Jim Ablard is a corporate event producer at JHE. He’s a good one, too. But the theater still pulls hard at his heart.
Since middle school the Maryland native has been involved with the performing arts and technical theater. In fact, his degree from Catawba College is in Technical Theater.
He and his wife Denise were married on the stage in the Hedrick Little Theatre at Catawba College. The wedding was laid out as a play in two acts and his bride actually had a costume change before the wedding vows.
And the honeymoon? “It was to London for one week. Since we both have a love for the performing arts we spent the week seeing everything from Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre to the original production of ‘Cats’,” said Ablard, a founding member of Actors of Tomorrow, a non-profit committed to providing quality children’s theatre in Cabarrus County.
Common threads run through Ablard’s JHE duties and his theatre background.
“I assist clients in determining the best way to get their message across to an audience by utilizing the technologies available to them from within JHE. These can include lighting, sound, video staging and scenic,” said Ablard.
He is one of the first points of contact for new clients at JHE and he says “understanding the client expectations when they cannot verbalize what they see in their heads can be challenging.”
Ablard and his wife Denise have two children, a boy and a girl. In addition to his involvement with Actors of Tomorrow, he is also active in the Boy Scouts and is a Webelos assistant den leader.
Q & A:
- What is the most important lesson you’ve learned at JHE? Being Flexible. Understanding that there will always be change in the industry that I work. Whether through corporate consolidation or merger, new technologies or even internal restructuring the end goal is to provide the best service to our customers that I can.
- What is the biggest myth about your job? I sit at a computer all day doing nothing.
- What is the insider secret to your job? The old sales mantra that the customer is always right applies to what I do. The only difference is that they do not know that is most of the time. It is our job to interpret the concept and convert it to an activation that meets or exceeds their expectations.
- What’s your secret to success? There are no strangers, just friends you have not met. I am always talking to people about what JHE can do. There isn’t a departmental division when talking to a perspective client. Sometimes pitching a NASCAR style activation will spark a corporate client’s interest for a trade show display. You never know what will draw a potential customer in.
- What is your personal definition of success? As I have gotten older the definition has changed. What used to be important had a monetary value and that value has changed to Time. Spending more time with family and friends.
Things People May Not Know About You
- My runner-up career (and why?) was… Working in theater. Still do as a volunteer for Actors of Tomorrow, a youth theater education program. (actorsoftomorrow.wix.com/aotnc)
- I start my day by… Drinking coffee and then I drink some coffee…..
- My ultimate stress reliever is… shut off the world and watch TV
- My biggest pet peeve is… “It cannot be done”
- I spend my weekends… with family and friends or camping with my son in Cub Scouts
- I don’t leave home without…my phone
- Compelling TV binge… DIY, HGTV, History Channel, Smithsonian Channel
- My most recent splurge was…A hammock
- My favorite vacation yet (and why?)… My honeymoon to London, England for one week. Since we both have a love for the performing arts we spent the week seeing everything from Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre to the original production of Cats.
- My favorite movie is… Blazing Saddles or any other Mel Brooks Movie
- My favorite quote is… The Dalai Lama — 'When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.'
- No one knows that I am… An open water certified diver
- Anything else interesting people should know about you?
My wife and I were married on stage in the Hedrick Little Theatre at Catawba College. Our wedding was laid out as a play in two acts. My wife even had a costume change before the formal wedding vows. We designed the entire event, Video projection, Stage Lighting, (3) camera video record. Everything was timed out in great detail until the reception. At which time we realized during our first dance that we had no clue what was to happen next.