In her own words: promoter/executive Kristy Hawke
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your two positions.
Kristy Hawke: I am an executive with the Office of John H.O. La Gatta. Our private-sector duties range from overseeing numerous commercial properties, the acquisition, disposition, and financing of corporate real estate. Our current major public-sector interest is public education. I am also the founding owner of Female Expressions, aka Destinations West LLC, a production and management enterprise specializing in events for women and children. In this position, I plan, execute and manage the entire event from conception through execution, including all logistics, venue booking, insurance, expo services, exhibit sales, sponsorships, talent, speakers, marketing, advertising, security, move-in/out, etc. Our signature event is the Nevada Women’s Expo.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Hawke: I have had the privilege of working with many dynamic Nevada leaders, which has been a wonderful growth and learning experience that put me on a strong career path as well as engendered an entrepreneurial drive.
NNBW: How do you differentiate yourself from other event promoters?
Hawke: Actually I am not sure just how different I am from other event promoters. Perhaps because I do have a responsible full-time professional position I must be very efficient with my show production time. Hence, I have a very efficient local virtual assistant who I depend on to make sure our clients are taken care of throughout the year.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?
Hawke: Effective communications, interpersonal skills and honesty are key elements in a career path.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Hawke: Hostess/waitress at Coco’s Restaurant in Southern California while I was in high school. This position helped me understand hard work and to develop skills working with a wide range of people.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Hawke: Actually, I am working my dream job(s). I work for a visionary and spirited entrepreneur, and I am the owner of a successful small business.
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession as an event producer?
Hawke: Brush up on listening and communication skills orally and in writing. You must also excel at time management, and interpersonal skills must be top notch. You will be required to act as “ring leader,” and direct others, so strong people management skills are key. It is also crucial that you are a critically thinking problem solver.
NNBW: What’s the most fun you have had on the job?
Hawke: Well, what happens when you get thousands of women together in one place? We have done this the past 10 years at the Nevada Women’s Expo. Our team, volunteers, exhibitors and attendees are simply the best. The show floor is electrifying. We are often thanked by attendees for creating annual reunions of family and friends at the show. We just had a milestone year for the Nevada Women’s Expo. Last year, we celebrated the 10-year anniversary with our “EXPO-nential Woman” award. Over 30 women in the community were nominated and we had the chance to recognize and reward them for being who they are. There are so many unsung heroes making a difference each and every day. I had a blast bringing it together at the show!
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Hawke: When I worked for the Attorney General, she once said, “Don’t complain unless you are willing to do something about it.” She walked the walk. She ran for office and served brilliantly in public service and changed Nevada for the better. A good piece of advice I read was that “the majority of what we fear never comes true.”
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Hawke: I enjoy reading, watching movies and anything that makes me laugh. My family is very close knit, so spending time with them when I am not in the office is very important. We often escape for long weekends to a cabin in Nevada City. This year, we indulged and went to Hawaii twice.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Hawke: I don’t believe I would change anything. My experiences, good and bad, have influenced the person I am today. I feel very fortunate.
NNBW: What do you consider to be your biggest professional accomplishment?
Hawke: I really feel like my entire career has been fulfilling. However, I have been honored as a “Most Influential Woman,” as a national “Top Ten Woman of the Year,” and “Saleswoman of the Year” by long-established, local women business organizations. This is in direct correlation to the Nevada Women’s Expo efforts in serving the small (women) business owner and our region of women.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Hawke: A kindergarten teacher. My teacher made a great impact on me. At that age, the children are so innocent, impressionable and full of tremendous imaginations a great canvas!
NNBW: What can you do that someone else can’t?
Hawke: Leg wrestling. I grew up the middle girl of two boys. I learned how to take care of myself at a young age.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Hawke: I would shift down from a Type A personality to a Type B, but I would not fully retire. I believe in keeping the mind and body active. I would, however, like to spend more time traveling.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
Hawke: “The Nutcracker.” It’s a great family holiday experience.
NNBW: Where’s your perfect vacation spot?
Hawke: Somewhere tropical with an ocean view.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Hawke: Family brought me to northern Nevada, and I am so thankful. We have a great lifestyle. I used to have long commutes on Southern California freeways day in and out and never realized you don’t have to live like that. Plus, traveling in Reno networking circles, you can get to know folks fairly easily. When I worked for the governor, attorney general and secretary of state, visitors would freely come in and out and chat with Nevada’s elected officials if they were visible. You actually know them by first name! You can’t do that in California. In addition, northern Nevada’s community support of the Nevada Women’s Expo is truly amazing.
Name: Kristy Hawke, executive with the Office of John H. O. La Gatta and owner of Female Expressions/aka Destinations West, LLC (producer of Nevada Women’s Expo and Reno Baby Expo)
Number of years in this job? 15 years with La Gatta and 11 years of show production
Education: Cerritos College in Southern California with a major in court reporting. Also certified with additional coursework and numerous management courses in Nevada
Last book read? “The Predictioneer’s Game” by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Favorite flick? “Invictus”
What’s on your iPod? A mix of genres, from Josh Grobin to Pink
Spouse, kids or pets? My husband is a former university professor, a combat veteran and he is also retired from 30 years as an executive with Nevada state government. We have two daughters that are both young adults, along with our two female dachshunds.
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“If you’re going to produce roughly 80,000 ounces (of gold) a year at $800 an ounce … and gold is at $1,900 or $2,000 per ounce, that’s going to create a tremendous amount of cash flow.”