LYDIA TOBIASZ ‘01
Turning education and a personal interest in sports into an exciting career at the world’s most famous arena
– Madison Square Garden!
Lydia Tobiasz, manager of corporate hospitality sales for Madison Square Garden, is responsible for new business development and sales of corporate suites. With over 90 suites in the arena, it’s her responsibility to ensure they are filled for over 200 annual sporting and concert events. Lydia’s responsibilities come with the demands of developing new business and strategic partnership opportunities while ensuring suite-holders are satisfied with their investment.
Upon her Roselle Catholic graduation in June 2001, Lydia enrolled at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. After a year, she transferred to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude as a double major in Marketing/PR and Psychology. She began her career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. During that time, Lydia also attended Point Park University, where she earned an MBA with a concentration in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management. Her time in Pittsburgh, which she intended to be 2 years for college, turned into a 7 year experience - full of country music, a Stanley Cup Championship, and, as a Giants fan, dodging terrible towels!
“I knew I wanted a job where I could incorporate my interests in sports and apply them to business. I was lucky enough to land a job with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where I managed premium client accounts and sales. Eventually, through networking within my industry, I was introduced to several NYC area teams and ultimately decided to work at Madison Square Garden.”
Following the Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup Championship, Lydia happily relocated from western Pennsylvania to manage Corporate Hospitality Sales for Madison Square Garden and quickly reconnected with the RC and Marist community.
She wanted to reconnect with people she hadn’t seen in years, and reached out to Brother Owen and asked how she could reconnect and get involved. “Stepping foot in RC after being away for 9 years was quite nostalgic! A lot had changed, but it still had the comfort of home.” She was hooked, and eventually accepted an invitation to join the Board to continue being part of RC and insuring its future.
Lydia is now a member of the RC Consultative Board, and sits on the Marketing and Communication Committee. She has played a hands-on role in the imperative need to harness new media/electronic platforms, and contributes her endless energy to serving the RC student and alumni community.
Presently a Manhattan resident, Lydia feels fortunate to live in a city where she can take advantage of all the opportunities New York City offers. She’s a fitness enthusiast and enjoys any time spent outdoors.
“I’m either on a bike, in a kayak, or on a tennis court every weekend. Whenever I can escape the city, I enjoy traveling to the Caribbean and experiencing island culture, live music, food, etc. I’m happiest in places where I can be barefoot – although I wouldn’t advise that in NYC!”
When Lydia talks about her proudest achievements, she mentions her education, career, and city life, but quickly points out that there is always room to improve and be better. Lydia strives to surround herself with people and causes that make a positive impact – knowing you have made a difference in someone’s life. “Having a supportive network of friends, mentors, family, and (always) humor is invaluable and very motivating. That is why volunteering is so important to me -- from the days of serving ‘bug juice’ at Esopus retreats to now aiding disaster relief with ‘The New York Says Thank You’ Foundation.”
Professionally, her goals center on working in a fast-paced, innovative work environment: “The sports industry offers a unique opportunity to explore my interests in other sectors of the business while still being in sales. I have the opportunity to work cross-functionally with departments across The Madison Square Garden Company, so every day is different and a chance to learn and grow. With three distinct business sectors - sports, entertainment, and media, I can collaborate with various teams within the company - whether in marketing and research, sponsorships, media sales, events - the list goes on. With this experience, eventually I’d like to work directly with clients or agencies on marketing platforms – sponsorship, brand development and activation.”
“RC embodies community -- selfless, genuine people who care about each other. We’d cheer for each other at games with faces and cars painted green and white, we’d laugh at inside jokes during that 4 minute sprint to the next class -- shirts always tucked in! -- and lived for days when the lunch ladies served baked ziti. While my team uniform isn’t green and white anymore, I still sprint crosstown to work – and try to keep the ‘RC spirit’ alive. There is an unspoken interconnectedness within the RC community that never leaves you.”
Lydia quickly attributes where she is today to mentors in her life, as well as her Roselle Catholic experience. One is Mr. Flannery from her RC days: “He’s one of those genuine, full-of-life, positive people you are thankful to have crossed paths with. He gave me that extra push I needed and that I continue to appreciate years later in my life and career. Sure, he let me get away with murder in class, but his class was more than a required course - it was life lessons. He’s a real example of what it means to be successful, but never forgetting where you came from and how you can give back. I don’t think he even knows how much he has impacted the way I live my life. ‘Live it up, Ms. Tobiasz!’ he would always tell me!”
While on the subject of Roselle Catholic, Lydia recalls fondly her best memories: “Friendship and lifelong bonds. Marist retreats at Esopus. Lions’ Pride. Bus rides to basketball away games. Our entire gym class hiding behind the track shed to avoid Mr. Kropa’s half-mile mile test. Never receiving my ‘perfect attendance’ plaque.”
“In my opinion, it’s impossible not to create lifelong friendships at RC. While many of my RC friends have moved away, we still remain in touch and are a part of each other’s lives. And when we do meet up for dinner in the city, attend a wedding, or send an email or text, we pick up right where we left off. And 9 times out of 10, we will laugh about an RC memory.”