We’re excited to introduce this week’s Event 360 Teammate Spotlight. Enjoy a glimpse into the personal and professional life of Ali Finkel!
Position: Account Director, Susan G. Komen Projects
What job did you hold right before you came to work at Event 360? I was working on the 3-Day as part of the Production team at Pallotta TeamWorks. I’ve worked on the 3-Day in some capacity since 1999!
Was there anything in particular that brought you to Event 360? I am fortunate to be one of the very first people hired to work at Event 360 and I was really excited for the opportunity to continue working on the 3-Day program. Even though the project was a few years old, being among the first to start a new company was both exciting and terrifying. The first all company meeting had only a handful of people; we could all fit around a single boardroom table and I remember being tasked with hundreds of programs, policies and communications from scratch.
If you weren’t working at Event 360 what would you be doing? If money were no issue, I’d be bouncing around the world with my family. I have romantic ideas about living for a while in South America or taking a Winnebago to every National Park in the U.S. or studying European history by living in great European cities. Most of these things are not practical with career obligations and little kids. But, I’m hopeful we’ll build variations of these dreams into our lives someday!
Favorite part of your job? Interacting every day with the people that make up our company, our trusted partners and our clients. My team is so much more than ‘my staff.’ They are close friends – almost family. To be able to take for granted that your team will do their best, exceed your expectations and do great work is such a privilege. There is a camaraderie and trust that is built when working under the pressure of live-event production – because of that, you can get past some of the more structured aspects of organizational culture and just focus on doing really great work.
What do you like to do in your free time? My free time is dedicated to my kids (ages 5 and 2) and their pursuits. With the Chicago winter behind us, it thankfully means more time outside – biking, going to the park, making sidewalk paint, and digging around in dirt. This winter I had to get pretty creative with art projects, puzzles, fort building, and other increasingly crazy ideas to keep them entertained.
Most memorable event experience? The Twin Cities Crew is notorious for their themes and decorations. One of my most favorite moments was stepping into the Pirates of the Cure-ibean pit stop to take in their theme. They had built a parade sized float pirate ship complete with dry ice cannon smoke. Everyone at the stop was dressed in full pirate costuming and every 15 minutes or so, the music would loop to play the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song from Disneyland. With the first notes, all activity at the pit stop would cease and the crew would break into a choreographed dance routine. It was so clever and such a delight that people were lingering at the pit stop for almost an hour just to participate in the fun. I love how that kind of creativity and spirit exist on the 3-Day and I love that this experience gets to be part of my job.
You’re showing off your hometown to a friend who has never been to visit before. What’s on your must see/do/eat list? I love my hometown of Evanston, Illinois. There are always things going on here. If the weather’s mild, we’d spend some time at one of the Lake Michigan beaches either ordering fried chicken for delivery to the beach (yes, that’s a thing here) or packing a picnic. There are tons of music festivals, open studio gallery tours, or activities affiliated with Northwestern University, so in my ideal day, we’d also hit one or more of those. Finally, we’d wrap up dinner at Union and maybe catch a show at Space. We’re guilty of eating here so often, the servers know our kids by name.
On event, what three things are we guaranteed to find in your bag? A carabiner (so I don’t lose my car keys), a small notebook (for taking notes while on-site) and sunscreen (because my skin is lily white, even after working outside all summer).
One word to describe Event 360? One of a Kind. (Okay, that’s four words…but I’m keeping it!)