Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Alumni Highlight - Sierra Foster
Courtesy: Stephanie Lovingood
FOSTERING A NEW BEGINNING WITH THE WONDERS OF THE OCEAN
MACOMB, Ill. - Birch Aquarium recently welcomed one of our Sport Management alumni Sierra Foster, as the assistant manager of visitor services. Foster will manage the Visitor Services office, supervise the ticket booth, membership and visitor services' staff, assist visitor care in the event of an emergency, and resolve security issues.
The native of LaHarpe, Ill. is a 2000 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte-Belk College of Business, where she earned a bachelor’s of science in business administration in marketing. Upon graduation, she continued her education at Western Illinois University, where she completed her master’s of science degree in sport management in 2002. Foster spent the next two and a half years with SouthShore RailCats, doubling as the group sales manager and director of ticket operations.
She joined the Birch Aquarium from the University of San Diego (Calif.), a Roman Catholic institution committed to advancing academic excellence. The athletics department promoted excellence in athletics and academics. It was here that Foster served as assistant director of ticketing for four years.
She oversaw the ticket sales and distribution for seven Division I sports, provided ticketing services for non-athletic events on the USD campus, provided customer service for phone and in person sales, and recorded and deposited all USD athletic ticket revenue.
Foster brings three plus years of experience as ticket office manager, director of ticket operations, and group sales manager to her new position. Her responsibilities ranged from building and maintaining potential customers data in GoldMine, developing ticket plans, policies, pricing, locations and distribution for individual games, selling season tickets, mini-plans and group tickets, and maintaining accurate accounting records of all ticket sales and sponsorship inventory (such as invoicing, record keeping and deposits).
"Western Illinois was a great experience, and I learned a lot from not only my staff, but my peers as well," said Foster.
Unfortunately she has not stayed connected with most of her peers from her graduating class, but she does make sure she networks and stay connected to the industry. Foster worked with four different companies, and moved up in level of position each time, giving her a better outlook for her future.
Her first job she worked in ticketing and at that time thought she would become a business office manager. Over the years Foster has found herself and realized where it is she wanted to be. Some of her career highlights were meeting Michael Jackson during the SouthShore Railcats first season, and hosting the West Coast Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournament in 2008 at San Diego State University.