Hero Nation Spotlight: Live Nation Senior IT Projects Lead Elizabeth Edison
At Ticketmaster and Live Nation, we’re committed to supporting diversity and inclusivity for our employees. One of the many ways we do so is through Hero Nation, a dedicated employee resource group that supports our veteran and active military employees at every level of their careers. The group aims to promote a positive and supportive environment, while building community and offering education, networking and career development.
We spoke to Live Nation Senior IT Projects Lead, Elizabeth Edison, to get a firsthand account of working on Live Nation’s IT team in Houston, Texas and achieving an E-5 rank in the US Navy.
Q: Can you tell us about your time in service?
I proudly served in the US Navy from 1999-2007 as an E-5 Information Systems Technician. I spent my entire tour on the West Coast and was stationed at three separate bases during my time in sunny San Diego.
I started at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station where we managed all communications for the Pacific Fleet. My command has a long history of providing ship to shore wireless communications. We were the first to know what was going on in the fleet and it was our job to make sure we notified Headquarters in D.C. The Station became a part of Naval history as a worldwide Fleet broadcast member by transmitting the first news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. To this day, the command provides tactical and non-tactical telecommunications connectivity to local and regional customers, afloat and ashore.
From there, I transitioned to Beachmasters Unit 1 where I served with the US Marine Corps amphibious task force. It was my role to ensure that the Marines I was with on shore were able to communicate with the ship we left at sea. We would ride out of the USS Boxer on a LCAC (landing craft air cushion) with our convoy inside and then land on the beach. The LCAC is basically a barge with two large fans on the back that transports the Humvees from the ships to the shore. Once we landed on the beach, I went to work to get the communications up and running quickly and efficiently. I remember my Lieutenant telling me that our comm vehicle is the most targeted vehicle in the convoy. That is when I realized the importance of my role and how I had to make sure the job was done with zero mistakes.
Last but surely not least, I served at the Fleet Imaging Command Pacific where we would process all combat photos that were taken by combat camera personnel located directly in the field to be used for media, training and documentation purposes. This command holds a special place in my heart since I physically crafted and ran all the networking cables in the building during an upgrade. I am sad to say that this particular command was decommissioned in 2012. Although the location was closed, our Combat Camera personnel still serve directly in other joint combatant commands.
Q: What were some of the factors that influenced your decision to join Live Nation?
I believe in fate and what is meant to be will be. I was laid off by an Oil and Gas company after 3 years of service working as their IT Support Supervisor. That was the first time I ever experienced a lay-off of any kind. I took it real hard and packed up my family for a summer get-a-way with extended family that was living in Hawaii. After three months, we decided we would stop looking for employment in Houston and start looking in Honolulu. I remember swimming near the Disney resort, Aulani. My only thought was, “I guess this is it, Hawaii it is”. I sent one final thought out saying if I am wrong, show me the way. I received a call from Live Nation as I was talking with my family about getting all of our stuff shipped to the island. I wasn’t sure what to think since I didn’t apply for the position. The recruiter found me on LinkedIn. As we talked, I felt butterflies. The role matched my skillset and exactly the type of role I was looking for, I was literally in shock. When I flew back for my in person interview, the electricity I felt walking through the door was unbelievable. I knew I was meant to work here. Joining Live Nation has been, by far, one of the best decisions of my life.
Q: How big of a role does a company’s commitment to celebrate and support our veterans and their families play in your career decision making?
For me personally, I have seen Live Nation’s commitment to celebrate and support our veterans and their families first hand. I have not been the Hero Nation Houston Chapter leader long however, within these few short months, I have been able to see the compassion that Live Nation has for our vets and their families. In the military, we experience a level of comradery that is second to none. Going to work in the service feels more like spending time with your brothers and sisters rather than co-workers. We are there to perform a mission and we are all in it together. At Live Nation, relationships that have been forged show people truly care and will be there for you in your time of need. Having that connection and feeling of belonging is extremely important to me.
Q: How does your role contribute to Live Nation mission and vision?
My entire team works as a well-oiled machine where our goal is to provide the most advanced support with the industry-leading technology and tools. Our Remote and IT Support Teams are always at the ready which is in line with the Live Nation mission and vision for growth. As Live Nation continues to grow, my role will continue to contribute to the success of our IT Team, Joint Ventures, and Acquisitions.
Q: What excites you most about the work culture at Live Nation?
What excites me the most about the work culture at Live Nation is inclusion and longevity. Everywhere I turn I meet people that have been here for 15, 20, 30, 35 years and so on. That gives me such a great outlook on my long-term career at Live Nation. I have found my career forever home. That is one of the best feelings in the world!
Q: What leadership and soft skills have you brought from your military experience that have helped you be sought after and successful at Live Nation?
The leadership and soft skills I have acquired by serving during a campaign has made me the successful leader I am today. During 9/11, I led our 12-hour watch team during the highest pressure time to meet deadlines and handled operational procedures without error. The communication skills I acquired in the Navy during my entire service has helped me clearly communicate with people on all levels. I also handle high-stress situations well and can change direction at any given moment. With our company growing at a rate that it is, it helps to be flexible and to communicate even the most highly sensitive data effectively. We were meant to be.
Q: What advice do you have for a veteran looking to have a successful post-military career at Live Nation?
My advice to a veteran looking to have a successful post-military career at Live Nation would be to get in where you fit in. Your skills are valuable and can benefit whatever role you choose. You will find your place and there are so many resources to move you forward the possibilities are endless. The culture here is live and it isn’t just because live is in our name. People genuinely care here and you will feel at home.
Q: Thanks to our partnership with the Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) – who’s goal is to provide tickets to events that reduce stress, strengthen family bonds and build life-long memories – Live Nation has been able to give active, retired and reserve military members and their families access to the most exciting live entertainment options in the world. As a veteran who has experienced the program firsthand tell us a bit about who you saw?
While we are active duty, we have access to a ticketing discount system called MWR. When you become a veteran, you no longer have access to the MWR. That is when I found Vet Tix through ID.me. 311 was coming to town in San Diego where I lived at the time and I was able to score some great tickets to an amazing concert. I was recently separated so I didn’t have a lot of funds as most of us don’t when we separate. I really couldn’t afford to go although music is food for the soul so I knew I needed a recharge, so why not live a little. I had no idea until only 6 months ago that Live Nation plays a vital role in the partnership with Vet Tix. It is so surreal for me to now work for the company that helped me see a concert that I literally needed to boost my emotional state and now serve on the Hero Nation ERG with an Executive Sponsor who is Regional President of US Concerts that provided the way for me to go to the concert way back when. It is unbelievable and I am forever grateful.
Q: Which live event are you most excited to see this year?
With so many awesome live events it is difficult to narrow it down to just one. I would say that I am most excited about the opportunity to attend pretty much any live event that my heart desires. The best one by far has been Common Kings last year at House of Blue Houston. We were right up front and they came down after the show to meet and greet everyone – a dream come true.
About Live Nation Entertainment
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Media & Sponsorship.