Staff Spotlight On: Holly Santandrea, Senior International Event Coordinator
Holly Santandrea grew up with a deep appreciation for the arts, influenced by the world-class theatre offered in her hometown of Stratford, Ontario, as well as her father’s affinity for classical guitar. With an Honours BA in Film and Communication Studies from York University, Holly started her career in the television industry with a focus on client services. Shortly thereafter, Holly took a leap of faith and moved to Canada’s west coast, where she had the incredible opportunity to travel around the world, working on conference logistics for dynamic and inspirational speakers. As a senior international event coordinator, Holly brings the knowledge, experience, and charisma she gained while globe-trotting to the Speakers’ Spotlight team. We’re delighted to put shine our staff spotlight on Holly today:
Did you always want to work in the speaking industry? If not, what other careers did you consider?
Not at all, I didn’t even know it existed! I studied film in university, and honestly thought I’d be working on location in the Art Department of some major blockbuster, rubbing elbows with people like Edward Norton, Jack Nicholson, and Kate Winslet. But after being in that industry for a while after university, I learned it wasn’t for me and moved to the west coast of Canada on a whim, landing a job working for TED Conferences with the speakers. Nearly seven years later, the rest is history.
Any advice for people getting started in the industry?
Get out and see as many speakers as you can. Seeing first-hand how moved an audience is during and after a presentation makes all your hard-work worthwhile.
Best subject in school?
Which Canadian city is your favourite?
Canada is full of amazing cities! If I have to pick just one, it’d be Victoria, BC.
Desert island album?
Oh always has been, always will be, Van Morrison’s Moondance.
Last book you read?
Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
Last film you saw?
I can’t remember the last film I watched (says the film major)–can I say the last Netflix Original series I watched? House of Cards! I never want to cross paths with Frank Underwood.
What speaker(s) alive, or who have already passed away, would you love to hear speak?
Any animal rights activist or environmentalist: Jane Goodall or David Suzuki, are just two examples. These issues are very close to my heart.