Nancy Blizzard White
Planning Wings Unlimited, Inc.
For leading the Beaufort Wine & Food Board in creating the Crystal Coast Restaurant Workers Relief Fund
I am on the Beaufort Wine & Food board and we saw an immediate need once businesses in our small town were shut down due to state orders. We knew the workers would be affected immediately and would need help paying monthly bills and buying food. We raised $50,000 from an appeal to our members and community to generate funds quickly and have implemented virtual wine tastings to keep our membership and other guests engaged.
At Wings Unlimited, the attendee experience has always been at the forefront of my thinking. I remember guests walking into a highly-designed space I had created and stopping in their tracks. They hadn’t seen anything like it before and were excited about the prospect of “not business as usual.” I want every participant to walk in (or log in) to any of our events and to know they are in for a unique experience.
As we all know in this industry, change is constant when engineering in person and virtual events. I lead the Wings team though inevitable change with an open mind and a call to action. What was wrong yesterday may be right today, so don’t discount anything. My mantra is, “Consider everything, then get it done.” Things are changing so rapidly in our industry that we must be ready for anything.
Having worked together for many years, the Wings team has the confidence to question and the ability to support each other through every aspect of what we do.
I can’t wait to continue the journey with virtual and hybrid events as the Wings team produces more and more of these offerings. There are so many untapped opportunities to engage, surprise, and delight audiences that have yet to be considered. The prospect of innovation is energizing for us.
As a member of the hard-working board of Beaufort Wine & Food, we will continue to expand the variety of online webinars as we build out a revised but still robust calendar of virtual and traditional events.
I have always like to consider all the angles, stakeholders and possible outcomes and I am a big believer in the phrase “what about?”
Two lively, strong, independent and smart women have shaped me professionally and personally.
Ann Gilmartin, the founder of Wings Unlimited, started the business 34 years ago. Her business sense, curiosity and tenacity are inspirational, her energy boundless. Dinner for a client under a tent by the pyramids in Cairo. Yes, we’ve done that. Falling asleep on a site visit during a classical quartet performance in Prague after flying all day. Yes, we’ve done that too. Any adventure with Ann Gilmartin is unforgettable.
And my mother, Dorothy Blizzard, an always stylish, fun at a cocktail party, creative and hardworking professional who always made time to give back to her community through volunteerism.
I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful small town of Beaufort, North Carolina. A spectacular sunset along the charming waterfront with family and friends, and perhaps a glass of wine, is not to be missed.