March 3, 2021
Name: Robyn Bass
Company: Maple Ridge Events, Cedar Ridge Nashville and WBEC South
Title: Owner/CEO of Maple Ridge Events and Cedar Ridge Nashville, WBE Products and Services Director with WBEC South
Brief description of your job responsibilities: Robyn Bass is a longstanding pioneer in Nashville’s event and hospitality industry. Working in event management for the past three decades brings a wide variety of experience to the organizations she now runs. A fearless expert in “life direction” redesign, Robyn’s current focus is strategic planning and organizational growth for her companies and as a strong supporting advocate for women business owners in developing programming and training opportunities for Women-Owned Enterprises through WBEC South. Serving on multiple boards for many years and a champion for continuing education within her teams, Robyn is a true trailblazer, coaching future leaders that grit, grace and resilience always prevail.
Cable Member Since: 2017
Current or past Cable committee or board role(s): Athena Committee
Why did you decide to join Cable? I joined Cable because I am a huge advocate for empowering women and supporting women business owners and entrepreneurs. I am at a time in my life where I want to give back professionally. My life journey has included many mentors who have helped me grow and thrive. I aspire to pay forward the guidance so freely given to me along the way back to those women desiring similar paths.
What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable? The women in Cable are strong, resilient, smart and community-minded. I have learned that women who support other women create a priceless community. There are so many intangibles that happen when we are taking care of each other, supporting one another’s businesses, advocating and empowering each other.
How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization? Cable is an excellent source for leadership and women’s professional advancement. It helps prepare women to lead and continue to move into leadership positions, and it connects us with opportunities!
What would you say has been your biggest career setback, and how did you get through it? I do not believe in the word setback. I think these are all continual life lessons. Let me offer some context to this belief. After the 2010 flood, my life drastically changed, and I was forced to make life-altering decisions. I was at one of my lowest points. But that was when I ventured on my own and started Maple Ridge Events. That moment of adversity turned out to be one of the best opportunities of my life.
I like to say I am a fearless expert in “life direction” redesign as I am currently in my third life re-invention. I am in a similar situation now dealing with the pandemic. COVID has decimated the travel and events industry, and Maple Ridge Events catered to corporate meetings and conventions. Our revenue has been non-existent since March 9 [of last year] when our last live event was in downtown Nashville for 4,500 attendees and took three days to execute. Like many others in my line of work, we have been in survival mode since then.
We are all doing what we must do. I am one of the fortunate ones. And here is why … One of the organizations I volunteered my time and energy to was Women Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South). Now I am a part of their team. As a strong supporting advocate for women business owners, I am now developing programming and training opportunities for women-owned enterprises through WBEC South and helping women get certified through our national organization, WBENC. I have a passion for the organization and truly feel a sense of purpose for what we are building. I would not be in this position if I had not become engaged in the organization three years ago. I am exactly where I am supposed to be because of the women who made up my circle, my community and the countless opportunities we have created for each other.
What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your career so far? In life, moments of adversity teach invaluable lessons that would not have been learned otherwise. Sometimes those shakeups (redirections) are exactly what you need to point you in the direction of your intended path. Trusting your instincts (even when they are hard), forging on and never giving up are the real character-building moments.
What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career? Get involved in organizations like Cable that focus on professional growth and women empowerment. These communities build you up and help you thrive. Become an active member. BUILD THOSE RELATIONSHIPS. You only get out what you put in. Do not expect more until you do more.
What was your very first job? I was raised by working-class parents and I held three jobs throughout high school. In the morning I went to school, in the afternoons I worked as a dental assistant (through a vocational program), and in the evenings I delivered pizzas and worked in a bookstore. I learned that in life there are no free rides, and a good work ethic is an essential piece of the puzzle.
If you had unlimited funds and could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Since the pandemic … I would love to go anywhere. I would travel first to visit family as well as some of my dear friends. I cannot wait to hug my loved ones. I am sincerely looking forward to real face-to-face interaction and simply connecting with my community of friends and family in person again.
Robyn’s Contact Information:
Robyn Bass, DMCP
Maple Ridge Events and Cedar Ridge Nashville / RMBass@mapleridgeevents.com
WBEC South / firstname.lastname@example.org