About Above the Rest
Founder & President, Dianna Glandon, CBA
How Did You Start Working with Balloons, Dianna?
I love to smile, laugh and have fun! So it’s just natural that I started a balloon décor company. After all, there’s no other art medium I know of that says, “SMILE, LAUGH and HAVE FUN” like balloons.
The story of how I got into balloons goes back almost 30 years ago, but I won’t go that far back.
As a teacher and Student Council Advisor, I had always used balloons to motivate students. In 2005, my Student Council planned a state convention. We hired a balloon artist to create a large balloon tunnel for us. After the On the spot, he offered to sell me his business. I thought, “Balloons? Come on, is there any need for that?” After some research, I discovered there was indeed. I traveled to my first balloon workshop called, “Ballooniversity.” Yep, that’s correct, and the rest is history.
At Ballooniversity, I fell in love with the magic and power that quality balloon art creates and the wonderful artists in this magnificent industry. Since then, I’ve traveled to several states learning from industry masters and experts from numerous countries such as the U.S. Japan, Australia, China, Belgium, Italy, France, Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Germany to become an expert myself, earning my CBA (Certified Balloon Artist) designation in 2010.
So now every day, I get to have a great deal of fun creating smiles, laughter, and fun for my clients. I love saving people time, stress, and energy when they are planning events; and I definitely love seeing my sketches come to life filling a room with life, excitement and color.
I consider myself blessed to work with terrific clients and an excellent crew. I am proud to be one of 3,000 Certified Balloon Artists in the world. I love spending time with my husband, Kelly, and my family, especially my precious grandchildren.
I also feel blessed that a little balloon has allowed me to stretch myself personally and introduced me to people from around the world who have become beloved friends and fantastic mentors. It has been a joy to teach at various balloon conventions becoming a mentor to others in the industry.
All that definitely makes me SMILE, LAUGH and HAVE FUN! Thanks for letting me share joy, smiles and laughter with you.
Dianna Glandon, CBA
President and Founder
Dianna Glandon, CBA, is President and founder of Above the Rest Balloon and Event Designs. She is a former teacher and Student Council advisor who planned numerous small and large-scale events for over 15 years, often using balloons to create excitement and motivation at those events. Through God’s timing, she discovered the exciting, magical power that quality balloon décor can bring to any event and Above the Rest Event Designs was born in 2006. She absolutely loves creating unique décor for people planning special events and celebrations and considers it a blessing to serve those people saving them time, energy, stress and money, while making their event look Above the Rest. One of her goals is to make clients exclaim, “WOW!”
Glandon has studied with the best instructors in the balloon event decorating industry from around the world, including instructors from Japan, Italy, Australia, England, Belgium, Netherlands, France and the United States. Since 2006, she has traveled throughout the US, learning and forming relationships with design masters. She is now considered an expert in the balloon industry, staying abreast of the most recent trends, designs, and products.
She became a CBA (Certified Balloon Artist) in 2010, designating her as a high-quality balloon professional and one of 3,000 CBA’s in the world.
A life-long learner, Dianna holds a Bachelor’s of Education degree from the University of Tennessee and an Associate’s Degree from St. Petersburg Jr. College. She loves to travel, hike in the beauty of the Smoky and Rocky Mountains, exercise, snow ski out west, play with her grandchildren, spend time with her family, and watch UT basketball. Dianna definitely LOVES “playing” with balloons and making friends with other balloon artists from around the world!
Dianna is extremely happy to be a 48-year resident of Knoxville, Tennessee! Her most precious blessings are being Kelly’s wife (48 years), mother of two kind, caring children, Brian and Nikki, mother-in-law to her precious Rachel, and being the grandmother of her grandchildren with whom she loves to spend time in the mountains.
Piper Wells is one of our top-notch Creative Assistants who helps with design, inflation, and construction of our decor, installations, and breakdowns. She is invaluable with her design eye, positive attitude, reliability and dependability. It is a joy to have her on our team.
Our team joy expert! Any time Jen works, we get to enjoy hearing Jen’s laughter and see her smile. Jen keeps us organized, handles incoming and outgoing inventory, makes sure we have all items packed for setting events, responsible for delivery orders, instrumental with installs and breakdowns. Yes, she also helps with inflation and construction.
Yes, indeed, Serena is studying to be a Rocket Scientist (aerospace engineer) at the University of Tennessee. She works for us often when her heavy academic schedule permits. She, too, does inflation, construction, installation and breakdown. We can always count on Serena to decipher some of our more complicated sculpture designs and put them together methodically.
Every balloon company needs a “DAVE!” We are super blessed to not only have our Dave, but doubly blessed because he is a real-life nuclear engineer (retired). There’s a long story about how Dave joined our team, but suffice it to say it was a God thing. Dave is THE man who helps us with building framing, breakdown and organizing our often cluttered vans and storage room. He also helps us on larger jobs.
Dedicated Office Assistant who patiently keeps many things office related in order. Cheri has been with ATR for almost 10 years. See she’s very patient as deals with Dianna’s always moving personality. Grateful for you!
She’s our behind-the-scenes social media assistant who also creates marketing materials, newsletters and keeps Dianna focused. Sometimes we actually get to have the joy of her help on large installs. This means we fly her across the country to assist. We love her smile and laughter as she works super efficiently.
On a few rare occasions, Emma helps out in various ways. The best is when we get her to do pool installations. Those young ones can handle the cold water when a client’s heater doesn’t work. BRRR…
Our mission is to bring moments of joy and smiles to all we serve with grace and gratitude.
Staying Current (Education & Training)
- As Knoxville’s most experienced & educated team of Certified Balloon Artists, we diligently stay up to date with the latest product releases and educational trends in the balloon design industry.
- We are highly involved in several groups of fellow international and national event professionals, to learn from and mentor others.
- Annual balloon conventions and conferences are attended throughout every year to continue our education, typically 2-3 annually.
- Additionally, we have attended fabric draping workshops to enhance our draping skills.
- Dianna has taught at a variety of balloon conferences throughout the country.
- GKHA Vendor of the Year – 2018
- 2nd place – World Balloon Conference (WBC), Medium Sculpture 2012 – The only US team to place out of 44 countries.
- 2nd place – WBC Delviery design, 2012Several first place awards at FLOAT Convention from 2010-2020 (list available upon request)