Mike Abella of 1000 Words Events recently celebrated his 9 th year with Tacoma NACE. As our newly appointed
President of the Tacoma Chapter, Mike is excited to serve as a board member and create a welcoming experience to
both existing and future members.
Mike wasn’t always in the events industry though. He started out as a medical photographer in New York City for the
Rockefeller University. After a short time Mike realized New York was not for him. Mike moved on to Dallas and
became the Director of photography at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical center. His experience
ranged from surgeries and teaching photomicroscopy to medical students and even forensics ! Mike even has a bullet
that was given to him at the close of a murder case with the words, “You Die” engraved on the side of it. He will show
you at our meeting next month! It is safe to say he started out with an adventurous job! After a couple years Mike
had seen enough. When he relocated to Seattle from Dallas, there was not a lot of opportunity for Mike to stay in the
medical photography field. He started working with a corporate photographer. He was fortunate to travel all over the
United States and 15 countries . It was an amazing experience and he got to see some pretty incredible things along
the way. After 17 years on the road Mike was ready for a change.
An acquaintance contacted Mike in hopes of hiring him as a photographer for a Bar-Mitzvah. With much hesitation,
Mike agreed but with one condition. He wanted to set up an on-site studio for pictures to be taken. At this time,
photo booths were not what they are today, so it was fun and exciting to do something “outside the box” for a client.
The kids loved using props and taking pictures at the photo set and from that point on, Mike decided to start 1000
Words Events. The business took off and has now developed into the fun company it is today. It's been 12 years and
business continues to grow for him and he is able to do what he loves and make a living at the same time.
Believe it or not, Mike also takes time away from his business. He has a wonderful and loving family. He has been
happily married to his wife Dena for over 18 years. Make sure to ask them how they met, it is a great story! Together
they have both a son Zach, and a daughter Hayley. When they spend time together, they usually like to go skiing.
Mike is looking forward to a memorable year with the Tacoma NACE Chapter.