September: Month of Jessica – Part 1

Happy September! Summer is winding down, and with the changing season comes big changes in the office. One of those changes was the promotion of Jessica Ingalls from Operations Assistant to Operations Manager. It’s only fitting to dub September the “Month of Jessica.” Read more about Jessica and her contribution to the team below!

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You just received a big promotion to the role of Operations Manager. Congratulations! In what ways will your responsibilities change? What are you most excited about?
Thank you! The biggest change to my responsibilities will be taking on larger programs to manage independently. I’m excited to put everything I’ve been learning over the past year into action. I’ve always imagined myself as an event planner since I got my first job planning community events for the City of Santee almost 10 years ago. This is like seeing what I’ve been working towards for many years come to fruition.

Your “superhero” persona for The Event Team is Jess-I-Can because of your can-do attitude for any project. What is the most random assignment you’ve ever been given?
Wow there have been a handful or crazy requests. I have to say that the most random thing I’ve done is to research where to find a chimpanzee costume for a little person. After being passed off to 3 different employees in one store they finally realized I wasn’t trying to be funny. Some of our Australian clients have off the wall requests for promotional material but it is our job to make it happen!

Working in the Operations Department, you get to be on-site for events at some of the best venues in Southern California. What is your favorite event venue so far and why?
I would have to say that my favorite venue so far that I’ve actually seen an event take place in is the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles. It has an old world glam factor that is very hard to fake and many different spaces which can create an amazing party. We hosted 1,200 people there during the RIMS conference this year and is was very fun to watch this early 1900’s theater turn into a party to be reckoned with.

How would you describe a day in the life of Jessica at home? Any special hobbies/interests?
Oh geez!  I’m about to make myself a huge nerd but a day in the life looks a lot like… feed cats, watch some Fringe while knitting a sweater, go for a run (or to a bootcamp class), read a book (probably from the “Young adult fantasy” section) and then feed cats again! I’m pretty crafty so if it’s not sweater knitting then you can be sure to find some other project scattered about my house. But a new-ish development is the bootcamp classes!  I’ve been trying to be better to my body this year as part of a new year’s resolution I made. I am cooking more instead of going out and consistently exercising. It’s turned out to be a huge commitment, but completely worth it.

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?
One of the best thing about working for the event team has to be the flexibility. If you are putting in your best effort, getting things done and making your clients happy, then the Event Team takes care of you. In a year where my boyfriend has had his appendix out, wisdom teeth pulled and shoulder reconstructive surgery this is an amazing perk!

This industry is amazing to work in as well. I love the opportunities we get to do amazing things like the ropes course at the Zoo’s Safari Park and the many industry events with great food in fun venues. The perks are great but it’s really the people in our industry that make it amazing. We work with accomplished vendors and staff that help us shine in everything we provide for our clients. Our reliable support team makes it much more fun to do what we do.

Describe a shining moment and/or highlight a memorable event you played a key role in.
One shining moment I can think of came on a day that I arrived at a venue to advance the set-up of a Cocktail reception. When I walked in there was no way to overlook the gaping hole in the concrete floor and the shabby plywood wall that was put up around it. With only a few hours to spare I put my thinking cap on and started calling up everyone in the Event Team who was hosting an event that night to find some extra black linens. Since we had (4) simultaneous events we managed to pull it all together and cover up the huge and totally unexpected eye sore. Some quick thinking and a great team to back me up helped up pull off a successful event even in the face of unplanned detours.