Erin Buday originally planned to become an interior designer, but a major downturn in the industry took her in a different direction. As she waited for an uptick, Buday decided to find a job to keep her busy while she regrouped. “I took a hosting job and kept my eyes open for a new lead. When an internal event coordinator position opened up, I went for it.”
And she kept going for it. With the award-winning Garces Group since 2008, Buday is now the director of sales and marketing. The skills and interests that drew her to interior design turned out to be assets for her new path. “When I was younger, I always loved design. I took that passion and used those design skills to bring a different approach to the sales and marketing world,” Buday says.
Buday actively works to keep her creative tank full despite a hectic schedule. “It’s my goal to always have my eyes open. When I’m out at meetings, I’m not simply going from one place to the next. I’m out in the community meeting people, observing what’s happening around me and truly being present. When I’m in my office, I’m surrounded by young and fun people. Our open-office setting feels more like a think tank because we feed off one another’s ideas. It’s part of what makes our team so special.”
The people who inspire Buday make for a long list, and includes a group of women who lift one another up by networking and sharing their insights and experiences. Another major inspiration is Garces Group’s Senior Vice President Judy Moore. “She’s a leading factor in why I love what I do and want to continue with it. I can rely on her to mentor me through roadblocks and to figure out how to be the best I can be. She has so much experience and wisdom that she’s generous with.”
Speaking of wisdom to share, Buday has come a long way since her first hospitality role. Her advice for people interested in her field: “Listen to your gut. It’s amazing how often we truly know what’s best for a given situation. And keep striving for greatness. Don’t become stagnant. There’s always something new to learn. Keep meeting your goals and setting new ones.”