How did you get started in the events industry? I had always worked in the food service industry while in high school and college along another various summer jobs like camp counselors and country club. What can I say I like the service industry and all of its quirts. When I went to Umass Amherst for college I had high aspirations of becoming a dentist, but that quickly changed once I was up against Biology and besides, I don’t to get all up in other people's mouths.
It was time to declare a major, and I had an old sisterwho was working in the hospitality industry and going to school at PSU. She was planning these cool golf outing and other fun activities all while secure her degree in HRTM. I jumped on the bandwagon too, at the time UMass was 4th, maybe 5th in the national for Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Administration (HRTA), so I could not go wrong with choosing to set my sights on a career in hospitality. Once I got my feet wet in the 100 level classes and chose to travel down the Travel and Tourism path - this was going to help point me in the direct of MEETING PLANNER…I learned so much and really to do this day I recall certain classes that I took in college. It put me in the right direction to get me where I am now in the meeting planning and hospitality industry. I have work many hats along the way for sure, and what it gave me is knowledge and “meeting smarts”. From starting out in catering with campus dining, hotel catering sales, than to hotel access sales, leading me to my dream job with the title, Meeting Planner, from there I stayed in the bubble of the industry while I stayed home for 2 years with my 2nd born. I only lasted 2 years though, I needed that energy back from the industry, the buzz and excitement of planning events and connecting with colleagues is something I realized I missed while staying at home with my kids. Don’t get me wrong I loved being that at home Mom, but the industry was calling me back and so were these 2 Philly area and global meeting planning legends, Jennafer Ross and Stephanie Krzywanski. I started out small with them doing a little social media and sales, however, quickly jumped in head first and all in…almost 9 years later and still with JR Global Events!
What was it like over the past 2 years during covid for you personally and professionally? COVID taught me it was okay to slow down…now while all the other people came home to work and had to stay home, I was luck in that I was already working from home…so what COVID taught me was these people, “husband and kids” need to get back to traveling and back to school - they are in my way!” What COVID taught me is that we are all resilient and able to quickly adapt, and what COVID taught our team here at JR Global Events is that if we didn’t PIVOT and ADAPT and ADJUST to the events world coming to a screeching halt all around us, we would gonna fall too. That did not happen, JR Global Events got creative - we got virtual, we got gifting, and we got gifting with a little virtual too. We used our industry resources during to covid year and used our partners to help keep our company and events going - without the industry partnerships, resources and think tanks along the way…I am not sure we’d we where we are today. But guess what, we are here and stronger than 2019…
What did you learn about yourself and the industry? I learned that to adjust and adapt to make things work. You need to forge good relationships with your partners, neighbors, and colleagues from near and afar. The industry may have been halted but it’s bouncing back and more fierce. I know that I need to continue to stay current with what is happening in our industry from a planner to supplier point of view and a supplier to client point of view, we are each with our own hurdles but so long as you put your heads together the goal will be reached in the end. What that be a successful event, successful gifting, or successful signed contract.
What would you do if you were NOT in the events industry?
I would be a gardener or work on a farm…not necessarily with animals, may a wine tree farm? Oh they call that a vineyard!!!
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I am busy with my kids and moving them around to school and sporting activities. I am a dog mom, hockey mom, soccer mom, lacrosse mom, basketball mom, swim mom, and a golf mom.