Francesca Radabaugh, CAE 29, Director of Association Management/Operations Manager Paragon Events, Delray Beach, Fla.
How I got here: “I graduated with a degree in geography and geology, with a focus on natural hazards and environmental justice. I hated what I was doing, so I changed gears and got my foot in the door at Paragon Events as an intern, and haven’t looked back since.”
Next-gen idea: Radabaugh used her degree and passion for the environment to write a procedure that allowed the company to start a green division long before it was fashionable.
What her colleagues say: “Because of Francesca, [our internship is] one of excellence and is recognized by more than 16 universities around the country. She has groomed, developed and mentored more than 50 interns in her tenure,” says Anthony VanDaley, Paragon Events’ marketing manager.