• Meet Deanna Curtis, Sport of Kings and Queens

     
    FROM THE Summer 2019 ISSUE
     

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

Falconry, often called the “sport of kings,” should perhaps be given a new nickname, one that is inclusive of women like Deanna Curtis. As a falconer at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, she teaches individuals and groups about the art of hunting wild quarry with a trained raptor.

Curtis first became involved in falconry when a raptor organization visited her two sons’ Cub Scouts group. She fell in love with the birds and started volunteering with the organization, eventually being brought onto the staff. A few years later, Curtis started her own nonprofit organization, Wild Wings Environmental Education, which she ran for 11 years before joining The Broadmoor.

“Connection with the wild animals” is why she loves the sport. The program at The Broadmoor aims to leave guests feeling the same sense of admiration for the birds that Curtis felt 20 years ago. Among the raptors in the program are Harris’s hawks, saker falcons and a Eurasian eagle owl.

“You get up on the hill, and you’re flying these birds, and the teenagers who were looking bored are suddenly smiling and getting engaged and really connecting to something,” Curtis says. “That’s what I like the most. To get somebody to connect with the wild outdoors because it’s so lacking right now.”

Two decades ago, when Curtis was first exposed to the sport, there were not many women engaged in falconry. But over the course of her career, Curtis has seen more and more women getting involved.

She says, “I think it’s cool that women are finally in a position where they’re like, ‘I can be a mom, I can be a wife and I can have hobbies on the side.’”

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. 

 

As COVID-19 hit, key projects at some of Colorado’s major meetings and events properties were just wrapping up and getting ready to debut. Construction of Bartolin Hall, The Broadmoor’s new exhibition space, was completed in March 2020 in time to welcome the annual Space Symposium, which has the largest economic impact of any single event in the community of Colorado Springs.

 

So far, webcams and Zoom meetings have been an essential part of 2020. While digital options are functional placeholders for meetings, chatting with a coworker over Skype doesn’t always set up a team for success. Human connection is vital to team building, and hosting safe, small meetings is a great way to revitalize teams after months of working from home.