What is your position?
I am the Catering and Events Manager and am responsible for setting up food and beverage for all of our private deck areas, suites, and some non-baseball events (weddings, holiday parties, etc.)
Tell me a little bit about why you were interested in joining the sports industry?
It was never my intent to be in the sports industry. I went to school for Hospitality and have a degree in Meeting and Event Management. Through that program, we had to do 3 internships, and I came across the Whitecaps program and applied on a whim, got the internship, and the rest is history. I have always wanted to work for a venue so this really fit the bill!
Did you ever feel that being a woman was a hindrance in your role?
Not a hindrance but it has definitely presented different challenges. There is a "boys club" atmosphere in this industry and you constantly feel like you are left out. I see many new female staff members try and be "one of the boys" to try and fit in and it doesn't work and they end up leaving sports. It takes a very strong person to make it in this industry. Do you see a lack of representation of women where you work? When i first started i would have said yes but now there are actually more females. I was the only female among 15 interns when i started and then in the 7 years i have been on staff the numbers are really fluctuated. We are starting to see more female interns and staff members though which is great! (This question is really to provide any information about female visibility/possible barriers to entry)
What advice would you give women who wish to enter the industry?
I would tell them to be ready to work really hard, stay true to themselves, develop supportive relationships with other women on staff, and be strong.
What do you love about working in sports/where you work?
I love the atmosphere. When the product you are providing is fun it translates to everything that you are doing.
Do you have a mentor in the industry? If so, what is their gender? Do you think female mentorship would help increase female visibility within sports?
I don't necessarily have a specific mentor but I have a handful of people who I admire and I notice specific character traits that I will try to emulate. We have done sales training with Amy Venuto for a few years and she has worked in Minor League baseball for years and transitioned to a consulting business where she does trainings. I really gravitated to her because she is unapologetically her and embraces both her feminine side and also her love of sports.