Our Story

The Ultimate Ventures Story

UV owners Val Lenington, CMP, DMCP and Laurie Sprouse, CITE, CMP, DMCP

Our story begins in the Fall of 1987 when Laurie Sprouse and Val Lenington met as college students aboard Semester at Sea, a global study abroad program. For 101 days, Val and Laurie took university courses as they traveled around the world aboard a converted container ship. It was a trip of a lifetime that literally changed the course of their lives. Little did they know how this extraordinary experience would shape their views on travel, change their perceptions of the world, and be the inspiration for their future company.

In 1993, after both women had graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and worked a few years in their first post-college jobs, they decided to pursue their passion for travel and go into business together. The initial plan was to start an outbound tour company taking groups from North Texas all over the world. However, as fate would have it, they instead started Wild West Adventures, an inbound receptive operator that catered primarily to international groups coming to Dallas-Fort Worth in search of uniquely Texas experiences.

Over the past 24 years, the company has evolved and grown into Ultimate Ventures, a full-service event and destination management company (DMC) that employees 18 office staff and over 80 field staff. The company has received more industry awards and professional certifications than any other Texas DMC, was named Texas’ Best Meeting/Event Planning Company (by Texas Meetings and Events magazine) and was named one of the Top DMCs in the world by Special Events magazine in 2017.

Laurie and Val continue to be best of friends, inspiring and supporting one another in attaining their dreams and goals, and especially in celebrating their 25th year in business together.