Behind the Hustle: Melissa Santell (@MelissaSantell)

My name is Melissa, otherwise known as a creative maven with a love for fruitful words. I’m currently living in New York City, the land of endless inspiration and beautiful possibilities. As an Italian-American with a gluten free agenda, it should come as no surprise that talking with my hands, building meaningful relationships and connecting over a well-composed meal is my forte and, inevitably fuels my passion for marketing within the hospitality industry. As the Director of Marketing and Communications at Neuman’s Kitchen, I’m elated to dedicate my skillset to promoting what I love – food, creating magical experiences and sharing a message that deserves to be heard.

“hi, my name is…”

The world knows me as (name): Melissa Santell

I’ve also been known to respond to the names: Melly-Mel, Taz, MelSantell

I am wicked good at: Writing, food photography, designing stationary, social media, eating my way through New York City, giving advice but never following it and smiling at the occasional stranger.

Least favorite house chore: Changing lightbulbs is rough when you’re practically a legalized midget.

My go-to guilty pleasure food is: Robusto Cheese – hands down.

Favorite App: The Astrologer by Kelli Fox; Instagram is a close second.

Favorite quote: “If I find in myself, desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis

“The Hustle”

Job Title: Director of Marketing & Communications

Professional Superpower: Multitasking like it’s my job, because it actually is. Blogging about endless eats (mid-salivating), owning all things social media and planning marketing events and tradeshow appearances.

My primary role in the events industry is: Event marketing/coordination with the occasional hint of menu creation and curating impactful cross-promotional opportunities.

Years in the events industry: 3.5

To me, being an event hustler means: Always staying up to speed on the latest and most interesting ways to connect with people. There’s something to be said about being the foundation of meaningful relationships, and that in itself is a driving force. It’s all about how you define the event industry. To me, it’s all about bringing likeminded individuals together over an experience they will want to explore again and again.

The top 2 most surprising things I’ve learned about the events industry since starting are: 

1. Knowing how to improvise at the very last minute will save your life.
2. Creating a memorable guest experience should always be your first priority, and the majority of the time, your standards are higher than that of anyone in the room. When you exceed your own expectations, you can chalk that up to a personal win.

How did you get your start in the events industry? The first chapter in my event planning story actually begins with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. I spent two years planning stewardship parties for donors and board members as well as annual celebrations for the “Littles” (children) and “Bigs” (volunteers). Planning events in the nonprofit sector, in addition to my core marketing role, truly taught me that every little detail has the ability to make a huge impression.

My biggest event industry pet peeve is: the constant need to worship event trends. We get it, the pantone color of the year is Marsala. Individuality is personally more important to me.

“No such thing as TMI”

One thing that would really surprise people to learn about me is: I try to learn a new word every day. Literally, I have a “word of the day” app on my phone and look forward to the notification every morning.

You can only keep 2 albums in your entire music collection -those albums would be:
Brand New – Your Favorite Weapon
The xx – Coexist

10yr old me thought I’d grow up to be: A marine biologist.

Text or phone call?: Text.

Android or iphone?: iPhone, all the way.

Toilet paper roll – Over or under?: As long as it exists and I can pull it, I’m not orientation prejudice.

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