April: Month of Paige – Part 1

In hopes of emphasizing the “Super People” portion of our tagline, we have been highlighting all our full time staff in this blog series so you can get to know each person on our team a little bit better, as well as understand all the ways they contribute to the company. This month’s featured employee is Paige Weeber, VP of Operations. Paige holds down the fort in Operations AND Human Resources and makes it look almost too easy!

WEBSITE-PaigeHow would you describe a day in the life of Paige (at work?)
There is no one typical day to describe. Every day holds a new adventure. As the VP of the Operations department – I am constantly adjusting my list of priorities. Besides trying to focus on what I need to accomplish for the day – I also need to make sure that I am available to my staff to answer questions, problem solve with them or just listen. When I walk into the office, I start with a cup of Green Tea, sort through email and then try to accomplish something on my to do list. Sometimes I get pulled into a quick meeting (or two), jump on a conference call or assist on a site with clients. I look forward to lunch time, because that is when we all sit at the conference table and relax a little and enjoy each other’s company. At 4:55 pm my reminder on my phone goes off to tell me to start shutting down. Yes – I have to set a reminder to stop working. Sometimes I get so into what I am working on that I lose track of time.

What are the most rewarding/challenging aspects of being in charge of the Operations Department?
One of the most rewarding aspects of being in charge of the Operations Department is the responsibility of ensuring each of our programs is as successful as possible and that we have exceeded our clients expectations. Not just the programs I manage, but every program that The Event Team executes. When a file is turned over from the Sales Department, I review it and assign it to an Operations Manager. I don’t make this decision lightly or base it on schedule alone –but try to partner my ops managers with clients/programs that will benefit everyone involved and also help my managers step out of their comfort zone and gain a learning experience at the same time. Watching my ops managers grow professionally is one of the greatest rewards of my job.

One of the more challenging aspects of my position is following in the footsteps of past VPs of Operations before me at The Event Team.  I often find myself thinking “what would Lani do in this situation” or “How would Holly approach this issue”.  TET has been lucky to have some very strong women in the position I hold today and I although I run the department differently than they did, I still compare myself to them and how to live up to their standards.

You also manage Human Resources issues within The Event Team? What is your strategy for successfully wearing multiple hats?
Human Resources – that is my least favorite part of my position. I want to be everybody’s friend and sometimes in HR you have to be the bad guy. I try to dedicate a few hours each week to tackle the paperwork side of HR. Sometimes it piles up, but I think I do a good job of keeping on top of everyone’s requests. I think to be successful at wearing multiple hats, you have to be organized and have a system.

What made you want to get involved in the events industry? What prior experience did you bring to The Event Team?
I fell into the events industry.  I was always the “social butterfly” with in my circle of friends and during college. I was even Social Chair of my sorority (big surprise!). But my first job in the industry was as an assistant in the Sales Department at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. I quickly realized I didn’t like sales as much as I liked being “behind the scenes” and making the client’s vision come to fruition. I had a great boss within the Sales Department that helped me make the switch to Convention Services and that is where my career began.  Prior to The Event Team I was a hotel CSM for 6 years and then a corporate meeting planner for 5 years. My experience being on both sides of the fence has allowed me to communicate better with CSMs and clients. I know each side’s expectation, the language they speak and how one change can affect 5 different departments.

What is one of the best things about working for The Event Team? What is one of the best things about working in this industry in general?
By and far the best thing about working for The Event Team is Matt Robbins!  He is a great boss in the sense that he trusts the people he has hired to do their job and he doesn’t micromange. He’ll be there to bounce ideas off of or to back you up in a situation. I also love that we go on two retreats a year. We all work so hard in the office, that it is nice to be able to take a break with each other and have some fun outside of the office. It is a great time to bond, reconnect and be silly together.

One of the best things about working in the industry is meeting new people and making new friends. Whether they are a client or a vendor – if you really hit it off with each other, you’ve got a friend anywhere you go.

Describe a shining moment and/or highlight a memorable event you played a key role in.
Last year was the year of block parties in the Gaslamp for The Event Team.  I had my first block party for 4,000 and leading up to it I was very nervous because it was something out of my comfort zone. Party on the Midway – no big deal.  Party at USMC Miramar, I know it like the back of my hand. Party on 5th avenue that encompassed 4 blocks – scary!!  But, I stayed organized, surrounded myself with a team of vendors that had done it a time or two before and together we pulled off a very successful event.

What are some of your interests/hobbies outside of work/ what do you love about these hobbies?
When I am not at work, I am spending quality time with my family. We are usually doing something fun on the weekend: checking out a museum, taking the Coaster downtown and exploring Seaport Village or a quick weekend getaway to LA.  My weekends are rarely spent “relaxing” at home on the couch.

My favorite hobby right now is yoga. I’ve done yoga in the past, but recently won a six month membership to a studio just down the street from my house. After a few sessions, I became a fan!!!  I love the peaceful feeling I have after a session and I enjoy pushing myself and muscles beyond my comfort zone.

Next up for the Month of Paige, we’ll ask the rest of the team to share their thoughts on our VP of Ops. We’ll also find out what clients have to say about her ability to meet and exceed their expectations on programs.