Getting her start in the restaurant industry while in high school, Shannon Lin Card began waiting tables at the age of 14, a job she continued at several different restaurants as she worked her way toward a degree in education. Discovering that she found more enjoyment in planning than she did teaching, she began her career working with a landscaping company before making her return to the restaurant industry at Kalloways Restaurant Pub in 1999. Promoted to assistant banquet director in 2000, she began working with clients who wanted to hold events in the restaurant as well as managing a variety of in-house events, including Kalloways’ weekly car cruise and murder mystery dinner theater productions. Ms. Card held this position until 2008, then moved on to become general manager of Louie’s Sports Tavern, where she ran day-to-day operations and booked events, such as bands and comedy shows, from 2008 to 2013.
In 2013, Ms. Card achieved her current position as the beverage and event director of the Devil’s Ridge Golf Club. In this role, she is responsible for managing all the special events that come through the club, such as weddings, anniversary parties, graduations, golf outings, fundraising events and more. One of their more recent events was the Metamora Hunt Ball, an annual event held by the Metamora Hunt Club. Her event planning duties can range from meeting with clients and setting up event rehearsals to coordinating with various vendors, including DJs, bands and suppliers. When she is not working on special events, which are mostly limited to the weekends, she spends her time overseeing the kitchen and restaurant during the April-October open season, even working as a bartender or in the kitchen when they are short-staffed.
Having accomplished much over the course of her career, Ms. Card attributes much of her success to the mentorship and guidance she received from a former employer, Mr. LePak, who showed her the importance of being hands-on in her work and treating every client like they are special. She notes that when she joined Devil’s Ridge, the person she had taken over from had a reputation for passing off all the tasks to her employees once the event got started, which is the exact opposite of how Ms. Card was taught to operate. Her emphasis has always been on being involved from beginning to end, which allows her to bring a personal touch to each customer and, in turn, get a better grasp on the client’s needs and feedback.
Gaining more confidence in her client interactions with every event she worked, Ms. Card also credits her ability to stay on top of industry trends for the professional growth she has seen over the years. Furthermore, she has made a name for herself as someone who is always available in a crisis and is skilled in locating last-minute replacements for vendors who back out. She additionally likes to ensure that she is easily reachable by clients and has been known to give a quick answer to late night or early morning emails.
Ms. Card’s goal for the next five years is to continue on in her work as an event planner, particularly for weddings, as she notes that weddings are her favorite kind of event to work. She feels there is just something special about weddings, and she loves to see everything come together so that the event is perfect when the bride walks down the aisle. She has also enjoyed getting to know the families during weddings and has had people come back to say that they attended a wedding elsewhere and it wasn’t as special as the one Ms. Card managed for them. Moreover, she is always delighted to get referrals from past clients.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Card has been considering venturing out on her own to establish her own event planning business, and intends to involve herself in a variety on nonprofit work going forward as well. She currently donates to local Veterans Affairs groups, the March of Dimes and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Outside of her professional life, Ms. Card is incredibly proud of her two daughters: Olivia, who is studying for a degree in geology, and Grace, who serves in the U.S. Army and is pursuing a degree in political science.