Event Manager and Operations Coordinator

Posted 1/25/23

High Altitude is looking for that killer event-type that lives and dies for details and producing results. This job is not for the faint of heart, as neither is the special events industry. Long hours, lots of responsibility, and extensive travel are hallmarks of the Event Manager and Operations Coordinator position and are imperative to one’s success in this role. The ideal candidate should already understand this from personal experience if he or she meets the requirements set forth in the expectations of those applying for this job.

While we are backed by a 30-person team operating in Chicago since 1988 in the special events industry, our division operates closer to a start-up with all team members wearing multiple hats and committing directly to the bottom line success of High Altitude.

Generally speaking, the Event Manager and Operations Coordinator will support the coordination of operations across all High Altitude clients including event management and timing functions.

  • Organize and manage a national non-profit 5k run/walk series in 8 different cities annually including New York City, Chicago, Tampa, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Columbus.
  • Support operations for three additional endurance events in Utah, Colorado, and California
  • Assist Timing Manager with High Altitude Race Timing (HART) events as an assistant or lead timer, utilizing the Chronotrack timing platform
  • Develop, create and maintain comprehensive documentation within shared cloud-based software applications including event timelines, operations manuals, site layouts, staffing plans, equipment lists, event day agendas, request for quotes (RFQ’s), service order confirmations, and any other necessary production-related information
  • Collaborate with supporting services and expertise from Chicago staff within the parent company, Chicago Special Events Management, and with relevant third-party partners.
  • Provide weekly updates to Regional Director on progress, success, and challenges with a focus on solution-based communication
  • Produce detailed bimonthly credit card reports for business expenses
  • Secure and purchase operational items including but not limited to runner numbers, t-shirts, finisher medals, awards, signage, refreshments, gear check and goody bags, zip ties and other misc. supplies, and any other race-related goods
  • Determine third-party needs and secure services and equipment including but not limited to portable toilets, trucks and vans, ambulance, generators, sound, photography, dumpsters, light towers, forklifts, scissor lifts, trussing & scaffolding, barricades, tents, tables, chairs and any other operational support
  • Identify staffing needs, create staffing plans, recruit and train independent contractors for management and manual labor crew positions, process payroll
  • Secure necessary and desired industry certifications and sanctions
  • Support Race Directors in the coordination of emergency response efforts
  • Communicate timely with clients, sponsors, community officials and group leaders, and athletes to answer questions and resolve issues
  • Execute additional responsibilities and projects as assigned

Experience and Skills

  • Four-year college degree in Business Administration, Sports Management, or a relevant field
  • Minimum two years experience in event management within the endurance sports industry
  • Direct experience in planning a half and/or full marathon endurance running event is required
  • Minimum two years experience in a customer-service-related role
  • Driver’s license
  • Ability to drive a 16-foot box truck is required
  • CPR/AED and First Aid Certification preferred
  • Forklift Certification preferred

Additional Considerations

  • Positive and energetic personality
  • Passion for details
  • Operate with the mindset in which one owns his or her actions, expectations, and performance
  • Ability to work independently, multi-task, and delegate when appropriate
  • Willing to travel, work weekends and holidays, and put in extended hours as required or requested; travel will be extensive at times
  • Flexible with mobile office working conditions including home, virtual offices, airports, planes, coffee shops, and any other environment that allows for laptop work
  • Ability to lead small and large groups to problem solve and fulfill responsibilities
  • Comfortable, familiar, and open to technology including but not limited to Google Apps, MS Office, Apple products and applications, and race timing software
  • Demonstrate a high level of professionalism and friendliness to all clients, government officials, community leaders, business owners, vendors, company stakeholders, co-workers, volunteers, and event attendees
  • Ability to present calm and confident energy during critical moments and/or crises
  • Operate with a strategic business mindset
  • Excited to be part of a growing business and own his or her contribution to its success (and enjoy having this kind of responsibility!)

Time, Office, and Work Conditions

  • This position requires approximately 50% desk/computer work and 50% field work. This percentage split can vary greatly depending on the time of year, client needs, and certain key preparation times for High Altitude
  • Travel will be required 25-100% of the time depending on event needs at specific times of the year. Computer work to wrap up past and plan future events will be expected while “on the road.”
  • Weekends will often be required along with widely varied start and end times. A 12am on-site call is not uncommon.
  • Fieldwork can often involve intense manual labor and physically/mentally demanding conditions including but not limited to heat, cold, snow, rain, wind, high altitude, and anything else naturally or unnaturally occurring
  • Difficult decisions affecting the safety of participants and spectators along with the reputation of the community and High Altitude will be common and should be expected. The person in this role must be comfortable with tough choices and use logical, rational, and solution-based thinking to reach a resolution
  • Candidates must be able to lift 30 pounds on their own.

Compensation and Benefits


  • Commensurate with experience. The salary range is $50k-60k
  • Medical benefits after 60 days of consecutive employment
  • Proportional reimbursement of mobile phone service