Monica K. Meyer
34, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Public Relations for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Norfolk
Business community involvement:
Something that sets you apart from the crowd?
Being vice president of a symphony orchestra at 34 years old is a major accomplishment of mine, and I don’t take it lightly. I think I’m different because of my ability to make what we’re doing with the arts resonate across generations. I work tirelessly to engage with the community and local leaders, to feel the pulse of the people and bring this energy back to the VSO organization so we can continue to push the envelope on creating and delivering meaningful programs.
Someone who keeps you motivated?
From an early age, my parents were the encouragers and inspiration for an appreciation of the arts. A huge thanks to them for taking me to countless music and dance lessons growing up—this really cemented a love and passion for the arts as a cornerstone of my life.
I’m also deeply inspired and motivated by the leadership of the Virginia Symphony and the many women leaders that I have had the pleasure of working alongside in my years in this business. I consider myself extremely lucky to have worked with so many motivational leaders, and it is a constant reminder of how I want to continue to empower women in this industry.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
Every concert, I am fortunate enough to sit in the hall and look around at all the people who are there enjoying themselves. I watch this unique, mind-expanding, sometimes life-changing, live musical experience and think to myself, “I got them here.” It’s my happy place knowing that I can positively impact the lives of members of our community.
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
Anyone who knows me, knows that family is a really big part of my life. So, moving away from home, leaving everything I knew and my closest family and friends was pretty tough. To start over in a new town, joining a new organization and needing to build a new network was an incredible opportunity but a daunting one.
Most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
Teamwork. I have so much pride for the teams I have worked on in my career. From my very first team at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to my current team at the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, it’s the people that truly make the workplace thrive.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
I would hope that I would still be doing something to spread music throughout the community. The arts are so impactful to so many, and I can’t imagine my life without being completely immersed in music.
What new idea or development are you most excited about in Coastal Virginia right now?
All the excitement about the future at the VSO—new artistic leadership, new ideas for serving our community, 100th anniversary coming up in 2020/2021. This community is growing, and I can’t wait to experience the new developments we have for the music industry.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
I think one of our region’s biggest areas of risk is tidal flooding. As our climate has changed, weather events are becoming more severe. Flooding accounts for more human loss and destruction than any other natural disaster in the U.S.; and, not only are floods immediately damaging to property and infrastructure, the lasting effects can be costly, result in extreme environmental degradation and even present population health risks. I’d love to see our region adopt an open mind on strategies to participate in the confrontation of climate change and ensure we’re prepared for this risk.
Where is your favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
If I’m not at a Virginia Symphony Orchestra concert (my most favorite place to be), I’m on the beach in East Ocean View taking in the sunshine!
From her nomination:
“Monica embodies the idea of genuine servant leadership. Whether at a symphony performance, in the office, giving time to other nonprofits or in the classroom, she is continually leading by example. She is always giving something—her time, her energy or her expertise to those around her. Monica deeply cares about the Hampton Roads community that she now calls home, and this is exhibited by the 110 percent that she gives personally and professionally each day.”
—Karen Philion, president of VSO