RIVERVIEW — It's more than a building.
That's what Regent executive director Kristen Kerr wants you to know about the new community center at Winthrop Town Center.
Its marble facade and grand ballroom are not to be ignored, of course, but Kerr wants to offer "an experience," rather than just a rentable venue.
"It's not just about the room, but how we can customize it," Kerr said.
She said she has already booked 15 events for next year, including weddings, birthday parties, Brandon Chamber of Commerce events and a Cub Scouts banquet.
Because of her event-planning background, Kerr said she's eager to help clients every step of the way — from booking caterers and picking linens to mapping out a party floor plan. Or not.
"I'll hold their hands as much or as little as they want," she said.
Kerr, 31, attended Miami University of Ohio, double-majoring in sports business and health appraisal and enhancement, and minoring in marketing.
Thinking she wanted work as an athletic director after graduation, Kerr took an internship with the University of Detroit Mercy's athletic department. After eight months, she decided a career in marketing and planning better suited her, and she accepted a full-time job with the university's law school as an events manager.
Six years later, after elevating her managerial job to a director position, Kerr was ready to move on.
Florida weather and the chance to help bring a new venue to life enticed her to Brandon.
"This building was something the community needed," Kerr said. "It's exciting to be the first one (in charge)."
Kerr has one executive assistant and reports to the not-for-profit board that has managed the project since its beginning. She invites anyone who wants to learn more about her or the Regent to call (813) 541-1838.
"Don't be a stranger," she said.
Kim Wilmath can be reached at (813) 661-2442 or firstname.lastname@example.org