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game CHANGERS

• prEsEnTEd by

the originals NOVEMBER higher-than-average retention rate for young professionals. marked the 20th anniversary of , “probably for 90 percent, this is their first career,” black said. a big milestone for any company but perhaps even “a really big thing that both lesley and i believe in is that more meaningful for a woman-owned small every single female who works for us is empowered to business. the company that began with the become a better leader. not just at planitomaha, but in her efforts of just two people, co-founders and community and in her overall life. so we do a lot of things principals renee black and lesley brandt, now to empower the people that work for us.” creates more than 400 events and meetings per year for clients from coast to coast. the women who work for planitomaha master an array of skills valuable to any organization, from time management and budgeting to interpersonal communications and “that’s an average of 1.1 events per day,” brandt said. “we negotiating, brandt said, and they gain not only confidence, started with an idea. no manual, no license agreement, no but independence with experience. board of directors; planitomaha was built from an idea and a lot of grit.” “everyone on our team has their own book of business,” she “we are still, to this day—and it’s very important that we are still, to this day—an all-female team of 15 event producers,” black said. “lesley and i have been through thick and thin for 20 years.” today’s planitomaha is a full-service meeting and event logistics planning agency with the capacity to serve a broad clientele. more than 40 percent of its business is performed outside of omaha. “while we work with anyone from fortune 500 to small businesses and corporations that have less than 50 employees, we do tend to specialize in companies and organizations in the financial and banking industries,” black said. “from our research with vendors and partnerships, through what we know of this entire midwest corridor— from minneapolis to kansas city and from des moines to denver—we know that our staff is one of largest of just people who are event coordinators and managers; we’re a firm of 15 people who simply do event and meeting logistics. that makes us one of the largest firms of our kind in the midwest. that’s what we do, that’s what we are.”

said. “our people are very fun, we’re ‘type-a,’ we’re outgoing, we’re get-it-done kind of people. there’s a certain personality that thrives in this environment. we hire for personality and train for skill.” the experience of working for planitomaha is rewarding for young professionals, black said, and not just from a vocational perspective. mentoring is a natural function of the team structure. “we like the energy of the young professional and the ability to shape someone’s career for the first time…their skill set, their depth and their breadth of who they are as a person is something we hope they take great pride in because we’re trying to empower them in their professional life as they work for us,” she said. “a lot of them travel coast to coast and get to experience things they would have never dreamed they’d experience.”

Logistics and details

Launching careers

planitomaha’s robust internship program provides college students with a unique opportunity to see the event and meeting planning industry from the inside. interns are exposed to the challenges as much as they are to the fun side of things, black said.

in addition to black and brandt, the company’s executive team includes alycia Zabrocki, caitlin gruis and katie sullivan. most of the event planners for planitomaha are millennials, many who are in their first career or entered the organization as interns, and the company enjoys a

“our internship program shows to anyone who comes in to intern with us really what we do. we’re very active with creighton university, uno (university of nebraska-omaha) and unl (university of nebraska-lincoln),” black said.

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mmagazinE • dECEmbEr 2018

metroMAGAZINE’s DECEMBER 2018 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE presents our DECEMBER 2018 issue online now! metroMAGAZINE is published quarterly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Linco...

metroMAGAZINE’s DECEMBER 2018 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE presents our DECEMBER 2018 issue online now! metroMAGAZINE is published quarterly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Linco...