Welcome to Meet the Museum, our blog series where we meet the staff of The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center and find out what it’s like to work in a museum.
Tammy Gleeson joined the staff of the Heritage Museum in early 2016 as the Event Manager. A native of Clare, Michigan, Tammy was a long-time volunteer at the Museum before becoming a permanent staff member. In between fabulous events, Tammy sat down with our Frederick S. Upton Fellow, Claire Herhold, to talk about her work at the Heritage Museum.
Tell me a little bit about your job. What does it mean to be the Event Manager?
I schedule events for groups of people renting our many event spaces: from the spacious Shepard Hall, to the intimate Rose and Paul Suchovsky Memorial Rose Garden, to our parlor and conference rooms which are ideal for business gatherings. I work with our clients to select the core elements of their event, like caterers, bar services, and even linen colors.
For museum events, I get to be even more involved in the planning. I help organize and take care of most of the decor, including floral arrangements. Our annual meeting is always our “big event” of the year – this year’s took place last week and it was a wonderful success! I had a lot of fun arranging that one.
I also schedule our wonderful young staff members who help us with set-up work for each event. I love working and hanging out with them!
What is your favorite part of your job?
That I get to have fabulous parties with people every weekend! For example, this month alone I have a birthday party, an anniversary, and five weddings taking place at the Museum. I really love working with people and helping them celebrate some of the most memorable days of their lives.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Sometimes early Saturday mornings are hard after working late on Friday nights, but it’s a good thing when we’re busy. It can also be hard to arrange an event when family members have different visions for what they want. Then again, it’s really rewarding when it all comes together after all. Our event staff members are all really incredible young people who are involved in so many things – sometimes it makes scheduling them difficult!
How did you get interested in event planning?
I have extensive experience from working in the hospitality industry for over 40 years. In the food service sector, I’ve been a server, bar tender and manager for many years. I also coordinated weddings for ten years prior to coming to the Heritage Museum.
What do you think makes the Heritage Museum such a special place to hold an event?
Our venue is so regal, lovely, and glamorous. Unlike other venues where your rental only includes the space, we can include linens and dinnerware. We try to give our clients extra services to make their events a little more elegant. If I could sum up our space in one word, that’s what it would be: elegant.
The nice thing about holding an event at a museum is that your guests have somewhere to go or something to do during the event. For example, between a wedding ceremony and a reception, guests can explore four public exhibit spaces as well as a photography exhibit in one of our rental rooms. Right now our event guests are really enjoying our upstairs exhibit, Evidence Found: Explorations in Archaeology.
But above all, I think the Heritage Museum is a special place because we have the most incredible staff ever! You can really see how much our guests enjoy that when you visit The Knot, My Barefoot Wedding, and Wedding Spot.
Are you taking reservations for events right now?
Yes! Tell everyone – we would love to have you and up to 219 of your closest friends!
I still have two dates that are open in August – August 12 and 19. Other than that, I’m ready to book weddings for the Spring and Summer of 2018, or holiday parties for Winter 2017.
Do you have an events you’d like to hold at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center? Call Tammy at (269) 983-1191 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set something up today! Click the gallery below to see some of Tammy’s incredible work.