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Sophie Perodeau: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today's Notable Young Professional is Special Events and Fundraising Officer Sophie Perodeau, whose marquee production, Zajac Nights, will be an upcoming must-attend for Vancouver young professionals. Here's why

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Special Events and Fundraising Officer Sophie Perodeau, whose marquee production, Zajac Nights, will be an upcoming must-attend for Vancouver young professionals. Here’s why…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
This is a tricky one, as I wear many hats. My official title is Special Events & Fundraising Officer, with my largest focus on the production and sponsorship surrounding Zajac Nights, our annual grand spectacle! Last year was our inaugural event, and if I do say so myself, it was a great success having raised $130,000 for the Zajac Ranch for Children. This year we were nominated by Vancouver Nightlife Awards for Best Charitable Event as well as Event of the Year. Guests left entertained, engaged, and with their appetites satisfied from a variety of exciting signature cocktails, wine, beer, canapés and food stations. 

In a nutshell, Zajac Nights is seven different parties, each filled with their own entertainment and activations under one very snazzy roof thanks to Debut Event Design and the natural beauty of The Vancouver Club, an absolute ideal venue. The level or service that is provided night of, combined with the experienced management staff who are with you every step of the way leading up to, make it a very easy choice.

Aside from Zajac Nights, I am newly involved with our Annual Zajac Golf Classic, with this year being the biggest milestone and celebration to date. Seeing as the Zajac Golf Classic is right after Zajac Nights, we hired none other than The Social Concierge, who bring you Diner En Blanc, Deighton Cup, and Candlelight Dinner just to name a few. The Social Concierge boys have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves for The 50th Annual Zajac Golf Classic, taking place Wednesday, June 18th at the Richmond Country Club. 

One of my most exciting projects has to be spearheading Anaphylaxis Week at Zajac Ranch for Children with my dear friend and Owner of Fresh Vancouver and Vista Magazine, Shelly Nellis. Our special campers will enjoy a fun and safe camp experience, being provided with meals free of top 10 allergens.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I’ve always been involved with my community, and was taught from a very young age the importance of giving back. In September of 2012, I was asked to join the Zajac Young Professionals Committee seeing as I am an event planner by trade. I dove in headfirst and took on responsibility wherever needed, which lead to accepting a position with the charity full-time in January 2013. 

I realized at a fairly young age that I had a dominant nature about me; I always tended to lead and take on a nurturing role in group settings – whether it’s with friends and family or in my different roles as a working professional. Event management & production was a natural fit for me, a very exciting one at that! Being someone that gets bored easily, I found a career that keeps me on my toes and keeps things fresh and exciting. Specifically producing an event that raises funds for such a noble cause, the children of today are our future; all children, those living with challenges included. Zajac Ranch for Children gives our special campers an opportunity once a year to live wholeheartedly, forgetting about anything other than enjoying themselves in the company of their peers who live with similar struggles. How could you not be inspired when these special kids are your inspiration? 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Watching my passion grow for the Zajac Ranch for Children as I become more and more involved on a daily basis.

Not that it’s a negative, but more so that it pushes us to think outside the box, finding ways to differentiate ourselves from the plethora of worthy causes is challenging.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself involved with the Zajac Ranch for Children, having met some of my fundraising goals. In the spirit of my entrepreneurial self, I will always have other endeavours on the go: events, PR, fundraising and fashion focused. Possibly even in a relationship that understands my career goals and desire to have a family of my own.

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is having accomplished personal and career goals, managing a healthy balance between work life and family life. Being able to say that you are genuinely proud of the person you are. And appreciate the path that you have walked to get to where you are today.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Our 1st Annual Zajac Nights,  on Saturday, May 3, 2013. This was my very first production – go big or go home! I couldn’t have done it without the support of The Vancouver Club, TELUS, and our Zajac Young Professionals Committee.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Prioritize what it is you wish to accomplish, taking things on one project at a time. It’s advice that I have to remind myself of often. Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly and don’t forget to live in the moment and appreciate those who love and support you.    

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?’
Why of course, my main focus clearly being with the Zajac Ranch for Children. I’ve sponsored a young boy from Sri Lanka and a young girl from Costa Rica since 2006. I also enjoy getting involved with events such as the Run for a Cure, having run on Team Christy Clarke’s last year.

What to you is notable?
Notable to me is being such an individual, business, or cause that is meritorious of notice.

BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Android; Samsung Galaxy!


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Photo by Pelman Photography

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