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Meet Ashley Mercurio of The Anthem Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Mercurio.

Ashley, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story starts shortly after I graduated from the University of New Hampshire. I had a degree in Communications, I knew I wanted to go into the events and marketing industry but I had zero related experience and no idea where to begin. I applied to several events and PR agencies and finally came across The Anthem Group’s website (which at the time, was just Anthem Entertainment).

I absolutely loved the variety of projects the company was involved with. I interviewed and actually took an internship with the company as a college graduate, while substitute teaching to have some income. I ultimately had two full-time jobs but the experience I gained from the internship and having to juggle my other job was great because I learned how to balance and manage my time well.

At the end of the internship, I was lucky enough to be offered an Event Coordinator position with Anthem and I have never looked back. That was almost 12 years ago! I have moved my way up through the company and am currently the National Events Director, Vice President, and a Managing Partner. I never fathomed the possibility of holding such titles and working hand-in-hand with the President of a company.

I have been able to contribute to the company as so much more than an event planner and from pretty much the start of my time with Anthem. It has been such a rewarding experience. I have learned more than I could ever imagine, met so many interesting people and have produced hundreds of really amazing and fun events.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think in any business/role, you are going to encounter some bumps in the road (if you don’t, more power to you). The bumps are a learning experience and generally what makes you stronger and better. Every struggle I have ever encountered whether personally or professionally has only helped me grow and learn more about myself.

I think when most people hear that I work in the events industry their immediate reaction is “that is so fun!”. Believe me, it is, but it is also a lot of hard work! There are sometimes 100-hour work weeks when there is a big event. I don’t see these as obstacles or even challenges necessarily, but I think there is a misconception out there that producing events is just fun and games. We work really, really, really hard – but we do have fun while doing it!

I think a struggle along the way for Anthem itself, which directly affects my role has generally been related to growth. As events grow in popularity and size, they become more complicated as they scale. We used to do (a lot) more events in a calendar year, but smaller in scope. Now our events occur less frequently but are infinitely larger. Each end of the spectrum has its challenges and every event is different as well.

Also, as the company grows, so does the management of people and management of other processes and responsibilities. As Anthem became more of a leader in the industry, there became more disruptive outside forces (competition, etc.).

Some challenges never change. Others evolve, and new ones emerge with age and scope. The key is to take them in stride, use the skills you’ve learned over the years to not only get through a challenge but turn them into successes and ideally learn something new in the process.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Anthem Group – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Anthem Group is a collection of internationally recognized entities in the live entertainment, event production, experiential marketing and hospitality industries. The Anthem Group is the parent organization of all Anthem-related properties. Among the marquee companies are, Anthem Marketing and Production, Anthem Strategy, Anthem Innovation and The New England Dessert Showcase.

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Anthem started as Anthem Entertainment, a specialized events firm, that soon grew to encompass business-to-business as well as public-facing programs. Today, The Anthem Group has expanded exponentially from its humble beginnings as a boutique Boston-based events agency to a multi-industry enterprise. This breadth of unique experience has propelled Anthem into activity in over 70 markets across five continents.

I am most proud of the community and non-profit work that Anthem does. Anthem is a for-profit entity and has executed hundreds of events for other for-profit organizations, as well as our own self- created events.

I love all the events we produce and execute, but there is just something so special knowing the event you are creating isn’t just about the glitz and the glam or what color linen will work best (don’t get me wrong, I live for those little details!), but the funds raised from that event are going to benefit an amazing organization dedicated to cancer research or to giving a child the essentials they need for school or to helping raise awareness for an underprivileged community.

Every hour spent planning and on my feet from the set-up to the breakdown is worth it. Every non-profit and community partner we work with has a special place in my heart and I get so excited to see those events come to life and hear directly from the people these events help and impact. I think what sets Anthem apart from others in our industry is our diversity as a company.

Not just our people and company culture, but the diversity of our clients and our events. No two are alike. We are constantly striving to enhance what we already do, while also taking chances and expanding our reach.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that Boston is a smaller city. I’ve been to New York a couple times and I’m always just exhausted after a visit there. Boston still has the hustle and bustle of city life, but it isn’t overwhelmingly large and just has this coziness and familiarity to it that I love.

My least favorite thing is probably the traffic. There are constant road work and construction and when one project ends, another begins and there is just a perpetual cycle of traffic that you can never predict. I may be headed to the city for a meeting at 11 am one day and breeze right in and then another day it takes an hour. But that’s Boston and traffic and all, I love it!

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