Karla Stahlman, Association & Event Management
When it comes to association and event management, the devil is in the details. Karla is the team’s go-to person to make things happen on time and budget, not to mention creating the best possible experience. Energetic and internationally tested, Karla takes multi-tasking to new heights.
What drove your decision to get into this business?
I like creating experiences for people. Whether it’s via a special event, board meeting or an education program – the take-home is more than the initial objective – it’s the piece that you didn’t expect to experience.
What are you most proud of?
Professionally – I’m most proud of never compromising my integrity to accomplish any task or goal or to acquire a revenue stream. Personally – I’m most proud of taking an idea and running with it and surrounding myself with the right people to support me in my journey.
Share a great client story.
Tandus Flooring asked me to ditch the teambuilding element of their International Sales Meeting and replace it with something that achieved the same result but left a larger footprint for the attendees and the company alike. We were able to connect with three charitable organizations that had specific needs and no funds. Through the labor of the attendees and the resources of Tandus Flooring we were able to create healthy, encouraging environments for these organizations. The Tandus Flooring employees were thrilled to participate in a project that helped others.
What is your approach for ensuring exceptional client service?
Talk to me about the total picture. What is the strategic goal of the meeting or event? What do you want to accomplish? Let’s first decide if a meeting or event is the best way to achieve that goal. From there – we’ll determine how the meeting or event intersects with other marketing elements so we can leverage all components to ensure a successful event.
In your opinion, what makes a great brand?
The integrity behind the brand. Do it right always – it will return tenfold.
What do you admire most in other people?
Creativity and vision. The ability to create the idea or next great thing and then to have the vision to move it from that creativity phase to implementation is an amazing thing to watch.
What would you like people to understand better about what you do?
The details of planning an event or managing an Association are as deep and wide as the ocean and just as varied in elements. Lots of little things converging in to bigger things, resulting in to one, constantly moving, creation.
What one thing about your childhood most influences who you are as a professional?
I was raised in a single parent household with two brothers. My mother’s ability to balance work, raising children, maintaining a home and developing her art career all at the same time – confirmed in me not only the work ethic I have today, but the knowledge that with hard work come all of the blessings of life; including the time to enjoy that life.
When you’re not working, what do you do for fun?
I have a small art gallery in Ewing, Kentucky (my hometown) for rural high school students. It’s my place of peace.