I had the privilege of working with Carolyn Vinup for 2 years. She came to D’Amico Catering with the task of increasing our business in the St Paul market and our corporate business overall.

Carolyn did much more than that.

She was the ambassador for our company at industry events and multiple associations and chambers. She was instrumental in our acquisition of a number of new venues and redirected our efforts in determining which properties were best for our brand. Carolyn led our team in creating proposals that differentiated D’Amico Catering and won us many new venues for our portfolio.

She was responsible for recharging our marketing focus, refreshing our print media, messaging our
social media and creating new marketing materials.

Carolyn is a delight to work with, full of energy and very dedicated to any project she is asked to accomplish.- Linda Adam, Director of Catering Sales, D’Amico Catering

“Carolyn, you are a rock star!  We are very happy with your leadership and day-to-day management of the first Good Leadership Conference.  Thank you so much for your dedication, hard work and your diplomatic way of keeping things moving.

Here are some of the comments from our team:

  • Working with Carolyn is a true treat.  Her dedication to the small details and the excellence of presentation guarantees exceptional results.   This was our first Good Leadership Conference, we had a lot to learn as we planned and implemented.  Carolyn was an exceptional mentor.  She managed a wide variety of changes and our planning team with calm, direct leadership.   When the day of the conference arrived we were ready for success and to enjoy our hard work.  
  • Carolyn provided a terrific wrap up summary and copy of all marketing materials that will serve as the format for our next conference.   The knowledge and skills she shared with us not only assured a successful first conference but continued success as our company grows and produces more events. 
  • I highly recommend Carolyn Vinup.  Her upbeat personality and detail oriented leadership style makes her a true asset to any company.

In summary, we look forward to working with you again.  Thank you. Seize the day!” – Paul Batz, President   What Really Works 

“It was our pleasure and honor to have been sponsored by Carolyn Vinup for the Soundsations Conference at Normandale College in Minneapolis, MN. Carolyn’s expertise in producing events is truly outstanding.

We have been teaching and traveling throughout the world together for well over a dozen years. Of all the hundreds of workshops and presentations we have given, the event Carolyn Vinup produced is among the very best we’ve ever experienced. Carolyn Vinup’s expertise in creating, marketing, and promoting events such as the Soundsations Conference is extraordinary. Carolyn has the ability to work graciously and efficiently with people at every level…she gets things done timely and with grace and ease!

We not only recommend Carolyn Vinup—we look forward to working with her again in producing another event in the very near future.” – Jonathan Goldman & Andi Goldman, Internationally Acclaimed Authors and Teachers

I am writing this letter in praise and admiration for Carolyn Vinup, event guru extraordinaire. I have hired Carolyn for the past three years as an event consultant on the Star Tribune State Fair project. She brings incredible organization, experience and class to any event she touches.

Over the past three years, Carolyn has single handedly taken a poor working relationship with the Minnesota State Fair, and transformed it into one of trust and respect. We have gone from the Fair not returning our phone calls, to receiving appreciative Christmas Cards from them. Carolyn did this by building an honest and mutually responsive communication line with Fair management. While they still do not grant all our requests, they are willing to listen and are happy to get us what we need to be successful. This was unheard of three years ago.

Carolyn has brought the Star Tribune State Fair booth to a new level. Under her leadership, we increased the customer service caliber at the booth, and steadily increased our level of merchandise and single copy newspaper sales. We have attracted bright, energetic employees who have fun at the booth and support a positive Star Tribune image. Our booth looks as good as it ever has, with Carolyn working continually to maintain, repair and upgrade the features of a very limited physical space. From hanging signs to scheduling staff to managing cash, inventory and closing reports. Carolyn’s incredible attention to every detail has kept us on task and maintained positive vendor relations. Her ability to timeline all aspects of our State Fair project have allowed me to focus on the promotional aspects of the event, and have enabled me to do the rest of my job outside the Fair project effectively. She has been a vital support to me and The Star Tribune Company.

As a team player and hired consultant, Carolyn is second to none. She can diplomatically negotiate the best out of anyone, any organization. As a person, she is beyond reproach and of the highest standards. I would highly recommend Carolyn for any event project you are undertaking. She has a true passion for the projects she takes on and it shows in her incredible energy and her complete dedication. — Janet Lindblad, Senior Consumer Account Executive – Star Tribune.

“Carolyn has a thirst for continual growth and learning and has a keen ability to create connections and ties between all that she experiences and learns in her life. As a business owner, she has the business and financial acumen to understand successful business and marketing processes and models. As an event planner, she has project management and time management expertise and experience that she utilizes in everything that she does.


As a holistic health practitioner, she understands human development and interpersonal communication/relationships and as someone who has worked in the service industry for many years, she understands the true essence of customer service. Using all these talents, Carolyn has provided Normandale with 110% in every role she has been in.” – Sunny Ainley, Director, Normandale Community College

Carolyn is one of the most energetic, authentic, creative, organized, and inspiring people I have ever met! She is multi-talented as a business owner, developer, and strategist. I have worked with and known Carolyn in several capacities including an event planner, teacher, Feng Shui expert, negotiator, leader, and motivator to name just a few. She can take a broad idea with tight deadlines and the end result is always above and beyond what was expected! She gets it done and always with a little bit of fun!

She has a natural ability to bring clarity and focus to any situation, shows dedication and support of people with all that she does, and anyone who crosses paths with her cannot help but benefit from her wealth of experience and knowledge. Carolyn’s work ethic, enthusiasm, and smile are contagious and she is an asset to any person, team, or company that gets to know and work with her. – Andrea (Marketing Manager and Media Relations at The Emmerich Group)

“In a word? WOW. Carolyn took an idea for an event and somehow managed to pull together three different host organizations, and over 20 speakers for an event that knocked all our socks off … in just 6 weeks! Despite the size and scope (over 600 attendees), she made me feel like I was the only speaker of the day and I was well-taken care of from beginning to end. Carolyn is an exciting visionary who also knows how to get it done. If you want an event they’ll be talking about for ages, look no further; Carolyn will get it done. And she’s great fun to boot.” – Catherine Byers Breet, Chief Stripe Changer / Career Coach / Strategic Recruiting, ARBEZ (www.arbez.com)

“A master organizer and producer, Carolyn makes things happen and brings high value to her clients and the community. She takes concepts and turns them into reality. Carolyn led the successful Change Your Stripes event at Normandale CC in conjunction with DEED and the MN Workforce Center that was attended by more than 600 people. Her relationship building skills, positive attitude and innovation exceed expectations at any project or event that she manages. Carolyn gets the Law of Attraction. It is always a pleasure to work with her. I highly recommend Carolyn.” Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, Creative – ANNE PRYOR, M.A.

I wanted to take the time to personally thank you for all of your efforts helping us plan and execute our recent Innovation Takes Root Conference in Los Colinas, Texas. Having been involved with large Technical Conferences on many occasions during my career, I have had the opportunity to work with several event planners and production companies. I have come to recognize that these events require absolute commitment to planning, anticipation and finally determined execution. Up until working with you on ITR, I can honestly say that never have I had the good fortune to work with a coordinator that excelled in all of these areas and was able to do so while staying completely calm, focused and in control throughout even the most stressful moments of the conference.

It is a real testament to your strength as a coordinator that any issue that arose during the conference, no matter how small or how large, was handled calmly, professionally and in all cases, so seamlessly, to the outside observer, it was as if nothing ever happened. Of course, your preparations and anticipation of possible problems resulting in very few surprises during the event so perhaps that was why you could stay so clam and in control. I know that our marketing coordinator, Andrea Ziadi, would not have been able to pull this size of a project off without your planning and execution skills and she also is extremely thankful for your assistance.

I am still trying to catch up with my other projects now that ITR is over and don’t want to think too much about 2011 but I hope that we can synchronize calendars and that you will be available once we get a date established. It would be pleasure to once again team up with you to continue the success from last month into the future. – Jim Nangeroni, Ph.D.Lead Applications Development Engineer NatureWorks, LLC

It is my pleasure to write a letter of reference for Carolyn Vinup. I worked closely with Carolyn at a mutual consulting client’s offices for over six months in 2009 and we have remained in close contact since. 

Our roles at this financial services company included a wide variety of responsibilities; while mine focused in the human resource area and Carolyn’S focused in the events management area, we also actively functioned as part of the leadership team. As leaders, we were responsible for strategizing and implementing organizational change, supervising, mentoring and supporting staff, and developing organizational structure, systems and policies. 

I would relish the opportunity to work with Carolyn again in any capacity. She brings a terrific balance of interpersonal skills, insight, and involvement in her work as well as an incredible set of competencies. As a leader, she brings integrity, honesty and support to the team. As an event planner, she goes above and beyond in ensuring the highest quality of program. She understands the big picture aspects of whatever project she is working on. Additionally, there is no detail that Carolyn misses. Few people can bring that balance breadth and depth. 

For example, she was able to negotiate and work closely with the hotels and other meeting venues and achieved results (both in services and negotiated fees) that none of her predecessors at the client’s company had been able to accomplish. Her preparation for every contingency related to the events was above and beyond anyone’s expectations. She coordinated company staff and assigned behind the scenes and pre-event planning responsibilities thoroughly and completely to ensure that the events occurred seamlessly. She created systems and processes to ensure that meeting attendees received the experience that they were promised. 

Carolyn is one of those individuals where no matter the task. she will find a way to exceed your expectations. She doesn’t settle for mediocrity but strives for excellence in everything she does. And she adds a warmth of personality and sense of humor that makes working with her a pleasure. – Arlene Vernon, PHR President, HRx, Inc. 

“I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Carolyn in 4 capacities. I know Carolyn as:

  1. A Teacher. She has brilliantly facilitated and/or co-facilitated a number of classes that I have attended at Normandale. She is a knowledgeable, fun, engaging and motivating instructor.
  2. An Events Producer. Carolyn organizes, manages, promotes and delivers a seamless production! Her project management and client support / interaction skills are amazing!
  3. The Workforce Partnership and Development Specialist. Carolyn very much impresses me with her sincere need to understand and appropriately meet the needs of dislocated workers. She is changing the meaning of the word ‘partnership” and is putting Normandale on the map for people in career transition!
  4. A Healer. I am honored to have had Carolyn facilitate a healing for me! It was supportive, interactive and transformational. I have no words to describe her sound healing work; it needs to be experienced.

Carolyn has managed to successfully integrate professional and spiritual elements into her own personal brand. She is an inspiration. Kudos to Carolyn!”- Claire K. Nelligan, Employment Counselor, State of MN