Your Network is Your Net Worth

Jess Pham Talks About Her Role at The Cargo District

When it comes to our community here at The Cargo District, we pride ourselves in the fact that we have a number of girl bosses. From Meg Ahrenberg, the lead digital marketing strategist of SIS Digital, to Lorin Van Zandt, the founder of MISSIO Hair, we can comfortably say that hard working girls are easy to find here (not to say the guys aren’t really successful too). A girl boss that we would like to highlight this week is Jess Pham, the Community Manager of The Cargo District.

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First, we would like to explain what Jess did before she became part of The Cargo District team. In 2015, Jess graduated from UNC Wilmington with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communication studies.

While in school, Jess had an internship with Kickstand Events, where she conducted prep work for weddings and day-of-coordination. A majority of the weddings she worked were held at the Brooklyn Arts Center (BAC). Spending a lot of time there gave Jess a chance to show the Executive Director of BAC how talented she is.

When she graduated, she was offered a job at the BAC as the Event Coordinator. While working within the wedding industry at BAC, Jess made a connection with a woman who worked remotely for COTERIE Company, a woman-focused coworking startup based in Charlotte, and eventually left BAC to join COTERIE as their Social Media Manager.

Although the startup ultimately failed, Jess was scouted by Tech Talent South to join the team as their Charlotte Community Organizer based on some of the connections she made through COTERIE.

Eventually, Jess wanted to make her way back to Wilmington when she had heard about Coworx at The Cargo District. Through the connection of her boyfriend’s boss, she landed the role as Community Manager of Coworx in Fall 2017. While at Coworx, Jess did an amazing job of growing their community and implementing systems and tools for expansion. She did so well in fact, she was offered a job to grow The Cargo District’s community as a whole. Now instead of growing a community within just 3,000 square feet, she’s upgrading a full on community with blocks of businesses, filled with opportunities to come.

“The Cargo District is an urban live + work district that is a place by the people, for the people.”

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The main thing to take away from Jess’s past is that she received all of her positions because of connections. As a result, she has become very aware of how important good connections are, and that is why she is such an awesome Community Manager for The Cargo District.

As Community Manager, Jess helps connect people to spaces and all that’s happening in this community. Her day-to-day consists of handling operations, leasing, budgeting, coordinating events, working on partnerships, and helping the community grow.

“Everyone here understands that you get further along by supporting others. It’s all about the community.”

We asked Jess how she would describe The Cargo District to a potential community member and she said, “The Cargo District is an urban live + work district that is a place by the people, for the people. It is the intersection of art, architecture, and innovation.”

Her favorite thing about The Cargo District is the people that it encases. She explained that, “Everyone here understands that you get further along by supporting others. It’s all about the community.”

Jess also loves being a part of The Cargo District team. As a small team of four, she tells us that they have the capability of moving a lot faster on certain matters and shifting rapidly to support change while having really open lines of communication.

we focus on building spaces that help people build their dreams.”

In regards to the future, Jess informed us that The Cargo District has a lot in store. Currently, they are working on Bespoke Outpost, The Cargo District’s first coffee shop to open soon. They also have a new collaboration station in the work called Port 15. Along with the new coffee shop and shared office space, they plan on creating more live-in shipping container units. Jess explains that “when The Cargo District team is thinking of expansions for the community we focus on building spaces that help people build their dreams.”

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Jess’s work does not end at The Cargo District. In addition to being the Community Manager, she is also a Broker/REALTOR®  for Keller Williams Realty on The Christian Cardamone Team, she is on the Board of Directors for Cape Fear Clinic, and she is an ambassador for Port City Young Professionals (PCYP).

“I have the ability to listen and figure out how to connect people to what matters most to them.”

A personality trait that makes Jess good at all that she does, is her ability to listen. She explained that “humans have an innate trait that makes them want to talk about themselves, and I have the ability to listen and figure out how to connect people to what matters most to them.”

Even though Jess has a full plate, she is not all work and no play. In her spare time she likes to do pilates, try new restaurants and bars, go to the dog park with her German Shepherd/Shitzu mix named Porter, and wander through the riverfront markets on the weekends.

She is not only an expert on community management, but an expert on the best cocktails downtown. If you were wondering, her favorite cocktails are from KGB.

When we asked Jess where she would be in a couple years, she told us, “I plan to still be here helping The Cargo District grow and look forward to continuing to make an impact in Wilmington.” Jess is an imperative part of The Cargo District team, and we are grateful to have her. If Jess isn’t a girl boss, we don’t know who is!

 
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Meet the Author and Photographer: Tori Gatanis is a Junior at UNC Wilmington, studying Communication and Marketing. She is currently an intern at the Cargo District and loves the fact that it is dog friendly. Tori is passionate about photography and loves to capture memories when she is with friends and family.