Director of Event Services

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)*, the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for UW-Madison, is recruiting for a Director of Event Services professional to join our Alumni Relations and Engagement Team!

As a member of the Engagement Operations team, the Director of Event Services oversees the event planning operation for WFAA, including managing a team of planners who support nearly 300 advancement events and meetings annually. Applying high standards and efficient processes, the Director ensures the delivery of high-quality experiences for constituents and positive representation of the WFAA and UW brands. The Director also maintains an individual portfolio of activity and collaborates closely with internal and external clients to manage and executes all aspects of their events.

Essential Job Functions:

Team Leadership

  • Serve as the business owner for the organization’s event planning infrastructure and operations.
  • Provide leadership, supervision and development to a team of event planning professionals, fostering a shared vision, acting as a role model, and demonstrating organizational values.
  • Educate colleagues and clients about established systems and processes, and work collaboratively to achieve shared objectives.
  • Manage the project work flow of events team members and ensure effective planning and execution of events.
  • Provide ongoing feedback and recognition as well as regular performance appraisals.
  • Stay current on industry best practices, applying them to WFAA events and provide informed consultation to team members and colleagues.
  • Monitor Key Performance Indicators and identify trends as they pertain to the work of the events team.

Event Management

  • Demonstrate a professional, cooperative and courteous manner toward alumni, donors and other constituents as well as WFAA staff and campus colleagues.
  • Manage and coordinate logistical arrangements for all aspects of on-site and off-site events and meetings, delivering outstanding experiences and efficient work flow.
  • Become familiar with organizational facilities and their use as event venues, working collaboratively with the operations and facilities colleagues on effective execution.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with third-party vendors.
  • Create and provide event budgets and work effectively within those guidelines.
  • Attend client/organizational sponsored activities and events to ensure activity is organized and participant’s needs are met, including after business hours and on the weekend.
  • Ensure consistency in processes and functions of event management across the organization.
  • Maintain historical records of event logistics, budget and other details.
  • Maintain, refresh and enhance the inventory of event-related supplies on behalf of the organization.


  • Demonstrate proficiency and effectively use organizational processes and technology tools, including the customer relations management database.
  • Work collaboratively with the legal department on the negotiation and execution of vendor contracts.
  • Effectively steward organizational resources and maintain detailed and accurate records of expenditures in collaboration with the finance department.
  • Respond promptly and positively to information inquiries as requested.
  • Draft routine correspondence and memoranda.
  • Suggest areas for process improvement and assist in making improvements when appropriate.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred or the equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • 5 + years relevant professional event management experience; non-profit or fund raising environment preferred.
  • Experience managing or supervising professional staff.
  • Certified Meeting Planner designation desirable.
  • High degree of proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Outlook) essential. Familiarity with event management, event registration and CRM databases preferred.
  • Direct experience executing meetings, events and conferences.
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking and problem solving.
  • Ability to multi-task, execute under tight deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Possesses and demonstrates a strong customer service approach.
  • Strong organizational skills, exceptional attention to detail, excellent analytical, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong sense of initiative and ability to work autonomously.
  • Ability to interact will with people of diverse backgrounds.


If you have questions please contact Denise Jelinek at