Guests are accustomed to receiving VIP treatment when they visit Disney theme parks and resorts.
But who rolls out the red - or, in this case, purple - carpet for Disney employees when they travel elsewhere?
The answer last week was Lindsay Yates, a Niagara University senior from Gasport who coordinated the Disney Institute's training seminar in Niagara Falls through an internship with the Niagara Global Tourism Institute.
Yates, who is studying event planning at NU, had a wide range of responsibilities leading up to the March 15 session on Disney's Approach to Leadership Excellence. She created a list of deadlines based on the Disney Institute contract, restructured the event page on NU's website, coordinated the design of marketing materials and writing of press releases, organized volunteers, and served as a liaison between the university and the Disney Institute.
"Lindsay did an awesome job managing our Disney program this year and this experience will serve her education - and resume - well," said Roscoe Naguit, assistant director of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute. "I like to use the Disney program as a hands-on experience for NU students to learn how to plan, manage and execute a professional program. Plus, it's an opportunity to work with Disney, who may be the best in the business when it comes to hospitality branding."
Yates met Naguit when he came to speak during one of her classes in 2017. He mentioned he was looking for an individual to assist him with the Disney event and, given Yates' major and prior experience with the Disney College Program, it was a perfect fit.
For her yeoman's effort over two semesters, Yates was presented with a special Disney Institute plaque last Thursday.
"This was a fantastic experience!" Yates said. "I learned so much and received valuable knowledge and understanding of what goes into creating events and being a part of them from start to finish. I am so thankful that Niagara University gave me the opportunity to work with Roscoe. He was always leading me in the right direction and answering any questions I had. He is a fantastic role model.
"I am also very thankful for him recognizing me with a plaque during the event in front of all the guests who attended. It was a huge surprise - I am so touched that he did that, and it meant so much more to me than he knows."