We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking to me is a formula. Start with the extreme of what you want to succeed in and then work backwards to add up to that result. Along the way there will be risks that have no guaranteed positive outcome and sometimes the end result will change based on the give and take of those risks. The very first risk I’d ever taken was when I was 18. I dropped out of college after only a semester. I had to hope that I would be able to produce results without guidance and or formal education. From there, it set the precedent of how my professional career evolved.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Everything I’ve learned to be where I am today professional was self taught. With no formal educational background in my field, I approached every professional opportunity as a lesson to be learned. I started in the restaurant industry as a Hostess in my senior year of high school. During that time at my first restaurant I worked my way through every position I could, from a busser, to a server to even an apprentice sushi chef! From one restaurant to another I moved through several positions until I was near the peak of my career as the Assistant General Manager of a multimillion dollar concept. The restaurant industry was never something I did out of passion, but I did my job with passion at all times. I did enjoy the hospitality aspect which later translated to a different side of my career. During my time in the restaurant industry, I learned many things including process flows, administrative tasks, business best practices and more that ended up translating to my new position at Ksport/Voodoo13 as their Marketing and Project Director. Manufacturing is very similar to what is done in the restaurant when a meal needs to be made. Starting with a raw ingredient, and creating a manufactured good. Unfortunately my knowledge on those fundamentals wasn’t enough to change careers and industries. While I was working as a General Manager, I had my side projects in order to learn new skills to get into an industry I was passionate about. I put on small car meet and greets, that grew into larger car shows, that eventually grew into a 12,000 person event. Additionally, I needed to be more active in the industry, so I picked up photography and started to do some freelance journalism and media coverage of major auto events. With that new knowledge and experience, I was able to become the Marketing and Project Manager for Ksport/Voodoo13 in 2017. While working with Ksport/Voodoo13, I was able to learn much more about the aftermarket part of the automotive industry all the while freelance coordinating an annual car show called the Future Collector Car Show. The title sponsor ClassicCars.com (a subsidiary of the Collector Car Network) ended up offering a position after our third successful year. Now in 2021, I was promoted from the Event Coordinator and Social Media Manager to the Marketing Manager in under two years. Additionally I was able to coordinate the 2020 5th Annual Future Collector Car Show that reached a record number of 12,000 attendees.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Likely I’d want to show them the vibrant car culture we have here in Arizona. First things first, coffee. FourtilFour in Scottsdale would be the first place to visit, especially on an early Saturday morning where many car enthusiasts gather. Additionally there are several monthly automotive gatherings that occur that we would likely attend. As far as restaurants go, for a casual late night snack we would go to Welcome Diner in downtown Phoenix, or for a more formal dinner, The Gladly. For some fun drinks and great conversation, Honor Amongst Thieves would be my first choice. Lastly, a trip to Jerome.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Nick Jackson, owner of Ksport USA, Voodoo13 USA, Autoline, and Blokforge. He was the first person to take a risk on me and gave me an opportunity to pursue a new industry in a new position with no formal background. Roger Falcione, owner of the Collector Car Network. He gave me a chance to prove my skills 6 years ago and continued to allow me to succeed in my role in my own way with some guidance. Joe Lombrana, my first friend that encouraged my passion for cars that grew into this successful career. Matt Soppa, the man behind the madness. My very loving significant other continues to support me through some of the newest and toughest challenges.
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