Throughout its illustrious history, Los Angeles' famed comedy club The Laugh Factory has hosted the likes of Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld and Jimmy Fallon. Now, Maggie Sargent '00 is head of operations at the new 350-seat Chicago club.
“It’s a lot of responsibility, but I love it,” she said. “I'm in charge of overseeing our day and night staff, from servers and bartenders to marketing to business development, and making sure daily operations run smoothly. I absolutely love comedy, and this job has spurred other creative projects I'm working on, including a pilot TV show drama about the dark side of comedy clubs. I am learning new things every day.”
Sargent’s experience in the event management world began at Winthrop University, where Sargent majored in integrated marketing communication. She worked for DeeAnna Brooks ’88, ’93, in the president’s office, helping host events at the President’s House and larger events, such as Commencement.
After graduation, Sargent became marketing coordinator for the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association on the recommendation of her adviser and mentor, mass communication professor Marilyn Sarow. She planned events on large and small scales for the organization, which is comprised of more than 5,000 Realtors. She then worked for an advertising agency and moved on to create her own agency, Pure Creative. Five years later, she sold the business and volunteered for the Charlotte Film Festival, beginning a group called Charlotte Film Community with a good friend.
“Because of my background in events and film, I was approached by the management of Tribeca Film Festival to be the panels coordinator for a new, multi-million dollar film festival in Doha, Qatar, next to Saudi Arabia,” she said. “I did that for two years and lived in a hotel with 200 people from around the world. It was awesome and provided me with a different perspective regarding doing business in a completely different culture.”
Sargent’s foray into the film industry led her to Los Angeles, where she worked for United Film Festivals, a management events site called Party Earth and her own company, Hollywood Hoopers, teaching children how to hula-hoop and be physically fit.
Her growing involvement in a Laugh Factory location on Sunset Boulevard led to a job opportunity at Laugh Factory in Chicago.
Sargent credits many faculty and staff members at Winthrop for her success. She mentions Brooks, Betty Triplett from the president’s office, First Lady Gale DiGiorgio, Sarow and William Click from the mass communication departments as influences.
“They taught me the value of making business connections and professionalism, along with attention to detail and business ethics,” she said. “I love and miss Winthrop, and am so grateful and thankful to everyone there and for such a great experience.”
Last updated 1/13