Every year, committees get new charges and new personnel to help accomplish those goals. This year, however, there is one more committee than there was before. The Young Professional Taskforce is no more! We’ve grown up (not too much), and made the transition to a full-fledged, card-carrying, secret-handshake-having committee. That’s right, folks. You’re stuck with us for good!
As I begin my second cycle as chair of the Young Professionals (YP), I want to take a little more time to curate and share with you the voices of the YP and student membership. The dedication, determination, and vision of all those I met in my building back in August at VenueConnect was so inspiring that I thought it would be a disservice not to share with all of you. I thought there would be no better way to start than by introducing to you the new members of the committee this year and let them tell you why they want to help the YP cause and what IAVM has means to them:
Julie Gomez, 22, N.J. YMCA sports coordinator – “Being a part of the Young Professionals Committee allows me the incredible opportunity to be surrounded by and learn from the future leaders of our industry as we follow the incredible footsteps of those who have accomplished so much before us. IAVM has so many resources for any stage of your career, and I am excited to take advantage of everything this organization has to offer as I continue to grow as a professional in the sports and entertainment industry.
“The 2015 VenueConnect Conference in Baltimore gave me my first real taste of what IAVM has to offer. Whether it be increasing your knowledge on numerous topics to expanding your network or giving you a boost on your job hunt, I was held speechless by all these resources and the opportunities to meet the leaders of our industry who are so eager to send the elevator back down to us. As a member of IAVM, I want to be molded into one of our industry’s top influencers and be an individual that young professionals will want to come to and ask for advice on how they can cultivate their paths. It is not about getting your foot in the door, it is about kicking those doors off their hinges, and that is exactly what I intend to do.”
Kelly Ortiz, 31, assistant general manager of F&B, BOK Center – “Becoming involved in the YP committee was an easy choice for me. As a young professional myself, I did not realize all of the benefits that IAVM had to offer until just a few years ago. IAVM has given me a valuable networking group that has provided me with insight to improve my business methods and create revenue opportunities that otherwise may not exist. I would like to help other young professionals new to our business and show them just how impactful IAVM can be.”
Zach Sloman, 24, booking and sales coordinator, John Paul Jones Arena – “I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2013 with a degree in event management. During that time, I had the pleasure of interning for Orlando Venues (Amway Center, Florida Citrus Bowl) where I really got my first taste of the industry working in the operations and marketing departments. After graduating, I accepted a full-time position with FELD Entertainment in the routing and tours department until moving to Charlottesville to become the booking and sales coordinator for SMG and John Paul Jones Arena. I chose to be a part of the IAVM Young Professionals Committee because I believe it to be a great first step in getting my feet wet within the IAVM community as well as hopefully making lasting relationships with current Young Professionals who will grow alongside me within the industry. I also believe the Young Professionals group is underutilized and hope to change that in the upcoming year. Helping IAVM is important to me, because the organization and its members have afforded me great opportunities early in my career, which have put me on a successful path. The mentor connector program has also been a favorite of mine, of which I hope to be on the opposite side of in future years.”
These three come from varying backgrounds, and I came across them in different ways. With Julie, I met her when she reached out to the YP committee prior to VenueConnect after our series of blog posts wanting to know how to get the most out of her membership. I haven’t seen a person work a room like her in my life, and I’m so fortunate to have that kind of enthusiasm on the team.
Kelly Ortiz and I share a special bond as we were the only two Millennials in this past May’s Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell. The conversations that we had with our colleagues about how to manage and incorporate the younger workforce into our industry are the kind of conversations that we hope to promote with the association-at-large at other conferences, chapter meetings, on college campuses, and on social media.
Zach… well…. I just lucked into him. Thanks to the call-for-volunteers each year, Zach made the decision to get involved in an association that he hopes to grow along with. There are many others like him throughout the other committees, and we thank you all for your commitment to serve. You won’t regret it!
The above mentioned three join a committed group of 11 others that have a passion for helping push the dialogue between the generations. If you run into any of the committee members, let us know your thoughts, how we can best serve, and in return, we’ll make sure we put all those “my mom makes my lunch at 25” and “I demand a $70k job out of college,” Millennial myths to bed for good.