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Natalie Munoz

Special Events Manager at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, FL

Walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today?

It was actually a family friend, Dale Holness (current Mayor of Broward County) who inspired me to pursue a career in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. Initially my interest was in Forensic Science. I wanted to become a Forensic Pathologist and perform autopsies. I began studying chemistry at Florida International University. After two years in my studies I met with Mr. Holness to catch up about some of my career goals. After I shared with him my dream of becoming a doctor he told me that he did not think becoming a doctor was the right career choice because of my vibrant and bubbly personality. He told me my energy and passion would be wasted in an office. It wasn’t a bad thing but he just didn’t believe I would be reaching my full potential. Crazy how the universe works, a couple days after meeting with Mr.Holness, I was walking back to my dorm room from a lab class and I saw a sign that said “MMC 3303” which was a Mass Communication Orientation. I walked into the classroom and once I heard about broadcasting, being on TV, being creative, coming up with ideas, red carpet and all the cool glamourous stuff you see on TV, I was sold. Next day I went to guidance counselor and changed my major to Marketing. Senior year of college I partnered with my mother and helped her start her own beauty salon business, Amaryllis Hair Lounge. This gave me the opportunity to practice what I was learning. Today, we’ve been open 8 years.

In 2012 I graduated from FIU with a bachelors in Marketing and minor in Global Media Communication. One month after I graduated I landed my first “big girl” job working as an Advertising Coordinator at Seminole Classic Casino. After 6 months I transferred (not by choice) to Promotions and Special Events. Not what I wanted to do but I did. At the time the General Manager believed in cross training everyone in the Marketing department. I did not understand his strategy at the time, however I am very grateful and fortunate that happen because that is where I found my passion in event planning. This transition also made me well rounded in the casino industry.

During my time at Classic one of my mentors saw how well I was doing in events and felt I needed to work in the “Major League” (as he called it) which is working for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, FL and work under the leadership of Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Special Events and Community Affairs. A couple of months later a job was listed for Special Events Coordinator at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, FL and I applied. I interviewed with Susan and did not get the job. After a year and half working with Classic, I left to work for a slot machine manufacturer based out of Boca Raton as a Marketing Manager. Throughout my time at this company I did more Public Relations, Journalism, Online Marketing and event planning for major casino conferences like G2E (Global Gaming Expo) NIGA (National Indian Gaming Association), and OIGA (Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association). Then one day I received a call that a Special Events Manager position opened up at the Hard Rock. Second interview and I again did not get the position. Months later a Community Affairs Coordinator position opened up and I again applied. I was told I would be taking a step back in my career, but I did not care. My ultimate goal was to work for Hard Rock under Susan Renneisen’s guidance and as my professional mentor. 2015 I began my career at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, FL.

I am currently a Special Events Manager. I do casino related events, sponsorship events, Seminole Tribe events, corporate events and many more.

What were the defining moments in your life? Moments that made you decide you wanted more

One of the defining moments in my life was being turned down twice for this job. I wanted to prove myself. I stayed focused and persistent. I made sure that every time I saw a job posted for Susan’s department I applied. Regardless, if it was an assistant, coordinator or Community Affairs position, I knew my potential, I knew I had the work ethic to grow within the company.

What should we know? What makes you and your industry interesting? What sets you apart from the competition​?

I think that Seminole Hard Rock building the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel sets us apart from the competition. We are a huge attraction of South Florida. I believe this has created a lot of attention and is drawing bigger events to our property. With bigger events come more experience, more challenges, more exposure and endless growth.

Some of my career highlights are:

· Seminole Tribal Inaugurations
· Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ground Breaking
· Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Topping Out Ceremony
· Grand Opening of the Guitar Hotel
· Shawn Carter Foundation Benefit Gala
· Jimmy Johnson’s Quest for the Ring Fishing Tournament
· On the board of Young Professionals for Deliver the Dream
· Event Committee for YMCA
· 2018 Honoree for 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County
· Winterfest Boat Parade

Give us a few quotes that you follow from your industry that people should keep in mind as they go along the same path you’ve taken.

Some quotes I live by:

“You can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic.”

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

​If you could go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?

Nope. I wouldn’t change a thing. Those failures and hurdles were all part of my journey. There’s a reason for that. I was not ready, probably was not mature enough. I am a strong believer in timing.

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