We had the good fortune of connecting with Donald Harvey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Donald, what do you attribute your success to?
Personally, success has meant flexibility and being open to new ideas. My working career has been informed and lead by being open to new opportunities and being willing to say yes, coupled with some great, and some not so great, mentors. As it turns out, both were valuable learning situations. Leading by example is a real thing. I am grateful to the wonderful examples I have had over the years.
While being tied to a not so great leader, I have always tried to acknowledge my frustration and disappointment, then let it go, but make a mental list of those things that I did not see as productive or positive to avoid doing them myself in the future. I am a big believer in the philosophy of if you don’t like something, change it. I have always been willing to take a chance and explore an opportunity when presented to me.
As has been proven (like a sledgehammer to the head) over the past year and a half, the world never stops changing and evolving and this happens more quickly as time marches forward. Life is too short to say no to exploring a new opportunity, remaining in a less than desirable situation and stop learning and growing!
The same may be said of a brand but it can be more complex. A brand must be clear. The who, what, why of the product/service, etc. as well as who its customer is, (actual and aspirational), where those customers are and what their needs and wants may be. It would be great if once you answered these questions, everything would stay the same and success would be guaranteed. Just like you, a brand must be flexible, change with the times, continue researching the customer and learning and growing.
What should our readers know about your business?
College wasn’t for me. I had intended to become a professional musician and started college on that path…It was a short path. Fortunately, I did rediscover my passion for music. The mentality required to be a musician has been helpful in my working life. As a musician, you must be disciplined, analytical, self-promoting, work as a team, learn, be flexible, show up on time, come in on time, be sensitive to others, listen…All skills needed to be successful in a working environment.
The bulk of my working life has been in hospitality and worked my way up in the industry from my first job bussing tables in a family seafood restaurant in my hometown of Bellingham, WA. Over the years, I worked in restaurants, bars, hotels and resorts as bartender, banquet server and captain, catering manager, executive conference manager, sales manager, director of sales, conference center sales and am now currently Director of Sales at Venue8600 – www.venue8600.com – in North Scottsdale.
I feel fortunate to have taken this path to get where I am. As someone who has always learned best by doing, rather than reading about how to do, this was really the best path for me. It wasn’t always easy but I always put my hand up to accept the next challenge and opportunity, learning as much as I could along the way. My mother always told me to ask for what I wanted. The worst that could happen was that someone may say no. Not the end of the world!
I am so happy my path has led me to Venue8600. I love that my experience has culminated in being able to represent and showcase this unique and special meeting and event facility in North Scottsdale. Owned and operated by the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors and opened in 2015, The building won an award from 52nd Annual Gold Nugget Awards as “Best Rehab Office Project”. All the decisions made regarding fit and finishes were made as a team and the appointments in the spaces are exactly what is needed for successful and memorable meetings and events. Those things are great, of course, but the real prize is the people. The team here really does meet the definition of team. The work ethic is one to which we should all aspire and all without egos.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My first boss when moving from Washington State to Arizona, Cathy Mckeever.