Getting To Know You: Amanda Fornator
In this edition of the Vertical Measures Interview Series, I chat with link masta Amanda Fornator about kidney stones, running, Internet marketing and her former career as Timon and Winnie the Pooh.
Michael Schwartz: What do you do here at Vertical Measures?
Amanda Fornator: Besides entertain Michael? I help build excellent links!
Michael: Describe the responsibilities you held in your old job as a catering manager and wedding coordinator at Sheraton.
Amanda: My main responsibility was to book weddings at the hotel, plan them and service them. On weekdays, I would handle catering inquiries ranging from social events to corporate meetings. Our number one priority was to ensure our guest was happy.
Michael: Why did you decide to switch over to an Internet marketing career?
Amanda: I have always been interested in marketing. Most of my elective classes in college (GO ASU) were marketing classes. I happened to fall into the hospitality industry while attending college, and never left. I figured, “Why not change now? I am still young enough.”
Michael: Anybody who ever used to go to Disneyland might have already met Amanda as she used to appear as a costumed Timon and Winnie the Pooh in the park. What was that experience like?
Amanda: It was the BEST job. Not only did I feel the satisfaction of putting smiles on little kids’ faces, but I met a ton of great people! Disney had the most intense training though! Zoology 101, it is not for the weak.
Michael: For some reason you find pleasure in waking up at the crack of dawn and taking a nice run. Tell us a little bit about your running career.
Amanda: I was a dancer and a gymnast growing up. When I went away for college, classes were so expensive (my parents were no longer supporting my habits) that I couldn’t afford to dance anymore. I bought a nice pair of Mizuno running shoes and never looked back. I could barely run a mile when I first started, but now I am running 7-9 miles, 5 days per week. Running is my personal therapy.
Michael: Last month at this time you were in the process of passing kidney stones. Why was this the most excruciating pain of your life?
Amanda: My doctor told me it is comparable to child birth. I cannot even begin to explain the pain. One minute you are fine, the next you are hurling over in the fetal position praying for the pain to stop. I like to think that I have a high tolerance for pain, but this pain was unexpected. My body had no way of knowing or guessing that an episode would occur.
Michael: You yourself do not have kids yet, but your sister does. Describe the special relationship you share with your niece and nephew.
Amanda: Oh geez. All the money in the world could never make me as happy as Noah and Baby “K.” My sister is the most patient and loving mother and it reflects in her children. Her kids are just dolls. They are more than just my niece and nephew, they are my heart. They live in San Diego, so I try to visit as often as I can, but flying there so often has definitely put a dent in my wallet!
Michael: What kind of trashy reality TV shows do you enjoy watching most?
Amanda: More like, what trashy reality TV shows do I NOT enjoy? I have a long list. Are you sure you are ready? Definitely the Bachelor/Bachelor Pad, Jersey Shore, Kitchen Nightmares, Big Brother (this is embarrassing). I used to be a Hills junkie – the drama just kept escalating! I figure my life is so bland, why not? I can live vicariously through them!
Michael: How many times a year would you say you lock your keys in your car?
Amanda: Since I was 16 years old, I have locked my keys in my car at least once a month. I think it shows consistency, others might see it as spacey.
Michael: Finally, what do you like about working at VM?
Amanda: This is a whole new industry for me, so the change itself is fantastic. I am loving the office, the people I work with, and the passion Arnie and Andi have for Vertical Measures. This industry is always growing, so I will always be learning something new. It’s more than EXCITING for me!
About Michael Schwartz
Michael Schwartz is an Internet marketing strategist at Vertical Measures as well as an accomplished reporter, blogger and editor. He covers the link building beat. +Michael Schwartz