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From Radio Personality to CEO: Vanessa James’ Inspiring Journey in Media and Events

Join Steve Turk on this captivating episode of The Hospitality Mentor Podcast as he sits down with Vanessa James, CEO and founder of VJ Media, and the visionary behind Food, Wine and Fete. Vanessa shares her incredible journey from aspiring sports broadcaster to becoming a dynamic force in the media and events industry. Discover how she navigated her career, overcame challenges, and successfully built her own brand, all while staying true to her Caribbean roots. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a media enthusiast, or just love a good success story, this episode is packed with insights, tips, and inspiration.

Show Notes with Timestamps:

[00:00:00] Introduction:

  • Steve Turk introduces Vanessa James, CEO and founder of VJ Media and Food, Wine and Fete.

[00:01:00] Early Beginnings:

  • Vanessa’s early aspiration to become a sports broadcaster inspired by Robin Roberts.
  • Her move from Trinidad to the US and initial love for football.

[00:03:00] Transition to Radio:

  • Vanessa’s start as a receptionist at Clear Channel (now iHeart Radio).
  • Her progression to becoming the first female program director in her market.

[00:08:00] Career Growth in Tallahassee:

  • Details on Vanessa’s roles and responsibilities in Tallahassee.
  • Balancing multiple jobs and gaining corporate radio experience.

[00:10:00] Move to Miami:

  • Vanessa’s strategic move to Miami to further her career.
  • Working at the Sun Sentinel and transitioning back to radio.

[00:13:00] Entrepreneurial Leap:

  • The pivotal layoff that led Vanessa to start Vanessa James Media.
  • Building a voiceover business and securing initial clients.

[00:19:00] Building a Brand:

  • Strategies Vanessa used to grow VJ Media.
  • The importance of networking and maintaining professional relationships.

[00:25:00] Event Production:

  • Creation and success of BJ Media Mixology.
  • Launching Food Wine and FET, an all-inclusive Caribbean celebration.

[00:30:00] Advice for Aspiring Professionals:

  • Key advice for young professionals entering the industry.
  • Importance of being reliable, trusting your gut, and valuing collaboration.

[00:40:00] Future Plans:

  • Vanessa’s vision for the future of her events and business.
  • Excitement for upcoming Food Wine and FET events and other projects.

[00:43:00] Conclusion:

  • Steve Turk’s appreciation for Vanessa’s insights and contributions.
  • Vanessa’s final thoughts and encouragement for listeners.

[00:45:00] Professional Sign-off:

  • Vanessa James provides a professional sign-off for the podcast.

[00:46:00] Sponsor Message:

  • Steve Turk mentions Biscayne Coffee, the episode’s sponsor, and their mission to preserve Biscayne Bay.

Listeners can tune into The Hospitality Mentor Podcast on all major streaming platforms and YouTube. For more information, visit Vanessa James Media’s website and follow her on social media platforms.