• Meet Scott Friedman, Chief Celebration Officer

    FROM THE Winter 2013 ISSUE

    Scott Friedman's multifaceted speaking, writing and philanthropic career impacts the industry on an international level. 

With Chief Celebration Officer as a title, it’s a given that fun is the objective for Scott Friedman, CSP. A third-generation Denver native, Friedman travels more than 250 days a year for his fun, which is a humorous approach to workplace motivation and innovation through speaking engagements.

Friedman just happens to be one of the most accomplished professional speakers in the nation. This past summer, he won both the National Speaker Association’s highest honor, the Cavett Award, and Meeting Professionals International’s RISE Award for Meeting Industry Leadership. He has led several initiatives to bring the global speaking and meetings community closer, founding the Global Speakers Summit and Meetings Industry Council of Colorado and co-founding the International Association of Speakers Bureaus and National Speakers Association Council.

Friedman’s 28-year speaking career is impressive, but his foundation, Together We Can Change the World, might be his legacy. "At this stage of my life, I get the most satisfaction from the volun-tours with global speakers to Southeast Asia to build schools and homes, awareness, self-esteem and hope for the future," he explains.

This engaging personality also takes to paper. In 2014, Friedman will be releasing his book Celebrate! in the American market after being available only in Asia. "Helping people and companies celebrate more is my favorite topic; it creates healthier workplaces and employee well-being," he says.

And he isn’t done. For this talented speaker, it’s onto the next challenge. "I want to travel more extensively throughout Southeast Asia, developing speakers and markets."

But, it’s the mountains of Colorado and Friedman’s home that keep this talented resource in the Mile High’s lucky community. "It’s a little-known fact that the most certified speaking professionals in the world are actually located in Denver," he says. "We’ve got a vibrant speaking community and an incredible market in which to work and build."

Brady Johnson, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, now balances time between C Lazy U Ranch, Destination Colorado, his family and the ski slopes. 

While most people retire just once in their lifetime, C Lazy U Ranch’s Brady Johnson wants to retire three or four times. 

“I think that’s the fun part about life. Find something new, chase a goal and accomplish it, and then find something even more fun and exciting that aligns with what you’re doing with your life at the time,” says Johnson. 


League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry. 


Denver native Keisha Makonese’s passion for planning events dates way back. Her latest gig as director of sales and corporate events at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum began nine years ago. In this role, Makonese helps oversee an average of 150 private events at Wings Over the Rockies each year, from making meetings for 20 people to annual dinners for 2,000 fun and interactive experiences.