Who she is: With 32 years on the job at HP 19 of them in trade shows and events Brungardt is an exception in a world where people usually jump from one company to another as they climb the corporate ladder. She strategizes with counterparts in corporate and other business units to set the framework for the company’s approach to events assessing cost effectiveness and the best ways to communicate messages while meeting corporate and brand objectives. She brings it all together with a positive return on investment return on objective and return on marketing at HP’s 200-plus proprietary events; trade shows including CES PMA (Photo Marketing Association) Life at 50 (an AARP annual event) and the National Realtor Show; education and government shows in addition to 400-plus tier-three smaller events for the field marketing team.
The background: A native of Kansas who moved to Colorado with her family Brungardt joined HP three years out of high school working on the production line and building prototypes for the lab. Thanks to an HP program she attended community college earning a two-year degree in accounting and landing (“somehow ” she says) in human resources. She eventually completed a degree in marketing at Colorado State. (“I was on the 15-year plan ” she chuckles.) A colleague in marketing asked her to take on trade shows and events and the rest as they say is history. “I was in the right place at the right time ” she says. “Someone took a step back and didn’t look at my schooling and degree but at my skill set; I’ve been able to create my job and my role working with all the different business groups at HP.”
Passion points: Brungardt loves the variety of people and events. “You see different people a different audience set or within HP from booth staff all the way to our ceo ” she says. “I truly get to take a blank piece of paper go out and gather all the information and come back and put something together. I see it from start to finish like an orchestra director and as long as everyone works together we make some of the best music out there. It’s a team effort although one of my managers described my job as gentle judo.”
Work/life balance: Brungardt has learned to grab time for herself whether that means a round of golf with partners and customers on the road or finding time to read or get a massage. “You have to make a commitment to carve out time for yourself but that’s hard to learn ” she says.