Photo by Mark Gibson
Jill and Thom McDonald show off their “Entertainer of the Year” award from Paint Nite. Based in The Dalles, they produce events throughout the Columbia River Gorge, Central and Eastern Oregon and on the Oregon Coast.
As of Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Jill McDonald of The Dalles, with her husband Thom, have been named as “Entertainers of the Year” by Paint Nite and were recognized at the company’s annual awards gala held in Boston, Mass., last week.
The award is given annually to the Paint Nite small business owner with the overall highest rated events score. This year, the McDonalds beat out 200 other business owners to take the title. Paint Nite is a leader in social painting events, with franchises nationwide.
“Having been named this year’s ‘Entertainer of the Year’ is a huge honor,” Jill McDonald said. “With my husband, Thom, we have a wonderful group of artists and assistants. “This award is a team win,” she added.
The McDonalds own and operate Urban Paper in The Dalles, and also Paint Nite Bend-Redmond and Paint Nite The Dalles.
“While it’s great to be recognized by Paint Nite headquarters for doing what we love to do, we really do it for our customers,” said Jill McDonald. “We do it for them so that they can enjoy a night out — to relax, have fun, and create amazing art.”
The McDonald’s run Paint Nite events across the state of Oregon — specifically the Columbia River Gorge, Eastern and Central Oregon regions, and will soon be running events in Corvallis, Medford, and Coos Bay/North Bend.
The couple have 20 employees, most of them artists, McDonald said. After each Paint Nite event, a questionnaire is emailed to participants. Responses to those questionnaires are used to award the “Entertainer of the Year.”
Thom said the questions evaluate the artist, venue, painting and time flow of each event. “They said our scores were off the charts. It’s good to know that what we are doing, we are doing right,” he added.
“Jill and her team are constantly bringing new and innovative ideas to the table as a way to enhance her events,” said Courtney Osgood, head of public relations and communications at Paint Nite.
“They recently added growler painting to their portfolio of offerings, which allows customers to enjoy the traditional Paint Nite experience, but with an added flare. Ideas like this, and bright minds like Jill, are just a few reasons why Paint Nite is the preferred choice in the world of creative entertainment,” she added.
McDonald noted that all of her artists bring something unique to their Paint Nite events. “They all have different strengths. A lot of it is the entertaining,” she explained.
Some of the cities they offer Paint Nite events in are The Dalles, Hood River, Goldendale, Lyle, White Salmon, Bingen, Maupin, Wamic, Sherman County and Grass Valley. Some events are fundraisers.
Founded just over four years ago, Paint Nite is now active in more than 1,600 cities internationally, hosting more than 5,000 events each month, entertaining 180,000 people with a social painting experience.
To locate an event in the Columbia gorge, or purchase tickets, visit PaintNite.com.