Sarah Lo, 36, works in Austin, TX, as vice president of professional services at Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner. As a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree, Lo discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: I oversee the professional services department, which consists of our program managers and associate program coordinators; this department is responsible for bringing our clients’ event vision to life. Having developed the operational infrastructure within Red Velvet Events, I continue to contribute to the department through training and development, and select finance and human resource initiatives.
How I got here: I unknowingly began my career with RVE as a contractor, occasionally assisting the founder of the company with events when the company was only a staff of two. From there, I accepted a full-time position as a program manager, which then led to senior program manager and designer, director of operations, vice president of operations, and now to vice president of professional services.
Greatest career accomplishment: Through my many roles, I heavily influenced the growth, strategic direction, and most importantly helped shape the culture of the company as it grew from four employees to 27.
Impressive stats: From when I first began with RVE, the average budget of our programs has increased by more than 3,000 percent.
Specific improvement I’ve made: I redefined the Associate Program Coordinator Position. Within our company we needed a means of grooming top talent into consistent program managers that can from employee to employee perform at a uniform level. Redefining and utilizing this role as a jump point enabled us to find candidates with limited experience but extremely high-performance ceilings and integrate them into our business while minimizing the risk to the company and our valued client relationships.
What I’m working on: We’ve been focusing on each employee’s strengths through activities like the Gallup Clifton Strengths assessment, and it’s amazing to see how we can focus on what each individual does best (vs. worst) to produce the strongest product for our clients.
What I do outside of work: I eat and I explore. I look at my city as a tourist would look at it and try to find each new experience that it has to offer whether that’s a new hole in the wall a block off of the University campus, a chic restaurant or a temporary art exhibit downtown. I document it, photograph it and log my thoughts so that I can always look back on that experience.