Lead Event Planner

Welcome to Ross Stores, Inc., where our differences make us stronger… At Ross and dd’s, inclusion is a way of life. We care about our Associates and the communities we serve and we value their differences. We are committed to building diverse teams and an inclusive culture. We respect and celebrate the diversity of backgrounds, identities, and ideas of those who work and shop with us. Come join us as we continue our diversity, equality and inclusion journey!

GENERAL PURPOSE:

The Lead Event Planner is responsible for planning and managing senior leader offsite meetings and major Associate and vendor engagement activities across the Buying Offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston and supporting major offsite HR meetings.

This individual is accountable for managing all aspects of Ross and dd's DISCOUNTS vendor entertainment and events on both the east and west coasts. Deliver exceptional experiences aligned with business goals while negotiating the best possible pricing with venues and suppliers and influencing business partners to make budget-conscious decisions.

The Lead Event Planner is the lead point of contact for researching, negotiating contracts, and interfacing with offsite meeting venues, production companies, business leaders, and communications team members to deliver large employee meetings and vendor experiences and is Ross' lead representative with the Yankees and Madison Square Garden account managers.

This position requires a highly organized and energetic individual who is able to manage multiple projects simultaneously and can easily adapt to last-minute changes or unexpected requests. This individual must have strong negotiating, relationship-building, and communications skills and is comfortable interfacing with all levels of people across the organization and external vendors.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

Associate Engagement & Event Management:

• Manage all logistical aspects of large Associate meetings (100-2,000 attendees), Town Halls, and Quarterly Divisional meetings on behalf of CEO, Merchandising Presidents & Planning EVP, including sourcing, negotiating, and contracting meeting space, A/V/production, food & beverage, rental equipment, giveaways, etc. Develop detailed project plans to ensure all work streams for each meeting are on track.

• Liaison between the business leader/group and venue/production company to ensure meeting requirements are clearly defined so the right services, logistical details, food & beverage and audio-visual equipment needs are secured. Utilize intake form to gather this information in advance to ensure ongoing alignment and effectively track change requests.

• Provide event management support for external Functional offsite meetings and events, including quarterly Town Halls and Extended Leadership meetings. Develop and manage project plan, interface with Corporate leaders and project team members, identify/ resolve potential issues to ensure all aspects of the meeting run smoothly.

• Assist in planning and management of Company Corporate Challenge and Yankee Family Day including logistics and communications.

• Serve as the on-site point of contact on the day of the event for the business leader/group and venue & production staff.

• Reconcile all vendor billing and ensure that invoices are paid promptly

Vendor Engagement & Events:

• Manage all aspects of Buying Office Golf Outing, including development of vendor list/invitations, gifts, golf/spa logistics and food/beverage. Work closely with LABO HR team and senior merchants and interface directly with Buying Office key vendors to deliver an exceptional end-to-end experience. Make recommendations to keep experience fresh. Work closely with Ross' Travel Department to obtain optimal pricing on hotel, transportation, and other travel-related needs as needed.

• Manage all aspects of the PGA Golf event (and or Ross-hosted golf event the east coast), working closely with the CEO's office and merchandising Presidents for Ross and dd's. This includes contract negotiation with the PGA and interfacing with senior merchants to determine vendor guests, gift selection, food & beverage and event day management.

• Manage ticket distribution, food & beverage and budget for Madison Square Garden suite and Yankee Stadium Legends box. Work closely with CEO and Buying Office senior merchants to ensure effective use of tickets for vendor entertainment.
o Communicate weekly with senior merchants to facilitate requests and ensure usage of the suite is consistent with policy, managing exceptions as necessary.
o Track and provide detailed summary of usage for Tax/Audit purposes, credit card reconciliation and detailed budget management.

Event Budget and Contract Management:

• Drive annual budget planning; maintain budgets for every event and ensure proper escalation to decision makers as needed during the event planning process

• Partner with Strategic Sourcing to drive annual and multi-year contract negotiations with key vendors (Madison Square Garden, Yankees, Golf vendors).

COMPETENCIES:

People:

• Building Effect Teams (for managers of People and Projects)

• Developing Talent (for managers of people only, N/A for this role/level)

• Collaboration

Self:

• Leading by Example

• Communicates Effectively

• Ensures Accountability and Execution

• Manages Conflict

Business:

• Business Acumen

• Plans, Aligns and Prioritizes

• Organizational Agility

With particular emphasis on the following specific position-related competencies:

• Customer Focus

• Planning/Organizing

• Drive for Results

• Dealing with Ambiguity

• Creativity

• Decision making/Problem-solving

QUALIFICATIONS AND SPECIAL SKILLS REQUIRED:

• BA/BS degree

• 5-10 years of relevant experience knowledge, skills and abilities

• Minimum of 5 years' experience in event planning or corporate entertainment programs

• Strong judgment and interpersonal skills and ability to build personal credibility and trust with senior leaders and external parties, including our business vendors

• Outstanding project management skills; ability to track projects with varying deadlines.

• Must demonstrate flexibility and composure to be able to act quickly and confidently.

• Ability to manage sensitive situations discreetly.

• Strong organizational skills with the ability to juggle changing priorities in a fast-paced environment and problem solve

• Excellent Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint skills

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/ADA:

• Job requires ability to work in an office environment, primarily on a computer.

• Requires sitting, standing, walking, hearing, talking on the telephone, attending in-person meetings, typing, and working with paper/files, etc.

• Consistent timeliness and regular attendance.

• Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

• This role requires regular in-office presence, including to engage in in-person team interaction, meetings and collaboration, and client support. However, this role can perform duties effectively using a combination of in-office and remote work.

DISCLAIMER:

This job description is a summary of the primary duties and responsibilities of the job and position. It is not intended to be a comprehensive or all-inclusive listing of duties and responsibilities. Contents are subject to change at management's discretion.

Ross is an equal employment opportunity employer. We consider individuals for employment or promotion according to their skills, abilities and experience. We believe that it is an essential part of the Company's overall commitment to attract, hire and develop a strong, talented and diverse workforce. Ross is committed to complying with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, age, national origin, ancestry, physical, mental or developmental disability, sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding), veteran status, military status, marital or registered domestic partnership status, medical condition (including cancer or genetic characteristics), genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, as well as any other category protected by federal, state or local laws.