From this cafe in Rome, Italy, my thoughts are filled with reflection on where I have been, where I am, and where I am headed. Spring in the event planning world, is like Christmas for the retail industry. The irony that I am in Rome, during April is not lost on me. For the last 10 years, I would never have imagined traveling to Rome with a bride to be, instead of working diligently within the walls of my office in South Carolina. And yet, here I am working with an incredible client, doing what I love, all the while getting to take a minute and think through introducing myself, under my new company, all because I took the step.
For the better part of my 20’s, I had the privilege of working for an established and well respected Destination Management Company representing one of the premiere resorts in the world. I had, what most would say, the best job on the East Coast.
In 2012, my life changed forever. My husband and I served on a mission trip to East Africa. Being welcomed in to the lives of such beautiful people filled with kindness and gentleness, people with no worldly possessions, impoverished at the most significant degree, and yet people with richness of character left a significant mark on me, one that reshaped my lens through which I viewed the world and my role in it. This was the beginning of my journey, a journey that gains momentum daily for ways to continue to be a part of these lives in East Africa; to forge new ways to provide resources and support to this area of the world and beyond. The shock in my initial homecoming rocked my world. The ball was set in motion, but the question was, how to find a way to blend my successful career in event management with my passion for serving with my time and resources to the underprivileged and less fortunate.
In the fall of 2015, I made a significant decision in my career to leave the secure job in Destination Management. Leaving this job gave me space and freedom to create and think outside the box as I worked to achieve my new goals. I could see that creating experiences that matter was worth taking this leap of faith. In doing so, I started the KLH Group.
KLH Group is a meeting and event management resource (Company) that excels in creating events with meaning and substance. It starts with a client’s vision and ends by making a difference in the local community.
The personalized commitment KLH makes to each individual client, takes the relationship to a level of friendship that is beyond what you might expect. Through KLH Group, I am passionately setting out to assist my “friends” in creating memorable experiences for their companies while making a difference for someone less fortunate throughout the process.
I hope to inspire you in the event industry and help YOU become a difference maker.
Photo Credit **Josh Drake Photography
Hope Caldwell founded KLH Group in 2016. She and her husband welcomed their son, Kenneth "Liam" Caldwell, home from China in 2015. She resides in Charleston, S.C.