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Meet Trailblazer Alisa Walsh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alisa Walsh.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started in the hospitality and tourism business in college – in what I consider to have been the best summer job of all time. I was invited by a friend to live on Maui in between semesters and work at a 5-star hotel in the beach and pool department. Get paid to hang at the beach and deliver towels all day? Yes please. But what I didn’t expect was to fall completely in love with hospitality and customer service. I love to travel, and I loved being able to make an experience truly unforgettable for guests.

I knew it was the career path I wanted to take for myself, but also knew I had to start from the very bottom and earn my way to the top. Back in San Diego where I went to school, I worked at various hotel properties doing anything and everything…from unpaid internships to admin assistant to a role affectionately called a ‘Roadie’ – or someone to go run and get anything a client needed.

Early on, I zeroed in on my passion for events. The attention to detail, the ever-changing environment, and ultimately being able to see the incredible results of months of hard work is still life-breathing for me. I managed to work my way up to a Director position at a hotel property in Newport Beach. From there, my now business partner at EventWorks recognized that fire inside me and asked me to take a leap of faith to transition into event design. While I was apprehensive at first, I have never looked back. I spent four years in Business Development and helped to secure amazing clients who gave us the opportunity to produce some insane events. When the opportunity to become a partner and President of the company arose at the end of 2019, I couldn’t wait to be an integral part of the future of my own company.

Has it been a smooth road?
My journey to business ownership has of course contained its own set of struggles, but to be frank – nothing like what I am experiencing now. COVID-19 has all but decimated the events and hospitality industry, and my team has not avoided the path of destruction.

I officially became part owner on January 1, 2020.. talk about timing! In a matter of days, all of our events were canceled or postponed. To say that I put a smile on my face and kept moving forward with complete positivity would be untrue. Everything I had worked so hard to build was gone, with no foresight on when live events would be able to return. There were times when I would wake up ready to save the event world, and days that our industry looked so bleak I wanted to crawl back into bed and have someone wake me when a vaccine is found.

I think as women, we so often want to showcase our courage and versatility that not often are the real struggle and pain evident. I was honest with my team and those around me.. times are tough. But what I could promise is that I truly believe in the power of people coming together – human to human interaction is vital. Events will return. It may take a long time to do so, and yes they will look different, but I have a fight in me that is not willing to give up. We scale back, practice patience, and work on bettering ourselves so that we come back with a vengeance.

We’d love to hear more about EventWorks.
EventWorks is a full-service event production agency comprised of a team of experts passionate about our crafts and creating shared experiences that are informative and transformative. We use our clients’ business objectives and key messaging to develop unique, full-cycle, wholistic programs while nurturing long-term client and partner relationships locally, nationally and globally.

Through event production, design, branding, entertainment, and custom fabrication, we have created some pretty memorable events. From product launches to incentive trips, to full-blown live special events – we make the magic happen.

At heart, we are storytellers—crafting engaging, memorable events is what we do.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
Leadership, leadership, leadership. As I pondered this question, I just kept coming back to the thought that I truly believe women make some of the greatest leaders, now so more than ever. I’m seeing a shift in company culture – people now value feeling valued more than a higher paycheck. Employees care about feeling heard, respected, and empowered to make decisions. I believe that women are particularly competent in these categories, while also illustrating strength and assertiveness. In short, we need more boss-ladies to run every sector of the world!

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