Joyce LaBriola

Top 40 Under 40 2012

Photography Pedersen

Age: 39

Job Title: Director of Marketing and Development, Citadel Theatre

Why She’s Top 40: She uses her expertise in the creative and business fields to keep the Citadel a forward-looking institution.

Key To Success: “Love what you do – and make lots of lists.”

In the year she’s been with the Citadel, Joyce LaBriola has been at the table for some big marketing changes. The theatre’s recently introduced tiered pricing and, through its new system of mail-outs and targeted emails, she has become the theatre’s most potent salesperson. So far, so good: The season-ticket campaign is more than $200,000 ahead of where it was this time last year.

If you looked only at where she started and where she wound up, LaBriola’s career trajectory would make perfect sense: A musical-theatre student becomes head of marketing for the city’s premier playhouse, with a side gig singing in the Edmonton Opera. But it’s all the stuff in between that’s less obvious.

In her 20s, LaBriola spent years commuting between her native New Jersey, where she waited tables, and New York, where she was trying to make a go of it on Broadway. After a particularly frustrating shift, she vented to one of her regulars who, at the time, was commissioner for the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). He told LaBriola about a job opening as a marketing assistant. But despite the inside tip (and perhaps because of her complete lack of qualifications), the job was offered to someone else – who turned it down. “They were starting to panic,” she recalls. “Then the accountant said: ‘What about that waitress girl? If anybody’s going to be able to multitask …'”

It wasn’t long before she came north to help the Oilers with marketing and licensing¬† their new retro jerseys. LaBriola says she was finally convinced to move here by all of the local fanfare she witnessed during an Oilers’ playoff run.

When the Citadel position opened up, LaBriola was able to finally combine her per-former and marketer personas. And on top of it, LaBriola runs the Edmonton chapter of the James Tolin Memorial Fund, a local arts-based advocacy group in honour of her theatre-school friend who died from AIDS-related complications. LaBriola is also in her fourth year with the opera’s chorus, and continues to act when she can.

Spare time? Who needs it?

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