Bruce L. Erley is the President and CEO of the Creative Strategies Group, a full-service sponsorship and event marketing agency based in Denver, Colorado which he founded twenty four years ago in September, 1995. Creative Strategies Group (CSG) specializes in sponsorship and experiential marketing consultation as well as forging partnerships between corporations and events, festivals, nonprofit organizations and other properties.
In 2012, Erley served as the World Board Chairman of the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA). He is a 2015 inductee into the IFEA Hall of Fame. IFEA is the premiere professional association supporting and enabling festival and event professionals worldwide.
He is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America and a Certified Festival & Events Executive (CFEE) by the International Festivals and Events Association.
Among CSG’s clients are the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Philadelphia Flower Show, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Levitt Pavilion, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera and the Denver Auto Show. CSG’s corporate clients include Janus Henderson Investors, Kaiser Permanente, the Colorado Lottery, Great-West Life, U.S. Bank and Safeway.
Prior to founding CSG, Erley was the Vice President for Marketing and Sales for Up with People, an international, educational and cultural organization.
Erley is widely acclaimed as a top presenter on sponsorship and event marketing topics for the events and festivals industry having spoken recently in, Dubai, Toronto, Vienna, Singapore, South Korea and Beijing at major conferences. He also pens a quarterly advice column in industry publication iE magazine entitled The Sponsor Doc.
Bruce has been married for 37 years to his wife Linda and are the gratified empty nest parents of three grown sons.
Paul Jamieson Is the Executive Director for SunFest, Florida's largest music, art, and waterfront festival, held in West Palm Beach. SunFest has the distinction of being named the Music Event of the Year by Event Business News Magazine , ‘top event in Florida’ in a survey by Fodor’s Travel Guides, and one of the nation's top 100 events by The Weather Channel.
Paul has been with SunFest for 20 years and been in the festival industry for over 25 years. He recently served as the Board Chairman of the International Festival and Events Association, a professional organization of event producers from all over the world. Paul has spoken at festival conferences in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia and has published numerous festival related articles.
Britnee Christen is the current Director of the National Lentil Festival in Pullman, WA. Her passion for events began at a young age through family and community events. Britnee graduated from the University of Idaho in 2014 with a B.S. in Public Relations and a B.S. in Resource Recreation and Tourism. During her time at the University of Idaho, Britnee worked for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival as the Drive Team Coordinator. “That experience is what solidified my desire and passion for wanting to work in the events industry,” she said.
After college Britnee made her way to Tacoma, WA to work for the LeMay Family Collection- an 80-acre estate home to the world’s largest, private collection of vintage automobiles. During her time at LeMay she coordinated weddings, conferences, luncheons, car club gatherings, car shows, fundraisers, and much more.
In the fall of 2016 Britnee had the opportunity to relocate to the Palouse area where she started at the Pullman Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center as the Events Coordinator. In her role as events coordinator she came to know the in’s and out’s of Pullman and the Palouse area during her coordination of events like Pullman’s Fourth of July Celebration and the National Lentil Festival. In August 2018 she was promoted to Director of Tourism and maintained the directorship of the National Lentil Festival. Her transition also allowed her the opportunity to create Pullman’s FieldFest- a craft beer and music festival representative of the agricultural heritage of the Palouse.
Her creativity and vision have pushed her and the events she manages to the next level and she enjoys her work, and the Palouse area she calls home. “My favorite part of this industry are the unique experiences we create for people. We don’t do this for ourselves, we do this for others so they can escape and enjoy something with their community. To me, that’s how I know I’ve done my job.”
When Britnee is not planning events or helping visiting tourists her and her husband Ryne enjoy their time together out in nature hiking, biking and whitewater rafting.
Miller has worked with arts organizations for 20 years in fundraising, grants management, and professional development for artists. Monica’s primary responsibility is to ensure that Gallery One is relevant to the community it serves. Before moving to Ellensburg from Seattle, she oversaw artist grants and professional development at Artist Trust and was a member of SOIL, an artist collective. She also had a brief stint as the Fremont Solstice Parade Director. Monica considers her major accomplishment the advocacy of percent for art program with the Ellensburg Arts Commission, but is a daily advocate for artists. She hold a BA from the College of William and Mary and an MA from Johns Hopkins University in Museum Studies. She currently serves on the Washington State Arts Commission.
Tripp Muldrow is an accomplished urban planner with over twenty-five years’ experience in a broad range of areas in the planning profession. Tripp’s focus has been connecting physical planning and urban design projects with economic development strategies in small and medium sized communities. Tripp has authored downtown market studies, master plans, economic development strategies, and community marketing plans for over 300 places in thirty-five states, Canada, Belize, Bolivia, and Honduras.
He has also worked “on the ground” implementing plans as an urban economic developer working for cities, redevelopment authorities, and extensively with state and local Main Street programs. Tripp is a skilled public facilitator and talented writer. He is equally comfortable conducting public meetings, facilitating community groups, writing technical reports, and distilling complex technical information for general audiences.
Tripp’s expertise working with college and university towns is a centerpiece of his career. As a graduate of Clemson University, Tripp is passionate about the unique bond of communities that have grown alongside Land Grant Universities. He has worked on downtown plans for Blacksburg, Virginia; State College, Pennsylvania; Laramie, Wyoming; Ellensburg, Washington; Starkville, Mississippi; and West Lafayette, Indiana.
Tripp has worked with over a dozen communities in Washington including cities as large as Vancouver and Kent to smaller towns such as Cle Elum, Ritzville, Soap Lake, and Othello.
Tripp has served on the faculty of the South Carolina Mayor’s Institute for Community Design; has lectured at Clemson University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Oklahoma; is an annual teacher of small town revitalization at the South Carolina Economic Developers Institute; and has spoken on dozens of occasions at national and state Main Street conferences.
Tripp stays involved in his own community where he is a past president of the South Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association, a former vice-chairman of the Greenville City Planning Commission, and as a member of the Board of Regents for Leadership Greenville. Tripp was humbled to be inducted into the 2018 class of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Since 2005, Kittitas County Chamber’s Chief Executive Officer Amy McGuffin’s has assisted nearly 150 for-profit and non-profit partners in their efforts to become better festivals and events, through lodging tax funding.
Amy has been a member of the City of Ellensburg Lodging Tax committee since 2005.
She also consults other communities on how to creatively use their lodging tax funds to engage and increase tourist spending, community branding, and to promote city assets.
Amy has been very active in the creation of the Kittitas County Consolidated Lodging Tax Committee since 2012, a process in which municipalities come together to award annual applicants funding for festivals, events and projects. She recently sat on a county advisory committee to initiate tourism-related, small/large-Scale municipality-owned capital projects and operations. She was part of the award winning committee that created the Kittitas County Tourism Infrastructure plan.
Manuel R. Cawaling is the Executive Director for Inspire Washington, a merger of Cultural Access Washington and Washington State Arts Alliance. Prior to this position, he spent 10 years as Executive Director for Youth Theatre Northwest, providing children on Mercer Island and throughout King County with creative education and live theatre experiences. A Seattle native, Manuel has been working professionally as an artist and cultural leader for nearly 30 years. In 1989, Manuel was at the forefront of Seattle’s fringe theatre movement, serving as Artistic Director for Pilgrim Center for the Arts. He also served as a founding board member for Seattle's League of Fringe Theatres, the predecessor of Theatre Puget Sound and the organization credited with establishing Seattle's Fringe Theatre Festival, the first in the US. As Associate Artistic Director for the Northwest Asian American Theatre, he initiated an award-winning Youth Outreach and Education Program; conducted theatre residencies in local high schools and communities; and developed their capital campaign. As Exhibit Developer/Manager for the Wing Luke Asian Museum, he developed award winning exhibits, spearheaded outreach initiatives and led YouthCAN, a leadership program for Asian-Pacific-American youth. From 2003 to 2008, Manuel served on staff at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, initially in artistic programming and then as Managing Director, overseeing all administrative and programmatic activities. He has served two terms on the Seattle Center Advisory Commission, was a member of the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture's Public Art Advisory Committee and served as President for the Washington State Arts Alliance Foundation.