As a Recreation Major at Chico State I thought I might “grow up” to be going to work in board shorts and sandals doing something around boats, wakeboarding or something along those lines. Never did I ever think that all the wedding planning presentations I sat through would help me with professional career.

Okay, so I’m not going to work in boardies nor do I see lakes, the ocean or anything like that on a daily basis.  But I can say I honestly love what I do.  I have a passion for promotional products (SWAG) and I truly love this Podcasting journey I’m on.  Truth is tho, I’ve become an event planner over the years.  No, I’m not really applying anything directly from what I learned through listening to the girls in my college courses pitch wedding planning businesses. However, I have been able to apply event planning skills I learned in college to my professional career.

I joined the Silicon Valley Young Professionals (SVYP) in 2012 and was chair for over 2 years. I’m still on the committee to this day and have a leadership role as Co-Chair now. We have monthly mixers and events with our biggest event being PitchTank… a Shark Tank inspired event where start-ups get the opportunity to pitch their business to real live investors.  This coming February will be our 3rd Annual PitchTank event and be held at eBay.  For more information about the event or to pitch, send me an email ( and here’s a direct link to a little preview video showing our 2nd PitchTank event we held this past January.

Here are 3 actionable tips to help you succeed with your next event:

  1. Goals:
    • It’s been said that a goal is not a goal unless it’s written down.  I firmly believe in this.  I think it’s important to identify why you want to hold the event and the intended outcome… so just write it down!
  2. Committees and Chairs:
    • The power of people is an incredible thing… when starting to form committees and chairs I believe it’s important to have 2-5 committees (based on the size of the event) and put your team in position to succeed based on their strengths.  Delegation is key in any aspect of business, but delegation when working on events will really help your stress levels which brings us to my final tip…
  3. Don’t Stress:
    • I’ve been on many committees and boards in the past 6 years of my young professional experience and one of the biggest things I’ve learned as it relates to event planning is to not stress.  Leaders instill confidence in their teams based on how they carry themselves.  At the end of the day, if you put in the work, you will have a good outcome.  A good book to read if you have trouble with stress is “Think & Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill.  It might sound odd to recommend this classic business book as a tool to help with not stressing for events; but here’s why…  Are you ready for a secret?  The whole book teases at a big secret coming but through the stories and exercises provided you will come to understand that thought leads action and if you believe in what you are doing you can and you will achieve it!  So, why stress?!

I hope these simple steps will provide value to you in more ways than event planning.  If you’d like to collaborate on an upcoming event with WhatUp Silicon Valley, send me an email (

OH, and I should mention that Sergio and myself will be holding our first ever WhatUp Silicon Valley event at the San Jose Improv on September 26th – it’s a free event.  More info coming soon. But expect to see a 20 minute live Podcast on stage followed by several comedians including friend of the show Rivest Dunlap.