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College’s event manager garners national recognition by industry association

Shuntel_Fuller copyWhen Shuntel Fuller plans any of the College of Business’ signature events – including its annual Alumni Hall of Fame, the Charles A. Rovetta Faculty Hall of Fame, and Leadership and Scholarship Awards galas – her goal is for guests to come away feeling they’ve had a spectacular and memorable evening.

“I want to present the college in the best possible light through our events, and I constantly ask myself, ‘What can I do to support the college’s vision of preeminence? How I can I create an atmosphere that consistently reflects our preeminence and meets our guests’ expectations of professionalism, care and hospitality?’” said Fuller, a member of the college’s Engagement Team, who recently earned her Master of Business Administration with a major in Hospitality and Tourism Management (MBA-HTM). Along the way, she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Event Management from FSU.

Fuller’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed or unappreciated. In addition to kudos she’s received from guests and colleagues for her flair and attention to detail, she was recognized last month by the International Live Events Association (ILEA), which comprises thousands of event-planning professionals, as one of its “Fresh Faces: 25 Young Event Pros to Watch in 2018.” An article on Fuller appeared in the July issue of Special Events, the association’s online magazine.  

Assisted by a graduate assistant and student volunteers, Fuller plans between 50 and 60 events a year, ranging from intimate lunches with corporate executives and select students to networking receptions and black-tie dinners with more than 300 guests. She is responsible for everything, from the initial planning to an event’s execution, including managing RSVPs, menu selection, seating charts and vendor supervision – often burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines.

The North Carolina native, who came to Florida in 1998 to earn her bachelor’s in business administration from Florida A&M University, joined the College of Business in 2012, after holding event planning positions at FSU’s Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) and then FSU’s College of Social Work.

While those experiences gave her the basics, she says what really has helped hone her skills, drive her passion and creativity, and build her confidence is The Special Event, the industry’s largest tradeshow and conference for event professionals that she’s attended each year since joining the College of Business. It is there, Fuller says, she picks up new ideas she is able to bring back to the college and implement.

“I learn best practices and what’s trending in the industry – from table settings, centerpieces and floral arrangements to event management software, attire and entertainment,” said Fuller, who has taken volunteer and leadership roles within ILEA and service roles during the conference. “I’ve also picked up skills like creating floral arrangements, and because I can do it myself in many instances, I can save the college money, which is always nice. You really are learning from the best of the best in the industry and building relationships, so it’s been just invaluable.”

Always one to pursue learning and the next goal, Fuller said she plans to become a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP).

“We’re proud of all Shuntel has accomplished, from her commitment to professional development and higher education, to the remarkable job she is doing for us,” said Marissa Langston, assistant dean for Alumni and Community Engagement. “When Shuntel is responsible for an event, it will be flawless – and if she encounters an obstacle, you’ll never know it. She is extremely talented and an asset to the team.” 

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