The Assistant Director of Ticket Services at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is a big fan of music and brewing his own beer. Here, he reflects on his favorite artists, a city he loves to visit for its mountain vibe, spreading happiness and the importance of INTIX in his life.
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Who do you admire most and why?
My father. He’s smart, practical, pragmatic and has the patience of a saint. I wish I had his patience all the time. I have yet to hear anyone say a bad thing about him, despite my best efforts to get a good story.
What is the quality you like most in a person?
Friendliness. I like personable, happy people. Nobody likes being around the folks that are always so negative or angry about things. Happy people make everyone around them happier.
What is the quality you most like in a colleague?
Somebody who is looking to help. It’s not about them, their department or what they necessarily want to do; it’s about what makes the most sense for the organization. They’re in it as part of the bigger picture.
What qualities are important to you in a leader?
Being able to stay focused and calm under pressure. Someone who leads by example but also lets their team do what they do best.
Where would you most like to live?
Honestly, I’m really happy exactly where I am. Being just outside Washington DC, I get that suburban feel but I’m also 20 minutes away from the nation’s capital. There’s always something to do!
What do you value most in your friends?
I value friends who are supportive but can give tough advice when needed. There are plenty of people I’m friendly with, but wouldn’t call them my friends. Friends are people who can call me out on things when it’s needed. They are also people I can ask for help and I hope they would say the same for me.
What’s the best live event you’ve ever seen and why?
It’s a toss-up. Previously, I would have said Trombone Shorty at the 9:30 Club. The way he commands the stage, the crowd and his presence. He’s phenomenal as a singer but also has the quality of being a band leader. My new favorite would be the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl, the singer, is from the DC area. I saw them for their 20th anniversary. They threw a giant concert party for themselves at RFK Stadium, invited eight bands who they were fans of and it was amazing.
What is your favorite venue and why?
The Wolf Trap Filene Center. Not because it’s the venue where I work, but because it offers a diverse set of programming and I can bring in my own food and drinks. I don’t know any other venues that would let me do that. You can bring a bottle of wine and watch the symphony on one night or a rock show the next.
What is your favorite musician or band of all time and why?
Trombone Shorty, the Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have seen all of them live and they were all fantastic.
What is your favorite place to visit or place you’d love to visit and why?
Asheville is my new favorite place to visit. It’s in the mountains on the western side of North Carolina and is absolutely gorgeous. There are lovely hiking trails, waterfalls, and a ton of things to do both indoors and out. It also has more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
You will be fine and you will get through this. Things work out, just give it time.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have been brewing beer for about five years – I enjoy different styles of beer and a friend of mine got me into it. I also like to play disc golf when the weather is nice.
Why are you a member of INTIX?
Even before I started in ticketing, I had heard about INITIX, how great it was and what it had to offer. I was dying to find out for myself and INTIX has not disappointed. It is even more amazing than I could have imagined.
What do you get from INTIX?
I learn great ideas and implement them in my own work. I also love the conference sessions and hearing what other folks are doing. Being able to talk to other members and hearing the awesome projects they’re accomplishing is also a highlight. When the conference is over, I’m still in contact with folks I’ve met and we can collaborate with each other, get professional advice and grow our networks.
How do you use INTIX?
INTIX is the most valuable ticketing knowledge base encyclopedia imaginable. There are many times that I run into things that I can’t possibly know the answers to, but someone here has been exposed to it. Whether it’s through the member connections committee, member forums or calling people, I can always find someone to help. It’s phenomenal.
What does INTIX give you that is different from everything else you are doing?
Everything else I am doing is limited to what I know in my own little world. INTIX shatters that and opens things up globally – that’s what’s so helpful. Every year I meet more people and make new friends. I’m not just talking to my three colleagues, who are great, but we talk all the time. How in the world would I talk to these folks otherwise?
Do you look to INTIX to learn about trends or develop relationships?
I look to INTIX for anything that it can provide. The members are great and people genuinely want to help.
Who is your mentor?
Bernie Berry (Director of Ticket Services at Wolf Trap) has been my single biggest mentor in many ways. He hired me as a seasonal ticket seller almost 11 years ago. Because of his willingness to let me try new things and through networking, I’ve worked my way up in the industry.
What do you love most about your job?
The fact that every day is so different even though I’m doing the same job. No two days are ever the same.
What is your most memorable career moment?
The day when my move from part-time to full-time was recognized in a meeting with all our staff. I remember how loudly they cheered and how excited they were for me was mind-blowing. It really stuck with me.
What is your most memorable INTIX moment?
After my first conference, I jumped on to a committee. For full disclosure, I wanted to leverage it as a reason to go to the conference again the next year. After one year on the committee, I stepped up as the awards committee chair. I had never spoken at a conference before, so talking about the amazing things that my colleagues and friends were doing was just so memorable. It was also the first time I had helped serve in a more official capacity.