Renee Radabaugh, CMP, works in Delray Beach, Florida, as president and CEO of Paragon Events. As a 2019 15 Over 50 honoree, Radabaugh discusses her passion for the events industry.
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What I do: As the president and CEO of a soon-to-be 30-year company, I continue to focus on fostering the growth and development of my team and clientele. With the support of our senior leadership, I establish the long-term goals, strategies, plans and policies in place to ensure we uphold our mission statement and level of service. In addition, I contribute my time to mentoring new industry professionals and speaking on important topics such as strategic meetings management, disaster preparedness, and event technology.
How I got here: I helped open the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans after receiving my degree in psychology and social work. I eventually migrated to South Florida and, as a single mother, I worked long hours as a director of catering and convention services. One day, after another 85-hour week, my daughter asked me to “take off those fancy clothes and stay home with her.” It was then that I decided to work for myself and for her, open a boutique flower shop, and the corporate event business grew from there.
Greatest career accomplishment: I would say my greatest accomplishment is feeling like I have it all: an established and rewarding career that allows me to do what I love; my family who has been beyond supportive and caring; the ability to travel and explore new cultures; and, of course, my wonderful, hardworking employees that inspire me every day.
Impressive stats: I invested $18,500 for our key team members to attend industry conferences in 2018 and earn their certification in technological programs, which has saved our clients endless time and effort to garner such valuable reporting. I’ve also mentored more than 62 interns throughout the course of our Internship Program of Excellence.
Specific improvement I’ve made: I believe our internship program offers a great deal of opportunity, for not only starting professionals, but also for my team to experience various stages of training, managing and mentoring others. We have accepted applicants from around the world, as far as Germany, and I am proud to say that we have one of highest job placement rates in our industry. Moreover, there are members of our staff who were former interns and have become well established in their roles, several who have been with the company for more than three years.
What are you working on right now that you’re excited about? Through our business development efforts, we have experienced an increase to provide sales presentations and proposals, of which it is very exhilarating to steward the art of client acquisition and their brand development. We are also in the process of identifying new ROI measurement tools on the market and help our clients better evaluate the value of their events.
What I do outside of work: It is my second year serving on the board of directors for the Association for Women in Events, which continues to fulfill my desire to mentor and empower others. I also love to paint and recently finished a decoupage project for my son. Travel is another passion of mine. I am currently working on opening up a luxury Sportsman Club overlooking a beautiful estate in Vermont.