Member Spotlight–Jennifer Grathwohl

Jennifer Grathwohl

Jennifer Grathwohl, Event Director and Community Fundraiser

The Butterfly Pavilion

Many of us go through life never really recognizing or pursuing our passions or talents.  For Jennifer Grathwohl, Event Director and Community Fundraiser at The Butterfly Pavilion, nothing could be further from the truth!  It seems her love of event planning, animals and the environment has been a powerful catalyst directing her life and career.  “One of my proudest personal accomplishments is my volunteer work with animal rescues.”  Jennifer shared.  She served as the chair of a fundraising event for an Austin, Texas non-profit Emancipet, whose mission is to provide affordable spay and neutering to pet owners to end the unnecessary euthanasia of homeless pets in the United States. “We raised $40,000 in just one day, which was double the amount that was raised the year before. It’s such an amazing organization…I am so proud to support.” Jennifer has even created two successful startup businesses around her passion for animals (Co-founder of LaterDog.Com and Postal Puppy) that were eagerly bought by investors.

When asked how she first got “hooked” on the Events Industry, she relayed a story about her career that began by working in media relations for Division I collegiate athletics in Chicago.  “The sports industry is a pretty tight-knit world, so I was soon introduced to and joined Intersport, Inc.  They produce professional sports television features and upscale hospitality events for major sporting events like The Masters, Superbowl, Final Four, and many more. It was a very fast paced world but also, very fun!”

When Jennifer moved to Denver with her husband in 2013, she was looking for an opportunity that matched her passion for events with animals and the environment. The Butterfly Pavilion looks like it’s been the perfect fit.  Jennifer shared one of her proudest professional accomplishments was “increasing bookings by a record 63% for Butterfly Pavilion in less than 8 months.”  She has since been promoted to Event Director and Community Fundraiser!  “It’s important to me that all of our event rental fees directly supports our mission of education, conservation, and creating partnerships with sustainable butterfly farms worldwide.”

What does she attribute her event planning success to?  “Having worked with non-profits for over 9 years, I’m a master at trimming budgets while generating more revenue.  I also pride myself in helping guide our clients to create the event they are really envisioning while being flexible and accommodating their needs. Finally, I love to observe established events with a critical eye, thinking how to make them even better and breathe new life into them.”

When asked why ILEA, was right for her, she replied; “After relocating to Denver, I was eager to join ILEA again so I could meet other industry professionals. My main goal is to support the special events industry and ILEA in any way that I can. I truly believe we are a community and the stronger we are as a whole, the more we will all succeed.” As a member of the Denver ILEA Hospitality Committee, you can probably find Jennifer greeting members and guests at our monthly ILEA Meetings.  If you would like to contact Jennifer, she can be reached by email at  JGrathwohl@butterflies.org

Jennifer’s 5 Questions:

  1.  What’s something that no one knows about you?  “When I did marketing and events for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, a baby orangutan (that was wearing a diaper!) beckoned me over to him so that he could give me a kiss. It was one of the best moments of my life!”
  2.  What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?  “My grandfather once told me when I was young that it takes years to build a good reputation and only moments to destroy it. That has always stuck with me.”
  3.  What did you have for Breakfast today?  “This morning I was healthy and had Greek yogurt with strawberries, blueberries and my homemade vanilla almond granola. However, I’m a sucker for my husband’s sweet sugary cereals like cinnamon toast crunch!”
  4. Coke or Pepsi?  “Neither. I haven’t had soda since I was 18!”
  5. Where would you like to travel?  “I’m a huge animal lover, so I really want to travel around the world to see animals in their natural habitats! The top three travel experiences on my “bucket list” include Thailand to see Asian elephants, Uganda to see western lowland mountain gorillas and Alaska to see beluga whales.”

 

 

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