Texas Christian University, with a double major in marketing and Spanish.
MY FIRST INDUSTRY JOB
I worked in the mid-1980s for several small destination-management companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and learned the business by doing everything internally (from writing proposals, developing thematic concepts, costing, administrative, sales, and marketing) and externally (from loading buses to blowing up balloons for special events, on-site logistics for every possible type of meeting and special event, etc.). No how-to books were available at that time!
WHAT I DO
In 1988, I took the passion of entrepreneurship and the lessons learned from the above-mentioned work experiences and started my own DMC, Event Source Professionals [ESP]. My initial vision was to offer a one-stop resource for clients’ destination services. However, in the past 27 years, ESP has evolved into a total resource for all meeting and event services globally. I now live in Seattle but share partnership responsibilities with Dara Hall, CMP, CMM, in our Texas office.
MOST INFLUENCED IN MY CAREER BY
Besides my wonderful husband, I have been blessed with many mentors, but the main person who influenced my career was a former client with a major pharmaceutical manufacturer — their manager of global meetings and events for over 20 years, Diane Smith, CMP, CMM. I am honored to say she’s my best friend.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM HER
She has an amazing work ethic and energy in everything she commits to doing, whether in work, within the meetings industry, and her personal life. I have witnessed her perform miracles by defying impossible weather conditions, minimal budgets, time restraints, difficult people, and end up with the perfect resolution and a successful program. She truly lives the adage “The only people that fail are those that quit trying.” Knowing her has given me the strength I need during those difficult times and the faith to continue for a better tomorrow.
FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY JOB
Over the past 30 years, it has been thrilling for me to experience the creative and visionary opportunities as our industry continues to develop, and to travel the world with such an incredible network of diverse and supportive clients, suppliers, and friends.
MY ADVICE FOR YOUNG MEETING PROFESSIONALS
Start today and find ways to educate and involve yourself with the meetings and events industry’s ever-changing future, and share this knowledge daily with others (clients, coworkers, friends, family, and the government). We all need to continue to beat the drum so others will know face-to-face meetings are a necessary connection by showcasing what we do best — meetings and events that create positive experiences and lasting memories.