Associate/Senior Associate Director, Special Events

This job is no longer active.

OrganizationUniversity of Virginia Advancement
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineOctober 15, 2019
College Degree Required?Yes
Phone(434) 243-4807


The Darden School Foundation as an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional to join its Advancement team. The Associate/Senior Associate Director of Special Events reports to the Director of Donor Relations and works in collaboration with the Advancement team and colleagues across the Darden enterprise. The Associate/Senior Associate Director will lead all strategic Advancement events and will demonstrate high-level event management skills, including setting schedules for annual events, creating annual budgets, and working with guests of honor. They set goals for all events consistent with Advancement standards and the Darden brand. They will supervise event staff as needed and collaborate closely with the Director of Donor Relations when making decisions about planning and implementing all events and logistics.


· Manage the special events program for the Office of Advancement, ensuring event execution with the professionalism and caliber as customary for the Darden School of Business.

· Manage the planning and execution of additional special events outside of the Office of Advancement as requested by the Vice President for Advancement.

· As approved by the Senior Leadership team, plan and implement a schedule of events to advance Powered by Purpose Campaign fundraising and stewardship goals.

· Handle all space arrangements for events on Darden’s Grounds, the University of Virginia Grounds, and venues in domestic and international locations. Coordinate site visits, negotiations, and room layouts.

· Arrange all catering needs, including selecting the menu, coordinating pre-event tastings, managing catering contracts, and overseeing additional elements of food and beverage.

· Work closely with the Director of Donor Relations on the overall design of each special event, researching, selecting and arranging for appropriate décor, floral, setting, and additional design elements.

· Serve as liaison with vendors for all event-related matters.

· Establish, develop, and maintain relationships with University departments, vendors, and event management partners. This includes selecting and booking vendors for audio visual, rental, and additional services necessary for special events.

· Serve as the point person and lead event planner for special events at Pavilion I, the residence of Dean Beardsley. Oversee logistics and execution of all Darden-related and personal events at the Pavilion including Jeffersonian Dinners, Campaign dinners, tailgates, and VIP receptions.

· Oversee all aspects of the Darden Hospitality suite at Scott Stadium including, but not limited to, invitation process, game assignments, attendee communication, catering, ticket distribution, load-in, and game day staffing.

· Work in conjunction with Reunion staff to plan and execute Reunion week events relating to high-level donors (including donor recognition society events, VIP donor events (i.e. Frank Genovese lunch), bench dedications, champagne toasts, Class dinners, etc.)

· Develop a full spectrum of printed and electronic event collateral, including save the dates, invitations, itineraries, handouts, escort cards, nametags, follow up notes, and other elements as necessary.

· Manage RSVP and registration details for all Advancement events, both personalized and electronic.

· Anticipate requirements and deadlines for events and ensure all tasks are completed in a timely manner.

· Develop and share all periodic progress reporting and communications with the Advancement team and relevant Darden faculty and staff regarding special events. This includes executive briefings and guest and attendee lists.

· Work in conjunction with the Director of Advancement Operations, Development Officers, Dean’s Office and additional Enterprise team members to develop lists with accurate and comprehensive information regarding VIPs, donors, and additional special event invitees.

· Work with the Vice President for Advancement, Development Officers, Dean’s Office and additional team members to devise seating charts that reflect strategic intent of each event.

· Implement all content for special events, including Campaign dinners, faculty book tours, Cases and Cocktails events, Jeffersonian Dinners, and additional events.

· Plan and implement special board related events including all Board of Trustees dinners and additional receptions.

· Track all event finances including check requests, invoicing, and reporting.

· Plan and assist with special events within areas of Development Officers assigned territories.

· Conduct research, make site visits, and find resources to inform decisions about event possibilities.

· Conceptualize, implement, assess, and continually improve event management policies and procedures to enhance participant experiences.

· Advise on and resolve sensitive issues and requests, consulting leaders to resolve issues with staff or visitors.

· Complete other duties as assigned: including the planning of internal events such as the Advancement Retreat and the Foundation Staff holiday party.



· Proven ability to operationalize client or organizational goals, following policies and procedures and adhering to regulatory guidelines.

· Possess expert knowledge of event logistics and ability to execute all aspects of events.

· Demonstrate excellent oral and written communication in managing relationships, developing clear planning documentation, and conveying timeline to multiple stakeholders.

· Ability to collect, analyze, and interpret information for senior University leaders.



· Bachelor’s Degree

· 4 years of experience coordinating and implementing advancement special events