• Meet Cara Miller, 2019 Best Meeting Professional

    POSTED March 25, 2019

    Colorado 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.

Cara Miller, CMP
Senior Manager, Events & Production Services, Charles Schwab


» Hired as an administrative assistant for Denver office of Jackson National Life in 2008

» Recession layoffs happened soon after and only a few weeks before a large national sales meeting, and Miller was asked to help run the event

» Within the year, moved into an event planner role permanently and worked her way up to event and meeting planning manager

» Became senior manager, events and production services for Charles Schwab in Denver in 2016 and manages large corporate events across the country

» Has assisted nonprofit fundraising events such as Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation Gala and Colorado Avalanche Charity Brunch

Best Things About Working in the Meetings and Events Industry
“This industry represents excitement, possibility, opportunity and connection. I love that there is an inherent buzz around meeting and events.”

Hopes, Dreams and Plans for the Future
“I really hope this industry shifts to be more environmentally responsible. One challenging aspect of my job is seeing a lot of waste, whether it is food, paper or giveaways. I would love to see the industry as whole move toward more sustainable events and meetings and eliminate as much waste as we can.”

Advice for People New to the Industry
“I think connection is the key. Especially in the world we live in now. So much of our business world now takes place digitally, and in-person events and meetings offer a different and irreplaceable way of doing business. I would recommend finding ways to keep the focal point of the event on making sure your attendees benefit from that connection.”

Ways the Industry Has Evolved
Miller observes that nearly everything has become customizable. “You can customize your own cocktail or your own power bowl in a lunch buffet. We have customization of schedules and agenda tracks for clients to get exactly what they need and want from an event, only attending what pertains to them. Even activities can be customized, like a silent disco where the attendees have a choice of what music to listen to!”

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.


Doug Lane, the president and CEO of Fastlane Productions, has kept himself and his company at visionary status.


Deanna Curtis, The Broadmoor’s first female falconer, shares how she landed in a unique career.