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Jessica Stafford

Brand Specialist BACARDÍ / Live Nation North American Partnership at TEAM Enterprises
Jessica Stafford was born in on the Reno/Tahoe line where she grew up in the mountains. As a child she was either outdoors skiing and playing tennis or inside playing the violin. Her parents always encouraged creativity and made sure she was surrounded by plenty of it. Like many college students do, Jessica got her first industry job while attending college to study Art at the University of Nevada Reno. Also changing her major a few times before landing on a degree in Health and Wellness.  While finishing her degree, she worked at a fine dining restaurant and would often sit at the bar after her shift as a server. On these late nights, she’d chat with the head bartender who convinced her to give bartending a shot. After changing her major a few times and figuring out her real passion in life, Jessica got behind the bar and instantly fell in love.

Within 4 months behind the stick, Jessica did a competition to Las Vegas elites for her first competition and won. She quickly learned the importance of networking within the hospitality industry and decided she could learn the most with a move to Vegas. She started working at the Cosmopolitan, an overwhelmingly high-volume place that she credits for pushing her to her limits. Just being behind the bar wasn’t enough, Jessica took a position as a part time brand ambassador for Angel’s Envy. In 2014, she auditioned for a chance to work at the famed super club, Rose.Rabbit.Lie, where her violin playing skills came in handy as it was required to showcase a talent during the interview. After opening Rose.Rabbit.Lie, she helped open Giada’s while also consulting on the side and continuing to perfect her craft by participating in several USBG competitions.

Hungry for change, Jessica packed her bags and moved across the country to Miami, with her violin always by her side. She helped open a bar on South Beach, and soon became the Whistle Pig state manager. Though Florida is widely known for its love of rum, she was able to break molds and get the whiskey on the menus of clubs and in VIP rooms all over the state. Wanting to stick to her bartending roots, she joined the Bar Lab team at 27 Restaurant and continued to compete earning top 10 spots in Legacy and World Class competitions.

Eager to explore other areas of the cocktail world, she started working with beverage operations for large events with Bacardi, starting at Tales of the Cocktail. She eventually got a position with Bacardi doing events for Cazadores Tequila where she helped produce 300 activiations in just over six months. She learned everything from the process of promo events, how to get proper permits, to cocktail strategies that work in various markets nationally.

Today Jessica is the Brand Specialist for Bacardi Rum and Live Nation. A long title with a long list of responsibilities. After years of hard work, she’s found a way to combine her two biggest passions — bartending and music into the perfect dream job. She travels the country training the bar staff at concert venues on how to create, batch, and serve cocktails that are personalized for each experience. She’s learned how to work with the resources she has while on the road and has mastered being able to train even those that have never made a cocktail before, all while getting to listen to cool music and experiencing once in a lifetime events.

When she’s not behind the bar, in an airport, or creating a specialty cocktails for a massive audience, you’ll find her out and about supporting others in the industry. Through all her moves and jobs, her violin has remained one of her most prized possessions as she still plays it often. She believes her love of music helped her manifest her dream job, and if she can do it, then anyone can do it.

My Speakers Sessions

Monday, March 25

2:00pm PDT