Jackie, Reau
Chief Operating Officer, Game Day Communications

Jackie Reau is a familiar presence at many Greater Cincinnati sports and arts events. Before launching Game Day Communi-cations "” an entertainment and sports event promotion firm "” with former ESPN sports anchor Betsy Ross, Reau served as director of marketing at the Cincinnati Art Museum. She earned her bachelor's degree at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and recently completed the Harvard Business School's program in nonprofit management. Reau's clients range from ArtWorks to this month's Oh Baby! interactive family and child expo at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. She's also volunteer co-chair of the citywide arts festival, 20 Days & 20 Nights.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AT THE OFFICE? Delegating. I want to do it all. While I am aware that I'm surrounded by skilled people who are equally as passionate and capable, I want to do it all.

WHAT'S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU'VE TAKEN? Leaving a wonderful job with a secure paycheck at the Cincinnati Art Museum to launch Game Day Communications during a recession was certainly a big risk. However, I can honestly say that I have never looked back with regret.

WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR ASPIRING SMALL-BUSINESS LEADERS? Be happy. If you're going to work 70-plus hours a week, and you will, do something you love. Your rewards are commensurate with the passion for your work mixed with the freedom of inventiveness that comes from being an entrepreneur. Rest assured that your enthusiasm will be noted. And know your clients and colleagues will enjoy working with you.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE LESSON LEARNED? To stay attuned. Stay in tune with the world, your field of business, and current events. Read business magazines and books, watch CNN, and read the newspaper. Don't just talk about the weather to a client, talk about something relevant.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF YOUR COMPANY? The future of Game Day hinges on keeping our current clients happy in addition to building new relationships in emerging areas such as video gaming, grass-roots marketing, and niche sports marketing (that is, extreme and women's sports).

HOW DO YOU FIND NEW CLIENTS? By giving back. Find a nonprofit organization with which you share the same interests, and volunteer some time and energy. You will get back so much more than you give, possibly even a new friend or client through networking.