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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Meeting Leaders: Martisha LaCroix

Executive Profile

Name: Martisha (Tish) LaCroix

Title: Senior Event and Talent Manager

Organization: The LaCroix Agency

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Birthplace: Pawleys Island, South Carolina


Bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management

Master’s degree in conflict, mediation and negotiation management

Career History:

Refreshing Lives Ministry, event manager (2010–12)

New Beginnings Ministry of Faith, events ministry leader (2012–15)

The LaCroix Agency, senior events manager (2011–present)

Martisha LaCroix — “Tish” to those who know her — grew up in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, raised by her grandparents. Fresh out of high school and a young mother, her first attempts at college didn’t pan out.

“I tried college to see if it was something I wanted to do, but my son was only about 1 year old at the time,” she said. “I knew I wanted to go to school and do something in business — it was on my heart, but I didn’t know exactly how it would work out. It took me a long time to finish because I was a single mom trying to figure it all out.”

As a kid, Tish’s grandparents were big on road trips — and making sure she and her siblings had the opportunity to eat at upscale restaurants to learn etiquette. Her first stab at event planning came when the pastor’s wife at church asked her to organize the Christmas dinner.

“I’ve always been up for a challenge — and that’s when I really fell in love with hospitality,” LaCroix said. “I didn’t know then that ‘hospitality’ is composed of so many things. I’d go and Google and teach myself the whole process of everything needed for the event. That’s when I realized what I wanted to major in.”

Once she set her sights on hospitality, she started to realize how vast the field is. Things started falling into place — LaCroix found an online degree in hospitality with the University of Massachusetts and graduated in 2015, followed by a master’s program in conflict mediation and negotiations management from the University of Alabama. Simultaneously, she had married and become a military wife facing multiple relocations as she raised a family. But hospitality was a lodestar, always drawing her into starting an event planning business.

“I fell in love with it,” she said. “I love to travel, and I love event spaces. When I step into an event space, it’s like a coach stepping onto a football field — I feel that same vibe. I love to watch events come to life.”

One of the things LaCroix loves most about the hospitality industry is that it allows for flexibility — something that was crucial as a mom and military wife. She wouldn’t have been able to work a typical 9-to-5 job while her husband was deployed in Afghanistan, for example. Now that he’s retired, she has stepped into her event planning business, LaCroix Events, full time.

“I think putting myself out there was the hardest part of it — but I took a chance and started my business in 2011,” she said. “We were doing a lot of religious events, then picked up small businesses that were having events, and then the SMERF market.”

Though COVID slowed things down temporarily, business at LaCroix Events is back, booming and better than ever. Tish LaCroix encourages anyone thinking about going into the event planning industry to draw on the experience they already have.

“Event planning isn’t a cookie-cutter thing,” she said. “If you’re coming from a different industry, like tech or the medical field, you’re an expert. Do those events! Be industry specific — that’s your in.”

Tips from Martisha LaCroix

• Enjoy the moment. We sometimes get to enjoy cities, states and countries many people only dream of. So take it in and make some memorable events.

• Learn from every event. We should always be learning and growing.

• Build relationships to expand your resources.