In our regular series, we’re profiling key members of The Icehouse team, so our wider network of alumni, programme and workshop participants, partners and friends get to know us better. Meet Elena Sevastianova, Delivery Support Executive at The Icehouse.
A vital and much relied upon part of the team, Elena is one of our longest-serving Icehousers, having joined the organisation in 2014.
Elena provides support across all our OMP logistics; assisting with finding and managing venues, catering, travel, and everything in between. Aside from those tasks, Elena provides support for OMX, conferencing and events, and further support for our Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay teams.
Prepared and informed
‘I run the behind-the-scenes at all the events, programmes and workshops to make sure everything is running smoothly. I take care of the communications for those coming onto the programmes and also communicating closely with all the facilitators, so everyone is prepared and informed,’ says Elena.
A great organiser, it all fits beautifully with Elena’s areas of expertise, which centre on planning, time management, logistics and working with people. Another is ‘common sense in organisation’ – it’s a great skill to have and Elena’s unflappable and calm approach means she makes a difficult job look very easy.
‘My role is about putting the puzzle together and making all the moving parts operate smoothly and efficiently so everyone is getting the most out of The Icehouse experience. It is great when it looks easy and seamless. Job satisfaction really comes from delivering the very best experience we can for attendees.’
That philosophy has really been put to the test over the past 18 months. The impact of Covid has meant that there are always plenty of roadblocks along the way when it comes to organising programmes and workshops so far in advance.
‘Due to Covid, things can literally change minute-by-minute; regions operating at different lockdown levels for example, obviously impacts on our venue choices, travel, and so on, so rescheduling and reorganising is all part of the job today.’
And just to make things easier, Elena welcomed the arrival of her second child in 2020. Let’s just say Elena likes to keep busy – thankfully her methodical and meticulous approach wins through every time.
Elena is originally from Russia. She worked at a radio station for five years, running its events, concerts, open-airs and promotional activity.
‘It was great fun, but I love travel and moved to New Zealand in 2011, studied event management and found The Icehouse by accident three years later. I was planning my wedding and wasn’t really looking for a new job, but I saw a really cool ad for my role and applied! Little wonder Elena make it all look so effortless – she was ballet dancer for 12 years. ‘My mum was a professional ballet dancer so I was obsessed with that world.’
Ironically, Elena had to travel more than 12,000 kilometres to meet her Russian husband… in New Zealand! The family share the same love of travel which bought them together in the first place and the desire to seek new adventures hasn’t diminished as mum to two children.
‘My son had been on 17 flights before he turned two, and while that’s obviously been cut in recent times, we can’t wait to go on our next holiday – wherever that may be.’
The one thing guaranteed is that everything will be organised to the letter!
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