Elaine Braley, Communications
Elaine has been planning events, large and small for well over 20 years. She has experience in many different arena’s that all contribute to her being a successful event planner.
She began working in restaurants right out of high school. In her early twenties she seized an opportunity to buy a popular franchise and open it in Midlothian VA. After building the business, she sold it & moved back to SW Virginia to be closer to her family.
Once she got reestablished, she explored other career opportunities and acquired her cosmetology license. This eventually led to opening the first full service salon and spa in Floyd VA. Over the next five years she built lasting relationships and gained the respect and trust of many residents of her community. Through those connections, she began planning weddings and other events for her clients. Word quickly spread and the jobs started pouring in. With each job, another opportunity presented itself. Her skills and dedication to event planning was sought after by several businesses in Floyd. She accepted an offer to work with a local production company that produces 3 major festivals a year. It was this job that solidified her position as a successful event planner and sparked her passion for this industry. Always keeping her finger on the pulse of her community and forever looking to fill a niche, she realized SWVA was quickly becoming a popular destination for weddings. The only thing lacking was the presence of a professional, qualified event planning business. This sparked the beginning of SWVA Events.
Currently, Elaine is the Venue Coordinator for Eastern Divide Brewing Company.
She resides in the NRV where she raises her five, very active children/semi-adults, all while planning her own Summer wedding!
Heather has nine years of event planning and coordinating experience including weddings, birthday parties, baby and wedding showers, holiday events and fundraising events. She is passionate about the look and feel of an event as a means to set it apart from others and make it memorable for the guests as well as the host. Whether creating events with personalized and handcrafted touches or helping manage the party timeline her goal is to make your event is beautiful, unique and stress-free.
Heather has degrees in Sociology and Special Education from James Madison University and a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Radford University. She has the ability and training to relate to a wide range of personality types, assist in self-care, ability to multi-task, and strong communication and listening skills. She is passionate about customer service, working as a team and building relationships to ensure a successful event.
She also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading, cooking delicious food and crafting anything cute found on Pinterest.
Katie M. Turman, Logistics
Katie’s career path began in 2004 when she answered an ad to work in the tasting room of a local winery; after all, she thought, “I’m good at tasting wine”. Little did she know that the original job posting would launch her into the world of business management and event coordination. The winery held an annual Garlic Festival, where she managed vendors, entertainers, and wineries as well as assisting with box office operations and patron experience. While venturing out on her own she began working with a non-profit organization coordinating the annual technical meeting and adding another type of event to the scope of her skills. After she moved to South Western Virginia, she proceeded to work her way up the ranks with a large music festival, becoming proficient in even more facets of large-scale events. It became apparent that her real love lies in the organization and project-oriented nature of event planning. She loves working closely with the client; first taking every detail into account, then creating a well-formed plan, and most importantly ensuring that it is executed efficiently.
Katie graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications and minor in Business Leadership. It was here that she learned her most-valued career building blocks, including but not limited to, the spreadsheet. She feels that optimal organization is always achieved when expressed in Excel. Currently she works part-time bookkeeping for a family pallet company. Her main focus is her son who turned 2 in September, and just started his learning journey at the Floyd Friends Montessori School.
After planning her own wedding she realized that having a coordinator is essential. She loved working with Elaine on the pre-planning aspect and relished learning the ins and outs of a completely different type of event. Luckily on the day of she had help from Elaine and Heather. She not only achieved the wedding of her dreams, but she found two amazing women to start a business with!
Recently married, she lives “happily ever after” close to Floyd County with her husband and son.