Harmony Vallejo, Universal Events Inc. CEO Interview: From Communications to CEO
Creating a better future for tomorrow, that’s something that Harmony Vallejo has always wanted to do. As a matter of fact, she’s made it her mission to help support nonprofits and ethical businesses so they can provide their services to communities. Harmony has used her years of experience in communications and marketing to develop her own company, Universal Events Inc., composed of a team of impassioned professionals.
At Universal Events, Harmony leads a team of social media, communications, copywriting, accounting, and administrative professionals in a collaborative environment that allows them to focus on their main goal: providing support to nonprofits.
Harmony earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Youngstown State University. There, she got her start working for her school’s newspaper and played varsity volleyball.
Today, we’re asking Harmony about her experience going from communications to owning her own business and managing a team.
Q: What was it that inspired you to found Universal Events Inc.?
Harmony Vallejo: I always had a passion for helping others, and realized later in my career that I could use my skill set to do just that. All that was missing was a company and team that could help me actualize that dream. I learned that a lot of nonprofits and businesses needed help with branding and back-end administrative functions, and that many simply didn’t have the in-house resources or experience to handle it all. That’s why I decided to found Universal Events Inc. – to help these organizations get the recognition they deserve and provide them with support.
Q: How do you feel your prior experience benefited you when founding your company?
Harmony Vallejo: Having the background communications/marketing knowledge gave me really keen insight into what an organization needs to be successful. It made it so I could not only identify what an organization would need in terms of support, but I could find the right people to fill vital functions in the company.
Q: When it comes to building a solid team of professionals, what do you look for in a person?
Harmony Vallejo: I think the most important thing you can have that makes you perfect for a position is passion. When you really love and care about what you do, you bring a kind of grit that you can’t find anywhere else. You have a reason to care about your work and it makes you feel good to do it – it’s as they say: ‘if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I look for people who not only have the experience, but the desire to make a difference in the world.
Q: As a female entrepreneur, there are often barriers in place that can make it difficult to be successful. How would you recommend aspiring entrepreneurs navigate those barriers?
Harmony Vallejo: I think that’s a good question. Like anything in life, you’re going to be faced with obstacles. Working with nonprofits, we see a lot of people who are born facing more obstacles than others. I think the key to getting past them is not only by staying positive, but setting realistic goals and knowing when to ask for help. I might be the founder of Universal Events, but I have a team of people who back me up and help me achieve goal after goal. I think it’s too easy to think that you have to do everything by yourself, and that simply isn’t true. Everyone in this world needs support – that’s the entire reason Universal Events exists. To help others achieve their goals.
Q: For anyone who’s looking to turn their passion into a career, what advice would you give them?
Harmony Vallejo: Just keep at it. Don’t let anyone’s opinions sway you away from what you truly want to do. Take your passion and find a way to make it into something bigger. And don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way; it’s rare that any venture, in life or in business, goes off without a hitch.