In her own words: Events coordinator Alexis Hill
Name/title: Alexis Hill/Special Events Program Manager, City of Reno
Number of years in this job: 2
Years in this profession: 6
Education: I have a masters in public administration from the University of Nevada, Reno and a political science degree from Texas A&M
Last book read: “The Monuments Men” by Robert Edsel. The movie didn’t get great reviews, but the book was fabulous
Favorite flick: “Giant.” It’s like a Western movie with Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. It’s a huge movie.
What’s on your iPod: A lot of rockabilly, country and folk music. I am in a band, so I am always looking for songs we can cover
Spouse, kids or pets: My husband is Matthew Tuma, we have been married two years. We have a dog named Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about the role you play as special events coordinator with the City of Reno.
Alexis Hill: I am the person that you would come to if you wanted to put on an event in the City of Reno right-of-way. I help coordinate all the city services, so I work directly with the police, fire department, public works department. Instead of having to go to 12 different departments to get approvals, you come to me and I kind of help you through the process. I am an advocate for the promoter, but I am also an advocate for the city. I try to find the balance between the city’s needs and public safety and the promoter’s needs. Because I ran the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival I understand the side of the promoter, but because I have a background in government I also understand the city’s perspective.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Hill: I was a city planner right out of college, and then the economy went down and I realized I probably needed to get into another field. I decided on marketing and public relations, and even though I didn’t have a background in it, the Shakespeare festival hired me. I have a passion for government and political science, and I knew eventually I would come back to a city or county.
NNBW: What do you like most about your job?
Hill: I like that it is different every day and that I work with people — that is what gets me going. I like to problem solve and also to go to an event and see that as a team the city made it happen. Also, people always think of our really big events when they think of special events, like Street Vibrations, Hot August Nights and the balloon races, but the city also gets to work with small events that we hope eventually will become big events. We work with small park events, non-profits, the crawls, running races, and these kind of new things that are coming up, and that’s exciting.
NNBW: What special events do you like to attend?
Hill: Not a lot lately because I do it for a living. I wish I went to more events, but not the ones that I would have to work at — it is a little too close to home.
NNBW: What do you find to be the most challenging aspects of being the city’s special events coordinator?
Hill: Being Switzerland — being an advocate for the city and the promoter. It’s tough, because you don’t always make everyone happy. It’s a challenge, but sometimes you can find the middle spot that works for everyone involved.
NNBW: We have seen a lot of different pub crawls come on the scene in recent years. How have those added to your workload?
Hill: The city doesn’t permit crawls right now; we only permit the street closures associated with the pub crawls. The Santa Crawl needs a permit because they close Virginia Street for the photo, and Zombie Crawl needs it because they do a big dance before the crawl.
NNBW: What did you want to do when you were growing up?
Hill: I have a passion for government and have been a government nerd forever. My parents named me Alexis, and that means “Defender of the People,” so I feel like they probably brainwashed me into thinking that was what I would end up doing for my job.
NNBW: What’s one piece of advice you have been given that’s helped you succeed in your career?
Hill: Reassuring advice for new grads is that your career is never the path you thought it would take. Be OK with that and see what elements you can take from the different jobs you have had and how you can craft them into your ideal job.
NNBW: If you could hold on to one memory for the rest of your life and have it be as fresh as the day it happened, what would it be?
Hill: I had some really great childhood memories growing up and going camping with my dad outside of Ely. I had some fabulous college memories I hope to always remember, and now as I enter this next stage of my life, being married and focusing on a career, I hope to make some neat memories. I hope I don’t just have one.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
Hill: I went to Dolly Parton.
NNBW: What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
Hill: I like to learn on vacation, so they are never really vacations. They are never sit-and-stare-into-oblivion vacations. The last one my husband and took was to Europe, and we geeked out on all the history and went to all the museums.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Hill: It’s beautiful. After going to school in Texas, although I really enjoyed that, I missed the western mountains and attitude. I really like people from the West. It’s small enough that you can feel like you really make a difference in your community. You know people and feel like you are part of something instead of being lost in a big city.
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