Christleen Knaub, 34
Awarded for: Program and Events Manager, SWFL Inc.
Currently: Marketing Coordinator, CONRIC pr + marketing
Bonita Springs, Fla.
What I do:
I organize and plan events for Southwest Florida’s regional chamber of commerce for as little as 20 people and up to 1,500 attendees. I am also in charge of Leadership SWFL, which is our organization’s professional development program designed to educate business professionals.
How I got here:
I worked for the American Cancer Society and was a member of the chamber. I saw the value in the events and how that helped me professionally. When the opportunity to work for SWFL Inc. became available, I was excited. I just recently took an outside marketing coordinator job in March.
I was able to increase our net income by 25% to 30% annually and overall attendance for our signature events despite the challenges of COVID-19.
A specific improvement I’ve made:
Prior to COVID-19, we never held virtual events. I was able to modify our existing events to fit a virtual format that keeps our members safe and encourages members outside of our area to attend.
What I do outside of work:
I spend most of my time with my husband and 2-year-old son, Cole. I also love spending time with friends at local breweries, especially if trivia is involved. I pride myself on being an expert in useless knowledge that is only ever relevant at trivia.
Favorite vacation destination:
To date it is Iceland. It is full of natural wonders that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I would love to go back in the summer and drive the entire Ring Road. Since international travel has been on pause, I have been able to take advantage of my favorite local staycation spot, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa right here in Bonita Springs.
Favorite icebreaker line:
I always like to ask people what they are currently binge-watching on TV. You can tell a lot about a person based on what they watch. As a bonus, you have a new TV show to add to your must-watch list.
Always print copies of your passport, boarding passes and confirmations. You never know when technology will fail you, and nothing is worse than your iPhone dying after a long day of taking pictures only to not be able to find a train ticket to your next destination.