Career Path

From Disney Performer to Special Assistant to the President at Ringling College

Follow Jamie Coffey's unique career path.

By Hannah Wallace February 6, 2017 Published in the January-February 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Image002.jpgb rjv3lo

(1996-1997) principal performer, Disney on Ice, national tour

“That’s when I got my travel bug. We played Madison Square Garden, and I was just like, ‘This city is incredible. I need to be here.’”

(1997-2001) events coordinator and assistant to the director, Susan Holland & Company Event Design, New York City

“I was 23 and working in penthouse apartments. I learned how to produce a full experience—flowers, invitations, the linens, putting color together, different grains of ribbons, fonts. And just dealing with the demands of wealthy people. We did the opening of The Color Purple, working with Oprah and her team. We did private events for Kelsey Grammar, Natalie Cole. We did the private birthday party where Yo-Yo Ma played—he left his cello in the back of a cab.”

(2006-2009) development associate, corporate and foundation grants, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City

“I worked under some of the most amazing fund raisers. Not only did they mentor me, but they let me figure things out on my own. It was true teamwork, and without any sense of extreme hierarchy or ownership.”

(2009-2014) chief of staff of the president, interim director of alumnae affairs, Barnard College, New York City

“Working under Deborah [Spar] changed my life. She is brilliant at building systems in organizations. I also ran her book tour and began traveling with her—China, London, Cuba. She made my world a bigger place.”

(2015-now) special assistant to the president, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota

“I’ve learned my strengths—I’m a cultivator and connector and I enjoy helping people. Larry [Thompson] has empowered me here, introduced me to everyone. I was at a luncheon the other day and thought, ‘I know everyone in this room.’ All of those relationships I’ve built in such a relatively short time.”

Filed under
Show Comments