2019 40 Under 40: Ogechi Anyanwu, Telecommunication Industry Association

Ogechi Anyanwu, 36, works in Arlington, Virginia, as manager of events at Telecommunication Industry Association,

Ogechi Anyanwu

Ogechi Anyanwu, 36, works in Arlington, Virginia, as manager of events at Telecommunication Industry AssociationAs a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Anyanwu discusses her passion for the events industry.

*Connect with Anyanwu on LinkedIn and Instagram.

What I do: I plan, contract, design and execute all TIA events and meetings.

How I got here: My mother was director of tourism for St. Martin for 15 years, and I never thought that I would be in the hospitality industry, despite everyone around believing the contrary. I studied international law in Paris, moved to D.C. where I worked in the Department of Justice. It is only when I created my event in St. Martin, SXM’s Girls Night Out, that I realized that I could not run from the hospitality industry and embraced my passion for the meetings and events industry. Since then, I have gone from meeting associate to manager of events in four years.    

My greatest career accomplishment: My greatest career accomplishment to date will be my annual women’s event in the Caribbean. I grew the attendance from 350 to 1,500 in three years with a staff comprised of volunteers. My second would be saving TIA more than $100,000 in two years.

Impressive stats or numbers I’m responsible for: I am known for my negotiation skills, which has saved TIA more than $100,000 in the time that I have been with them. I have decreased its spend by, at least, 15 percent per meeting by taking a creative look at their meeting requirements versus concessions.

A specific improvement I’ve made to my organization’s meetings program: I implemented a new streamlined event process at TIA, creating a new event experience that has had resounding success with our members. I also implemented a new registration platform.

What are you working on right now that you’re excited about? We are creating a new annual event, in the form of a summit, which will be the Standard department’s largest event to date. We are taking a look at virtual events, which will be new for me and something that I am very excited about.

What I do outside of work: In my free time, I have one of the largest events of its kind in its region, SXM’s Girls Night Out, held in St. Martin/St. Maarten. I grew the attendance from 350 to 1750 in six years.

Favorite vacation destination: St. Martin; Bali; Maldives; wherever there is crystal-clear water.

Favorite icebreaker line: If you can go on an all-expenses-paid vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Travel hack: I always have a large pouch with all of my necessary items (toiletries, change of clothes, medicine, etc.) in my carry-on, just in case my luggage is lost.