Rhonda Geary, Operations Director, Royal Ulster Agricultural Society/Eikon Exhibition Centre
RHONDA GEARY, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, ROYAL ULSTER AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY/EIKON EXHIBITON CENTRE
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
After university, I started my working life as an estate agent but, after a few years, I changed my career path and commenced my employment with the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society as a management trainee. I am still here after 26 years and now hold the position of operations director. This year we are celebrating the 150th Balmoral Show, a milestone we are all very proud to have reached.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE?
My day starts at 6.30am each morning and after the daily morning routine, I aim to leave the house at 7.30am. Reading and responding to emails is usually my first port of call and, after that, every day is different, there really is no ‘typical day’. I could be in a Show committee meeting planning their classes for the Show ahead or preparing a presentation for potential new Show sponsors or planning the various operational logistics of the Show.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?
I would have to say that is was the first year that we delivered Balmoral Show at the new site at Balmoral Park, back in 2013. It was manic with a lot of very precise planning, but it was very satisfying to host a very successful Show which was very well supported by both exhibitors and visitors.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love the variety of my job and the people I meet from many walks of life.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TASK?
Co-ordinating the internal car and lorry parking within the site during the Balmoral Show. It’s in such high demand from both livestock and trade exhibitors.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
A previous chief executive of the RUAS once gave me sound advice that I always take on board… ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE?
People who complain just for the sake of it; glass half empty people.
WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE?
I love horses and enjoy watching show jumping, it is my favourite part of Balmoral Show. I would love to have the confidence, ability and talent of those riders.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS/AMBITIONS?
I hope to finish my career here at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and be involved in the planning to grow and develop this site into a Centre of Rural Excellence.
WHOM DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
Not really one particular person, but in general I admire people who have the motivation and determination to aim high and achieve their goals.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?
I’d have to say the North Coast, I love a good night out at the Port! Or, if it’s abroad, I love the Island of Ibiza with its lovely weather and beautiful beaches.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT?
I love fresh fish, especially sea bass.
HOW DO YOU RELAX?
I enjoy relaxing and spending time with my son either at home watching a movie or walking our dog in the local forest. I also enjoy a good night out with my friends and a few gins!