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by Julie A. Keaton, Vice President of Engagement

Photo of Julie Keaton.Children are headed back to school, there’s a tinge of crispness in the air, and I’m getting excited for Seahawks football on Sundays once again. The change in season is certainly welcome (autumn in Seattle happens to be my personal favorite), but it makes me take a pause to reflect on all we accomplished this summer as a united, hardworking SHW team.

Photo of MLB All Stars and fish throwers.Baseball fever came to Seattle and SHW was thrilled to be a part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week. SHW was honored to manage the MLB players and families Red Carpet Brunch at Pike Place Market. From salmon throwing to creating their own All-Star Gum Wall, Seattle’s premier event suppliers and Pike Place Market vendors rallied to roll out the magenta carpet for these VIP athletes and their families. We even learned that our All-Star Gum Wall will be preserved and housed at T-Mobile Park to mark the event!

Photo of video production shoot.We officially launched SHW Studios and since then our video production team has been busy working on a wide variety of projects from customer testimonials, to marketing videos, to celebration of life content. A new client in the sustainable energy space engaged us to shoot customer testimonials on-location with local food truck providers. We had a fun day out in the city connecting with small business owners and loved capturing their stories.

Photo of Brett Robertson and daughter at T-Mobile Park.SHW celebrated being named #4 Best Workplace in Washington, Small Company Category! Brett Robertson, our newly appointed CEO, attended Puget Sound Business Journal’s (PSBJ) Awards Ceremony at T-Mobile Park with adorable daughter in tow and accepted the award for SHW. This honor is quite a win for us as the metrics for placement are solely based on employee survey feedback. What’s more, we improved our PSBJ #8 list ranking and quantum score from 2019.

Photo of the mansion and pool at Denny Blaine Estate.The team took a short pause in July to come together for our Annual SHW Company Picnic, a culturally important tradition for us. This year we had the great fortune of hosting the event at one of our exclusive venue properties, the Denny-Blaine Estate located on the shores of Lake Washington. We started at the lower house with lunch, wine and sunbathing and later, transitioned to the upper mansion for some much-needed pool time. Oh, what a day we had! Corn hole, pickleball and flamingo-floating made all the more special by just being together, catching up, and experiencing how the “other half” lives. It was certainly one of those “work perk” moments where we all felt spoiled and grateful to be working in the events industry.

Photo of SHW's PNDC planning team.We marked our 3rd consecutive Pacific Northwest Dental Conference (PNDC) for the Washington State Dental Association (WSDA). A talented and robust SHW team of 8 event managers and over 50 seasonal event staff seamlessly planned and executed to perfection. A highlight this year was featuring local muralist Henry, aka Ryan Henry Ward, in the Exhibit Hall while attendees watched on as he painted his signature sasquatch in PNDC style, complete with a toothbrush! We also facilitated 2 important give-back opportunities. Guests assembled personal hygiene kits to benefit YouthCare, a local organization dedicated to supporting homeless youth and we brought in PUPPIES which was a huge hit with attendees. Guests were able to sit and snuggle with adorable dogs in training with Guide Dogs for the Blind and the charitable donation allowed the organization to purchase more dog harnesses to help serve people in need. A true win-win all around!

Photo of Sparkle the Donkey.We had the pleasure of supporting Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE), a local rescue and rehabilitation organization, with their annual Heart of the Horse Barn Party fundraiser in Redmond. This silent and live auction event was attended by over 200 guests who enjoyed dinner, live music, and opportunities to meet the beautiful horses in SAFE’s care, including a spirited donkey named Sparkle.

Photo of SHW and Mozilla planning team.One of our favorite tech clients just wrapped their Annual All Hands Meeting. This year they chose Montreal, Quebec and the SHW team skillfully managed fluctuating exchange rates, construction projects around every corner, and language barriers – lucky for us, one of our onsite Event Managers speaks fluent French! We embraced the vibe of Montreal’s neighborhoods with a themed Welcome Reception and infused Quebec’s famous cirque entertainers in their Closing Reception.

Photo of SHW Team at Summer Picnic.Whew, what a summer we’ve had! As we look ahead, historically fall is one of SHW’s busiest times and this season is no different. From the University of Washington’s Husky Football Game Shuttles to a variety of conferences and special events, we look forward to creating authentic, inclusive and memorable experiences.

Bravo to our dedicated SHW Team, trusted clients and countless partners and suppliers who make it all possible. Onward and upward!


Julie Keaton, Vice President of Engagement, has been with SHW for over 20 years. In her role, she manages Human Resources, Program Development and Marketing efforts. SHW is one of the original DMCs in the country and now handles all event and meeting services from site sourcing to full event and meeting planning to video production services.