Making It All Happen: Event Manager at Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce '18 Graduate

Sydney Cowles knows gridiron greatness is made in Stark County.

Sydney Cowles grew up just like many Stark County kids, with football Friday nights cheering for the hometown team. These days, her job takes her to the big leagues. It’s where she rubs elbows with the professional players who’ve made it to the ultimate stage: the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

As an event manager at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Sydney is living her dream.  

“When I was younger, our family reunions were always based around the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, especially the parade and the fashion show,” she said. “Now, being a part of organizing those events – what was such a great part of my childhood growing up – is really a dream coming true.”

This 2018 Kent State University at Stark graduate is looking forward to continuing to organize big events, such as the Fashion Show Luncheon, the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner and the Enshrinees’ Roundtable, that draw national attention as 2020 approaches. The NFL will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, with a centennial celebration that’s sure to kick off the league’s next century with style, right in the city where it was born: Canton, Ohio.

“I’m so thrilled I get to represent this great city, this great county and help make it the best that it can be,” said the 23-year-old Jackson Township native. “As an employee of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, I get to promote all of the wonderful things that our region has to offer. Of course, that means football, but it also means being a champion of all of the other great things happening.”

While majoring in Communications Studies at Kent State Stark, Sydney said she received a solid foundation in organizational communication. “I learned about events, social media and more, all of the tools you need to be successful communicating for organizations, both large and small,” she explained. 

Sydney credits all of the faculty with helping her excel, but gives special thanks to Associate Professor Erin Hollenbaugh, Ph.D., and Lisa Waite, a senior lecturer, M.A. 

“I switched my major because I just fell in love with Communication Studies because of their classes,” Sydney said. “And, Lisa (Waite), she helped me land an internship here at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, which eventually led to a full-time position. I’m very grateful to her for that.”

Caring faculty members – who propel futures – are a standout of Sydney’s academic career at the Stark Campus. “I’m better for what comes my way every day, and I’m ready to promote Stark County in the best way possible,” she said.

Whether it’s on football’s greatest stage, or a hometown Friday night, Sydney is one graduate making her mark in a big way. 

POSTED: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 10:31am
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 10:59am
Melissa Griffy Seeton