UP-AND-COMING SPECIAL EVENTS PLANNER
Development Manager; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Metro Detroit/ Southeast Michigan Chapter; Southfield
Job Changes: Sara was selected for this honor while performing event coordinator duties for Quicken Loans in Detroit, where she worked for more than three years. Earlier this year, she joined the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Southfield.
On Her Role: “I’ve always known I wanted to be in a people-centric position. In my new position, I advocate and support our organization’s mission through our walk events (Ann Arbor and East Lansing locations). It’s a change from the logistics side of event planning that I’m used to in past positions, but I love learning and executing events in different capacities.”
A Learning Moment: “In our industry, people say no to a lot of ideas. I’ve learned that it isn’t because the ideas are bad, it’s because they aren’t right—and there’s a huge difference. I think I share the very common fear of nobody showing up to your event. It’s the one thing you can never control.”
Memorable Event: “Vikram Bhaskaran, global head of vertical strategy and marketing at Pinterest, was one of my keynote speakers and he told me the event was really impressive. I can’t tell you what that meant to me on so many levels.”
Work Philosophy: “Bill Murray said, ‘The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.’ I say a version of this in my head nearly every day. I’m very creative. I can see something and imagine what shape it could take or what transformations could be made. It could be a costume for a model or a set for a stage. It could be a song or lights or linen choices. I am able to imagine the outcome and make it a reality.”
Career Path: “I received my undergrad degree in theater and my graduate degree in business. Those have both been priceless in the positions I’ve held. I’ve worked in HR for the government and a hospital, and I’ve worked in events in corporate and multiple nonprofit sectors. I look forward to continuing to put my planning powers to use for the greater good in nonprofit work for a long, long time. In my new role, I want to use my skills and experience to support my organization’s mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat Type 1 diabetes and its complications.”