Thursday, September 1, 2011

Next Up: Casey Taker

Age: 29

Job/employer: Founder/president, Anytakers Sports & Entertainment

What she does: Arranges sports/entertainment travel packages for businesses and individuals

Background: Taker, a native of Raleigh, N.C., graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in agricultural business management in 2005. She moved to Nashville in 2007.

Career turn: Taker was working at an Italian restaurant after college when the owner of a sports travel company came in. “I probably mentioned that if I could go to Daytona (for the Daytona 500) and the Kentucky Derby, I would consider my life complete,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in sports but really didn’t think it would be my career.” The customer invited Taker for a job interview, leading to a two-year stint as director of events at Innova Sports Tours. She later was national events director for gamedaysports, a New York-based ticket company.

Going solo: She started Anytakers in 2009, with a silent partner’s backing. As the only employee, she uses her network of contacts to arrange unique packages for individuals and corporate VIPs and clients. “I want to bring, especially on the corporate level, new ideas for corporations to entertain their clients, new events they may not have used before,” she said.

Long-term plans: She’s developing strategic partnerships with sports associations and local corporations in hopes of expanding her business and offerings. “In five years we definitely want to have a footprint in the national scene and the opportunity to take things to a more international level and do things overseas,” she said.

Most interesting assignment: Arranging packages to swimming events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That later led to her helping arrange charity events for U.S. swim team members, including Aaron Peirsol.

Sports fanatic: She’s been to our Super Bowls, five Kentucky Derbys, five Masters, four Final Fours and every NASCAR race track at least twice. She also serves on the Music City Bowl Committee, is involved with the Nashville Sports Council and was the event coordinator for the 2010 Combative Motorsports Xperience Tour.

More than sports: Taker is involved with SOLID (Society of Leaders in Development)-Nashville, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and its small business council, and SYNC (Social Young Nashville Circle).

Career advice: “Figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it.”