Ever since Brandon Rounds joined the hospitality industry in 2011, he’s always been on the “supplier side.”
Now, after joining the Fitchburg Chamber Visitor and Business Bureau in late February, he’s finally on the planning side.
Rounds was hired as the Chamber’s Event and Membership Coordinator, after getting to know some of the current Chamber employees as an ambassador to them through HotelRed.
“They reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, we think you’d be really good at this position, would you consider interviewing for it?’” he said.
“I said, ‘absolutely,’” Rounds added. “And here I am.”
Rounds, a Boscobel native, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2011 with a degree in communications. Having previously worked in food service as a waiter or a bartender, Rounds said, he was very “outgoing,” but not quite sure what he wanted to do “when he grew up” until he had one semester left.
It was during that time he completed a one-week long internship in New Jersey for a camp association, at the recommendation of one of his advisers, that he decided that the hospitality industry was where he wanted to be.
“Working with people as always been my strong suit, and being able to plan an event for someone or a company is really exciting to me, because you get to see someone’s vision of something,” he said. “It really made me fall in love with all the aspects of planning events.”
After graduating, Rounds worked as a wedding coordinator for the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa, before moving to the Madison area. There, he worked as the wedding and social events coordinator for Marriott West for a few months before becoming the sales and event manager at HotelRed, a job he’s held for the past six years.
Rounds made the career move away from weddings because he wanted to try something new, he said.
“Working in weddings, you have a certain type of person you have to deal with, typically – good and bad,” he said. “I wanted to expand my knowledge and work in other types of events.”
Rounds was still helping plan weddings while working at HotelRed, but was also able to create clients’ visions of birthday and anniversary parties, as well as larger events like meetings and socials.
Now, at the FCVBB, Rounds, who lives in Fitchburg, said he looks forward to planning events like the monthly Concerts at McKee series this summer and the Chamber’s annual golf outing.
He loves the community aspect of the Concerts at McKee series, and how it brings the entire community together, and as an avid golfer, he’s excited to plan the event.
It helps that he spent years in the “supplier” side of the hospitality industry, so he knows exactly what he’ll need to plan the events. But it’s not like the planning of events will feel like work to him anyway.
“It’s really not a job to me,” he said. “I enjoy what I do, and I think that’s really important to have that in a workplace.”