Legacy Member Q&A: Mary Ann Rose
Friday, July 14, 2017
Mary Ann Rose is founder & president of Tamar Productions, Inc. Mary Ann joined ILEA over 25 years ago in the hopes of expanding her event industry network. While she never became involved in a leadership capacity, she was able to remain active within the organization and ultimately developed lifelong working relationships. One of the most important ILEA-organized meetings that she ever attended was a program discussing the benefits of Pension and Profit Sharing to maintain key employees.
This has been an essential part of her business model to this day. Over the years, Mary Ann has enjoyed being a mentor to countless event professionals in the City of Chicago.
ILEA: Looking back over the course of your career, what has been the most influential factor that has shaped the direction of the events industry?
Rose: Definitely, the internet, social media and the education of clients through the use of these sources. Long gone are the days when your client depended on you for advice. Today, most clients are very knowledgeable on everything from venues to entertainment. Possibly the only thing they might not know about are union regulations and fees.
ILEA: What is the one piece of advice you wish you had at the beginning of your career?
Rose: Looking back, I really wish that I leveraged networking as a source for information. Other people have “smart children” too and their advice can be invaluable. Years ago, it seem as though people did not wish to share their ideas for fear that someone would steal them, but today I think that has changed and people are much more willing to share. So I encourage all of our employees to attend as many networking events as possible.
ILEA: Looking forward, what do you anticipate will be the most significant trend to shape the future direction of this industry?
Rose: The speed with which you can present proposals and the use of technology in finding new sources. However, there is also the trend where in many instances, “old is new again.” This relates especially to themed events where we are seeing more and more people wanting to go down the route of older themes with their events.
ILEA: What does it mean to you to be considered a mentor or leader in this space?
Rose: It is one of the highest honors than can be given to anyone in this industry. The future of this industry is in the new professionals who are leading the way, and if I have helped even one of these individuals, then I am truly blessed. There is nothing more rewarding than to see someone who has worked for you receive an award or recognition for their contributions to the industry.
ILEA: Please describe the value of being a member of ILEA and what this has meant to your career.
Rose: One of the most valuable things that I learned at one of our early meetings was what they called the “golden handcuffs. Basically, this was offering your senior employees a pension and profit sharing plan in an effort to keep them with the company. Because of this, my employees are now given this perk at my expense. This is only one example of something I learned from one of our meetings. But the most valuable thing I have received from being a member of ILEA is the great professional friendships that I have made over the years.