Where did Clarke Allen come from
Clarke Allen had no idea that his company would one day be one of the most sought after destination management and event production companies in the Southeast. After graduating from college, Clarke began his career in the hospitality industry in Dallas, Texas working in hotel sales. Quickly Clarke was recognized by clients and managers alike as a provider of incredibly unique customer service because instead of just selling them a hotel room, he provided them with an experience. His passion in his work and the ability to provide personalized services won Clarke the trust and appreciation of hotel clients and vendors alike. At Lawry’s Restaurant in Dallas the idea for starting Clarke Allen was born. The only problem was that Clarke didn’t have the first idea of how to start a business. He moved back to Charlotte and while working on his business plan, took a job in the basement of the Charlotte Convention Center. While there, Clarke was able to make contacts and learn about the needs of the city and basically, rummage through the Charlotte Convention Bureau’s trash to research for his future business.
Clarke finally was able to open his company, known at the time as Charlotte Arrangements in 1994, and secure office space in a small rental office complex, where people smoked so much, that the cloud of smoke in the building could be cut with a knife. His first employee was a tour guide and in the early years he would pay people to sit in on important meetings to give the firm a bigger presence. As his businesses developed and grew, Clarke was blessed with innate belief in himself, the kindness of others in the industry, and his visionary design ability. His talent for design and sales sent Clarke Allen skyrocketing to success as a Destination Management Company.
Over the years this successful entrepreneur founded several other companies that included, Creatrix Design (1997), a full scale set fabrication and graphic arts production division, CenterStage@NoDa (2005), a 10,000 square foot event Venue located near uptown Charlotte in an up-and-coming arts district. Legacy Charitable Partners (2009) was a result of a turning point in Clarke’s life where he began to question his purpose and re-evaluate how he lived life. Clarke has a heart for causes that make the world a better place and as a result, he started a new division where he could use his talents as a coach and mentor to assist non-profits with formation, branding, and fundraising. During this time, Clarke kicked off his teaching career with a course in Event Planning and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Clarke speaks in a variety of venues for different occasions and is often a guest lecturer at Appalachian State University, which is also his alma mater.
In 2013, Clarke pulled all his companies together under the flagship, Clarke Allen. The re-branding of his company has allowed his team and company to grow further, now allowing them to expand on a local, regional and national level.