By Suzanne Mooney
What do you want to be when you grow up? A common question asked of children, garnering answers like teacher, astronaut, doctor, veterinarian, police officer, and firefighter. It’s not until we have a bit of life experience under our belts that we realize the myriad career options available to us.
Perhaps a better question would be, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” If the response is, “I want to help people” or “I want to make the world a better place,” the aforementioned careers all still apply, but so do countless others that our 5-year old selves could not have imagined.
At Event 360, our team is comprised of experts in event production, event management, peer-to-peer fundraising, marketing, communications, participant recruitment and support, volunteer operations, information technology, and more. Our career paths — and life paths — are varied, yet we all ended up in one place, with one goal: to help our clients achieve their missions.
I’m proud of the work we do, and proud of the team with whom we do it, so I asked several of my teammates to share why they work at Event 360.
Gina Guerreso, Crew & Volunteer Coordinator: “My “why” has certainly changed over the years. When I began with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in 2004, I didn’t know that 13 years later I would be diagnosed with breast cancer and directly benefit from the work of Komen and Event 360. Event 360 is my family and I cannot imagine a life without all these beautiful friends in it!”
Irina Gelfand, General Counsel: “Event 360 offers a unique opportunity to work for a company which cares not only for its clients but also the bigger impact on the world that its clients are trying to achieve. We take our client’s missions to heart and hold them as our own missions. By doing work every day for our clients, we are given the great responsibility and greater reward of helping them achieve what they care about most. Many of us have corporate sector careers like finance, HR, accounting, IT and for me, the in-house counsel of Event 360; we can choose to work in any sector as those skills are transferrable but what draws us to this company is its specific passion to make the world a better place through the work of its clients. And for me, that’s unlike many other companies and makes me proud every day to work here.”
Meredith Parker, Event Production Manager: “I work to honor the breast cancer battles fought by too many, particularly in honor of my Grammie and our dear friend and coworker, Bridget.”
Janelle Benuska, Account Director: “I work at Event 360 because it is an honor to help create opportunities for communities to engage and come together, especially for a mission-driven purpose. Setting up an event, from the IT/Marketing/Creative elements to the logistics and on-site production, allows me and those I work with the opportunity to connect people that are passionate about a cause and honor their reason for that passion. Every nonprofit organization we partner with is doing important work, and their supporters have an effect on it by participating in these events. It is truly awesome to be part of helping that happen for both our clients and their constituents.”
Cheryl Stern, Brand Manager, MuckFest®: “I work at Event 360 because at the end of each day I love knowing that I helped do something truly meaningful. Even if it’s a small contribution; each day is a genuine effort to make our world just a little bit better.”
Stephanie Mayer, Local Market Coordinator: “My mom battled stage 3 breast cancer. When she was finishing with her treatments we saw an ad for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day and decided we had to do it. For me, it was a way to give back after feeling so helpless. For my mom, it helped her to move forward and celebrate life!”
Molly Fast, Local Operations Director: “I started working at Event 360 because it provided me with an opportunity to continue working on an event (the Susan G. Komen 3-Day) that was personally meaningful to me. After my mom’s breast cancer diagnosis, and my sister’s participation in the 3-Day, I knew I wanted to be part of this magically life-changing event. I have remained working at Event 360 for more than 15 years because I get to work alongside some of the most hard-working, passionate, kind, caring and selfless individuals who have become like family to me. And it’s a place where I get to work on myself professionally and am encouraged/allowed to have a work/life balance that allows me to work on myself personally as well.”
Christine Camper, Field Marketing Coordinator: “They say if you find what you love to do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. For me, this rings true. I work for Event 360 not only because my love runs deep for the 3 Day, I also wanted to do everything in my power to grow the event.”
Marsha Hovey, Field Marketing Coordinator: “I love to work, but I don’t want just any job. I’ve always wanted to be a part of something bigger. No matter how tiny, making a contribution to help others is important, and I’m so thankful that I get to do that every day. I lost both of my Grandmas to breast cancer, and every day that I work for Event 360 keeps their stories alive.”
Jonathan Madrigal, Event Production Manager: “I work at Event 360 because I enjoy producing events that impact thousands of people. I take a lot of pride in the execution of our events and have a passion to deliver an experience that participants, spectators and even venders will want to share with as many people as possible. Seeing an event go “LIVE” after we’ve spent months planning it is one of the most gratifying feelings and having a participant come up and thank you for being part of the staff just proves that we’re doing something right. As event producers we’re so focused on trying to make everything perfect that I don’t think we take enough time to really appreciate what we’re doing and how special it is for so many people. I love it, that’s why I work here.”
Jane Kramer, IT Project Coordinator
“I came for the 3-Day. I stay because of the people.”
Aubrey Zoli, Local Lead Coach: “I love combining my love of events with my passion for philanthropy. Not many people can say the work that they do for a living is truly working to make the world a better place. I feel fortunate that I am able to make a living while also making a difference.”
Carol Pratt, Local Lead Coach: “I started out as a walker with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in 2007. I loved having the opportunity to have my passion flow into a career when I joined the staff last year. In addition to working for Event 360, I continue to volunteer my time for events outside my role as a coach for the 3-Day. My family and I often lend our time to MuckFest and the MMRF Team for Cures 5K. We believe that by volunteering for worthy causes as a family we are encouraging our children to do the same.”
René Tamayo, Tour Operations Manager: “I work with great people and that inspires me to work hard every day. I lost both my cousins, Nilda and Laura, from breast cancer, the most recent, last year, and this motivates me to keep making a difference. I’ve been able to play a small part in ending breast cancer by working for Event 360 and working with Susan G. Komen.”
Tisho Jessop, Fundraising & Support Coach: “I promised my Aunt Barbara that I would spend the rest of my life doing whatever I could so that the young daughters she was leaving behind would never have to fight a breast cancer battle. That promise led me to the 3-Day and eventually my work here as a 3-Day Coach.”
Katie Zupancic Wymer, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing: “I love working at Event 360 because here I can truly make an impact. In one day, our team is helping to end multiple sclerosis, find a cure for breast cancer and multiple myeloma, support those living with HIV/AIDS, and rise up against addiction. The breadth and diversity of work is immense, empowering, and important, and here, every day matters. And on this journey with me? The best humans who strive for excellence and live for the work we’re doing to make the world a better place.”
Ann Love, Event Production Manager: “I fell in love with the people of Event 360 when I was a participant with the Susan G Komen 3-Day. When a position opened up, I knew I had to try and join this amazing group. Changing the world was the cherry on top!”
Robin Shapiro, Volunteer Operations Manager: “I love that I get to work with the best minds and hearts in the business. It’s a joy to work together, producing events that allow people to have a great time while making a difference for a cause that is important to them.”
Fourteen years ago today, I woke up in the morning and knew, for the first time in my life, that my mom wouldn’t answer if I dialed her number. She wouldn’t be waiting with a hug and a cup of tea if I showed up at her door. When my mom passed away on May 1, 2005, my world became a larger, scarier, mom-less place. But, as was typical of my mom, she prepared me for her absence long before she left.
It was during — and because of — my mom’s 9-year battle with breast cancer that I became a coach for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. That first job not only sparked a career in event fundraising, it also gave me a way to feel less helpless while she struggled, and it surrounded me with a loving community of people who carried me through that difficult time. I’ve worn several different professional hats since then, and now get to work with a variety of nonprofits and causes, but my mom is the reason I am on this career path. For that, and for many other things, I will always be grateful to Marianne Mooney, the kindest and most compassionate person I have ever known.
At Event 360, we are the most experienced team of peer-to-peer fundraising event experts in the nation — but we also care, a lot. We care about our clients, their constituents, and each other. To meet more of our incredible teammates, visit our About Us page. Or, send us a note. We’d love to talk to you about your goals and how we can work together to make the world a better place.
Suzanne Mooney has worked in peer-to-peer fundraising for 15 years and has extensive experience in participant recruitment and retention, communications, and consulting services. When she’s not working you can find her running, riding her bike, or snuggling old dogs.