Leadership / 12.28.20
Getting to Know INTIX Members
Whenever I hear the words “Getting to Know You,” I can’t help but think of Julie Andrews singing the famous show tune from “The King and I,” even though she never performed the role on stage. That 1992 studio cast recording was, in a sense, a pivot, though to a format that has existed since before Broadway cast albums began recording in 1943.
Just like our industry has made a significant adjustment this year due to the pandemic, our INTIX “Getting to Know You” series also evolved in 2020. The original idea behind the series however remains: to help members get to know each other better and create an even stronger sense of community. We want to explore the depth and breadth of the people and who we are.
We conduct each interview with a series of deep questions. Some are from the popular Proust Questionnaire, while others center on our industry, INTIX, and what makes our members tick personally and professionally.
In 2020, we had the pleasure of speaking with and profiling many inspiring members. They are among the most interesting people in the world of ticketing! Here are some teaser excerpts that we hope will encourage you to look back and read (or revisit) the full feature stories. You never know what you will learn or have in common with a ticketing industry peer. Or, as the lyrics say:
Getting to know you
Putting it my way
You are precisely
My cup of tea
The Greatest Love of My Life
For Amy Kline, the answer to our question “Who or what is the greatest love of your life?” came quickly and easily. It’s her daughter Allison, who turned 14 in March.
“She’s funny, kind and empathetic. [Before the pandemic began,] she was … at a dance that she really wanted to go to, and this kid asked a girl he had a crush on to dance with him. The girl danced with him. Then, afterwards, the girl came back to Allison’s friend group and was talking crap about the guy, who is my daughter’s good friend. Allison stood up to this girl and said, ‘You’re so wrong. I can’t believe you would do that to him — that you would spend that time with him and then come back here and just be so mean.’ I think that’s admirable because it’s so hard to do.”
Amy and her daughter, Allison.
Family also means everything to Amber Leigh Patton. Being with the people she loves is what gives her the greatest joy. Her family is super close and “even though we don’t live near each other, we call each other all the time.” When asked specifically about the greatest love in her life, she shared quite a “tail” …
“I should probably say my husband, Kevin, but he knows better,” Amber says. “He would probably agree with me that it would be our rescue pit bull, Mazeroski. We call her Mazzy for short. She is named after Bill Mazeroski who played his entire career with the Pirates.”
Amber, Kevin and Mazzy.
Dogs, as well as biking and baking, are three things that fill Daren Mitch’s spare time with joy.
“Your partner, family, friends and everybody plays a different role in your life, and each provides you with different nurturing factors,” Daren says. “I will say one thing, though, that as bad as any situation gets, I can just look at my dogs and I get a smile on my face. I love animals, and anyone who knows me will tell you that my dogs live more comfortably than I do. I adore them. I cherish them. So, while everybody plays an important role in getting us through this crazy life, I just love the unconditional love that I get from my dogs.”
Daren's dogs, Fritz and Fergie.
Daren continues, “My dogs come from very tragic beginnings, and they are both rescue dogs. I think they both have some Jack Russell in them, and they look fairly similar. Fergie was struck by a car, dragged down the road, and left for dead on the side of the road on the border of Texas and Mexico. A Good Samaritan found her, and she was taken in by Lone Star Dog Rescue. She had four surgeries, and they nursed her back to health before I got the call, right at the beginning of the pandemic, to come get her in Dallas. It has been a rough road for that little girl, but she is making wonderful progress.”
Jeff Koets is a ticketing lifer, gentleman farmer, family man and arts devotee who loves his dog Piper like crazy. He shared with INTIX his story about how theatre guided him to meet the love of his life, giving him the joy of family, both at home and at work.
“I got really hooked on theatre in high school. By the time I got to grade 11 or grade 12, I loved it so much that I decided to go to university for theatre and dramatic literature. As part of that process, I dove right into the arts,” Jeff says. “I started working [part-time] at the Brock Centre for the Arts as a stagehand and [then full-time] at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, which was my first real box office gig. It is also where I met Jody and fell in love.”
Jeff Koets and the love of his life, Jody.
Brendan Bruss and his family also have a dog, though he was the lone dissenting vote when the topic of adding a fur baby to the family was raised. Why? Well, you will have to read the story to find out! Brendan’s dry sense of humor is also quite apparent, especially when we asked about the greatest love of his life: “Well, I shouldn’t say golf considering that my wife and I are about to celebrate 27 years of marriage and our first date was 37 years ago. So, golf,” he says.
Brendan, wife Stephanie and their three adopted daughters.
Brendan and his wife Stephanie are parents to three independent young ladies, Téa, Sasha and Cella. Two are sophomores in college, and one is in her senior year of high school. They come immediately to mind when asked about his greatest achievement in life.
“No doubt, it was adopting our daughters at the ages of 3 and 1 from Russia, and becoming legal guardians for a third daughter,” Brendan says. “It sounds funny making that an achievement, but I don’t look at anything from my work as a greater achievement than raising three daughters into great women.”
Like Brendan, Ashley Voorhees could not say enough good things about her children, Christian and Izzy. You can also hear the love in her voice when she speaks about her mom and the rest of her family, which includes three dogs and a cat.
“Bella is a Pyrenees-Newfoundland mix. Bentley is a Standard Poodle and Odie is Pyrenees and, well, we were told it was going to be Saint Bernard, but she has no Saint Bernard in her, so she is kind of a Pyrenees-mutt mix,” Ashley says.
“Our cat is Tucker,” she continues. “My kids named him, and I did not think I was going to be a cat person when we got him from our local humane society. They said, ‘Let’s name him Tucker.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, because I could call him something else in my head if I really had to; I could change the ‘T’ with a different letter and think that’s hilarious.’”
Ashley and her children.
Matt Cooper spoke fondly and proudly of his family throughout our interview. We learned of annual Cooper family trips to Chincoteague Island in Virginia, how having a choir director dad kept Matt deeply involved in music while he was growing up, and even about his grandfather, a mechanical engineer who is best known for an invention that led to the modern-day washing machine.
“My grandfather was a model of moderation and thoughtfulness,” Matt says. “He was always quietly caring, looking after people and making sure the right thing gets done. It has set a template for consistency across both my personal and professional life.”
The Coopers in Chincoteague.
Now it’s time to sing that wonderful “Getting to Know You” tune yet again!
Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly I'm bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I’m learning about you
Day by day
In case you didn’t click and read about your INTIX peers along the way, here are links to all of the feature stories referenced above. You can also check out the others we have done over the past three years via our INTIX “Getting to Know You” Interviews page.
Amber Leigh Patton
If there is someone you would like to see profiled in a future story, or if you would like to be interviewed, please share your recommendations with the INTIX Access editorial team at email@example.com.
Check out our 2019 INTIX "Getting to Know You" roundup to get to know even more members.
Tags: Memberships , Leadership