Planner Resilience: Julie Walker, Choice Meetings
Julie Walker, meeting and event planner for Choice Meetings, describes how she sustained success during the pandemic and focus on the Peyton Walker Foundation
How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
When life threw Julie Walker a curve ball in 2013 with the tragic and unexpected death of her 19-year old daughter to Sudden Cardiac Arrest, she dusted herself off and immediately launched a nonprofit foundation in response to this devastating loss. Her mission was to save other families from having to live this same nightmare. The Peyton Walker Foundation has garnered national recognition for their work - they’ve passed legislation in Pennsylvania (Peyton’s Law), they’ve donated over 150 lifesaving AEDs (defibrillators), provided free heart screenings to thousands of kids, and taught CPR/AED use to hundreds of thousands of PA residents.
Logistics management comes easy to Julie – as she owns/operates Choice Meetings – a full-service meeting and event planning company.
When Covid hit last year and turned our meetings/hospitality world upside down – Julie confidently and fearlessly faced the challenge head-on. “When you survive child loss, nothing else scares you – there is no other task more daunting,” says Walker. “I consciously chose to get up, show up and keep moving forward throughout the pandemic. No excuses, no time for complaining.”
Julie’s strategy throughout the pandemic has focused on staying connected with industry colleagues from around the country – and globally. Having a finger on the pulse of what everyone was experiencing enabled her to communicate “real-time” info to her clients to help them make educated and informed business decisions.
This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where we celebrate the positivity and optimism shown by planners across the industry when navigating the turbulent waters that COVID-19 has brought the meetings and events industry. Keep an eye out as we release more stories like this over the next few months.