This week our intern wrote up a list of questions for Adrienne, our CEO & Founder, to answer. We wanted our readers to learn more about the woman behind CEA Staffing. To learn more about Adrienne and her journey with CEA, check out this interview!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Adrienne Burgos. I am a mother, a Chicago native, and I love being outdoors. I am involved in organizations like the YEA (Young Entrepreneurs Association) and have taken courses with the Illinois Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce. And I love being an entrepreneur.
- What pushed you to start CEA Staffing? I started CEA when I was 24 years old because I had a big dream to own my own business and figured the sooner I started working towards my dreams, the faster I would get there. I worked in the industry at that point for about 5 years and felt I had a strong understanding of what both client and brand ambassadors wanted and needed. And so I grabbed my MacBook, launched iWeb and started creating the first CEA website. The rest is history. Just kidding, there was a ton more work involved but I am proud to say that almost 12 years later, CEA is still around and a well known and respected event staffing agency.
- What was the biggest challenge you encountered when starting this company? I started the agency on my own so there were a lot of things I had to figure out and even more work on my plate because I went into it solo. So there was a learning curve, but I always took my time to figure it all out and ensure everything was executed correctly.
- What has been you favorite memory with CEA? Since it’s hard for me to pick favorites, one of the memories that stands out most was an event we executed for Harris Casino at Union Station hosted by Maroon 5. CEA was hired to provide seasoned brand ambassadors to manage several interactive activation areas. I personally attended this event and was so proud of my teams professionalism when executing their duties, and loved seeing how excited they were to be a part of such an amazing event. I also remember finding a quiet spot on the steps backstage towards the end of the event, that overlooked the entire venue. I sat there watching my teams and event attendees enjoy the event while I watched Maroon 5 ( One of my fave bands ) perform in Chicago’s historic Union Station. It was a surreal moment for me, and I remember also feeling proud of what I had built. I hope that doesn’t sound boastful, but I think everyone needs to sit back every now and then and give themselves a pat on their own back for their hard work. Whatever type of work you do, we should be proud of the accomplishments we’ve made as human beings and take moments, just to ourselves, and reflect. That was a moment in which I reflected and felt proud and has become a favorite memory.
- What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment? I would say watching CEA grow on a nationwide scale, and being able to provide some of the biggest brands in the world with nationwide staff, is pretty cool.
- Why experiential marketing? What makes you so passionate about this industry? Experiential events, in my option, are some of the greatest events there are because their focus is on interacting with consumers and leaving them with memorable experiences. Knowing we get to be a part of so many people’s memories from all walks of life is a great feeling.
- What is the most important lesson you have learned from your company? I’ve learned that a strong team can make or break your business. Handing over the reigns is necessary at times and being open to different people’s opinions, help, and direction is incredibly important. So for me, a big lesson has been to not try and do everything solo. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- How do you stay motivated and inspired to continue to work hard and expand your company? I love the feeling of getting a new client, executing the event, and receiving great feedback from both the client and brand ambassadors. Whenever that happens, I am motivated to continue to execute more and more events and achieve those same results. I love love love receiving great reviews from everyone involved in the process. Getting an email from a client saying everyone from our staffing coordinators to our brand ambassadors were rockstars as well as hearing from our brand ambassadors who have posted a review saying how much fun they had at an event and that we were so great to work with, is extremely gratifying.
- If you could give some advice to anyone wanting to start a business, what would it be? I would say talk to people in the industry and truly anyone who has started a business and be open to receiving feedback, different perspectives, advice, and direction as this will be incredibly helpful. I would also say be prepared for setbacks but to absolutely push forward because these things are inevitable and there will always be challenges. You just have to have faith in yourself and work your ass off to overcome these things. Find solutions, don’t ever sit and sulk because I guarantee that will not help you find the solution. Take a moment to regroup, have conversations with mentors or people you admire, think outside the box, think out loud, and take action. Don’t give up!
- What are your goals and aspirations for CEA? We have been around for a such a long time now and in these unprecedented times, things are uncertain. But I have some things up my sleeve that I will not share just yet, you will just have to stay tuned. ; )
We hope you learned a little more about Adrienne, our incredible CEO & Founder. A big thank you to Adrienne for taking the time to share her experiences and memories with us!
Stay positive and safe everyone!