A “kidnapping” brought Toshi and Brian Dale together.

Returning home from vacation, Toshi was spirited away from the airport by a mutual friend who wanted her to “meet someone.” “It was a practical joke. I had just arrived in Seattle. I had no makeup on and grubby clothes. My friends told us that they had been trying to get Brian and me together for months. They felt we would be perfect for each other,” Toshi recounts.

They were right. That night, Brian invited her to watch him DJ, and she saw how his eyes lit up mixing sounds together. Seven years later, the couple married, dancing their first dance to “Final Frontier,” the title song to the television series Mad About You.

This past February, Brian, owner of Wave Link Music, Inc. passed away unexpectedly. It’s a tremendous loss, not only for his family and friends, but for the events industry as a whole. “He had so much love for the industry,” says Toshi. “It was never about us; it was always about the client.”

In addition to bringing joy to guests at private and corporate events, Brian would also donate his time to nonprofits, including Camp Ten Trees, a summer camp for LGBTQA youth; and Bulldog Haven, a rescue for English and French bulldogs. The rescue held a particularly close place in his heart because of his beloved dogs, Rufus and Abby.

Two of his closest friends were David Jungck and Marni Ness. “Brian was one of the first people to welcome me to Seattle. It was at an ISES meeting and we became fast friends. He was friendly, approachable and funny. I’m glad he was a part of my world, even though it was limited in time,” says Jungck.

Adds Ness, “It’s a huge hole to the industry. You are so used to him being at an industry event with a glass of wine and a smile on his face. It’s hard knowing that he isn’t going to be there.” Wave Link continues to entertain groups in the region, with Brian’s nephew Zackary Strauss continuing his legacy. “Zackary is an exact replica of Brian because Brian trained him,” says Toshi, adding,

“Wave Link is still here; I can’t imagine it not being around.”

Jamie McKinney wants visitors to experience Portland at its quirkiest.

 

League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry. 

 

Originally from Ontario, Heather Odendaal got her start in event planning early, serving as her high school’s head of social events. She ended up on the West Coast, courtesy of her studies at the University of British Columbia, and launched her career in Whistler, working for the resort in marketing and events. Today, she’s CEO of Bluebird Strategy, a boutique event planning firm, and CEO and founder of WNORTH, a global community of women who have their sights set on the C-suite.