This article is the second in a series about SUNY Broome alumni at Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Click here for the first article in the series, which details the diverse career opportunities at the Tioga County business and introduces you to HR director Karen Shelp, a SUNY Broome alumna.
If you head to the alumni event Sept. 8 at Tioga Downs, you’ll be treated to an exciting evening of harness racing, great food, entertainment and casino games – and, of course, the chance to connect with your fellow Hornets.
Fittingly enough, the event is actually coordinated by a SUNY Broome alumni: Alicia Iacovelli.
“It’s been cool to work with SUNY Broome! It’s a favorite event of mine to work and to help out with,” she said.
A sales manager at Tioga Downs, Iacovelli graduated from Broome with an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and spent five years working in her field before returning to the Southern Tier and finding a new path.
“I book weddings, retirement parties, class reunions – all the fun stuff,” said Iacovelli, who has worked at the casino resort for the past year and a half.
A native of Pennsylvania, she tried Wilkes University for a year, but didn’t enjoy the experience and instead headed to SUNY Broome. Not only did its academic program have a great reputation, the college was 20 minutes away from home and allowed her to balance her classes with a part-time job.
She particularly enjoyed the classes taught by Professor Greg Talley, who headed the department at the time and became the dean of what is now called Business and Professional Studies division before retiring. “He was engaging, a great teacher,” Iacovelli remembered.
Other teachers inspired her as well, and she became involved with her peers as president of the Criminal Justice & Emergency Services Student Association. The degree prepared her well once she transferred to SUNY Empire State, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Human Services.
“I loved the teachers. It was a great experience; I wouldn’t change it for anything,” she said of her time at SUNY Broome. “I did an internship with Broome Security; it helped me understand what I was getting myself into.”
She landed a job with the Transportation Security Administration and worked in airport security for five years. While working in Florida, she realized that her passions had changed and investigated a career in wedding and event planning. SUNY Broome hadn’t started its Event Management degree program yet, or else she may have opted returning to her alma mater, she acknowledged.
She started working at the Owego Treadway before making the move to Tioga Downs, where she also helps organize in-house events.
“I think the end result with people having a good time is my favorite part – seeing people having a good experience while they’re here,” she said.
If you’re interested in going to the event, don’t delay! Register today; the event typically sells out.
Stay tuned for upcoming stories in our Tioga Downs Series.