Elaine Braley, Communications


Elaine has been planning events, large and small for well over 25 years.  She has experience in many different arena’s that all contribute to her being a successful event planner.She began working in restaurants right out of high school. In her early twenties she seized an opportunity to buy a popular franchise and open it in Midlothian VA.  After building the business, she sold it & moved back to SW Virginia to be closer to her family.Once she got reestablished, she explored other career opportunities and acquired her cosmetology license. This eventually led to opening the first full service salon and spa in Floyd VA.  Over the next five years she built lasting relationships and gained the respect and trust of many residents of her community. Through those connections, she began planning weddings and other events for her clients. Word quickly spread and the jobs started pouring in.  With each job, another opportunity presented itself.  Her skills and dedication to event planning was sought after by several businesses in Floyd. She accepted an offer to work with a local production company that produces 3 major festivals a year. It was this job that solidified her position as a successful event planner and sparked her passion for this industry. Always keeping her finger on the pulse of her community and forever looking to fill a niche, she realized SWVA was quickly becoming a popular destination for weddings.  The only thing lacking was the presence of a professional, qualified event planning business. This sparked the beginning of SWVA Events.Currently, Elaine is the Administrative Director and Group Sales Supervisor for Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing.She resides in Old SW Roanoke where she enjoys spending time with her semi-adult children and her amazing group of girlfriends!

Katie M. Turman, Logistics


After graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications and minor in Business Leadership,  Katie’s true career path began in 2004 when began working at Rebec Vineyards, home of the Virginia Wine and Garlic Festival.  Managing a festival and tasting room included working with vendors, entertainers, and wineries as well as assisting with box office operations and patron hospitality—launching her into the world of business management and event coordination. 

While venturing out on her own she began working with a non-profit organization coordinating the annual technical meeting and adding another type of event to the scope of her skills.  After she moved to Southwestern Virginia, she proceeded to work her way up the ranks with a large music festival, becoming proficient in even more facets of large-scale events.

Planning her own wedding she realized first-hand that having a coordinator is essential.  She loved working with Elaine on the planning aspect and relished learning the ins and outs of a completely different type of event.  A beautiful wedding was achieved, and a business was born!

Katie’s real love lies in the design, organization, and project-oriented nature of event planning.  She loves working closely with the client; first taking every detail into account, then creating a well-formed plan, and most importantly ensuring that it is executed efficiently.

Currently she and SWVA Events are working with their new non-profit, Karma Culture whose mission is to bring healing to the community through movement and music.  They recently acquired Floyd Yoga Jam, a four-day festival held over Labor Day weekend and are working to continue its traditions.  She continues to work with various clients planning wedding, fairs, tournaments, and festivals year round.  She lives in Floyd, Virginia with her husband and 6-year old, who loves helping his Mommy out when he can!

Mackenzie Ambrose