What is your job title and responsibilities?
Executive Director, oversee the operations of the Snohomish County Sports Commission. My responsibilities include building relationships with partners, locally and nationally, creating strategies with the team to make Snohomish County the premier sports destination in the Pacific Northwest, and ensuring the administrative work is coordinated.
What was your first job in the industry?
Sports Marketing Manager for the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau, Box office staff member at the Angel Of The Winds Arena, and seasonal worker for the Everett Parks & Recreation (I prepped the fields for sports teams and tournaments). I did all three jobs for 6 months as each job was part-time.
What aspect of your job do you like most?
The opportunity to learn about a sport that I may not be familiar with and helping our local sports organizations host a great tournament.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an accountant when I was growing up. This changed when I was in college. I worked in the restaurant industry as a college student and continued working in the industry.
How did you get into this line of work?
I volunteered for the Everett Sports Council in 2003/2004 to help the organization with bringing sports events to Everett. I was working for a Papa John’s Pizza Franchise at the time. One of my softball players worked for the Tourism Bureau. She asked if I was interested in a project. I was and I was hired as a contractor to update the Tourism Bureau’s sports facility guide.
This was in spring of 2005. In April of 2005, I attended my first Sports ETA Symposium in Portland. I became passionate about the sports tourism industry at that conference. After 17 years, I love what I do.
Do you belong to any civic or volunteer organizations?
I am the president of the Rotary Club of Everett. Most of my volunteer work is helping our local sports organizations with their sports events. Last year I was a facilitator for Leadership Snohomish County. The class I facilitated was Economic & Workforce Development. I have served on the Camp Fire of Snohomish County as a Board of Director. Plus been involved with Sports ETA as a committee member and former Board Member.
What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in your career?
I don’t have just one biggest accomplishment. There are several accomplishments I have cherished over the 17 years. One accomplishment is hosting the Northwest Athletic Conference Men & Women Basketball Championship, 2016 – 2021. It was a joy to host a collegiate sports tournament and to make it a memorable tournament for the student athlete and their family members. Another accomplishment is hosting the 2018 Skate America. Another great event which showcased the City of Everett and Snohomish County to the World.
This may be the biggest accomplishment – helping the Angel Of The Winds Arena in hosting the 2020 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifier (Billie Jean Cup). This event sold out on both days. We had the best of the best tennis players in Everett, Washington. These players included Serena Williams and Coco Gauff. The event was electric!
How do you manage your daily tasks?
I make a to do list and write down new tasks to the list. Once I complete the task, I ‘check mark it’ off the list. I review the list every day and throughout the day.
How do you stay on top of industry trends?
I stay on top of sports tourism industry trends by reading the sports tourism industry publications like PUSH Magazine. I read Sports Destination Management, SportsEvents Magazine, and SportsTravel Magazine. I also stay “tuned in” to social media – Twitter and Facebook and Linkedin. These social media platforms have trends mentioned on a daily basis.
How are you developing key partnerships in the marketplace?
We develop key partnerships by being involved in the community and attend networking opportunities in our local community. It’s about building relationships within our local community so the businesses and residents know more about sports tourism industry. Also, we attend sports conferences for the opportunity to meet with the event organizers ‘face-to-face’ and learn more about their events and about them as people. We strive to stay in touch with our partners. It’s just not about business, we build friendships with our partners.
Who was your greatest mentor?
My greatest mentor is my mom. She has always been there supporting me with whatever I had questions about, needed advice about, and needed encouragement to live my spirits. Within the industry, my mentor was Mary Lee Malmberg. I met her in April 2005 at the Symposium in Portland. From that conference, we became friends. I learned from one of the best in the sports tourism industry!
What are the top 3 things you’d want to pass on as advice to a young, up and coming industry professional?
Do your homework. Be prepared when attending a conference. Also, make sure that your destination can host sports events that your community has facilities for.
Have fun and make friends. The people you meet in the sports tourism industry will be your friends for life including the people you meet within your own community.
Ask questions and reach out to others in the sports tourism industry. We are a community that is willing to share our knowledge including the challenges and best practices. We want everyone to success.
What are you most passionate about and how did you get started with it?
I am most passionate about what I do. Sports is community. Community is sports. The two go hand in hand. I love helping our local sports organizations be successful. I love supporting the Everett AquaSox Baseball team and Everett Silvertips Hockey team plus our other sports teams. I love “rolling out” the red carpet for sports events organizers. To see the joy of the athletes faces after their win or race is priceless!
Reach more here.