It was one o’clock in the morning and Dylan Duque was busy solving a work problem: two of ten coolers used for the Stars & Stripes event were missing. There was no going home until they were accounted for so, with the help of Daniel Cortez, he summoned as much energy as he had left and headed out into Town Square one more time.
It is impossible to estimate how many trips Daniel, Dylan, Stephanie Bernard, and Hillary Cromer made through the Square on July 3 so it’s probably best to say, “as many as they needed to.” The team understood the assignment…deliver the kind of enjoyment and connection that makes great memories and creates hometown nostalgia. Their work on Stars & Stripes, and on other events, transport you to another place and time and create a sense of togetherness for the community.
“The Economic Development and Tourism team have the overwhelming responsibility of developing a creative vision for our events, while also managing the challenging logistics,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “While they are supported by a huge contingent of city employees and volunteers, ultimately this small team is responsible for ensuring there are plenty of magical moments to go around.”
Just thinking about holiday event traditions bring smiles to most faces. We can smell the aromas the season features, taste the traditional food, hear the emotion-provoking music. The rituals found during events create meaning for us and give us a momentary respite from the daily grind.
Event planners, like Daniel, Hillary, Dylan, and Stephanie put everything together to ensure full enjoyment at city-sponsored festivals and provide support to community-driven events, as well.
“I like to think that the team is providing the kind of service that keeps on giving,” said Ortowski. “Today, we have parents bringing their families to events they once attended as children, experiencing the awe of a great fireworks show or the anticipation of a countdown to light up the Square at Christmas. Their work is so meaningful.”
It is not always glamorous but planning and running community events is vitally important work, socially connecting Southlake residents and visitors.
For their outstanding efforts to help people form nostalgic memories, the Economic Development and Tourism Department team members are recognized as some of Southlake’s most important Unsung Heroes.