Koolbeck started in the wonderfully psychotic world of public facility management after stints in hotel sales, professional sports community relations and working with the CVB to market the place known as the City of Five Seasons…Cedar Rapids, IA. She saw the light at the end of tunnel and jumped on the rock-n-roll train at the former Five Seasons Center and Paramount Theatre as the Director of Marketing. Three years later she worked to re-name the venue and to change the orange seats. Well, the venue became the U.S. Cellular Center and the seats are still orange. In 2001, she moved over to the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena as the General Manager…big title…few staff. After four years, she realized basketball players don’t do ice or hanging around floors that are freezing. She assumed some additional duties in Cedar Rapids at the three VenuWorks buildings for a year before going BIG TIME to work for the VenuWorks corporate office. She spent about 10 years on the road, overseeing VenuWorks managed locations and managing the marketing, advertising and public relations for the corporate office at Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer.
In August 2015, she was named Executive Director of the Iowa State Center on the campus of Iowa State University when VenuWorks was awarded the management contract. The Iowa State Center is comprised of the 2,600 seat Stephens Auditorium, 450-seat Fisher Theater and conference center, Scheman Building.
Since joining the Ames community, she is currently Ames Community Arts Council Board President, and serves on the Ames Rotary Board and KHOI Community Radio. She has been active in Leadership Ames and Go Red for Women and has volunteered with Special Olympics and United Way.
However, the volunteering she does within the industry is her passion. She served in senior leadership from 2017-2021 with her Board Chair year from July 2019-July 2020. Currently, she serves on the Industry Affairs Council and is leading the pandemic Advocacy work with IAVM's lobbying firm, TLS. Koolbeck served previously as Region III Director for the International Association of Assembly Managers, Chair of the Industry Affairs Committee, along with committee positions on the VenueConnect Planning Committee and Region III Scholarship Committee. She is an instructor at Venue Management School and has served as Assistant Dean of the VMS Graduate Institute. She is a Past President and member of the Board of Directors for the Event and Arena Marketing Conference which presented her in 2007 with the group’s highest honor, the Gigi Award of Excellence. She was named a Woman of Influence in 2010 by Venues Today; recognized in the inaugural class of Venue All-Stars by Venues Now in 2019 and honored as a Women of Live by Pollstar/VenuesNow in 2021. Koolbeck received IAVM's Chair Citation in 2014 and 2021.