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Nevar Campbell, 34

A hospitality industry director learned early on that work doesn't have to feel like work.

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  • | 5:00 p.m. October 12, 2023
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Nevar Campbell, left, points to her mom and mentor Debra Murray as being the person who taught her that no job is too small.
Nevar Campbell, left, points to her mom and mentor Debra Murray as being the person who taught her that no job is too small.
Photo by Mark Wemple
  • Class of 2023
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Having a mom who worked as an on-air cooking demonstrator and cookbook author had its perks for Nevar Campbell. Her mom’s connections in the industry were great, and led to an internship shadowing the Academy Awards. Campbell’s biggest takeaway? Being able to find passion within a career.  

Early on, Campbell set her sights on event management and hospitality, which was the degree she earned from the University of Central Florida in 2010. 

“I knew I wanted to be in events,” she says. She picked up a job at Hyatt in Chicago, but it was more focused on hotel operations. “I was looking to get more into events, and less front desk.” 

Then, 10 years ago, she got hired with Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as a part-time event coordinator. It eventually turned into a full time gig and then evolved to an account executive position. She took a break from the theme park to handle events for the Florida Aquarium, but the thrill seeker in Campbell didn’t stay away for long. In March 2020, she came back to be an event sales manager at Busch Gardens, leading the team that sold services and events. 

The way she guided the team during and after the pandemic led to some records in event revenue, she says. In December, she was recognized for the work she put in with a promotion to director of sales and events. 

In addition, Campbell has served as both volunteer and board member for the Meeting Professionals International Tampa Bay chapter for several years, including a stint as vice president of finance, which taught her to budget for an organization. She’s also held the president role for multiple years, which she says helped her gain a leadership perspective. 

“It made it so when the opportunity for me to lead a team came around I really had that experience and was able to bring that to the table,” Campbell says.  

Watching her mom, Debra Murray, build a career on the Home Shopping Network also lent to the kind of leader Campbell is today. She watched her mom get her hands dirty. Literally. 

“Whether it was food styling or washing dishes, there’s not a task too small,” she says, noting that as a leader she lives by the rule to never ask someone to do something she wouldn’t be willing to do herself. 

But above all, the impact Murray’s jobs had really was about finding a career Campbell enjoyed. 

“It really showed me,” Campbell says, “that you can find passion in a career in doing what you love.” 


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