2021 Connect Corporate 40 Under 40: Pawntra Shadab, CTA, CIS, CITP

Pawntra Shadab, 38, is VP of Events and Marketing for Elite Productions International. She's based in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

2021 Connect Corporate 40 Under 40: Pawntra Shadab, CTA, CIS, CITP

Pawntra Shadab, CTA, CIS, CITP, 38
VP of Events and Marketing, Elite Productions International, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

How I got here:
I grew up in the meetings and events industry and was mentored by one of the best, a pioneer—my mother, Lili Shadab. She started Elite Productions International nearly 30 years ago, and I have been with the company for 15 years. I have also worked on major televised live event productions such as the Academy Awards and Grammys.

My greatest career accomplishment:
Most recently, I had the honor of serving as president of MPI, Orange County Chapter. 

Impressive stats:
Last month, I saved a client a third of their budget for their annual conference due to contract negotiations and my industry partnerships. I also launched a virtual conference and mentored over 20 students one-on-one, teaching them how to produce a virtual event. 

What I'm working on right now:
I am in the process of producing a three-day virtual conference for a Fortune 400 company.

What I do outside of work:
I am passionate about giving back to our industry and the next generation of leaders. In addition to mentoring students in high school and college, I serve as the immediate past president for MPIOC, director of inclusion for SITE SoCal, on the diversity and inclusion advisory committee for MPI Global and [as a] Meetings Mean Business Ambassador.

Favorite vacation destination:
One of the trips that stand out was visiting Iran for the first time. As a first-generation Persian American, I was eager to learn more about my background and connect with my roots. A country rich in culture, art and history, there was so much beauty from the city to the villages and everything in-between. I stayed with family in Tehran and Shiraz and stayed at the historic and beautiful Hotel Abassi in Isfahan. 

Favorite icebreaker line:
“What brings you joy?” is a fascinating way to learn about people and what they value. Plus, it puts a smile on their face.

Travel hack:
TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry are a must! It really helps expedite the time it takes to get through security. I always bring my mini steamer. Even though most hotel rooms have an iron and ironing board, the steamer is much faster and easier to use.

Facebook: pawntra, epievents 
Instagram: @pawntra@epievents