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  • Taylor Nakakihara

I love Sun Outdoors + Palm Creek!

Last fall, I interviewed and was offered the Marketing Coordinator position at Palm Creek Resorts and Residences here in Casa Grande. I started in January, and am loving it.

Taylor Nakakihara and Palm Creek Water Bottle
Me on Day 1

This is the first Marketing title I have held, and it feels amazing to have over a decade of self-taught skill-building validated by being hired for this role. I get to use InDesign and Illustrator every day, and it feels so cool to be fully employed by my creativity. I have very few meetings, am not shackled to my desk or inbox, and am encouraged to get up and move around the property.

Remember when the Apple App Store slogan was “There’s an app for that”? I get that feeling at least once a week here, whether it be getting to use my DJI Osmo gimbal or my Pivo pod, knowing about a service or app that solves a need, etc. I’m so excited to get to use so many different parts of my knowledge and skills and tools, and even more grateful that I am heard and my opinion is valued.

It’s the perfect balance of data and creativity. Maybe this is nerdy, but I am so excited to better understand the data that guides marketing decisions. I also don’t hate the opportunity to train with industry-standard programs like Salesforce and Google Analytics - we love opportunities to strengthen the ole resume even if I plan to stay with Sun Outdoors until they drag me out by the ankles.

Are you a Salesforce Trailblazer? Lets follow each other!

It’s a little weird to be a sole Marketing human on the property but it's mostly a win. There are no set precedents for how something should be done, just brand guidelines. There are also only 2 other humans with my position in the company - hello built-in trailblazer and early adopter opportunity! I do hope that I get the opportunity to visit with my team in Michigan and actually meet my manager in person one day.

I am respected and trusted to manage my time myself, and I am hourly, not salaried. Being trusted that I am an adult and will work full-time without having someone breathing down my neck about it is really empowering, and being able to earn OT makes it a lot less painful if I end up having to work more than 40 hours in a week. It also gives me room for the celiac-based tummy troubles I sometimes have in the morning - no one here cares if I’m a little late and needed a little more time to get rolling, because its known that I always make up the time in the end.

Person holding an award plaque
Me & Palm Creek's Award

It doesn’t surprise me that I, a former cheerleader, am excelling in this role. You know what I’m really good at? Cheering people on. Having school/company spirit. Looking for opportunities to tell other people how great whoever I’m cheering about is. I love the PR aspect of my position because I truly believe that Palm Creek is an awesome place to live, and I want to tell freakin everybody about it.

I also have a knack for presenting information in a palatable way, and received many words of praise for the award nomination packet I recently prepared for the resort - we won AZ-ARVC Mega Park of the Year in part due to my nomination packet, and I can’t wait to break that bad boy out for future awards.

There was some friction at the beginning of my time here due to poor communication and just a simply awkward situation. While I am the only marketing human on the property, some of my tasks were owned by other humans at one point. It was tough trying to balance people’s feelings with doing my job correctly, but I feel like I have gotten into a good place with everyone.

Most importantly - my old commute was ~1hr. I would like to take this moment to brag about my beautiful new 17-20 minute commute.

I’m so glad I believed in myself and applied for this job even though I was worried I wouldn’t qualify on paper. It makes me so happy to work somewhere I am challenged, respected, supported, and placed in the right role for this step of my career.

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