ANNOUNCING THE WOMAN OF THE MONTH

Fort Worth women are making headlines daily as business owners, entrepreneurs, top management officers, and political leaders. So, here at Fort Worth Woman, we are selecting one of our city’s shining stars each month. These are the movers and shakers you need to know, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments as our WOMEN OF THE MONTH.

Mara Davidson

Owner of Lemon Meetings + Events, LLC

“I managed hotels and conference centers and was so tired of being put in corporate boxes of what I ‘could and couldn’t do’ for my clients. I also saw a lot of 3rd party planners come through who knew nothing of what they were doing.” She knew not only her value of service but that she could make a difference.

Meet August’s Woman of the Month!

Mara Davidson, a native Texan, is the owner of Lemon Meetings + Events, LLC and is a perfect example of the new-wave balance of both stay-at-home motherhood and a booming career. Mara’s passion for the hospitality industry was cultivated early on while working in her family’s restaurant in high school. She then earned her undergraduate degree in International Hospitality & Event Management from Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois. Her career initially began at Hyatt Hotels and flourished quickly through promotions and valuable exposure to various segments of the hospitality industry. In 2016, Mara officially launched Lemon Meetings + Events, LLC, a boutique event management company in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.

The desire for Lemon Meetings + Events began as Mara became a mother. Having already climbed the ladders in corporate America, she realized she could provide a much higher standard of customer service than what clients were getting from independent planners. “I managed hotels and conference centers and was so tired of being put in corporate boxes of what I ‘could and couldn’t do’ for my clients,” Mara said, “I also saw a lot of 3rd party planners come through who knew nothing of what they were doing.” She knew not only her value of service but that she could make a difference in the industry in a much shorter time frame than what her corporate hours demanded. While on a plane ride home from a beach vacation and with the help of her husband, Lemon Meetings + Events was born. Her company began and hit the ground running before the plane even landed.

Lemon Meetings + Events has grown quickly, earning ‘Best Event Planner’ by Fort Worth Magazine in its first year of business! Her clientele ranges from locals to NFL Hall of Famers to even Texas Musicians! Maras’ services assist clients from all over our great state and she has recently expanded her offices to East Texas in January of 2019.

Mara loves to surprise clients with what she can do with an event. Many people have low expectations, and once they are shown that they can create custom menus, unique setups, fun AV, etc., they get excited and that is when Mara knows she is making the difference she set out on her own for. She also loves to shock her clients with the cost of her events. Most people refuse to hire a planner due to fear of the cost but Mara thrives in the challenge of saving money in both her services and the planning process alongside completing the full marketing/execution of an event. Because of her relationships built over time, she has first-hand knowledge of how to avoid certain costs that most people aren’t even aware of. Her ‘bread and butter’ is to save a client’s money while still providing them with a unique and successful event that will be remembered.

Starting your own business comes with its own set of challenges. Those that own or manage their own business know all too well that seeing potential business walk away because physically the man power is not available to create quality work is the one of the most gut-wrenching aspects of leadership. Mara talks about learning this early on. “It makes me so sad, but we intended to be a boutique business so that it would be manageable with me staying home more with my girls.” Mara explains, “We take on a lot of repeat business, which fills about 75% of our calendar year, but we have made some strong relationships with other planners in DFW who can assist when we know we cannot take any more events on.” Mara has learned to conquer the delicate balance of her quality time with family and her quality creation of events.

Creating Lemon Meetings + Events came with its own challenges, but Mara is most proud of her clients’ feedback. “They are why we received Best Event Planner.” Personally though, she is also proud of how supportive her family has been. “We are all pretty much entrepreneurs,” she says, “so those in my family get what it takes to build something from the ground up.”

So what does this bustling girl and mom boss like about Fort Worth? “I love the authenticity of Fort Worth!” Mara says, “It doesn’t try to be anything but it’s good, ole, down-to-Earth self while being hip, original, and up-and-coming at the same time.” The loveliest part is that this city does not need anyone else to think it’s great, because those of us that live here all know the true ‘worth’ of The Fort.

Lastly, if Mara could describe her impact in one word, it would be “available”. She started her business in Fort Worth six years ago as a Regional Sales Manager for a downtown conference center and quickly got involved in the community. “Making yourself available to other women, learning from them, coaching some of them, and being available when there is a need is essential. Meeting each person where they are, both personally and professionally is how you build a community,” said Mara. Being available makes a genuine difference and Mara balances this so well between both her family, personal, and professional life.

Mara’s story is one of true tenacity. She saw a need, knew her worth, and filled it with her own talent. This confidence and overall self-awareness is something that is so important for us all to remember. Stories like Mara’s are the perfect reminder to answer your calling and simply run with your dream. You never know the joy it could bring!

If you would like to contact Mara for events or advice, she would be happy to connect with you. For event inquiries email mara@lemoneventco.com. For networking details call 817-290-2136.

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Michelle, aka @fortworthwoman, is a teacher turned counselor turned mommy turned entrepreneur.

Michelle has a passion for connecting, encouraging and informing about the good happening in our city. The good people, events, food, stores, entrepreneurs, and good deeds are her focus. She has created a niche for herself by using social media as a native marketing tool that has created meaningful exposure for local businesses in Fort Worth to a wide but very particular local audience.

Lauren Losack

Lauren is a Strategic Communication Major at TCU with a minor in being a “busy bee”. As an intern for the Fort Worth Woman, Lauren enjoys meeting new people and trying all the food this city has to offer!