Gillian Tatiana Marto knows how to throw a party. As the owner of her own event planning company, Events of a Lifetime Productions, the 49-year-old spends her time organizing and pulling together magical memories for her clients every day. When not throwing events of a lifetime, you can find the now empty nester tending to her new puppy and lending a hand to local causes like She Is Safe and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
What piece of wisdom would you give to people in their 20s and 30s?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Listen to your own internal intuition. Do what sets your soul on fire. Speak less and listen more.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
My marriage of 25 years and our wonderful children, Issa and Francesca.
What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
I believe service should be a part of our DNA. Giving back doesn’t have to be a big event. It may be as simple as affirming a friend who needs encouragement. Each day there are multiple ways to give back. If you see someone in need, help. Take the time to say a kind word to your cashier or your waiter. I also enjoy working and volunteering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and She Is Safe. I have been able to use my event planning gifts to broaden the donor bases of charities by producing galas that represent the charities and their specific missions. It is some of my favorite work.
What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work? I grew up in Jamaica and was exposed to all kinds of poverty from a young age. I always saw my parents helping others in the community and was raised with the expectation that you do whatever you can to help others.
Over the last two years, there have been a lot of changes in the world. Is there something you learned about yourself during this time that you didn’t know?
COVID-19 really halted the event business and we had to find new and fun ways to be creative. I learned that I can do hard things and that despite being the life of the party, I don’t mind being alone.
What do you love most about yourself?
That I am growing into the best version of myself. How I know that is because everything I used to fear doesn’t scare me anymore.
What is your favorite healthy meal and why?
Chicken soup. It feeds my soul, too.