Today’s Notable Young Professional is Kat Biondi, who’s currently in charge of special events for Toronto’s foremost AIDS charity, the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT)…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m the Senior Coordinator, Special Events at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). I manage ACT’s two signature events, SNAP!, which is a leading photographic art auction that is entering its 14th year, and the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life Toronto. The Toronto Walk is really exciting because it’s the largest of its kind in Canada and rests within a very strong tradition of using similar community-building events to raise money for HIV/AIDS.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
My first day at ACT was in November, 2013, after 10 years of fundraising and events management, off and on in the HIV sector. I’ve worked at the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia and at Positive Living Society of British Columbia. It’s an incredibly energetic sector with a unique set of challenges that I find stimulating and inspiring.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my job is that I’m always on the go, and I get to work with amazing people. The most challenging part is remembering to eat lunch!
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Um, ask me again in 10 years – I’ve been pretty lucky so far.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
That’s a tough one. There is certainly room for me to grow here at ACT and that is important to me. In five years I see myself doing what I love and accepting the challenges that come my way.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Needing sleep is a challenge that all events coordinators need to overcome.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Looking around the world, I can see that is not the case. Success is finding that personal sweet spot of the right balance between doing what you love, what needs to be done, and what hasn’t been thought of yet.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The first AIDS Walk I helped organize, back in 2005, at the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia in Halifax felt like a huge achievement.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
There are few problems that can’t be solved by staying calm and working really hard.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Burger’s Priest or The Burgernator for burgers, the Stockyards for fried chicken, or Sneaky Dee’s for Kings Crown Nachos.
Because all of those foods are amazing.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I’d like to say I’m shoulder-deep in a cool subculture like pickling gluten-free taco shells or whatever, but mostly I’m either podcasting, at the gym, drinking wine with friends, or reading.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Whatever draws me in – leaving my comfort zone just a bit; that exhilaration is what I’ll pay for.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
I’ve always been known as a sonic trailblazer so I’d say anything by Beyonce – because she is amazing.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I’d be working in an indie theatre!
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support ACT! The AIDS Committee of Toronto provides vital support for gay men, women and young people living with, affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS. I’m so proud of the work that ACT does in the community, especially our amazing prevention programs.
What to you is notable?
That’s a tough question! A better question might be what you can do to help.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I just got a Nexus after having an iPhone for years.
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