Vito Bello is the Senior Manager of Marketing at The Macerich Company, where he is responsible for fulfilling efforts to key audiences: retailers, guests, civic leadership, media, investors, and the property team. This includes, but is not limited to strategic planning, budget management, tenant relations, sponsorship activation, agency management, events, tourism, media relations, and community alliances.
What sort of purpose do you feel in your job and/or why do you believe your line of work is important and meaningful?
Shopping Centers from the time of their inception have always functioned as a community gathering space. These spaces provide an opportunity for the community to come together and grow. I believe this job is necessary to help bridge the gap between community and business. I think that being able to serve as a connector is key to the health of our communities.
What is the most exciting part of your day-to-day work?
I am constantly introduced to new people, new programs, and new retailers. It is exciting to have the opportunity to think about ways they can all work together for a shared goal.
What do you think the future of your industry looks like, let's say in 15 years? What impact will it be making? How will it be different from what you do now?
I think we will see Shopping Centers as a whole further embrace their place as a community gathering space. They will further evolve into a place where you go for not just commerce but also to be entertained, eat, learn and experience the culture of that community.
When did you decide you wanted to enter this field? What steps did you take to make that decision a reality?
I really enjoyed working with people. I started my professional career in Parks & Recreation. Through partnerships with local businesses and our local shopping center I learned about the industry and was intrigued about opportunities for further collaboration.
For any students, age 12-18 who thinks your job sounds interesting, what advice would you give them to help them learn/train/explore your field?
I would recommend volunteering with your local municipal Parks & Recreations teams, Boys & Girls Club or other non-profit organization that hosts regular community events. The experience of planning, organizing and implementing events/activities will be invaluable.
Are there any organizations, communities, or movements that create synergy between you and others in your field, here in the city of Long Beach?
Any organization that seeks to interact with the public can be our partner. We've forged relationships with local municipal governments, school districts and entertainment destinations. Our doors are always open to new opportunities.
What makes Long Beach a great place to live and work as it relates to your industry?
As a Long Beach resident, I love how much Long Beach has to offer. It's a major city but does not carry the weight of most metropolitan cities making it very easy to call home. Its proximity to all that Southern California has to offer is also a huge plus.