Ashley Lawson, CITP, 36
Vice President of Business Partnerships, Achieve Incentives & Meetings, Cleveland
How I got here:
I learned my ABCs alphabetizing flight itineraries under my mom’s desk, so travel is in my blood. I grew up in the incentive house my grandparents founded in 1952. I spent 10 years organizing fund-raising events for a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. Today, I’m proud to follow in my family’s footsteps leading incentive programs around the world.
My greatest career accomplishment:
In 2019, SITE Midwest hosted our first international conference and I led our CSR initiative. We learned an employee of our host hotel had a 6-year-old son, Carlos, who suffered complications from epilepsy and needed brain surgery immediately. In three days, our attendees raised the funds Carlos needed to undergo his life-saving surgery. Today, Carlos is seizure-free. As meetings professionals, we have a big stage to reach an even bigger audience.
What I'm working on right now:
I’m focused on being a Safe Travel Ambassador. My husband and I took a big leap and are "working from the world." Each month, we move to a new country and learn about COVID-19 protocols and safe event planning in those destinations.
A specific improvement I’ve made:
At Achieve, our core value is to "Give the World." To us, this means that we look to everyone to use their unique talents to showcase our excellence in service and hospitality. We exceed expectations and we remember the small things because they matter in a big way. As a way to really solidify Give the World into our daily routines, we launched the Give the World Award. Each month, our teammates nominate a colleague who went above and beyond. The monthly winner earns a gift card and a donation to their favorite charity, and the annual winner earns an individual incentive trip. We also brought the Give the World Award on-site to our programs. At the end of each program, we select someone in the destination (often a hotel or DMC employee) who did everything possible to make the program a success. We share a little award statue and a large tip with the winner. This is now our favorite part of every program. We love being able to recognize the people who give their hearts to creating unforgettable experiences. This entire initiative also allows our team to feel the real excitement and motivation of not only receiving incentives, but the joy in giving them as well.