• Meet Deirdre Wildman, 2019 Best Special Events 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.

Deirdre Wildman

Hospitalitarian & Owner, Chrysalis Hospitality 


» Started career in corporate brand development and advertising

» Worked as an event planner and director of sales and marketing for Three Tomatoes Catering in Denver

» Hired as an event designer for 451 Events/Catering by Design (now By Design Collective)

» Served as GM of MorEvents before launching Denver-based Chrysalis Hospitality in 2017

» Has produced more than 10,000 events and been recognized with several awards

» Serves on the American Red Cross and Global Livingston Institute board of directors

Best Things About Working in the Meetings and Events Industry
“The challenges, the travel, the people, exceeding expectations … ultimately, seeing the joy on guests’ faces when they have an amazing time at one of my events. It’s somewhat a thankless industry, so I personally live for the strokes of a job well done.”

Hopes, Dreams and Plans for the Future
“I genuinely feel that I’ve achieved my dream. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and I’ve wanted to own my own business since I started out. After years of learning from so many greats in the industry, I finally felt it was time to jump! My plans/dreams include building my business to just the right manageable amount so I can work hard (but not too hard), play hard, and keep doing what I love for as long as possible.”

Advice for People New to the Industry
“From an advice standpoint I could go on for hours. Get involved in outside organizations and show up. Learn how to close a sale, become a ‘yes’ person if you aren’t one already, and take advantage of every resource you have available.”

Ways the Industry Has Evolved
“The evolution of technology has made planning somewhat less personal over time. What used to be face-to-face meetings are now phone calls. Phone calls are now emails, and emails are now texts. … However, it’s nice to be able to generate a to-scale diagram in less than 15 minutes and have it around the world in less than 30 seconds. And being able to use a small handheld device (my phone) to basically run my business from anywhere in the world is also quite a nice perk.”

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.