Micayla Diener, CMP, CSEP, 31, works in Chicago as associate director of sales at Chicago CSI DMC. As a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Diener discusses her passion for the events industry.
*Connect with Diener on Instagram.
What I do: With CSI-DMC’s decision to open a brick-and-mortar office in Chicago in May 2018, I transferred from our D.C. headquarters to continue developing business and to help run the office. On a daily basis, I interact with our corporate clientele, our hotel and vendor partners and spend a good portion of my time building relationships. Equally as important is my work with prospective clients with programs coming to Chicago, which includes putting together comprehensive, creative proposals and budgets—making event dreams come true as best as possible, within the given cost parameters!
How I got here: After starting out as a restaurant manager at a private city club, I moved to a position as a sales manager with an audiovisual company, gaining valuable knowledge in production. I was hired by CSI in 2013 as an account coordinator have continued to grow within the company, progressing to senior account manager, senior account executive to my current role as associate director of sales.
Greatest career accomplishment: I am exceptionally proud to have earned the CMP and CSEP certifications over the last two years. I am also proud to have developed a strong relationship with the Library of Congress staff over the course of several successful events. I received permission to produce a unique backdrop unlike any that had ever been allowed in this prestigious D.C. venue. With the help of some amazing vendors, I produced custom arches that fit within the existing historical structures. These arches were LED displays that projected American-themed items as well as 3D mapping along the marble walls and added a unique “wow factor” to the event.
Impressive stats: One of my greatest achievements was designing a successful $1.2 million program for a food industry client. This event was selected as a finalist for the Special Events Gala Awards for 2019.
Specific improvement I’ve made: With the President of CSI, I devised a strategy plan of engagement, strengthening our connections to our partners and the city. As an example, prior to Thanksgiving, I put together a concept that allowed both CSI and our partners to give back to the community. We delivered a large basket of scarves to each of our partners with each scarf tagged, “Take me if you are cold. I am not lost.” We tasked our partners with tying the scarves on trees and posts around the city. The feedback was very positive and the activation was a win-win for all.
What I do outside of work: When I moved last summer, I got involved with the MPI Chicago area chapter and served on the holiday party committee, and will be doing so this year. I am passionate about animal rescue, and I am a regular volunteer at the Anti-Cruelty Society, a city shelter. I love immersing myself in all Chicago has to offer, from festivals of all kinds to sampling Chicago’s amazing cuisine.