After 10 years at Coliseo de Puerto Rico, Wesley Cullen announced she has retired from her role as general manager to join the founding team of a local startup called Spotery. SMG is determining the plan going forward and will communicate it soon.
“It’s a little cliché, but I’m going to be 40 in April,” Cullen explained, “and these are the types of things that as we get older we become more risk adverse and I was like if I don’t do it now, the chances of me ever doing it will get smaller and smaller. So I’m going for it now.”
Though she said she could have happily retired from the Coliseo, Cullen was ready for new challenges that she couldn’t necessarily find in her current field.
“I love it, but you have to do new things in life sometimes,” said Cullen. “I’ve heard it expressed from different people that when you’re working at a venue it’s very hands-on and great work being involved in making something happen, and once you’re a general manager, to continue to grow the positions becomes much more corporate. That’s not necessarily as appealing. I was very clear that wasn’t what I wanted, because it would be removing me too much from the action. So in terms of having new challenges, I didn’t see it happening necessarily in this career.”
Still in its beta stage, Spotery will be launching from Puerto Rico before expanding to the U.S. in February and then on to Latin America. Spotery is a digital platform to discover and book daily activity spaces. It will enable people to access and reserve spaces like a local soccer field or basketball court to play with your friends or browse and book a place to hold a seminar, birthday party, off-site or other kind of get-together. Spotery is a marketplace for municipal, university and commercial spots available to the public. You’ll be able to book the spot and pay for it on the platform, as well as get your insurance if the spot requires it. Soon it will also include access to all of the services that your activity may need.
“I love bringing people together,” said Cullen, “and as our lives become more digital I’ve noticed that people talked a lot about that hurting ticket sales, but in fact I think that’s made ticket sales stronger because the live experience matters so much more. We need live things with people to post on our social media. So to do something where I can work with digital without leaving aside bringing people together was appealing.”
Some of the biggest lessons Cullen said she’s learned during her time at Coliseo de Puerto Rico are you can do things people think you can’t, and you don’t have to be like everyone else.
“You don’t need to look and act like everybody else that does what you want to do in order to be successful,” said Cullen. “I certainly don’t, and it’s worked out. That’s part of the beauty of living in this day and age, because you used to need to. You don’t need to anymore, but it can still be a little intimidating. This is a business about passion, and to express your passion you have to be authentically who you are. If you can be yourself and are passionate and hard working, you’re going to be more effective and successful.”
And even though Cullen is saying goodbye to her position at the Coliseo, she won’t be gone forever. In fact, it’ll only be a few days, as she’ll be in attendance at an event there this Saturday.
“It’s going to be really weird, but it also makes the transition a little easier,” said Cullen. “I’m really curious to see what it’s like actually. It’s impossible to go to a show in your own venue. And now I’ll still know everybody, but I’ll come in through the front and all of that and I think it’s going to be fun. It’s an amazing place to visit, so I want to have that experience.”
Interviewed for this story: Wesley Cullen, email@example.com