, often spiritual. There might be a band that starts it off, followed by a period of worship. And for nonprofits, there are very specific aspects of education, such as grant making, that benefit a wide variety of these organizations. Ultimately, the focus of these events is to capture the audience and to meet them wherever they're at. And I believe in that.

What is your favorite part about planning?
I love the logistics -- being out at an event, helping to run it, working with bands and speakers, and making sure the attendees have a great experience. That's where I really thrive.

And your least favorite? Marketing. Trying to get the word out is not my favorite thing. 


On the Move

PlannersWatts joins Dynami Group LLC
Dynami Group LLC, a meetings, events and incentives company based in Atlanta, has hired Wade Watts as event marketing director. Previously, Watts served as national account director of corporate accounts for Freeman, an event production company headquartered in Dallas. At Dynami, he will be responsible for developing and maintaining new corporate client relationships and strategic partnerships.

White lands promotion at CRF
Johnnie White, CMP, has been promoted to the newly created position of executive director, meetings and educational services, for the New York City-based Cardiovascular Research Foundation. White will lead the meeting planning, creative services, education and website departments. Previously at CRF, he was director of meetings and conventions; prior to joining the company, he served as director of meetings and CME services at the Bethesda, Md.-based Endocrine Society.

Suppliers Denise Cunningham has been appointed national sales executive for Atlanta-based TradeshowLogistics, a general contractor and show management company.

Gale Gerber has been named area director of sales and marketing for the 550-room InterContinental San Francisco and 380-room InterContinental Mark Hopkins; Charles Bello will serve as director of sales for both San Francisco hotels.

Kaaren Hamilton has been hired as vice president of global sales, North America, for Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

Tina Jones has been named meetings and conventions marketing executive for the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Susanne Tunney
has been hired as regional director of sales, Midwest region, for Visit Baltimore.

Arianne Valentino-Welch has been appointed director of sales and marketing for the 353-room Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa.

Brad Weaber, CMP,
has been named executive vice president, event services, for Chicago-based association management services company SmithBucklin.