Welcome to Our APEX Center

 

In 2004 my sister told me about a job that reported to the HR manager and built events and parties for employees. I thought to myself “there’s no way people get to plan parties for a living”. I was intrigued and a little scared by it. I listed a thousand reasons why I couldn’t do it and never applied for the job.

To this day that opportunity haunts me. I’ve played the “what if” game for 15 years. In that time I’ve had the wonderfully good fortune to work in the event industry (*it’s a real job, let me tell you!) and still do fun, hard things both big and small.

I’ve worked with churches building one hour luncheons and week long youth camps. I’ve worked with Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism which gave me the opportunity to flex my creative muscle and give back to the local community while boosting tourism in the area.

I’ve worked in Lynchburg with a small business as their marketing director and had the awesome chance (twice!) to work with Nerdist Industries at San Diego Comic Con, to facilitate several days of laser tag for the 200 thousand attendees.

I’ve worked as an independent contractor where we helped the town of Appomattox transport thousands of attendees to different points of interest and battlefields as they hosted the Civil War Sesquicentennial Remembrance event. In addition, in that part of the state I worked as a box office manager for a music festival in Martinsville.

Most recently I worked at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, as an event supervisor and later as the event manager and staffing coordinator. I led the largest team of part time staff (70+ people) and got to build concerts for ZZ Top and Bob Dylan. In addition I got to build community events like the Stocked Market for the Junior League. My farewell event was hosting the Harlem Globetrotters in the Coliseum.

Driving home New Years weekend we passed the APEX on I81. My husband stopped mid- sentence and said “you gonna Google that?” I did and found a handful of positions open.

Instantly my mind flashed back to 2004. I felt the same fear and excitement I felt then. Even though I talked myself out of it, my husband talked me into it and with his support and encouragement, I figured I’d at least apply.

I am absolutely thrilled to be here today. The event and tourism industry is a passion of mine. I love being creative, solving problems and most importantly, serving people.

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While I’ve only been here a month, I had the pleasure to tackle a legacy event right out of the gate. It was an honor to work with George Wythe school administration to host their Graduation. I love to talk about events. I am here as a resource to any of you who wish to host a fundraiser or whatever you have in mind. Let’s dream together!

In the event industry, the inside where the show takes place is called the “House”. We are here as home sweet home for YOUR events. On behalf the APEX staff and the Authority, welcome to our House!

As one of my personal heroes always says, “won’t you be my neighbor?” I look forward to working with the good people of Wytheville as well as promoters who will bring outside interests and groups to this lovely town for the weekend.

Feel free to stop in and see our humble abode. I look forward to meeting you soon,

Kristina


 
Kathy Finley