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Sacred Steel Summit

Meet Kiki Howe

We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Kiki Howe. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Kiki below.

Kiki, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What was the most important lesson/experience you had in a job that has helped you as a business owner?

I spent almost 20 years working in Medical Device Sales and Marketing and the most important and impactful takeaway from that experience is what I call BAMA.

Be present.

Act with urgency.

Make connections.

Anticipate needs.

These points practiced daily and consistently have allowed me to set myself apart from others and still remain true to who I am as a person. I live by this mantra day in and day out. Response time is quick. Resources (connections) are plentiful. Having a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the clients allows me to stay one step ahead of them – oftentimes solving problems before they are even fully aware of them and of course, listening with intent to understand.

As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?

As I mentioned previously, I spent almost 20 years in Medical Device Sales and Marketing starting as a temp for a Fortune 100 Med Device company. I worked my way up from sales support of 80 Field Sales Representatives to supporting the entire leadership team: VP of Sales and Education,21 District Managers, 3 Regional Managers, and 2 Strategic Account Managers.

2 years ago, I decided to start my own business as a Virtual Executive Assistant and ironically, my first client was also an employee of the same company that I worked for!

I was connected by a mutual friend to the owner of BNTouch Entertainment, Alvin Lee and the rest is history. My business name is Just Consider it Done as that was always my response to any request I received. I am in the process of changing the name of my company to Let Kiki Do It as that is a much more accurate representation of my results-oriented approach to what I can do. I also work full time for a global company that manufactures and sells lower limb prosthetics working on global marketing strategies and planning and executing meetings, trainings, incentive trips and events.

One of my strengths and passions is Event Planning and Production. I have planned and executed over 500 events for audiences of 5-2500. My most recent success was the planning and execution of the Sacred Steel Summit which was held this past Memorial Day Weekend and part of one of the oldest festivals in the state of Florida. We had over 60 artists performing on 5 stages and several days of workshops. I am in the preliminary stages of planning the 2024 event and it is already looking to be bigger and better than 2023!

How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?

One word. Covid. As we all know, Covid deeply impacted us on all on every level. Our way of life was instantly changed, and we were thrust into unknown territory, For me, losing my job after being in the workforce for almost 40 years was a devasting blow to my psyche and my bank account. I had very little funds coming in and still the same amount going out. I had to figure out a way to earn money that was as close to “disaster-proof” as possible. The easiest way to do that was to go virtual.

Big companies were moving in that direction, and I noticed a whole demographic of people quitting their jobs and starting their own businesses yet still needing support with managing projects and providing ground support. That’s where I came in. I took all my past experience and parlayed that into my business and was able to provide support to several start-ups and consultants.

I honestly thought I would be retired by now, but this second career has breathed new life into me, and I truly love helping others. I would have never dreamed that my life would look like this! So many opportunities, a whole, new network, and doors opening for me. It’s incredible what a little grit, resilience, and determination can do. And the icing on the cake? Doing what I love in a creative field with incredibly talented people. Not at all what I dreamed what my life would ever look like!

What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?

I think that the success of the Sacred Steel Summit and the appreciation of this grass-roots movement by so many to preserve the Sacred Steel* tradition and bring it to a wider audience has been instrumental in my entire outlook on business. The passion and joy that was expressed by our World-Class musicians and then ultimately experienced by our audience was truly life-changing for me. To work in an environment of pure love is really all the motivation one needs to be excellent!

This event prompted me to narrow my business focus to mainly music and event planning and step away from Executive Support. I have always loved music and to be able to work in a field you love just never feels like work!

The success of the Summit really cemented my reputation as an Event Planner. People are still talking about it 5 months later and I can’t tell you the sheer number of tags on social media! We had 2 very special surprise guests; Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks who were coincidentally married 20 years ago by one of the Sacred Steel legends, Aubrey Ghent. That show brought down the house and not one person was in their seat for almost 90 minutes. It turned into a giant jam session with almost every musician present playing with them. It was a truly transformational evening for everyone present! I am excited for the 2024 Event!

I am working exclusively with BNTouch Entertainment now doing events and project management. We represent The Lee Boys, The Lee Boys featuring Melody Trucks, and The Lee Boys featuring Dirty Byrd as well as booking artists and publishing.

*Sacred Steel is a musical style and African-American gospel tradition that features the steel guitar as part of religious services.


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