Anna Baughman, originally from Denison, Iowa, graduated from UNI in 2018 with a degree in leisure youth and human services with minors in music and marketing, and an emphasis in tourism. She is now using her degree as the manager of events and servicing at the La Crosse County Convention and Visitors Bureau. She worked there as a summer intern, and then was hired as permanent staff. Anna manages two huge events: The Between the Bluffs Beer and Wine and Cheese Festival and an outdoor expo called the Driftless Outdoors Show. Additionally, these two large events happen to take place within 2 weeks of each other. Anna also coordinates conferences that come to the region and assists with registrations and arranging tours.
Anna’s work at the Gallagher Bluedorn was a huge stepping stone towards her current position. She started as an office assistant in the Gallagher Bluedorn main office where she was able to learn what goes on behind the scenes. Next, she worked front of house with Event Management Director, Chris Kremer. In this role, she spent a summer helping University Event Coordinator, Kelli McCarthy, with summer conferences. According to Anna, her position at Gallagher gave her a broad perspective on all the steps that encompass event planning. She said, “The hands on work, learning from senior students, and the emphasis the staff have to help students succeed, made the work educational and enjoyable.”
What Anna liked best about working at the Gallagher Bluedorn was the level of responsibility they trusted her with. It was “real work that mattered.” Anna said she learned new skills in a specific industry and how to get things done utilizing good time management skills. She was also a member of the Panther Marching Band along with a few other student organizations, so time management skills were essential. GBPAC provided a foundation for the time management skills she uses daily in her current position.
From helping to stock the bus for Pat Benatar to managing the house for shows with a team of ushers, Anna Baughman got valuable hands-on event experience from her time at Gallagher Bluedorn. The GBPAC staff is proud to see how her time there has led to her success thus far. Kelli McCarthy, Anna’s former supervisor, said, “Students like Anna who take responsibility, get the job done well, and take the skills with them to apply in their next job are the reason we want to hire students. Helping students apply their education to their future work is an important part of our mission.”
Written by Margaret Empie