Jordan Nahmias: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Jordan Nahmias, who, beyond working as an entertainment lawyer, is one of the co-founders of Toronto’s beloved Open Roof Festival. What advice does he have for other young professionals? Find out in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Aside from my role as an entertainment lawyer, I am one of the founders of the Open Roof Festival, as well as one of the directors. With Sandra and Michael, I am essentially responsible for overseeing all major decisions including funding and financing, film selection, venue coordination, hiring of employees and volunteers, brand management, and so on. Of course, we all do this together and I wouldn’t say any one of us is more responsible for any facet than the other. We also have a ton of help and a really dedicated team that make our jobs so much more manageable.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Although I’ve been involved with Open Roof Festival since its inception four years ago, I became much more actively involved in the second season, which was in 2011. I started working with the rest of the team at ORF because of a huge passion I have for film and the arts, but also because there was a need for help at the time. Since I’d been involved from the beginning, I wanted to contribute more to the event and the organization.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of the Festival is standing at the back of the crowd, watching the band or the film playing and seeing people enjoy themselves – its incredibly rewarding and gratifying and I know that the city loves us and we love the city. We are very fortunate to have been so well accepted by the city to date.

The most challenging part is actually getting to the point where I can stand and watch things unfold. The planning that goes into an event like is this incredibly exhausting and, frankly, overwhelming at times. It’s all worth it though – as challenging as it can be.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I have no idea actually. But, in the context of the Open Roof Festival, I think I see myself in pretty much a similar role although hopefully with a few more people we can delegate too. I think that, given my skill set, serving in a high level advisory capacity within the organization while focusing on our business relationships, high level fundraising and our charitable contributions would be ideal.

What does success look like to you?
Being able to do what I want to do, with the ability to afford to do it. And of course, always with people I want to be with.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
My most memorable milestone with the Open Roof Festival has to be the night we showed The National Parks Project. I think it was the first time we had a crowd over 600 or so, and it was mindblowing. The weather was great, people were having a good time, and it was just a ton of fun.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be true to yourself, don’t forget what makes you happy, and try to forget about what you are “supposed” to do.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Personally, I support Hot Docs, Mt. Sinai Hospital, the UJA and a host of others. Open Roof Festival is a proud supporter of Hot Docs as well as MusiCounts.

What to you is notable?
Trusting your gut, following your heart, being compassionate.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I didn’t even realize that was a question anymore.