University Events Staff

Ramona Messenger, Director

Ramona Messenger

Ms. Messenger has over 25 years experience in event management and marketing compiled of non-profit, higher education, corporate and sponsorship agency work.  Ramona uses her trademark skills of problem solving, creativity, and flexibility to produce corporate events and meetings. She excels at logistics and operations, and her attention to detail means that events and meetings go smoothly from concept to completion.

She came to James Madison University 15 years ago to work on the inauguration of the new president and stayed to manage events for the office of the president.  Eight years ago she became director of the University Events department, which is responsible for events hosted by the president of the university and others hosted by the university advancement department, academic affairs and others.  Event guests include JMU students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and other JMU constituents. She oversees 12 commencement ceremonies for over 3,000 graduates each year and is an expert at handling décor and venue transformation, transportation logistics, event production, academic protocol, and is obsessed with details and believes that the details are what set apart ordinary events from extraordinary events.

She also brings previous experience in the catering and entertainment industry and co-owned a floral design business in the Washington, D.C. area.

Ms. Messenger’s private sector marketing experience comes from eight years of work in the Washington, D.C. area with an advertising agency, a sponsorship agency, and a sports marketing agency.  Her duties included sales package development and event management for properties such as the National Hockey League, U.S. Rowing, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for corporate clients including Chrysler, Audi, Mazda, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi among others.  She also worked on AT&T’s sponsorship of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway and Kellogg’s sponsorship of Major League Baseball.

She has held director positions at two national non-profits and one international non-profit organization where she helped identify and explore marketing opportunities with corporate America and developed a new marketing position to build their appeal to corporate partners. She managed and implemented partner programs that brought in sponsorship money, funding for special events, in-kind donations of goods and services and philanthropic donations.  She has worked with corporate partners including Bank of America, MBNA North America, BMW, the Walt Disney Company, Ford Motor Company, Discovery Communications, Canon U.S.A., American Express, Lever Brothers, Target stores, Texaco and Frito-Lay.

In addition to helping non-profits define and package their most marketable programs, Ms. Messenger has performed corporate and brand research, completed strategic analysis, business plan development and creative concept development in an effort to identify, approach and secure corporate partners.

Ms. Messenger’s research experience includes detailed corporate and brand research, public opinion surveys, imaging and reputation studies, new product and concept testing and marketing plan optimization, all of which are instrumental in strategic partnership development.

She serves her community’s animal welfare efforts by fostering animals, volunteering on their outreach teams to find homeless animals “forever” homes and is adamant about TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) programs at JMU and in Harrisonburg and serves on the Boards of Cat’s Cradle and Anicira Veterinary Services.

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