The Great Contemplation: Lessons in Leadership for Empowering Your Events Team

Presenter: Cindy Brewer, Natasha Ashworth, Shelley Hodgkinson, Traci Hong

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Forced into working from home through the height of the pandemic, people began to realize that working from anywhere is possible – all while meeting professional and personal goals and seeing businesses thrive. Research shows that nearly half of employees across sectors are thinking about quitting their current jobs, searching for a better work-life balance – a phenomenon Forbes and several other leading publications have coined The Great Contemplation. Featuring some of the best in the business, this webinar will provide expert tips for attracting, building, retaining, and empowering talent as we get back to business in an uncertain labor market where event professionals are considering what’s next on their career journey.

Who Should Attend?

Senior-level event marketers from agencies, brands, associations, and non-profits looking for tips on building and retaining exceptional teams.

Questions We’ll Answer:

  • How is the “Great Contemplation” impacting the events industry?
  • How do I build and inspire a successful team during times of labor uncertainty?
  • What does it mean to mentor – now?


Cindy Brewer
Principal, LEO Events
Cindy has more than 25 years’ experience in hospitality, destination marketing and management, event planning, and public relations. As Principal of LEO, Cindy oversees all external and internal marketing, business development and finance, and philanthropic efforts. She got her start in the events industry in tourism sales with attractions, golf resorts, and the Hard Rock Cafe. Eventually she managed parades, festivals, and corporate events for the iconic Beale Street. Since co-founding LEO, she has overseen major events including the grand opening of Bass Pro Shops in the Pyramid, as well as the 50th anniversary commemoration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., alongside the National Civil Rights Museum. Cindy has been named “Smart Women in Meetings” by Smart Meetings Magazine; “Top 25 Super Women in Business” by Memphis Business Journal; and Inside Memphis Business Magazine Power Player.

Natasha Ashworth
Manager, Sales Programs & Events, FedEx Services
Natasha is the Manager of Sales Programs & Events for FedEx Services. She is responsible for the design and execution of the Global Sales incentive programs, sales meetings, special programs as well as managing the company’s ticket assets across several sports properties. Under her leadership, Natasha’s team has designed programs in the Greek Isles, Italy, Canada, UK, and France. Natasha has more than 18 years of diverse experience which includes three years with FedEx Sponsorship Marketing team and 11 years with the Memphis Grizzlies. Since joining FedEx in 2014, Natasha has been an integral part of the FedEx Cup Team dedicated to the PGA. She has led several key sponsorship event initiatives including the FedEx St. Jude Golf Classic and the Memphis Food & Wine Festival. Natasha also serves on the Advisory Board for CANVAS, an invitation-only membership consortium for of senior-level event and meeting planners. 

Shelley Hodgkinson
Sr. Director, Event Solutions, Walmart
As Senior Director of Event Solutions for Walmart, Shelley has experience in managing and leading production, creative, communications, operations, and logistics for her team, which produces and supports over 250 corporate meetings and events each year, including Walmart’s Annual Shareholders meeting, Saturday Morning meeting, Year Beginning meeting, and Holiday meeting. Shelley has many years of experience in live production, meetings, and events. She joined the Corporate Shows and Events team in January 2015 from International Corporate Affairs, where she was responsible for international meetings and events and supported the President and CEO of International. She joined Walmart International from Asda in 2013, where she held the position of Head of Internal Communications and Events. Shelley also serves on the Advisory Board for CANVAS, an invitation-only membership consortium for of senior-level event and meeting planners.

Traci Hong
Assistant Vice President, Corporate Events, LPL Financial
As assistant vice president, Corporate Events, at LPL Financial, Traci designs and executes enterprise-wide employee engagement events and campaigns. In addition, she manages planning and logistics for meetings of the firm’s Board of Directors. She is passionate about communicating corporate goals, supporting the leadership brand, and driving priorities for the company’s Human Capital organization. A San Diego native, Traci supports several nonprofit organizations in her community, including Oncology and Kids (OAK), First Gen Scholars, and the San Diego Food Bank. She is a graduate of SDSU and has 20 years of experience in community relations, sponsoring community events, event planning, marketing, and publicity.