Rising Young Professionals: Tigre Hammond

Meet Tigre Hammond, a VSAE member, young professional, and Member Relations Specialist for the Virginia Asphalt Association.


What led you to where you are now?

After graduating from George Mason University in 2015 with a B.S. in Tourism & Events Management, I hit the ground running with a few internships under my belt and became the Event Coordinator for a private restaurant. In 2017, I was led back to my hometown of Fredericksburg, VA, where I became the Event Manager of the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center. I am grateful for the experience, knowledge, and personal growth I gained in my four years of working at that venue. I owe a lot of my career development to Marlene Camp, the General Manager and my mentor at that time, as well as my coworkers, and the clients who I had the pleasure of helping. The Virginia Asphalt Association (VAA) just so happened to be among those clients I loved working with year after year for their annual asphalt seminars. They made me aware of a new opportunity at the beginning of 2021 to become their Member Relations Specialist. Since I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, I graciously accepted the position and started last April. Prior to entering the association industry, I had only really been on the venue side of event management. It’s been an eye-opening change and is helping me round out my experience and professional growth now that I’m on the “client” side of things. 

Do you have a mentor? If so, what’s a lesson they’ve taught you that you’d want to pass on to others?

I admit I’ve had many mentors throughout my life personally and professionally, but I’d like to give credit to the constant mentors in my life – my parents. They are both hard working, totally dedicated individuals and have taught me to be the same. A lesson that I have learned just by watching both of them thrive in their own careers, is to never settle and always keep striving to be better than you were the day before. 

What motivates you at work?

I am motivated by exceeding expectations and growing professionally within my role in the organization. I believe that if you’re not pushing yourself and growing within your job, you’re only committing a disservice to yourself. Also, making people happy is a big motivator of mine. Being in my position of Member Relations Specialist, I strive to keep the members happy – especially while attending events I’ve planned. 

What are your career aspirations?

Since I am new to the association industry, I really want to stick it out and get as much experience and knowledge in this role as I can. Whether that’s the next 5, 10 or 20 years, I hope to make an impact in whatever role I play. I also plan to get my CMP and my CAE in the upcoming years, as well as continue to increase my skills with creative graphic design.  

If you could give advice to other young professionals in our industry, what would it be?

In a world that is always changing, remember to be flexible and adaptable. Just look at our society and what the pandemic has done to so many industries, including ours. We must always have a flexible mind, and a plan B in our back pocket. Don’t be afraid to learn new skills or take on other responsibilities. You never know how your company may evolve in the future and how your role may change as well.  

How has VSAE impacted your career development?

Although I’ve only been a member of VSAE since April, it has already impacted my career development and personal growth in many ways within that short amount of time. Being able to attend educational sessions and numerous networking events, my eyes have truly been opened to what is possible within this industry. I’ve been introduced to so many like-minded professionals because of VSAE. The relationships and opportunities that come out of being a member are so valuable and I’m grateful to be a part of it.  

What was the last great piece of advice you received?

To say what I mean and mean what I say! Meaning speak up and stand firm behind my words. I have a tendency to be on the quieter side, so I’m not the first to speak up and share my opinion. However, when I do speak, I know in the back of my mind I must be confident and direct. Staying quiet isn’t always a bad thing, but we have voices for a reason. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work I love to spend time with my husband, our dog, family, and friends. Our family is big into game nights, and they’re usually always hosted at my house. I enjoy opening up my home to allow the love and laughter to soar through it. I am very much an extroverted introvert though. I love when everyone gathers and has a great time being social, but I also appreciate my alone time to recharge and binge on Netflix shows. I also have a huge passion for dancing. Anytime I get the chance to move freely and dance my heart out, I’m the happiest girl.   

What’s on your music playlist?

If someone shuffled through my iTunes playlist, they would probably be surprised by the many genres of music I listen to. I’ve never been the type to have a favorite music, food, movie, etc. It’s hard for me to pick just one thing out of so many options. So, I listen to whatever makes me happy. It can be pop, country, rap, hard rock, 80s, Christian, Latin, metal, R&B, whatever. I love it all. I believe that variety is the spice of life. 

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