Heather Rollins Herrig 

(Georgia)

The Event Planning Professional | 40 Under 40 Class of 2020

FAST FACTS

  • Boss Lady Icon
    Sheryl Sanberg
     

  • Favorite Food
    Dim sum
     

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    Lauren Bacall

GET TO KNOW HEATHER

Meeting and event planning is Heather Rollins Herrig’s M.O. She’s the president and chief event strategist of Every Last Detail, a full-service corporate events and meetings firm dedicated to high-touch, seamless and strategic events. Keep scrolling to learn how she got to where she is today.  

EXTENDED INTERVIEW

What inspired you to go into this line of work?

What’s so interesting is that I didn’t even know this was a career path you could have until I landed my first job. There is certainly more exposure now and more universities are offering event planning/hospitality as a major and course of study, which is fantastic.

 

What challenge did you overcome to get where you are today?

My event planning department (and ultimately our Atlanta office) was eliminated from the company I worked for during the Great Recession, but that’s when I took the opportunity to start my own business. It was an enormous challenge to start a business during such an economic low point, and I am thankful every day to have been able to grow out of that time.

 

Did someone help you get to where you are today, like a mentor?

I have too many mentors to count! My industry is incredibly supportive, and we are all here for each other.

 

What do you love most about your job?

I love that every day brings something completely different: new challenges, new learning experiences and new opportunities.

Early Bird or Night Owl

Mountains or Beach

Dogs or Cats

Stripes or Polka Dots

Physicabook or Audiobook

Describe yourself in three words.

Positive, relentless and inspired.

 

Your life philosophy is…

Have faith in what you have and who you are, and trust that doing the right thing will give you everything you need.

 

What is the best piece of advice you received?

Focus more on significance than success. In other words, be more concerned with what you do for others and the impact you have on them than what you earn or receive in return.

 

If someone handed you an airline ticket to a place of your choosing, where would you go and why?

Paris! I minored in French at the University of Georgia and have never been.

 

What’s something you cannot live without?

As lame as it sounds, I really could not function in work without Excel. Everything I do is in spreadsheets!

 

Name a book you read that positively shaped you.

Without question “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. That book has served as a tremendous example of what it means to stand up for what is right no matter what, and how important your actions and example are to your family, community and profession.

 

If you weren’t working in the industry that you are, what would you be doing instead?

I would probably be a full-time volunteer.

 

How do you unwind or relax after a long day?

I love doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

 

The most rewarding aspect of your job is…

Seeing all the work I’ve put in (sometimes over multiple years) culminate in a successful conclusion that I can participate in and see the positive impact each event and meeting has on its participants and guests.

 

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?

“Dream big.”

 

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life?

Work-life balance is hard enough on a working parent, but when you also travel more than 30% of the time, it is critical to have boundaries and continue investing in your family. This sometimes feels impossible, but it is non-negotiable, and something I continue to work on.

 

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

I take a moment to walk around and listen to an audiobook. It’s a great break to get up and move, take my mind off the task at hand and re-center.

 

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be money, time, energy, etc.)

I thrive on participating in my industry’s associations and organizations. Being a part of a community of fellow professionals allows me to grow, give back, learn and certainly commiserate with others who are in the trenches with me. It is an investment of time, money and energy, but absolutely worth it in every way.

Name a confident woman of character who you look up to? Why her?

There is an amazing woman in our industry who inspires me on a daily basis – Shawna Suckow, CSP, CMP. Her candor and humor have given all of us event professionals more than she can know, and she strives to equip us not only for our work and businesses, but, more importantly, for our mental health and well-being.