(T-G photo by Jim Davis) [Order this photo]
T-G: How did you get started in your role there at the Celebration? How long have you been doing it?
Smith: This is my fourth summer at the Celebration. My cousin heard about the opening and called me because she thought it would be a good fit with my school schedule.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis)
Smith: I am a seasonal employee. I mainly work with Connie (Allen), which means I get to do things such as work with the corporate sponsors and the media.
I am also responsible for other tasks such as the center ring announcements, the Blue Ribbon Circle Club, and proofreading the official program and Blue Ribbon yearbook, just to name a few. I can honestly say each day of work at The Celebration is unique, and I never know what to expect.
T-G: Are you interested in working on other types of publications in the future?
Smith: As part of my PhD program, I will have to author and/or co-author at least two published manuscripts, so I will definitely be involved with more publications in the future.
T-G: What is your background/interest in the horse industry?
Smith: I attended my first Celebration when I was three weeks old, and I have never missed a Celebration since. My grandfather, father, and uncle are all members of the Community Lions Club, so I have spent several nights over the years working in the food booths.
Until four years ago, the Celebration was the only horse show I had attended. However, my fiancé and his family show Tennessee walking horses, so I am now learning that perspective of the horse industry as well.
T-G: What's it like as you get closer to the horse show? Tell me what it's like to be involved in putting such a huge show on?
Smith: As the Celebration approaches, work days grow longer and more hectic, but not in a negative way. The shows, in particular the Celebration, are the most exciting part of this job. I enjoy the excitement that accompanies the pressure and chaotic schedule as the show approaches. The entire month of August is spent in this manner, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
T-G: What have you learned from Connie and other team members?
Smith: Connie has been such a joy to work with these past four summers. She has taught me the majority of what I know. I am thankful for this because before working at the Celebration, I did not have a business background. Working here at the Celebration has helped fill in some gaps of knowledge that I had, which has proven useful in graduate school.
T-G: Tell me about your product and the process of putting it together.
Smith: Amanda Taylor is our Advertising Director/Editor, and she is responsible for contacting and working with the customers to ensure their advertisement page is what they were wanting.
Once she talks with the customer and knows what they want, she sends the information to our designer where the page is created. From this point, the page is proofed, sent to the customer for approval, corrections are made, and proofed again.
Once a page is proofed and approved, the page is sent to the printer company InnerWorkings. A book is created and proofread one final time before it is printed.
T-G: Are you from this area? Are you in school/graduated? What are your other interests?
Smith: I am from Shelbyville and have lived here my entire life. I graduated from Shelbyville Central High School in 2007 and from Middle Tennessee State University with my Bachelor's degree in 2011.
I am currently in graduate school at MTSU working on both my master's degree in mathematics and my PhD in mathematics education. I will also begin teaching for MTSU this fall.
Brittany Smith has been helping the team at the Celebration for the past four years.
-- Amanda Taylor works on the Celebration's yearly publication, The Blue Ribbon.