2002-06-22 / Front Page

The Urban Entrepreneurs Series…

By Gary G. Toms

The Urban Entrepreneurs Series...

Yamil E. Forbes: A Woman With A Plan

Yamil E. Forbes remembers receiving the entrepreneurial bug in elementary school. She recalls that her elementary school had an entrepreneurial contest for the fourth and sixth grades. Each class was broken up into teams and told to come up with business ideas.

"What was unique was that we had the opportunity to implement our own plans. Not only did our team implement a plan, we succeeded in winning the contest with our English Muffin Pizza business," said Forbes.

It was only natural that 10 years later she would graduate from New York University, with a double major in Marketing and Management and Organizational Behavior, with an entrepreneurial focus.

Forbes, a 27-year old of Panamanian decent, has resided in Ocean Village for the last 10 years. She is the daughter of Susana Ward and Ricardo Forbes, who are also long time members of the Rockaway community. She is the President and Founder of Event Prezentations, Inc. Her company deals primarily with full service event planning, which assists clients with the planning of their parties and special events. Clients are offered a location database with over 300 sites to choose from in the New York City area, including the type of location and scenic views. "Theme Décor" and "Event Coordination" are divisions of the company that transforms thought and ideas into a visual theme concept that can be used from the beginning to the end of any given event.

Forbes says, "Individuals are busier today than they were three years ago. Planning a party or corporate event has become a job in itself. Our service eases this process by providing all the necessary connections to make their event successful. When a client sheds a tear we want it to be because they are overjoyed, not overworked!"

A graduate of Brooklyn's South Shore High School, Forbes worked in the Special Events industry for six years handling theme décor for corporate and social clients before launching Event Prezentations, Inc. in 1999. She is also actively involved with the International Special Event Society (ISES), which is the governing association representing event planners and associated vendors (caterers, florists and balloonists) in Canada, Boston, New England and international regions.

Forbes stated that the need to develop such a company came from the fact that she was doing many children's parties, and soon realized that she wanted to do parties on a much larger and grander scale.

"I loved doing children's parties, but I felt the need to do something more, something bigger. That's when I got involved with handling corporate events. It has not been easy. The hardest part of my job is getting people to see the luxury of having an event planner. They don't realize that having a planner saves you a lot of money," said Forbes.

She strongly encourages children to look into event planning as a career because it enhances many skills that could prove useful in many areas.

"There are so many skills that I have picked up in this business that have definitely helped me. I've learned how to communicate, how to mediate, and how to enhance my public relations skills. It's really been a great experience," says Forbes.

The talented and charming Panamanian noted that she hopes to bring catering divisions and vendors into the Rockaways and eventually expand.

"At some point, I want to be able to plan events that will bring together florists, caterers, and lighting and visual people in Rockaway. I am hoping to do this with the help of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce. I have been talking to the Executive Director, Liz Sulik, to see how we can make it happen," stated Forbes.

The event planner attributes much of her success to her parents, and she says that her mother has been the driving force in her life.

"My mother has made me what I am today. She has been so unbelievably supportive of my career and me. She is amazing. She pushed me to be the best that I could be, and she continues to do so."

Forbes' outlook on the future of her company, and her life, is bright and upbeat, after narrowly escaping the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11.

"I was working as a job recruiter on the 24th floor."

She takes a long pause between words, as she thinks back to that day.

"It was not a good day. That's all I want to say."

When asked how she has been able to forge ahead with launching her company in the wake of such a traumatic experience, she answered in a soft-spoken, yet direct manner.

"I have come to learn that even when something bad happens, there is a reason for it. We may not know what it is right away, but there is always a reason."

If you would like to get more information on Yamil E. Forbes or her company, just log on to the website www.eventprezentations.com.

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