2019 40 Under 40: Melissa N. Grigsby, Independent Electrical Contractors

Melissa N. Grigsby

Melissa N. Grigsby, 33, works in Alexandria, Virginia, as director of communications and events for Independent Electrical ContractorsAs a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Grigsby discusses her passion for the events industry.

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What I do: I manage the department responsible for the production of our three large annual meetings, ranging from 200 to 2,000 attendees, as well as about six to eight smaller meetings. I manage everything from budgets to site selections to online registration to attendee communications

How I got here: I started working in the association world as communications specialist at the Association for Talent Development, were I also worked on the awards program. In that role, I assisted in the planning of our awards ceremony including site selection, logistics and working with the winners. I moved on to hold other roles in communications that involved the planning of conferences as well smaller local meetings. I landed my job at my current association as a communications manager, where I worked on the team that oversaw communications and meetings. I was promoted one month into the role to my current position and now I am overseeing the department. 

Greatest career accomplishment: Being promoted to my current role. Not so much the promotion, but more of the challenge of learning something new and the confidence senior leadership had in my abilities to do the job after only being with the company for about one month. I have learned so much since starting at IEC, and I am so proud to see the finished products in the meetings I produce.

Impressive stats: I was able to increase attendance and revenue for our Business Summit meeting by almost 50 percent in one year. Typically, this has been a break-even meeting for us, and we actually made money this year!

What I am working on now: I am currently working on our 2019 Annual Convention, as well as site selections for our 2020 and 2021 conventions. This has been a lot of fun, and something new for the organization, as we’ve never been as proactive in our site selections in the past. 

What I do outside of work: I am heavily involved in sports both playing and coaching. I play on a flag football team that has won five national championships in six years. I also coach girls high school basketball at Osbourn High School in Manassas, Virginia. I played collegiate basketball and love giving back to the sport that gave me so much! I also enjoy being a foodie. I have food blog called Bacon the District that follows my “foodventures” throughout the city.