Nancy Herselius has planned meetings and events for associations and businesses for 21 years. But her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s led Herselius to start her own planning business in 2005.

“I have worked mostly for international associations in Iowa, and I loved what I did. But when my mom was diagnosed, it became very important for me to be able to spend more time with her,” Herselius said. “It was a good step to start my own business, even when the economy took a nosedive. I love being my own boss, setting my own schedule.”

Even after her mom passed away, Herselius continued her business, Creative Meetings & Events.

“It’s just the right thing for me. I love it,” she said.

Herselius received her certified meeting professional designation in 1995. She spoke with The Des Moines Register about her business.

Q: What do you do?

A: I offer meeting and event planning, with great detail to what the client wants and, as far as budget is concerned, the kind of program they want to put on. I also will work with groups on tours and do fundraisers.

Q: Who are your clients?

A: Associations and corporations. I always look for the right relationship with a client before taking them on.

Q: What types of meetings do you coordinate?

A: Any meetings, really. In the past, I have planned meetings for 15 to 2,000 people, from site selection and contract negotiations through the on-site set up and tear down, as well as the post-meeting duties, such as budget and bill reconciliations. I have taken care of everything in between.

Q: What types of events do you coordinate?

A: Mostly parties, from grand openings to a graduation. People don’t always have the skills or the time to do it themselves, but still want to put together something special.

Q: How much fun is your job?

A: It is a lot of fun. The best part for me is getting to meet the people. My clients love my work, because I enjoy being creative and I love a challenge. I am willing to think outside the box a bit, do things differently for them.

Q: What memorable meetings or events stand out for you?

A: Through my international association experiences, they were fabulous. For example, I organized a meeting in Prague one time. That was a fabulous event. I planned that from afar, then traveled to Europe to be there for it. That was amazing.

Creative Meetings & Events

LOCATED AT: 1109 N.E. 29th St., Ankeny

HOURS: By appointment

BUSINESS HISTORY: A family illness prompted Nancy Herselius of Ankeny to open her own business in 2006.

CONTACT: 480-2420, www.creativemeetingsandevents.com, info@creativemeetingsandevents.com