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Our Event Staff

Deborah Droppers

Founder & Executive Director

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"My mom, Shirley Van Hoeven, inspires me every day and it is in her spirit that I founded the Center.  She lived her life for college students when she was teaching at Western Michigan University.  Her impact still resonates through her Scholarship Fund in the Communications Department.

 

This center is my dream. I love working with non-profits and enjoy the chaos of working with interns. I am inspired to think of new ideas to make events more interactive, customer-focused, and multi-layered.  I teach at Western Michigan University and run the Event Management Minor.  It's insanely fun.  Every day I learn something new in preparation for the lectures that hopefully engage, inspire, transform.  Within this pledge, we celebrate the passion of the product and the people we serve.

 

 It's an amazing adventure".   

Kaitlynne Burns

Director of Marketing and Public Relations

A recent graduate from Western with a degree in Public Relations and Social Media Marketing, Kaitlynne has built a solid foundation through various roles: from Entertainment and Marketing at The Growler's, to Social Media Marketing and Executive Assistance at Outlier Events, and even taking on the persona of Buster Bronco while working in WMU athletic marketing.

Kaitlynne's standout moment was the KalamaTopia Outdoor Holiday Market, which holds a special place in her heart. Her motivation to work in events stems from her belief that even the smallest of gatherings can brighten someone's day, especially when they might be going through tough times.

Bringing a practical yet enthusiastic approach, Kaitlynne Burns is all about spreading positivity through her event work. Her experiences and dedication make her an invaluable addition, ensuring that every project she touches leaves a positive impact.

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Marissa Munson

Event and Logistics Director

Meet Marissa Munson, a recent graduate who brings a wealth of experience and a genuine passion for creating memorable experiences to our team. Marissa earned her B.A. in Strategic Communications with a focus on Public Relations, accompanied by a minor in Event Management in June of 2023.

Marissa's journey into the world of events began at a young age – she's been immersing herself in the event scene at WMU since the age of 8, attending everything from sporting events to plays and student gatherings. Her love for events extended to volunteering at various occasions in her hometown and even corporate events in Kalamazoo, further enriching her understanding of the industry.

Among her many experiences, Marissa finds herself most captivated by Roofsit – an event she's worked on at KELC. Despite its demanding nature, Roofsit's dynamic mix of programs and surprises makes for an exhilarating weekend, and Marissa thrives amidst the organized chaos.

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Logan Stoner

Sponsorship and Recruitment Coordinator 

Meet Logan Stoner, a Senior at Western Michigan University gearing up to graduate this spring. With a focus on communication studies and a minor in event management. My journey at KELC began as an intern, where I quickly discovered my knack for sponsorship activation and community engagement. Now, as I transition into a more senior role, I'm excited to leverage my passion and expertise to drive meaningful connections and create memorable experiences.

The holiday parade holds a special place in my heart, as I've been attending since before I could even walk. Now, as an individual involved in planning the event, I feel a sense of responsibility and privilege. Being able to contribute to something that has brought me so much joy over the years is incredibly meaningful to me. It's an honor to play a part in ensuring that the holiday parade continues to create cherished memories for families and bring our community together in celebration.

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Our Interns

Morgan Workman

Meet Morgan Workman! 

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Major: Sports Management

Minor: Event Management

Favorite Event: Kalsec Annual Picnic 

“I cherish my time at KELC because it provides me with incredible hands-on experience. Whether I'm behind the computer, orchestrating the behind-the-scenes aspects of events, or actively participating in person to bring those events to life, every moment is truly rewarding”.

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