Articles, Blog

Park/Event Management – Careers in Urban Agriculture

August 26, 2019

Todd Hurt: Today we’re with
Mark Banta at Centennial Olympic Park. He’s the general manager here.
His area in the urban ag industries is really more of event
coordination, but he has a lot of different areas
that he works in. Mark, what would you describe
a typical day in your job? Mark Banta: That’s the beauty
of this industry and with horticulture, but
specifically with this job at Centennial Olympic Park,
is that no one day is the same. When I looked for my career,
I wanted a job where I didn’t have to be behind the desk all
the time and where I didn’t have to be outside all the
time digging a ditch. But I could do a
little bit of both. Banta: I get to meet people
from all over the world. One of the benefits of finding
a job that you love to do and figuring out a way to get
people to pay you to do it is that when you love your
work like that, it’s never a day of work, it’s always having
fun and getting to meet people from all over the world; getting
to impact people’s lives in a positive way. We’ve had couples
get married out here and fall in love. We’ve had people that brought their
baby out for the first time to bring it to the Fountain of Rings.
So, it’s just really that impact. Banta: The important thing is to
not try and figure out exactly what you want to do immediately,
but to do a lot of different things. Go out and dig ditches, clean
bathrooms, work in a warehouse. Experience a lot of different
things so you know the things maybe that you don’t want to
do and then can find the things you find most enjoyable. Banta: At Centennial Olympic Park,
we do about 186 event days a year. Everything from $200 a head
corporate dinners to a small amount of children
playing in the playground.

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