For Liz Hart, no challenge is too daunting and no detail too insignificant.
Help erect a temporary theme park to entertain 14,000? No problem.
Cue an Olympian to light a torch in a packed arena? Got it.
In a relatively short time, Hart, who earned her communication degree from Virginia Tech in 2007, went from planning her high school prom to serving as director of the media studio for this year's Democratic National Convention.
For her considerable accomplishments within a decade of graduation, Hart has received the 2016 Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
Her firm, Liz Hart Event Consulting and Design, specializes in live event and broadcast production, event décor and styling, stage management, and story development. Her clients range from national political figures to top entertainment companies, high-profile charitable organizations, and event production companies.
“Every evolution of my career has called on what I learned at Virginia Tech,” Hart said. “I chose the university because the communication department was willing to help me design a dream curriculum for special events, everything from multimedia journalism and marketing to visual design and theatre.”
For Hart, events offer exquisite vehicles for communication.
“Successful events involve storytelling,” she said. “What do you want to communicate? What do you want your audience to experience? For me, starting with an empty stage set is like painting on a stretch of white canvas or writing on a blank page.”
Hart’s credits include the Vancouver Winter Olympics, New York Fashion Week, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and television specials ranging from a Justin Bieber roast to an HBO program that brought artists and celebrities together to honor U.S. veterans. Hart has also been a producer on the official livestreamed Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop every year since 2012.
Her work extends beyond major events planning into the political arena as well. As an advance staffer, her international work spans more than 20 countries. In 2014, she served as director of message events in Vice President Joe Biden’s communications office at the White House, crafting events and press logistics around administration policy.
“I’m prepared and constantly open to new possibilities,” she said. “I wake up every day ready to meet someone interesting or be able to help with something unexpected.”