Martha H. Rutledge

Senior Operations Manager
Ultimate Ventures

“About 12 years ago, I was looking to make a vocational change and happened upon a Richland ​course catalog at just the right moment. I discovered the Hospitality, Exhibition and Event Management program offering courses that very much aligned with the new career path I wanted to explore.

“The HEEM program introduced me to a wide range of areas of interest under the ‘meeting planning’ umbrella. The diversity of the program courses and the level of detail in each is really remarkable. The staff is both knowledgeable and dedicated to passing along that knowledge to the students, making the experience fun and rewarding.

“I came to Richland with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Missouri State University (now Southwest Missouri State University), so didn’t seek the two-year degree, opting instead for the HEEM Certificate in Meetings, which allowed me to focus exclusively on program courses.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to encourage anyone who is interested in the meeting planning or hospitality industries to enroll in the HEEM program!”

As senior operations manager of Ultimate Ventures, Martha Rutledge not only executes corporate events, but also is responsible for the operation of the majority of transportation-related programs for her company’s Dallas-based destination management company.

Her position involves a wide spectrum of responsibilities that include managing field staff and vendors; logistical planning and implementation of programs requiring transportation, event set-up, tours and team-building; and a high degree of customer service skills.