VOL. 127 | NO. 155 | Thursday, August 9, 2012
Destination King Merges With Chattanooga Firm
By Sarah Baker
Destination King has merged with Quiddity Entertainment of Chattanooga, Tenn., and subsequently formed LEO – an events management group based in Memphis with offices in Chattanooga and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Wednesday, Aug. 8, announcement comes as Memphis-based Destination King celebrates its 10th year in business.
LEO replaces the Destination King and Quiddity Entertainment brands, and like Destination King, retains its woman-owned minority business designation. The company will operate three business divisions: LEO Events and Meeting Management, led by LEO principal Kevin Brewer; LEO Destinations, led by LEO principal Cindy Brewer; and LEO Live Experiences, led by LEO principal Kent Underwood.
“We have been in discussions about this for about 18 months,” said Cindy Brewer. “Kent Underwood with Quiddity has been a vendor of ours since 2006, when he started his company.”
Cindy and Kevin Brewer founded Destination King in 2002. The company steadily grew to handle all aspects of event and meeting management for corporate and nonprofit clients, coordinating everything from international conventions to award ceremonies and groundbreakings.
Destination King opened a Myrtle Beach office in 2011.
The company formerly known as Destination King will retain its corporate office in Memphis. Although regionally based, LEO is able to handle events in any market and around the globe.
“In the past few months, we’ve had client events in Chicago, Wisconsin and even a last-minute client event in Alaska,” Brewer said. “We have a lot of pride in Memphis and want to continue to sell and service events here in Memphis, but this just gives us a more global and national brand.”
Underwood has spent nearly all his life in event management, beginning in high school when he formed a concert promotion business with his brother. He spent years working in sports broadcast production and for various entertainment companies before forming his own.
Based in Chattanooga, Underwood specializes in live experiences like music and outdoor festivals, including logistics, production, marketing, safety, media, talent acquisition and coordination, and site design and layout.
Four new employees were hired in preparation for the new entity. Currently, LEO employs 14 full-time employees and 25 part-time employees across its three locations. Future plans include expansion into other markets.
LEO hopes to grow the average number of client events annually from 350 to more than 500. In addition, various services will be added or expanded in each market to allow for larger events.
“LEO allows us to play on a different field,” Underwood said. “Our respective backgrounds and work experience are varied yet complementary.”
One of the first events managed under the new LEO banner is under way this week. LEO, on behalf of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., will manage many of the events for the Elvis Week 35th anniversary including concerts, movies, panel discussions and dance parties.
LEO helped EPE with creative design, equipment acquisition, and production and talent coordination.
In addition, LEO will oversee production for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. Now in its sixth year, the entity now known as LEO has served as producer since its inception.
The name LEO is a nod to the word, “King,” as well as a play to the astrological symbol of Leo, denoted with a lion.
“We feel it’s a real strong name that gives us a lot of pride,” Cindy Brewer said. “We have said for many years that we put our clients center stage, and so this astrological symbol of Leo (shows) it’s all about them.”