Entertainment Reimagined: SLE wins prize for Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
In Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations’ 15 years, the Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival stands out as a highlight among the thousands of events it’s produced, according to Jamie Morris LeVine.
It’s important to the nation, too, as the event recently won best multiple-day event program for a corporation or association category at the Informa Connect’s Special Event Gala Awards in Orlando.
“It means that our team is doing something right,” says Jamie, the chief communications officer for the Airpark-based company.
“Our team sees the bigger picture of our events. To be able to be recognized as a team is so rewarding.”
The competition honors outstanding events worldwide, supporting underrepresented voices and work in the events industry through a variety of programs and partnerships.
The best multiple-day event program for a corporation or association award is presented annually to an event company that has demonstrated outstanding creativity, organization and execution of an event or series of events worldwide. The judges, comprised of industry experts and event professionals, were impressed with SLE’s ability to deliver exceptional experiences for the overall event and attendees, according to a statement. Other finalists included the event companies responsible for Walmart Associates’ Week and Jimmy John’s Château JéJé.
SLE specializes in event planning, coordination and production, talent booking and management, marketing and promotions, new media and design. Last year SLE accepted the most outstanding spectacle, fair or festival award.
The Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival is a priority for SLE.
“Taking that over in 2015 and watching it grow to what it is now has just been so rewarding and so awesome,” she says.
“For Steve and I, we decided to move our focus to family-friendly events that we can bring our kids to. People like us, who have kids, want to do something cool and fun and enjoy it from an adult standpoint with music, adult beverages and food. A highlight has been the Ostrich Festival, but Scottsdale Fashion Week is always fun, too.”
SLE reintroduced the 2022 Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival after the pandemic with elevated entertainment and attractions and created a special Chandler Community Day to recognize youth in the community and to give back to residents. Additionally, the festival was lengthened from three days to seven days over two weekends. SLE also introduced upgraded technology including cashless systems, RFID technology and a clear bag security policy.
Steve started his entertainment career as a DJ in Los Angeles in high school, which led to nightclub promotions and marketing.
“He was DJing parties and events, and then moved to Arizona to go to ASU,” she says. “He was DJing at all the bars around ASU and all the fraternity and sorority parties. That’s how he started his business.
In 2007, after he realized the market for corporate events and that DJ culture was going mainstream, he founded SLE.
“For a long time, he was booking DJs and doing promotions for nightclubs and bars,” she says. “As he got older, he started booking bands and speakers. It’s been fun to see this business transcend over the years of booking DJs and doing that EDM (electronic dance music) space to now really focusing on big concerts and big names.”
The company took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down entertainment and event space for more than two years.
“We really had to reevaluate a lot of things — how we do our business, who we do business with, and where we want to put our energy and focus,” she says.
“We had a lot of downtime to reevaluate our business and business model. It was humbling and eye-opening.”
They went through layoffs, and when the pandemic eased, they hired “an amazing new team of people” who are passionate, she says.
SLE recently finished its busy season, and the company will ramp back up with events in September, starting with Scottsdale Fashion Week. It moved to the fall so it wouldn’t compete with other large events.
“We have feel-good events, and the community has really rallied around them — and us.”
Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations
7819 E. Paradise Lane, Scottsdale
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