• A Legacy of Service in Salem: Donna Earley

    POSTED April 20, 2016

    Donna Earley Pictured Far Right.
    Photo Credit: 
    Alabastro Photography

Earlier this month our industry suffered a great loss. Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center, passed away. If you attended last year’s Best of event, you no doubt saw Salem rake in award after award, and the Salem team members who were in attendance celebrated each one brilliantly. They brought so much joy to the event, and leading the way was Donna. It’s difficult to grasp that this effervescent light has been dimmed.

I was lucky enough to interview Donna on more than one occasion. She was always upbeat, warm and ready to help in any way—I felt like I was speaking with an old friend. My heart breaks for her family, friends and colleagues. How fortunate they were to have had her in their lives.

Northwest Meetings + Events’ sales director Sheri Harbour de Vos says it best: “Donna's energy radiated out from her beautiful soul. As my mind grasps the fact that my friend and industry colleague has left us, I find solace in knowing the impact Donna had on others is a legacy that will live on."

This past October, the world lost a business and philanthropic giant with the passing of Paul Allen. Here in the Northwest, his absence will be deeply felt. Among his many achievements, Allen co-founded Microsoft; founded Vulcan Inc., Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Allen Institute for Brain Sciences, and Allen Institute for Cell Science; and was owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. There doesn’t seem to be an industry that he hasn’t touched, expanded and improved, including the meetings and events industry, particularly in the Seattle area.


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