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2024 BizBash 40 Under 40: Jared Wilson

Jared Wilson, 34, is chief innovation officer and managing director of global sales for ABCD & Company.

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Jared Wilson, 34, is chief innovation officer and managing director of global sales for ABCD & Company. He's based in Rockville, Md. A quote from his nomination: "Jared's portfolio extends to collaborations with corporate giants, producing events for industry leaders such as Children’s National Hospital, PayPal, and Howard University."

My career journey: "My career journey has been quite the adventure, filled with unexpected turns and valuable lessons. At Howard University, I started as an architecture and interior design major. However, after my freshman year, I made a shift into the business world, specializing in hospitality management because I was drawn to luxury brands and the art of excellent customer service.

From there, I started a three-year management development program at Allstate Insurance Company. While the program covered various aspects, one of my early roles had me on the conference management team, where I got hands-on experience with large-scale events—think more than 10,000 people for a weeklong affair. It was a whirlwind of organizing, but it gave me a real taste of the event management world.

'Every day feels like a blessing because I wake up excited, and it doesn't feel like I'm heading to a job—I’m just leading an amazing team of individuals,' Wilson says."Every day feels like a blessing because I wake up excited, and it doesn't feel like I'm heading to a job—I’m just leading an amazing team of individuals," Wilson says.Photo: Corey Briscoe

Seeking new horizons, I went to Hult International Business School in London, where I graduated with an executive MBA, specializing in entrepreneurship and marketing. What made it unique was its global presence with campuses worldwide (London, Dubai, Shanghai, New York, San Francisco, Boston). The experience broadened my understanding of innovation and the complexities of global business.

Coming back home, the stars aligned with an opportunity at ABCD & Company that felt like a perfect fit. It brought together my background in sales, events, and architecture—skills I'd been honing throughout my journey. The role at ABCD is a great mix of building, bridging connections, and leading teams, all summed up in the mantra of 'build, bridge, lead.'"

My greatest career accomplishment: "It hasn’t happened yet. The honest answer is that every day feels like a blessing because I wake up excited, and it doesn't feel like I'm heading to a job—I’m just leading an amazing team of individuals. What makes it truly fulfilling is knowing that my work has the power to touch other people's lives and open doors to better opportunities. It's not just about the tasks; it's about the meaningful impact and the chance to contribute to creating a better life for others."

The NMSDC Annual Conference & Exchange stands out as one of Wilson's most memorable events.The NMSDC Annual Conference & Exchange stands out as one of Wilson's most memorable events.Photo: Noir Prism

My most memorable event: "The NMSDC Annual Conference & Exchange. It was truly incredible to curate an experience where over 60% of our vendors proudly represented minority ownership, and where we passionately championed community service, boosted the local economy, and embraced sustainability."

The advice I would give my younger self: "Dive in fearlessly, and don't shy away from being wrong. It's in those moments of being wrong that you truly learn and grow. In events, each day is like performing triage, where solving logistical challenges is the essence of creating a successful event. Managing those challenges effectively is what defines the outcome."

Impressive stats I'm responsible for: "Last year, we set a record by successfully executing 13 events, spanning both coasts from California to New York. We helped our clients achieve and surpass their revenue, sponsorship, and attendance goals. This dedication resulted in a remarkable 225% increase in new event clients in 2023 and a 100% renewal rate with existing event clients."


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