Meeting Broker, Meetings Made Easy
Based in: Reno, Nev.
Additional roles: Editor/writer, PCMA Capital Chapter Communications Committee; Clubhouse moderator, The Meeting and Event Profs group
How I got here: I've had the great privilege of working for two destinations (Ogden, Utah, and Reno-Tahoe) and a variety of hotel venues in my over 30-year career in hospitality. I started as a waitress in fine dining in the late ’80s and worked simultaneously in medical administration through most of the ’90s. I found my true love when I answered an ad for director of sales with a Holiday Inn in 1998, and the hospitality/meetings industry has had my heart ever since!
Due to the pandemic in 2020, I found myself without a job and with some decisions to make. I've always pondered the idea of taking my contracting ability to the other side of the table and using my organizational and planning skills toward working on a meeting rather than booking it. This seemed, to me, the perfect time to take that leap of faith. Some might question my wisdom: Move to a contract sourcing/services role in the middle of a time when no one is meeting? I saw it as an opportunity and aligned myself with Meetings Made Easy.
While I have had to wait for recovery, I've been able to connect with colleagues, clients, friends and industry leaders during a very difficult and trying year. I've been able to share job opportunities, celebrate when meetings were held, watch our industry recover and, ultimately, achieve what I set out to do—help organizations get the concessions and contracts they deserve! To say I'm happy about this pivot would be an understatement. This has proved to be the best possible choice for me, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.
Greatest career accomplishment: A monumental highlight in my career was working side by side with some amazing people leading up to and during the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. I have so many great memories and Olympic moments as a result of that five-year span. The truth is, the relationships in this industry are what make it a career worth loving. I've enjoyed participating in retreats, business meetings, huge conventions, concerts, trade show events, deep dives and incredible experiences with terrific people. Some I've done business with, some I've learned from, some I've mentored and many have become lifelong friends. So those relationships would ultimately be my greatest career accomplishment!
A specific improvement I’ve made: Always an early adopter of anything technology-driven, I'm excited to have created the Meeting and Event Profs Club in Clubhouse. We have had some great meeting- and hospitality-related discussions over the last few months, and I'm excited to see the group grow as more and more people become familiar with the capability of the platform.
What I do outside of work: My husband and I love to camp and hike and enjoy any time we can on, in or near the water. Living near the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range gives us the perfect jumping-off point.
What I'd tell my younger self: ‘Take chances,’ ‘Believe in yourself,’ ‘Strong relationships matter’ and ‘Remain positive.’ This advice has seen me through 30 years of change (some good, some bad), and I'm enjoying the results of that advice more than ever right now!