Alumni Showcase: Jonalee (Jackes) DeNoble '09
Jonalee (Jackes) DeNoble never passes up on the opportunity to bring people together, which is why she loves her career as an event planner.
It’s also why she chose to attend Morningside. Jonalee double majored in corporate communications and advertising with a minor in business. During a weekend campus visit, she fell in love with the close-knit community that defines campus. “Morningside offered the perfect balance of starting fresh while also developing lasting relationships and who I’ve become today.”
Jonalee took full advantage of her Morningside experience. She spent four years working in the admissions office, was a member of the dance team, the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, played intramurals, was the VP of student government, the president of Morningside Activities Council (MAC), and even had a radio program under the pseudonym “Jukebox Jonnie”. When asked what advice she’d offer current or incoming students, Jonalee says to step outside of your comfort zone. “Change can be hard and sometimes scary, but when you invest in yourself and your future, it’s worth every moment.”
One of Jonalee’s best memories of Morningside are the lasting friendships she made, and the support she received in her classes. “I know that my professors were truly invested in my future which was a major motivator.” She also enjoyed planning get-togethers with her friends, and gained more experience in her current field while planning the ‘08 and ‘09 Homecoming activities.
Those experiences led her to where she is today, as the associate director of meeting and events at Destination Kohler and Kohler Floral & Design team. It’s no easy task managing events for a place like Kohler. As Jonalee puts it, “Event planning goes far beyond confetti and balloons. At Destination Kohler, it’s about providing a gracious and beautiful experience.” She oversees the Event Managers that create wedding masterpieces, corporate retreats, social events as well as Golf and Wellness events at over 10 different event locations. She also leads the Kohler Floral and Design team who not only maintains exceptional floral throughout all resort locations, but also executes all event and wedding floral and design execution.
Even with the stress that comes along with putting together each event, Jonalee takes pride in the moment it all comes together. “It might be hours or minutes before the start of the event, but you have to take a moment, step back and breathe it in - it’s then that you know you did it.”
COVID-19 has put some additional pressure on Jonalee and her team, but they are dedicated to offering luxury services and experiences while also keeping guests and staff safe.
Young alumni, Jonalee says not to get comfortable, and to remember what Morningside teaches its students to do. “Take each day as an opportunity to grow and to learn. Be bold, set goals, find what makes you happy, and work hard.”
Looking towards the future, Jonalee’s main goals are to be present for her 16-month-old daughter, as well as her family and the teams she leads at Kohler. With that in mind, she is excited to welcome the 2020 Ryder Cup to Kohler in September of 2021 as the lead planner for Team Europe.
“I would like to thank everyone who encouraged, supported, and invested in me while at Morningside and beyond. It was four years of my life that I will always cherish.”