Gazala Uradnik, founder of GFS Events, started her company in 2012 in an effort to help nonprofits navigate the sometimes tricky and complicated world of event and meeting planning. Gazala loves to partner with nonprofits and help them attain their organizational goals. Recently she teamed up with the destination experts at the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, who not so coincidently are also dedicated to helping planners and organizations realize their goals. A perfect match!
SUZZANNE: Tell us, what was your first job in the industry? How did you evolve to where you are now?
GAZALA: I actually took a leap of faith and started my own company in January of 2012. I initially started the company as a consulting firm to nonprofit organizations and we slowly evolved to events and event production for nonprofit events. Our first event was a large community based event for a tiny nonprofit. Since 2012, we have done dozens of auctions, benefit dinners, golf tournaments, walks, runs and many other fundraising events. We only focus on nonprofit events and can help nonprofits raise more money through our planning and consulting expertise.
As a wife and mother to three wonderful children, it is important to me to also teach my kids the importance of nonprofit work. My family regularly supports and volunteers at many of the events we do each year.
SUZZANNE: What is the hardest/most challenging part of your job? What do you most enjoy?
GAZALA: The hardest part of my job is working with so many different personalities within each event. Each nonprofit has their own specific board, committee, volunteer and staff to work with. Making sure we are meeting all of our clients’ needs at all times can be a challenge.
SUZZANNE: Outside the industry, what is your dream job?
GAZALA: I am working my dream job! I actually volunteered for over 10 years as a nonprofit volunteer working on events! When I realized that I was so happy working for “free” for events, I knew that running a business doing the same thing would make me even happier!
SUZZANNE: What do you most value about your relationship with Seattle Southside CVB/other CVBs in general?
GAZALA: I really like the time savings that Seattle Southside RTA offers. I can reach out to one person and send my venue requests and then I receive very detailed information and RFPs in return. I also appreciate the attention to customer service that Seattle Southside RTA has provided my company.
SUZZANNE: How would you describe the relationship you have with the CVB? What would you compare it to?
GAZALA: A CVB is like having a great assistant to help you and answer questions you didn’t know you even knew you had!
SUZZANNE: Name your top reasons why you chose Seattle Southside to hold your meeting.
GAZALA: My clients usually decide the location of our events. Seattle Southside offers a variety of venues that match a broad range of budgets.
Thank you Gazala for talking with us today! To find more information about the Seattle Southside CVB and 150+ top meeting destinations, visit www.empowerMINT.com.