Meet the Team Monday: Kait

She’s the first person you see when you walk through Alloy 26’s front door, she guards our co-working space – assisting in all things big and small – every day with a smile on her face. She’s Kaitlin Miles, an office manager with Faros Properties, and we sat down to get you the scoop on this cool member of our Nova Place Fam!

So sit back, relax and read on.

Q: Tell me how you first got involved with Faros Properties.

A: I was actively looking for a 2nd job while working in a staffing agency, and that is when I stumbled across a part-time front desk position at the Park View Apartments, one of Faros’ residential properties. I enjoyed my time there, but shortly after I was offered my current position at Faros’ commercial management office in Nova Place. I like it over here much more (probably because I’m always hopped up on La Prima coffee!) I have always been in the customer service field, whether I was interviewing and trying to place candidates for their next job, or in BNY Mellon’s HR department trying to assist employees with various questions regarding pay, retirement, vacation time, etc. This job played very well into my prior work experience. I still get to meet and talk to people every day. I enjoy that.

Q: What was your first impression of the projects going on at Nova Place, specifically Alloy 26?

A: Before my initial interview at Park View Apartments, I researched Faros and what they were about. I quickly found several articles about their plan to redevelop the North Side. When I first met with the management team, they showed me renderings of what they were planning to do with Nova Place, and I was nothing short of amazed. They had also mentioned Alloy 26.  At that point I never even heard of the term “co-working”. Again, I did my research and realized how beneficial something like this would be to Pittsburgh, especially with all of the technological innovation that this city has created over the years.  We talked about the plans for Alloy 26, and it was kind of amazing to hear everyone talk about this ugly old space like it was a beautiful flower just waiting to bloom. Flash forward to May when we moved into the new office- decorated with chic chandeliers, tufted sofas, and other swanky décor – I couldn’t believe this was the same space.

Q: What do you want other people to know about Alloy 26 and Nova Place?

A: I believe Alloy 26 turned out as amazing as it did because the management team is so adamant about redeveloping this area. Nova Place is a diamond in the rough. There is SO MUCH POTENTIAL, and I fully trust in Faros to make it a vibrant place.  Additionally, if we hear the community’s opinions, we can better tailor our plans for Nova Place around what they want. So get involved!

Q: Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work in office management.

A: I don’t think there was a singular person. My dad was an entrepreneur, my grandfather was an entrepreneur, and my mother has a solid work ethic. I always knew I wanted to either work for myself, and if not that, work for a company that is focused on giving back to the community. I found that with Faros.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?

A: Well, I recently moved to the North Side so I spend a lot of my time exploring the neighborhood. I like to check out new restaurants, take my pup over to the dog park and play fetch with her, go to concerts, go hiking, fishing, really anything outdoors.

Q: What’s the one thing about you few people know?

A: I just started the process earlier today so that’s why not many people know this, but I’m going to start working towards getting my real estate license! Once I pass I plan to be doing that on the side.

Q: What are the major rewards of being a part of the Nova Place fam?

A: In my opinion, the major reward is working with people that are so friendly and eager to help. The environment alone is very laid back and I think that makes for a great work life. I never wake up and dread coming to work. That’s something that is very important to me. Aside from that, I love being able to talk to the members of Alloy 26. They are very intelligent so it’s really nice hearing about what their company does and the progress they have made since joining. 

Union Fitness Coming Fall 2016

What’s Union Fitness?

Union Fitness is the newest addition to Nova Place’s live, work, and play community. It’s the joining together of mind, body, and spirit for a complete healthy lifestyle. This 10,000 SF state-of-the-art fitness center will be unlike any other gym you’ve seen. With yoga and spin classes, elite exercise equipment, group exercise and personal training opportunities, and showers, everyone can run, stretch, lift, and spin together in one place.

Whether you’re interested in morning, afternoon, or evening workouts, make Union Fitness an integral part of your workday.

What Union Fitness Means to You.

It’s not just important to know what Union Fitness means to us – it’s essential to know what it means to you. What do you want to see? What classes and amenities are key to your workout? We have a survey that addresses these questions and more. This is YOUR gym. Take our survey on our website today!

Meet Casey

We sat down with Casey Williams, the Fitness Manager at Union Fitness to learn a little more about this great project. Enjoy our Q&A below!

Q: Tell me how you first got involved in fitness and gym management.

A: It’s been unavoidable for me in a lot of ways. Growing up I was close with a local high school football coach so as young as 14 or 15, I would hang out with the team on summer weekends and he ended up teaching me how to lift after practices. Following high school football, I was afforded the opportunity to play Div. 1-AA football at Bucknell University where my strength coach taught me an even greater love for the weight room. After four years of football, I was left with no competitive outlet. I was never into the whole flag football or softball gig. If it wasn’t full go, it wasn’t for me. With the guidance of a local police officer and powerlifter, I entered my first powerlifting meet and never looked back. In six years of competition I’ve almost reached the top- being ranked #2 in the world currently in my weight class and #6 all time. With that has come connections to others in the industry, namely EliteFTS, that have instilled in me the desire to give back to the very thing that has empowered me and many others. I was employed as an account manager for the last six years- now through Union Fitness I’m able to merge my business acumen and my passion for training and helping others.

Q: What was your first impression of the Union Fitness project?

A: I’m a Pittsburgh native, and to be honest, I didn’t know what the Allegheny Center Mall was, let alone where it was. So the day I walked through the facility, saw the old, mixed with the new (Alloy 26), I realized what an opportunity this was for me and more importantly for the city of Pittsburgh. The projects at Nova Place, including Union Fitness, are all vibrant, unique, and cohesive at the same time.

Q: What do you want other people to know about Union Fitness?

A: This is not your mother’s gym. Union Fitness is an experience. From a staff perspective- I’m working on hand picking some of the best in the business.The design and aesthetics alone will be unlike any other facility in Pittsburgh. No expense has been spared on behalf of the customer. I was blown away when I saw the renderings for the facility, and now that I’ve
been able to add my own touches…I will be losing sleep up through opening day, in a good way.

Q: Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work in fitness.

A: There are many but I admire Dave Tate, CEO of EliteFTS, for what he has created. The company was founded in 1998 and since then has brought together the best collegiate and professional strength coaches, lifters, bodybuilders, doctors, trainers, dieticians, and writers in the industry. Multiple times a year the 60+ members gather together to donate their time for seminars and other projects to which all of the proceeds go to Make-A-Wish. It’s shown me that being a part of something bigger than yourself is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in life. I aim to use my platform at Union Fitness to do the same for the community of Pittsburgh.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t managing the Union Fitness project?

A: Besides my own training and competing, my dogs and family are a huge part of my life. And I have a close knit group of friends that I spend time with on the weekends exploring the city and all of the new restaurants popping up over town.

Nova Place Influencer: Brooke Rockwell

Prior to moving to Nova Place, you would have found Brooke Rockwell and her team of talented stylists at their original studio at City View Apartments (also owned by Faros Properties). In fact, Brooke Rockwell Hair Design just celebrated their 25th anniversary, which is an incredible accomplishment!

Brooke’s positivity and dedication to her studio and styling shines through when she speaks about the story of how she got to where she is today. It began with a haircut – that of her younger sister. She cut her sister’s hair in her bedroom, and then the two sisters would cut their baby doll’s hairs to style them how they wanted. Brooke and her sister still work together today.

Brooke began seriously pursuing her passion for hair design in high school, followed by cosmetology school, and college at Duquesne University for accounting. She told us that not only does she love hair, but also she’s always loved business. She’s responsible for managing the business aspect of her company.

We interviewed Brooke in the beginning of March, which happens to be Women’s History Month. As a female-owned business, we asked what that means to her. She told us this:

“I’m so proud of this company, and it’s an honor to be in this business for as long as I have. For so long, a lot of big salon names were after men – so I’m proud to have a women-owned and named salon, as well. But honestly, it’s not something on my mind constantly because it’s what I want to do and like to do. I think more women should own salons.”

We then talked about any issues she’s had as a female business owner, for which she answered:

“For me, it was hard because growing up I was told women weren’t supposed to be boastful; we were to be seen, not heard. It was hard at first putting myself out there to talk up my salon and accomplishments. But you just have to put yourself out there, and now I constantly force myself to do that. I’m hoping that girls are now taught at a young age to be more aggressive and focused, and that it’s a good thing!”

Our conversation with Brooke continued with a Q&A. See the rest of the interview below!

Q: What is a typical day like at the salon?

A: So today is probably a typical day. I get up early and check my emails. A lot of communication I do via email is with the brides who chose us for their wedding hairstyles. After responding to emails, I make my to-do lists and run a few errands before I come into the salon. I also catch up on my social networks like Facebook and Instagram, which are so important in my field. Once I get in, my main focus is hair. I’m either doing hair or speaking on the phone or working with the other stylists. I’ll check on our inventory and run out to purchase more supplies when we’re running low. I’m usually here until about 7 or 8 p.m. during the week days. But they go fast. I sometimes sneak out and go to the gym [Union Fitness] for an hour, which is nice because it’s so close. It renews me for the afternoon and evening.

Q: What has been your biggest customer success story?

A: This is such a personal business. I have clients who I’ve had for 25 years, and they’ve brought their kids and now I’ve done their weddings. It’s the whole kind of relationships that we have with our clients that makes this so successful. To me, it’s every day working with people because there’s so much instant gratification. You can tell right away that someone likes their hair, and it can be a successful day.

Also there was this day recently when I opened a bridal magazine and saw my salon listed as a recommended salon. I saw us there, and felt like wow – this is a moment we’ve been working toward.

Q: What keeps you going when things get tough in your business?

A: I still focus on all the good things that happen and you just keep trying to do better. It’s such a happy business, and it’s hard to stay sad for long. When it’s slow we use that time to learn new things and new products and new techniques. We’re lucky that we don’t have too many bad times because there’s always something to do. For me, when the salon is slow, I use that time to blog and keep up on social media.

I think you have to be a positive person to be a hairdresser. Each hairdresser is responsible for their own social media and networking so you can always brand yourself. Each employee has their own Instagram to show off their products. We want everyone to be happy, and it really affects all of us if someone is not happy. So we always strive to be better.

Q: What do you do when you’re not in the office?

A: So I have my family, my sisters and my mom and my nephew and niece nearby, and I spend time with them. My husband and I love to eat. Either we go out to eat or we cook. We actually just took a pasta making class, and it was really fun. We travel a lot too. So if we’re not working, we’re talking about where we’re going to go and we’ll plan trips. We do a lot of driving trips, and we love to visit cities.

Q: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?


  1. Social Media is so important. You have to document everything you do because people need to see your book.
  2. Treat it like your own business, and be responsible for yourself. Each hairstyle you deal with, each client you work on has to be your business. You want to develop that relationship, and you want them to come back to you, and you want them to refer their friends to you and you want to build on every client that you get. This business is all about referrals. When you’re out and about, you bring your business cards and try to get clients.
  3. Continue your education. There’s schooling that teaches you the basics, but you need to keep up with trends. You have to be aggressive and there’s so much competition out there that you have to keep up with.
Q: How do you like working in your new Nova Place studio?

A: It’s so nice because we have more space at Nova Place. It’s so much brighter and it’s busier and vibrant. It’s more of a community, and there are little neighborhoods, and we’ve been meeting people in different sections. It was hard for me to leave my first studio, but we were growing so we needed more space. It was good timing.

Q: Where do you see the future of your industry?

There’s always new colors, new techniques, and new products. It seems like things are a little more safer for the hair and safer for the client so their hair is left in a better condition. I think in the future we’ll be able to do typically time consuming processes – like taking dark curly hair and turning it straight and blond – faster and better.

We also hope to see more weddings. We did 60 weddings last year, and we’re excited for more.

That’s all folks! Thanks to Brooke Rockwell for being one of our Nova Place Influencers.

Meet Innovation Work’s Terri Glueck

For those unfamiliar with Innovation Works, or IW for short, it’s been a pillar in the Pittsburgh entrepreneurial ecosystem for years. They work with over 335 portfolio companies that span key sectors in the Pittsburgh region including robotics, artificial intelligence, medical devices, retail technologies, enterprise software, and others. According to their website, some high profile and fast-growing portfolio companies they support include 4Moms, Wombat Security, Bossa Nova Robotics, JazzHR, ALung Technologies, Civic Science, Vivisimo (acquired by IBM), Modcloth (acquired by WalMart) and NoWait (acquired by Yelp).

Once a company joins IW’s portfolio, they can draw on people, contacts and their expertise forever. They have resources for any stage company, create a number of different pathways for startups, and with the initial investment, IW aims to lower the barriers so that their companies can be successful.

Terri’s journey in Pittsburgh began before the tech community took off, but Terri remembers it was really clear that was where the city was going. She was hired by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) to market and package Pittsburgh so that businesses would locate and grow here. During her time at the PRA, she also noticed how startups were going to be the focus of Pittsburgh and were in Pittsburgh’s future – they were also in Terri’s future.

“I was recruited to be in a startup, and that was like catching a comet,” said Terri. “But like many startups, that one didn’t make it. It was right in 2001 and hiring was tough post 9/11. I had some time off to do consulting work for robotics companies and life science companies, and it was clear to me that that was where the startup scene was. I kept working in that arena and looked for these types of companies to get their marketing in order. And then, this position opened up at IW, and it was the perfect marriage of what I had done at the PRA and what I was doing in my consulting work for tech startups. It couldn’t have been more exciting.”

Even more gratifying is the feeling Terri gets while working at IW currently because she witnesses people truly believing in investing in Pittsburgh’s startups, arts and culture, lifestyle, and tech activity. She focuses her talent for messaging on IW’s portfolio companies now, which is always an interesting marketing challenge that she enjoys.

For more on Terri, check out our Q&A below!

Q: What does a typical day look like? / Can you describe what you do as if I knew nothing about it or the market?

My typical day revolves around community building and a lot of events – either that Innovation Works puts on or that I want to attend elsewhere. The more we think we live in communities online, everyone still wants to have an event in person. There is an insatiable hunger in the tech community to learn more and connect more. We know people are connected to the digital world, but there is this pent up desire for real world interaction. Something I love about Pittsburgh and also the tech community is that while I live in my circle of community, the lines blur when I’m at an event – I’m still doing my job, but I’m now in this colorful blurry area of someone else’s picture and community, and I really like that.

So most days start with an event, such as a breakfast panel next door at Alloy 26. Following the event and networking, my day is spent making connections and focusing on media relations. We support IW companies through every phase, and so I’ll connect our companies to the media or vice versa, I’ll connect them with someone in the city, or with a corporation. A good example is a writer or reporter will ask me for information on a portfolio company, and I’ll make introductions and help the company tell their story. This helps expose companies to potential investors, talent, and customers. I often end my day with some kind of event – for example, a couple weeks ago, The Incline hosted an event where one of our staff members was honored. I go to events to represent IW and for educational purposes, but I also find that everyone I need to do my job supporting and growing connections, flocks to the same events. I need to know what their projects are, and they need to know what’s going on with IW. I never expected to do so much event planning, and I’ve become much better at it. I’m a naturally shy person, but I’ve learned how to be good at networking and how to make others comfortable with networking.

Q: What has been your biggest company success story?

I think one that a lot of people in Pittsburgh can relate to is 4Moms. When 4Moms was just two founders, before they were called 4Moms, they had an idea and some great expertise (technical and business) that they were weaving together. We knew the founders from some previous work and knew they would come up with some dynamic stuff. I’m picking them as a success story because they’re really the example of going from two people to a company making a product and a name for themselves. They made a brand that people can identify and want to pay for. That’s what we’re trying to do with all of our companies. That’s the point that we want all our companies to reach. When I pass their display in Target, it’s thrilling to me that this company came so far and now the real live touchable product is there on the shelf in a box that I can take home and give as a gift at a baby shower.

Q: What keeps you going when things get tough in your business?

A: I’m going to tell you why this is hard for me to answer. Because I love what I do. When things are hard it means I can’t quite see the solution to something right away. Occasionally, I will come across something that needs a solution set that I don’t have yet. I need the time to think about it and percolate and you just get to the “aha moment.” That moment isn’t on demand and doesn’t always happen when you need it, and so you have to wait for it. I find events and educational interactions really useful because they are my creativity boosters. You’re out of your realm, but you’re still in your realm at the same time.

I’ve found that when I’m not in my routine, it allows my mind to be creative and message a hard to understand idea or figure out who to have speak at a panel at an upcoming event. A lot of my job is connecting dots for someone, and you just need some breathing room to think about how these various pieces fit together so you can see the puzzle in a new way. I’m typically working with the same puzzle pieces over and over, but I’m making a new pattern all the time.

Q: What do you do when you’re not in the office?

A: I read a lot. And I love to cook and to bake. I’ve found that the kitchen is where I like to experiment and try something new. I love to be outside – hiking, being on the water (paddle boarding or kayaking), or just walking. I also love to plan a trip, be on it, and then come home and plan the next one.

Q: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
  1. Everything is still all about human relations. It’s media, investor, or community engagement. The “relations” word is what it’s all about. It’s not about you – it’s about the other party. When you think about relations, it’s all about who you need to interact with.
  2. Don’t forget about the building blocks of communication, writing, and ways to build communication. They are the building blocks to master.
  3. You have both internal customers and external customers. The more you can solve the issues with both the better. I have my teammates that need my help communicating something and they need support. But we’re all trying to build programs to our external customers. It’s hard to move the needle. But you have to have a sensitive ear to what you think your external customer needs and internal. You just trying to keep the plates in the air and keep them moving.
Q: What’s it like working in a Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial sector?

At the exact same time you want to let your breath out and celebrate the amount of success we achieve, we have to be clear eyed that there is a lot of work ahead. Fortunately I work with people that have a sense of optimism, realism and acceptance that there’s still a lot of work to get Pittsburgh to where we aspire to be. But if you never celebrate the successes, you miss a lot. We like to do that. This is exactly how a startup has to think. It’s good to recognize early milestones but you have to remember that there are so many milestones to go an it’s important to realize that you have to get there.

Q: Where do you see the future of your industry?

I do think that as a whole, we do have to figure out what our next message is, which is why what I do continues to be exciting and interesting. We have to figure out a new way to talk about Pittsburgh. We used to talk about the transformation from our past to our updated version. We have to reset the clock in exactly the same way. We’ve gotten to a basecamp, but now what is the summit? There are many paths, but we have to figure out which path is going to have a better outcome.

I think that the whole Amazon HQ concept has been an amazing kick in the pants for so much of the tech community because it gives us something to shoot for. It’s helped us reimagine what the next leap forward could be. In our future, I think there is some leap like that – may or may not be Amazon HQ2 – but the opportunity for Pittsburgh tech to have a huge leap forward and grow is something to aim for. So what do we need to put in place to get there? Amazon gave us a gift, whether or not they come here because it’s a huge motivator for people to imagine something big, and bold and shiny. We’re going to go for that, whatever that is.

Thanks Terri for taking part in our interview! As mentioned in this blog, IW has a full event schedule, and if you’re interested in joining in the conversation, check out their event page and follow them on social media to stay connected!

Pattie Malloy: General Manager for Parkhurst Dining | Eco Bistro

Q: What does a typical day look like at Nova Place?

In this business, no two days are the same! But typically, I make sure that all of our daily marketing is in place (menus), gather the team for a pre-shift meeting, work with guests on catering plans, support the team through the lunch rush, input daily financials, budgeting and labor,HR, and probably many other things that I am just programmed to do on a daily basis!

Q: What has been your biggest customer success story?

There are several, but there is one in particular that I will share with my team members as a training tool; We had a guest at one of the accounts that I managed that was always “cranky”. Almost always got a salad at the salad bar every day & almost always complained to the salad bar team member about everything. Needless to say, the salad bar team member would try to run and hide when this guest came in for lunch! I coached the team member into talking with the guest to get to know her likes and dislikes. At first it was a simple “Hello, how are you?” After that, the team member went on to asking the guest what she’d like to see on the salad bar. Then on to educating the guest on such things as how we roast our own beets or sourcing local produce, etc . It took some time, but in the end, the guest really was a pleasant person after all! She just wanted someone to listen to her. The team member was much more confident in her job and didn’t try to run and hide! A win-win for all!

Q: What keeps you going when things get tough in your business?

My team! They always work hard and will always pull together to get us through a “tough” day! Also, I am surrounded by exceptional upper management and a corporate support center that really values their teams out in the field and consistently provides us with support and training to prepare us for just about anything!

Q: What do you do when you’re not in the office?

Spend time with my family, gardening and cooking/baking (of course!)

Q: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
  1. You will work long, sometimes grueling, hours. But persevere, the job is rewarding!
  2. Invest time in your team! They are your most important asset!
  3. Always stay focused on your guest’s needs. Make them feel welcome and provide them with exceptional service and food! And, always remember to smile!

Megan Colf: Events Manager For Faros Properties

Megan’s positivity and creativity makes her the perfect events manager, and that’s just one of the reasons we chose her to be our May influencer! Megan says that she landed her current position here by chance and opportunity.

“I started in hospitality and events in college and grew up in the industry. I never imagined I could find something better suited for me that allows me to channel and use my passion, creativity and energy in unique ways every day,” said Megan.

As you read this blog, and find yourself even more interested in hosting your next event at Nova Place, feel free to contact Megan at Without further ado, check out our Q&A with Megan below!

Q: What does a typical day look like when there’s an event/events at Nova Place?

Lots of activity in managing client and vendor load-in, and overall events. The action and variety that each day brings is what I love most about this position.

Q: What has been your biggest customer success story?

I have so many great client success stories ranging from corporate and local non-profit clientele, to brides and grooms that have partnered with me to build the event of their dreams. The one thing that remains a constant for each client and experience is the focus on relationships.

Q: What keeps you going when things get tough in your business?

Passion for service and drive for an amazing end result are what motivate me. If my name is associated with an event, I have a great deal of pride in delivery. There is nothing more exciting than executing an event that WOWS all involved.

Q: What do you do when you’re not in the office?

I have a wonderful husband, a three-year-old son and a wonderful fur baby that keep me busy. We love the outdoors, traveling, cooking and we LOVE Pittsburgh. We take every opportunity that is presented to explore what the city has to offer.

Q: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
  1. The customer is always right when you are in the service industry.
  2. Relationships are what make good business partnerships.
  3. It is so important to listen to your clients.
Q: Where do you see the future of your industry?

In the days so many business models being web based,  I am confidant to say that the level of customer service required to deliver and win in the event industry still, and always will require personal interaction.

Q: How do people book events (weddings, showers, big parties) and what are the specials?

Call or e-mail! Nova Place is very excited to continue to grow as an event venue. No event is too small.

Currently, if you book your bridal shower with us by July 1st, we’re offering exclusive pricing for your party. We’re running some Facebook ads promoting the special, but you can also mention this blog post to receive the fantastic deal.

Nova Place Influencers: Morgan Nicholson

Morgan Nicholson stands in front of a quintessential Pittsburgh scene – a steel mill… okay it’s actually just a window graphic of a steel mill, but still. She works at Live Nation, a tenant here at Nova Place located in Tower One. And, more importantly, she’s our second Nova Influencer. As the Marketing Manager at Live Nation, her job varies day to day. Whether she’s blasting out releases of big shows, organizing logistics at concerts at PPG Paints Arena, the Peterson Events Center, or KeyBank Pavilion, or speaking to the press, Morgan thrives in her position.

When asked if she was always interested in the music industry, she offered up this: “Marketing is my one true love. I look at shows and concerts as products. For example, someone who’s a Pink fan is vastly different from somebody who’s going to consume a Slayer show. So there’s that variety I cater my messaging to. And I love concerts, but it’s all about the marketing.”

Morgan traced her passion for marketing back to her fascination with Heinz products (another true Yinzer scene). Not only did she appreciate the quality products, but also she took notice of the plethora of different products – Heinz Ketchup, pickles, Smart Ones, Ore-Ida French fries, etc. Each product will attract a different person, and the company markets their products accordingly. She explained how she uses her inspiration every day when marketing the variety of shows Live Nation puts on. That, coupled with her degree in Public Relations and Advertising from Central Michigan University, primed her for her position as an Influencer.

Want one more fun fact about Morgan that ties her to the ‘Burgh? She went to college with Antonio Brown of the Steelers and watched him play college ball. She’s also one of the 3,800 people he follows on Twitter… (So Antonio if you happen to read this blog that Morgan is retweeting, follow @novaplace on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.) Shameless plug over.

Before she graduated college, Morgan started working for Live Nation as a marketing assistant in Detroit. She challenged herself off the bat with working at Live Nation’s club and theater level (smaller-scale shows) where she had to educate and build the fan base. Then she moved to working in country music festivals out of Live Nation’s Nashville office, which was a big initiative of her company at that time. She worked festivals in Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas and Washington State. From there she landed her job in Pittsburgh and couldn’t have been happier – not only does Morgan love our city, but also she was born here and still has family here. She may have lived all over the country her whole life, but her passion for Pittsburgh was there the whole time.

For more on Morgan, and why we chose her as our Nova Place Influencer, check out our Q&A below. And keep reading to learn about our social media sweepstakes for a pair of Kid Rock tickets, courtesy of Live Nation!

Q: What does a typical day look like?

I know it’s cliché to say every day is different but that’s my reality.  One morning I’ll have to announce a show with Lady Gaga at 4AM, another I will be working the usual 10AM-6PM grind (our corporate office is in LA, great for avoiding traffic, but we are here later than normal most  nights). Other days I leave late afternoon (or work Saturdays) to get to a show to escort press and make sure everything goes smoothly from a marketing standpoint. That’s my job – it’s what I do. It’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it never stops. But it’s a lot of fun.

Q: What has been your biggest company success story?

Last year was our first full year as a Live Nation business unit in Pittsburgh. After spending a few months in Alloy 26 while our office was being built, we opened a new office in Nova Tower One, hired a full staff, and have been working hard to bring the best in the music industry to Pittsburgh. One of our biggest accomplishments from last year was facilitating Farm Aid, which is a major event that sold out in 8 hours. It was a giant success in raising money for Western Pennsylvania farmers. Farm Aid hadn’t sold out in years, so for Pittsburgh to show up like that was really incredible – people came from all over. Another great thing about Farm Aid is that in between shows, the farmers get to tell their stories. To see where the money was going and hearing the stories made the whole event even more interesting and inspiring.

Another exciting project was working on Thrival Innovation + Music Festival at Carrie Furnaces. We made a historic steel mill come to life and were able to work with local artist Wiz Khalifa in a different capacity than a Live Nation tour. Thrival was interesting because we’re used to doing it at the arena or the venue we own. We weren’t used to building from scratch, but that was very Pittsburgh and Yinzer, and it was a rewarding experience.

Q: With the traveling, working long hours, and the fact that you’re the only marketing person in Pittsburgh, what keeps you going when things get tough in your business?

An old boss always used to say to me: “Remember this is someone’s dream job.” It’s a mixture of remembering that quote and knowing that in a moment’s notice my favorite band(s) Jack White, Modest Mouse, Kendrick Lamar etc.  could play the market, and I will have the pleasure of telling everyone about it.

I also have a Post-it note on my desk that says, “Stop getting stressed out because Kendrick Lamar is playing at your venue the day after your birthday, and that’s a really great thing.”

Q: What was it like working in Alloy 26 for those months before your office was built?

I am obsessed with the energy co-working provides. It honestly reminds me of being at a show. Everyone is on a mission to be successful, and it truly helps motivate us to be better.

It’s nice to have a wide variety of companies around us, so we aren’t secluded or in our own music industry world, which helps with market research. I know for a fact that my coworkers that worked in Alloy 26 with me have a better relationship because of it. We wouldn’t have been as close without working in the coworking space first.

But we did need an office eventually for our files, media buys, invoices, etc. For as great the phone booths are in Alloy 26, it’s also nice to now have an office to spread out and put my phone on speaker when I have an important call. Also if I get a bad email or something goes wrong, I get to space out and look at my view from the tower, and it’s amazing.

Q: So what do you do when you’re not in the office?

I volunteer on Saturdays at COMA. The program is called The Art Connection, grades 5-9. It’s really wonderful to see young talent exposed to art and learn about new museum exhibits.  I also play soccer on Sundays with a co-ed league. (I didn’t want to get into an intense league so we get together for exercise and camaraderie).

Q: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
  1. The industry is always changing and is very complex, it’s a business before it’s fun and games.
  2. It’s important to understand what aspect of the business to specialize in, marketing shows, booking bands, running a venue and making sure guests are safe, selling food and beverage to thousands of people.
  3. Surround yourself with a great team, working long tedious hours you become a family with your co-workers and often see them more than your actual family and friends, this industry isn’t a job it is a lifestyle.
Q: Where do you see the future of your industry?

For Pittsburgh and the music industry specifically, I am seeing a major uptick in content in all genres this year. For example, the Country Mega Driven by Diehl Automotive had three shows in the past and now this year there are six. We have several shows that overlap this year, like Dave Matthews Band will kick off the season at KeyBank Pavilion while Justin Timberlake plays show #1 at PPG Paints Arena. Then, Jack White will headline XEST at the pavilion while Journey/Def Leppard plays the area, and that’s just one full weekend of concerts. Mid July we will have a show of a different genre every single day!

Thanks again to Morgan Nicholson from Live Nation for being a Nova Place Influencer. If you don’t already follow Live Nation on social media, definitely check them out for updates on concert announcements.