The Pre-Sales Manager for Red61 has succeeded in many areas of ticketing throughout her career. She lives in a small Canadian town that boasts some incredible tourist attractions while working remotely for a company headquartered in Scotland. Here, Anja reflects on her love of music, traveling the world, her most memorable moments and how INTIX helped take her career to the next level.
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Who do you admire most and why?
I admire Ernestine Shepherd. I first saw her featured in social media. She’s a woman in her 80s who runs, works at bodybuilding every day and is very muscular. I admire her because I think she knows the secret to life — mind, body, health — and age has not stopped her from anything.
What is the quality you like most in a person?
What is the quality you like most in a colleague?
What qualities are important to you in a leader?
Trust, support and responsiveness.
What do you value most in your friends?
That we can make plans and have a great time together.
Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My husband Alan is the greatest love of my life. He is one of the most genuine and kind people I have ever met. He’s one of the good guys.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Most recently, I thought I would like to be talented at construction. We just bought a new house, so I wish I could build things from scratch so I could custom-build everything I want in my home.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Charting in the Billboard Top 20 on an instrumental Latin album. I played flute on the album “Sol Luna Tierra,” which is “Sun Moon Earth” in Spanish. It was a very surreal moment that felt like something from a movie.
Where would you most like to live?
I live there right now — beautiful Niagara Falls, Canada. I would also like to live in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which is my second home. Now, I just need a key! I visit so often because we have family there, but we would love to have our own property so we can just go instead of figuring out where to stay each time.
What is your most treasured possession?
My black Takamine acoustic guitar. I play it almost every day. It’s the same type of guitar that Bon Jovi plays, which inspired the purchase.
Who are your favorite writers?
I like Gothic Victorian literature. Some of my favorite writers in that genre are Mary Shelley, Sheridan Le Fanu and Anne Rice. I’ll be going to Bournemouth, United Kingdom, in my travels this year, and that is actually where Mary Shelley’s gravesite is located. It’s right by the hotel where we’re staying. I wasn’t going there for that reason, but it was on the map and I do plan to visit. I recently saw her movie when I flew back from the United Kingdom, so there’s a lot of Mary Shelley in my life right now.
What's the best live event you've ever seen and why?
There are too many to choose from, but a recent one would be Korpiklaani at the Opera House in Toronto. They are a Finnish folk metal band. I come from a family of accordion players, and in their show they use accordions, violins, electric guitars and really deep Nordic vocals that make for a really great show. There were young people in the audience waving Finnish flags. It was very different and unexpected. It also made me feel very proud of my heritage, and I certainly saw that Finlanders of all ages can rock.
What is your favorite venue and why?
Wembley Stadium. They have a really great venue tour, and there’s an area called Wembley Park around the stadium where they have great hotels, including one of my favorite Hiltons in the world. They have restaurants and shops and are also able to do a lot of events around the stadium because of the way they’ve designed the whole area. For instance, I’ve been there for one of the NFL International Games, and you can really make a whole weekend out of staying there because there is so much to do.
Who is your favorite player of all time and why?
Quarterback Joe Flacco. I first saw him in his rookie season when he was in the playoffs with the Baltimore Ravens. My husband was a Miami Dolphins fan, and he said, “Can you watch the game for me?” I had never really paid attention to the NFL before. He came home and asked me who won. I told him the Ravens won and that they have a really great quarterback named Joe Flacco. I thought he was really talented and told my husband he was going to do great things. I was right because he eventually won the Super Bowl. He’s now been traded to the Denver Broncos, and I hope he will win again there.
What is your favorite place to visit or place you’d love to visit and why?
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. My husband is from Mexico, and that’s where we got married. It has a very special place in our hearts. I’ve been there over 20 times; the weather is perfect, the food and drink are wonderful, and the people are kind and welcoming.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Buy real estate when you are young.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
The three main things are music, sports and traveling. I sing and play guitar, love to run, do workouts in my home gym and travel all around the world.
If you were granted three wishes today, what would they be?
Perfect health, a casita in Mexico and a castle in Europe.
What brings you the most joy or greatest meaning in life?
Above all the big and wonderful things you could think about, it’s really a simple thing. Morning coffee. I can’t live without it.
Why are you a member of INTIX?
I asked my boss if I could join INTIX when I was hired to open a new ticket office. I had attended other ticketing system conferences before and had really seen the value, so I thought that INTIX could be the next step in taking that to a more global level. The first conference I attended was so valuable. I brought back a lot of great information. I made terrific contacts and all of this helped advise me on opening a new ticket office operation.
What do you get from INTIX?
I get a good grasp of the current realities in the industry. It’s the central place to be immersed in it. I get to interact with people who work in both the arts and athletics, which are two things that I’m really passionate about, and in these industries from all over the world.
How do you use INTIX?
Right now, I’m a member of the INTIX Mentor Committee, so I collaborate with committee members as we work toward our committee goals. I’m active in the INTIX forums where I read, post and respond to forum topics. I also attend the annual conference and use that to learn, exhibit, volunteer and network.
What does INTIX give you that is different from everything else you are doing?
It really gives me the complete global pulse on the ticketing industry, and it does this regularly. Because I work remotely, I don’t have the day-to-day interaction like someone who’s working within a venue or stadium, so INTIX brings those realities right to my fingertips and right on my screen. As a remote employee who works with other offices around the world, we all share and discuss the information internally, so we distribute interesting articles from INTIX throughout our own internal networks as well.
Who is your mentor?
I have two. They are Maureen Andersen and Michael Hardy. Maureen and I worked together in ticketing software, sales and other capacities, as well. Michael hired me to open a new ticket office. I chose these two because I met them both at very pivotal points in my ticketing career, and I don’t think I would have been as successful without either of them supporting me. Moving forward, we have kept in touch, and I look to them as the two people who really impact my life for the better in this business and industry.
Who or what inspires you?
People who are selfless. My mother was a great example of this. She was the type of person who would have given the shirt off her back to help someone else first rather than herself. That really inspires me to be a better person.
What do you love most about your job?
I like the variety and the ability to work remotely. In my current job at Red61, I work in aspects of sales, marketing and product, and I get to work with clients all over the world in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The ability to work remotely allows me to connect anywhere and with anyone in the world at any time.
What do you love most about our industry?
I love that it’s an industry that really has your back. If you need anything, the industry is going to rise to the occasion. If someone is a new member to INTIX, they’ll certainly find this out the longer that they stay a member. If you need help with an idea, if you’re looking for a job, if you’re looking to connect with someone in the industry, you’ll always find the INTIX community is right there for you, and they’ll help you find what you need no matter how you try and contact them.
What is your most memorable career moment?
I have two. One was completing a ticketing system conversion that balanced within one penny. The other was opening a new ticket office and going live with over 70% of online sales when online ticketing was still in its early stages. I still use the knowledge from those moments today to help other ticketing professionals make their technology and software decisions because I’ve done both the conversion and opened a new ticket office operation.
What is your most memorable INTIX moment?
It was in at Baltimore at INTIX 2018, attending the conference that my favorite sports team, the Baltimore Ravens, was sponsoring. I also found my current job there. The whole conference was a collection of so many memorable moments that it was just complete synchronicity in wonderful “Charm City.”