It's November! Time for pumpkin spice lattes, Thanksgiving dinner, and the spectacular site of thousands of cyclists riding through the streets of Tucson for El Tour de Tucson. This flagship event is held annually by Perimeter Bicycling Association of America on weekend before Thanksgiving. As the Director of Business Development, for Perimeter Bicycling, Christiana Benson works with Tucson's community business leaders to raise funds and bring this event to life.
As the largest cycling event in the United States, Christiana has found El Tour de Tucson to be a powerful platform with a significant financial impact on our community. Not only does this event bring visitors from around the world to Tucson, many nonprofits use this platform to raise both funds and awareness for their important causes. Christiana talks with local leaders and businesses about their work with nonprofits and how they can come together to make a difference. Last year these nonprofits raised more than $4 million!
Christiana's entrance into sports marketing began in the early 1990's as a Creative Director for a marketing firm responsible for bringing the Senior Olympics to Tucson. With twenty years of Sales and Marketing experience , she has had roles as a consultant for companies like Carma-Labs, Guthy-Renker, and QVC. Additionally, Christiana works to continue her family's legacy, working on exhibits with UCSB, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum, and the Makeup Museum in NYC. Christiana has brought a product to market called Carmex Moisture Plus and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, awarded to her family in 2008. She is also in the process of working on a documentary for Netflix.
While speaking with community and business leaders about El Tour de Tucson, Christiana enjoys the opportunity to work alongside other female executives in Southern Arizona - CEO's, Presidents, and leaders of businesses that employ hundreds, if not thousands, of people. She describes these women leaders as effective communicators, competent, humble, moral, and self-aware. Christiana has been working to start the conversation about female leadership at El Tour de Tucson, "I'd like for more young women to see these leaders and what they are doing in our community to take their businesses and their teams to new heights. We need to inspire young ladies so that they know that they are limitless."
Christiana credits Charlene Grabowski, former CEO of Perimeter Bicycling, for empowering her to be courageous in her role as a Development Director, "Her guidance helped give me the confidence I needed to trust my instincts so I could make a real difference in this community." She aims to inspire courage in young women - courage to take risks and not be held back by fear of failure or the expectation of perfection.
I'd like for more young women to know that expecting perfection is a slippery slope- you will experience setbacks and struggles, it's how you recover and learn from those moments that will prove to give you the advantage. Practice gratitude in all that you set out to do. Take the risks and go for the project or job that you want. It is always possible to pivot if you make a career choice that is not the right fit for you.
Thank you, Christiana, for your work to bring positive change to our community and to #BreaktheBias!