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SeatGeek Employee Spotlight: Jamie Hooker, Director of Talent

Below is an article originally written by Nate Rattner at PowerToFly Partner SeatGeek. Go to SeatGeek's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Welcome to SeatGeek Employee Spotlights - an opportunity to meet the fantastic folks on our world-class team.

By day, we're a group of talented developers, designers, marketers, and businessfolk working together to build something new and different. We represent live event junkies of every kind: diehard sports fans, passionate concert-goers, sophisticated theater enthusiasts, and more. From our lives outside the office and before SeatGeek, we all have interesting stories to tell.

Up next: Jamie Hooker, our Director of Talent.

Name: Jamie Hooker

Role: Director of Talent

Where were you born?
I was born in Georgia - outside of Atlanta.

Have you always lived in NYC?
No — I've lived in close to 10 places, but have been in New York for almost three years. I came to New York from Wisconsin, and was in Tennessee before that, and Colorado before that — Colorado will always be home, though.

Where did you go to school?
I went to Vanderbilt — go 'Dores! I'm one of a few Vanderbilt folks here, and actually wasn't the first Vandy hire — Ben Clark holds that title. There are four total now, and hopefully we can add more to that count!

Where is the weirdest place you've ever lived?
I don't think I've lived anywhere very weird, but when I was little, we lived in France and Belgium, which is unique I suppose. I was there for a couple years when I was a toddler so my memories are pretty limited — we moved back to the states when I was about 5 years old.

Any funny roommate or apartment stories in NYC?
When I first moved to New York, we decided to turn our living room into an additional bedroom, as many people do, to make our apartment more affordable. I was lucky enough to be able to live in the extra room — my "lean-to." I had to get a wall built, and for some reason there was a really big disconnect between my landlord and the wall company, and I ended up living without a wall for my first two months here. Basically, you'd walk into the apartment and be in the living room, the kitchen, and my bedroom at the same time. The wall is still there, and I'm still in the same apartment, but I've since upgraded rooms.

What's the best project you've worked on at SeatGeek?
Being involved with hiring so many people in one year was really exciting — we hired around 50 people, more than doubling the size of SeatGeek. Of course, there were a lot of people who were a part of that, but being able to be involved was really exciting. Seeing that SeatGeek had gotten to a point that we were really taking off was so cool.

What are three "fun facts" about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
1. I have not always been a Broncos fan — shocking, I know. I did not become a Broncos fan until I moved to Colorado in the fifth grade — prior to that, I have a vivid memory of the Broncos and Falcons playing in the Super Bowl and rooting for the Falcons. I try not to remember my pre-Broncos era — I think I've seen the light since then.
2. I really, really love the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July — it's one of my favorite American pastimes. I went to the event the first 4th of July I spent in New York, and Joey Chestnut won that year, but he didn't break the record. It was the first time they split the contests into Men's and Women's competitions, and Sonya "The Black Widow" was the female champ.
3. I lived in Europe as a child, but I guess you knew that already.

Any favorite place(s) to hang out in NYC?
I like to watch sports at my favorite sports bar, Triona's — any time there's a major game going on or if it's an NFL Sunday, you can find me there. It's become a really fun gathering place for me and my friends. Other than that, I'm probably eating out. I do that a lot, and keep a running list of places so that I can get to as many different restaurants as possible. I'm also really lucky that my building has a nice courtyard, so I spend a lot of time eating dinner outdoors or drinking a glass of wine out there.

What's the best vacation you've ever taken?
Last fall I went to Thailand and we split up time between several different cities — they were all pretty amazing and wonderful in their own right. But the bulk of the trip was spent on an island for some beach time — it was really nice to be literally on the other side of the world. And I got to play with elephants, which was a big highlight.

Do you have a favorite SeatGeek snack?
I have two favorite snacks — one is Babybel cheese and the other is chocolate, which we always have a really nice selection of. They serve very different snack purposes in my life, but they're equally important.

Why do you love SeatGeek?
I love SeatGeek because of the people who work here. Everyone really believes in SeatGeek as a product, and you can tell that people here are really passionate about what we do. People are really driven and work really hard, and it's very easy to believe in the mission and what our product stands for. People are also really great from a social aspect as well — they hang out with each other, get along well, and I enjoy spending time with my coworkers. It's exciting that we can all work together on something that's so cool.

What is your favorite part of the new office?
I still need to do some more exploring — I like so much of it — but I think the stadium seating is really cool. Not only is it great because it gives everyone in the company a really nice spot to congregate, but I think it will be really great for hosting events. It's perfect for hosting meetups or recruiting events.

SeatGeek

SeatGeek Employee Spotlight: Erin Elsham, People Ops

Below is an article originally written by Nate Rattner at PowerToFly Partner SeatGeek, and published on August 3, 2017. Go to SeatGeek's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Welcome to SeatGeek Employee Spotlights – an opportunity to meet the fantastic folks on our world-class team.

By day, we're a group of talented developers, designers, marketers, and businessfolk working together to build something new and different. But we are also fans and live event junkies of every kind: diehard sports fans, passionate concert-goers, sophisticated theater enthusiasts, and more. From our lives outside the office and within, we all have interesting stories to tell.

Up next: Erin Elsham, on our People Ops team!

Where were you born?
Toledo, Ohio. Well, I was born there – we moved to Iowa after a year, then to Kansas. My dad worked in the agriculture business, so we moved around the midwest with him a bit.

Have you always lived in NYC?
Nope! I packed 2 suitcases and bought a one-way ticket from Kansas City 6 years ago.

It's kind of funny – I went to college in Kansas as well. I was the odd one out of my really close friends and went to Kansas State, even though I was a Kansas University fan growing up, so that was a funny rivalry thing. New York City, for some reason, draws a lot of Kansas people – there are a couple of well-known KU bars here, and I have some friends from growing up who had moved out here right after school. I went to visit one of my best friends and her husband who were living in Williamsburg, and at the time I had just gotten out of school and was bored with what i was doing, so I moved out there. They were nice to let me stay with them for a bit. I literally packed two suitcases and moved, and six years later here I am.

Where did you go to school?
Kansas State University, Go Jayhawks! Oh wait, that's KU (I grew up a KU fan). That's the thing - I went to school at K-State, but was not into K-State sports.

Any funny roommate or apartment stories in NYC? Feels like everyone has at least one…
I've always lived in Williamsburg, and once we found an apartment with a backyard, we decided we'd stay there for a while. Because it's a shared backyard, we're friends with all of the tenants now, so if there's ever a backyard party or barbecue, everyone is invited. One time, a friend of a friend who does photo shoots and works with modeling agencies asked if she could do a shoot back there. They brought in a really fancy model and props that totally confused the neighborhood, it was pretty funny.

Here's a picture.

How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
Full of surprises!

I've been told that I'm like a stealth bomber – I'm pretty quiet for the most part, but I listen to everything, so I always kind of know what's going on. Even with friends and family, I'll know what's going on and plan something that will surprise them in one way or another. For example, my boyfriend's 30th birthday: he really likes Wet Hot American Summer, so I planned a themed party in our backyard and made everyone wear 70s camp gear. He had no idea. Also, the SeatGeek portraits – nobody knew that was coming. I like surprising people.

Best project you've worked on at SeatGeek?
There are a ton! I love to show off how fun we are as a company, so employee portraits and Life@SeatGeek Instagram account are the top!

What is your dream project to work on at SeatGeek?
Workation was a blast planning last year and I can't wait to plan an even better event for this year. It's a huge challenge planning an event for 150 people, but I've got some good ideas and am super excited.

What are three "fun facts" about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
I'm an aerialist. I perform trapeze in seasonal circus cabarets in Brooklyn, wear funky costumes and fly in the air – think that's the most fun fact I've got. It's all volunteer, and I choose my own songs and make the costumes I wear during shows. I've been doing it for about 5 and a half years at the same circus school in Williamsburg, am really close with my teacher and have made some amazing friends there.

Favorite place(s) to hang out in NYC?
Backyards and rooftops – there's nothing better than living in the borough with the view! There are a lot of cool places, but they're always too crowded – once you find someone with rooftop access, you've made it. The beach is fun to go to as well – I usually try Rockaway.

Best vacation you've ever taken?
So far, my first "real" vacation as an adult with no plans and no weddings was Puerto Rico with my fiance three years ago. I've been a bridesmaid like seven times, and have had a wedding almost every single year, so I haven't taken a lot of vacations because it was all weddings for a while. Puerto Rico is great – it's cheap, fun, and the water is clear.

Favorite SeatGeek snack?
Eggs? Do those count? Is that weird?

Why do you love SeatGeek?
It's the people – everyone's cool. They're all so amazing, friendly and welcoming. So many smiles. There is not a single person I don't feel like I could talk to.

Favorite part of the new office?
SG Portrait wall – sorry, I'm biased! That was the most fun I've had on a project. I had to be secretive about it (which I love), and we hired an outside designer for it and worked with them to get the details right and continue to work together for SG 1-year anniversaries!

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