Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Currie.
Christina, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Before having a family, I was a corporate planner for an Int’l business. I gained experience with national and international events throughout most of my career.
When I took a leave of absence from the corporate planning to be with my daughters, I was instrumental in planning events for non-profit organizations.
Christina Currie Events (CCE) was established in 2004, once my girls were in school full-time, and I was ready to tackle my own business. In the beginning, most of CCE’s business was acquired through my community’s school district and churches; starting out small by organizing social events only. Over the last 14 years, CCE evolved into a seasoned event management company producing weddings, fundraisers, high-end social events and corporate outings.
Due to my polished nature and organized procedures, many outsiders have a hard time believing CCE encountered any struggles. But, I found that in the beginning, managing a family along with my full-time business was challenging. The demanding details and fast-paced nature of the business, though exciting, was difficult to tackle on my own. Therefore, I promised myself that I would hire talented women who understood the value of family time to assist me in my endeavors. My philosophy is if you allow women to work at their own pace, allow them to figure out their own balance in life, they will perform at a higher level. It’s a win-win for everyone!
It was and still is important to me to have strong and dedicated women work for CCE. My vision truly became a reality. I am fortunate enough to have the support and dedication of Masumi Amin (CCE’s Event Designer) and Nicole Tardif (CCE’s Marketing Manager) on the CCE team! Their demand of expertise is above and beyond what I could have imagined. These two ladies understand my philosophy and passion, and therefore perform at the highest level! Masumi balances CCE with her dance company and Nicole balances CCE with her daughter and expected June baby. They are the women of today, the ladies who set the bar high and inspire young women entering the business world like my own daughters.
Has it been a smooth road?
Going into business on my own, I’ve learned from my mistakes and struggles, and continue to improve because of them. I’ve learned that fear could limit my vision. Part of the journey is falling down and learning how to get back up again. What’s most important is to believe in yourself. My drive and passion to help others celebrate their milestone occasions are what keeps me going. The feeling I get when I see the smile on a bride’s face when she walks into her reception room or the pride of an executive when he sees the joy in his employee’s eyes at an elaborate anniversary celebration is both rewarding and fulfilling. But, I do recall a few times where I thought to myself “Well, this is it, it’s over for me!” For example, a part-time employee lit a candle too close to a dry lavender plant at one of our events. When I walked into the tent, flames were shooting up into the air. I calmly advised everyone to grab bottle waters and toss them into the 2-foot high fire. I still get chills down my spine when thinking about that event. I had incense sticks in my emergency kit to help alleviate the smoky smell, (something every event planner should have in their emergency kit.) Did I mention the guest arrival was 10 minutes away before this unfortunate mishap occurred? I’ve learned from this mistake and still thank my lucky stars that we all stayed calm enough to (literally) put out the fire.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Christina Currie Events – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Christina Currie Events is…. not just a “wedding planning” company, even though, weddings have become one of our signature successes. We are known for producing corporate gatherings, civic events, social events such as engagement parties, milestone birthday celebrations and soirees, and fundraisers. We focus on one-of-a-kind experiences that will provide clients with a lifetime of memories. CCE is dedicated to details; making our mark on each and every affair.
What are you most proud of as a company? There are so many things to be proud of with CCE. The most that warm my heart is that CCE gives other women the freedom to be creative with design and writing. Masumi and Nicole figure out their best time to be involved with CCE and that allows them to balance their work and personal lives. It is so important to me to work with dedicated women who know their own boundaries. The flexibility is key to having happy co-workers.
What sets you apart from others? CCE believes the journey of planning should be just as thrilling and exciting as the event itself. We believe in building relationships with all our clients and valued vendors. Most of our private clients and partners have been working with us for almost 14 years. They trust in us and we trust in them.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
There are several proud moments with CCE, it’s hard to pick one from the other. We’ve been fortunate enough to help others celebrate their milestones. From weddings to birthday parties, anniversaries and celebrating employees, we would honestly say every moment is a proud moment. However, one of our most dignified moments was helping our United States Navy celebrate their brand new 3 billion dollar submarine!
CCE was chosen as the event producer for the commissioning and christening of the United States Navy warship, USS Illinois, in 2015. The sub was the first Navy ship to bear the Illinois name since October 4, 1898.
Several events honoring the ship’s crew took place the year prior to the christening and commissioning. Some of the events took place in Illinois and other festivities occurred in Groton, CT, where the ship was being built. CCE organized fundraisers, dinners, and meetings with Illinois Governor Rauner, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and many other prominent political figures. As the event planners, we were invited to tour the new ship and learn about the training involved in running the massive Virginia-class submarine.
The Christening was attended by over 3000 people followed by a gala reception at a nearby hotel in Groton, CT. The celebration was inaugurated by a marching band and address by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, honoring the Navy men and women, in true patriotic form. It was an honor to learn about the US Navy, meet their families, and to make sure they had a special christening; yes with the bottle of champagne being smashed against the submarine! This year-long event will always hold a special place in CCE’s heart!
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Chicagoland area has many interesting venues to accommodate everyone’s interest. From the industrial chic lofts spaces to the floor to ceiling ballrooms with gorgeous Lake Michigan views, Chicago has everything in between including restaurants and venues on the River Walk, to intimate boutique spaces with blank canvases. There is literally something for everyone and it’s challenging and exciting for us to work in many different types of venues for each client.
The people who make up Chicago are down to Earth, compassionate and are full of spirit. This adds a lively dynamic to working in the event industry in Chicago.
CCE has very little to say about the things we don’t like about Chicago, however, the traffic is always difficult. It gives everyone a challenge to get around the city in a timely manner when planning logistics for all types of events.
- Address: 117 S. Cook St. #116
Barrington, IL 60010
- Website: www.christinacurrieevents.com
- Phone: 224-558-1764
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(no specific order)
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