On September 1, our Events Director Jill Wilkins celebrated one year with NewBoCo.
Wilkins officially joined the nonprofit on September 1, 2016; her addition to the team helped cement the partnership between the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and NewBoCo. She jumped right in helping plan and run Iowa Startup Accelerator’s Launch Day 2016 and worked with the team to make EntreFEST 2017 a reality. Over the last year Jill has elevated NewBoCo events with her years of expertise, brought EntreFanny packs to life, and even performed in a musical.
When Jill joined the team, there were 11 staff members. Now, NewBoCo is a team of 18. Coworkers shared their favorite memories and traits to celebrate a year of Jill Wilkins.
1. She is a literal event queen, and it is amazing to see her in action. I remember when she first started last year and her first task was to help us plan and run ISA Launch Day. She jumped right in and ended up calling the whole show. She stepped up and crushed it in the most impressive way.
2. My favorite work memory of Jill was her deciding to order fanny packs for the EntreFEST participant bag. They were such a hit!
3. After EntreFEST some of the staff went out to celebrate and my husband met us out. He saw Jill, who was beat from months of planning and an intense couple of days and said “she needs to go to bed”. But she didn’t – she is a trooper and puts everything she has into what she does!
4. Jill is very sweet and positive, and she works hard and takes the reins. She makes order out of chaos.
5. One of Jill’s best traits is her ability to get things done. She has a hundred different people come to her with a thousand different tasks, and she manages to get everything together competently, on-time, and with a smile on her face.
6. My favorite memory of Jill was seeing her rock Launch Day 2016 with the headphones on, with total command of the whole situation.
7. The partnership between Jill and Laura is such a strong, complementary relationship. Those two power ladies are undeniable powerhouses, which is evident with events they produce and run like EntreFEST. I love working with both of them because I always learn something new.
8. She’s creative, organized, and figures out how to get cool, complicated ideas to become real.
9. Even when she says she is grumpy she’s calm and polite and in good humor. She sat peacefully in the storm of EntreFEST for example. If she’s flustered, she never shows it and is always a joy.
10. One of my favorite memories of Jill was when several NewBoCo staff went to TCR’s Beauty and the Beast show to see Jill perform as a feather duster.
11. Jill is one of the calm people in the craziness of our world. She thinks of all the details and manages to keep our events organized with lots of backup plans just in case.
12. Watching Jill in a light saber fight with the UNI and Iowa State mascots at EntreFEST was amazing.
13. Jill is always kind and helpful. She is easy to work with and even if she’s really busy, she’s always happy to help out.
14. Jill loves Agile ceremonies and is never, ever tardy for them. Except that one time and poor little Lego Jill paid the price.
15. After EntreFEST it was awesome when we all relaxed on the Ped Mall and celebrated that the event was a success.
16. She is level-headedness even in stressful times.
17. It’s always fun to watch our kids play together.
18. Jill is organized in all the ways I’m not; if something needs to get done, we can count on her.
19. I feel like I have so much to learn from Jill. I really value her patience and persistence. If Jill says something will be done, you know it’s going to happen no matter what.
20. After EntreFEST 2017 Jill was still decked out in all of her EntreFashion, from event shirt to fanny pack, and she led us all to the FlyOver pre-party to support the fashion-forward festival. She’s so supportive of this community.
21. Somehow, someway (I haven’t figured out how exactly—she makes it look effortless) she makes the trains, volunteers, beer trucks, golf carts, and everything else run on time.