From Event Manager to President…Could My Success Story Be Yours?

14 years ago, I took a seasonal job with a company called Compass Rose Events (CRE) as an Event Manager. I expected to work with the company for 4-5 months, travel the United States, perhaps learn something new while I searched for my next career path. What I found was a leadership team that invested their time in me.  They pushed me to be better and learn new skillsets.  I also found a talented group of peers and coworkers which I now call family.  It was not easy, but to grow never is.  I worked my way up and became President of the Company in 2017.

Starting over with a corporate events company during a recession might not have been my wisest decision, but for me, the risk paid off both professionally and personally.  The 2008 recession had forced Compass Rose to reorganize and streamline. This eventually led to growth and opportunities within the organization.  The pandemic we are in now has CRE in a similar circumstance.   I am proud of how CRE navigated the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Our senior leaders and management team sacrificed and stepped up (or back in time) to take on roles they had not done in years.  They have been creative, dedicated and determined to keep the company alive and positioned how we are today; a strong, vibrant organization energized by growth once again.

Up and down our organization there are stories like mine of employees who began their career as a seasonal Event Manager and found a path to a job they love and thrive in.  There are equally as many great success stories of former Event Managers who went on to have very successful careers in the industry including running event centers, owning/operating specialty event companies and directing event sales.

Once again, success and growth are making opportunities available and CRE is currently hiring the same seasonal Event Manager position I started with.  I can’t promise anyone that they too will become President, however I will commit to helping each of the Event Managers we hire to better themselves and their understanding of the event industry so they too can have future success.

If you know someone looking to break into the industry and is at least 21 years of age, please have them reach out to me or my team to discuss opportunities for the 2022 summer/fall season.  Training is paid, travel and meals are covered, housing opportunities in Nashville are available.


Written by Brian Long, President of Compass Rose Events, Inc