FHS Alumni - Where Are They Now?
Guest article by Lauren (Putbrese) Carro
Senior Manager, Guest Services & Event Operations
Enterprise Center/ St. Louis Blues
My former high school basketball coach, and one of my first life mentors, Mr. Bobby McNeely told me during my senior year that I should look into a career in “Sports Management.” As a multi-sport athlete and lover of all competition, I thought a career working in sports sounded right in my wheelhouse. I also had valuable experience working for the Flora Schools Athletic Dept as an assistant to Toby Pearce, Athletic Director during my junior and senior years. So, off I went to McKendree University to pursue a degree in Sports Management. I also was fortunate to carry on my career as a student athlete, playing for McKendree’s tennis program. Without my coaches and mentors in Flora (looking at you Jerry Stringer!) this wouldn’t have been possible. After all, I thought I would go on to play basketball in college (sorry Coach.) Fast forward to the spring of 2014 and I began searching for internships in the world of sports. I had already moved back to Xenia for the summer when I got a call from the Blues to set up an interview for an internship with the Building Operations Department. A week later, I was offered the unpaid internship, and was very thankful to have friends in the St. Louis area that I could crash with for the summer! I spent almost a full year working as an intern, and learning the unteachable things about the sports industry.
So, what the heck do I do for the Blues now? I’ve been with the Enterprise Center & St. Louis Blues for 5 years! (Yikes I’m getting old!). Currently, I’m the Senior Manager of Guest Services and Event Operations. The main focus of my job is to manage roughly 300 part time Guest Services employees. When you go to an event at Enterprise Center, you first have to go through metal detectors, get your bag checked, and have your ticket scanned. All of the staff that assists with these processes falls under my umbrella. Then, when you go to find your seat, there will be an usher to assist you with that. That usher is also a part of the amazing Guest Services Department. Another key piece of my job is addressing security and VIP needs for incoming concerts and events. Unfortunately in 2019, each event has very serious security needs and the requirements are constantly changing and evolving. While most of what I do is fun and exciting, part of my role is dealing with angry or disgruntled guests. A few angry guests still can’t rain on my parade, because let’s be honest, my job is pretty cool! I get to be a part of live events (and Stanley Cup Championships) for a living.
Speaking of the Stanley Cup, as you can imagine, that was the wildest time of my career so far. Every single playoff game has an incredible atmosphere. We sold out the Enterprise Center when the team was on the road! In case you didn’t know it, St. Louis is a hockey town!
My personal journey to the Stanley Cup was nothing short of amazing. The Blues generously flew all full-time employees to a game in Boston and I got to see Game 2, which was a Blues win! We also got to participate in the Championship parade and rally. Walking down Market Street surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Blues fans was a sight to see. And of course, the most surreal part of the whole experience was laying a big ole kiss on Lord Stanley himself. What a ride!
When I think about future career goals, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. I truly love my job and feel extremely fortunate to enjoy it as much as I do. One goal I have is to obtain my Masters Degree. Eventually I’d love to teach at the collegiate level and maybe inspire other students who have a crazy dream to “work in sports.”