June/July 2015

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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18 | Ignitemag.ca | June | July 2015 " " Well, as a philosophy major it is only logical that "I plan therefore I am." And for me, that goes hand in hand with, "Always do today what you had planned to do tomorrow." good to know get to know Leanne Andrecyk, CEM The managing partner of Halifax's ZedEvents Great Productions shares how her past led her to event planning—it involves two bank holdups and a philosophy degree! Tell us about your role at ZedEvents Great Productions As managing partner, I am responsible for the overall direction of the company, including service offerings, human resources and client satisfac- tion. I oversee our team of event producers and coordinators and play an integral role in the initial development of our clients' events both on a crea- tive and strategic level. Tell us a bit about your background. I was born with a passion and a knack for organiz- ing things—whether it's creating an unforgettable large-scale event or sorting a kitchen cupboard! As a child, my mother never had to ask me to clean my room! It's a skill set that has consistently given me an advantage whenever multi-tasking has been required. I quickly and naturally became the person friends and family could rely on to plan and organize parties, university events and com- munity social occasions. However, it wasn't until I found myself in the role of an executive assistant, organizing a busy schedule and planning Atlantic Canada management group meetings, that I truly had my "aha" moment: I knew that event planning would define my future and allow me to embrace my skill set on a whole new level. Can you share some of your most satisfying professional experiences? I remember wrapping up my very first live pro- duction and that wonderful feeling of accomplish- ment: checking off the last item on a critical path. Another personal favourite was the day General Roméo Dallaire told me I would make a great sol- dier purely on the basis of my marching orders! ZedEvents helps many not-for-profit organizations reach their fundraising goals and there is incredible professional and personal satisfaction in knowing we play a vital role in assisting these organizations to help others. How would you describe your event-planning philosophy? Well, as a philosophy major, it is only logical that "I plan therefore I am." And for me, that goes hand in hand with, "Always do today what you had planned to do tomorrow." What would you say is the secret to ZedEvents' success? Our client service model provides our clients with keenly customized solutions for any budget. We work with our clients as they set strategic goals and reach milestones, all while staying on budget. So, just think about walking into a store and being able to buy exactly what you want and need every single time: that's our success and we don't want it to be a secret! What advice would you give to those starting in the industry? It's funny because when I started there was no "industry." Now, there are programs devoted to the profession and formal statistics on the industry's contribution to the economy. My advice to those starting out would be to learn as much as you can! Research and take the time to formally train as you would for any other career path. What might some of your colleagues and clients be surprised to learn about you? In addition to being a philosophy major? Prior to my event career I was in the banking industry and worked at not one, but two, banks that were held up! (What are the odds?) Happily, no one was hurt, the criminals were brought to justice and my introduction to contingency planning had begun— complete with my resolve to always be prepared for Plan B!

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