Career Path

Paul Ouimet

Managing Director, DestinationNEXT, Destination Management Association International

ouimet-1-May2014 2EDUCATION MBA, University of British Columbia.

MY FIRST INDUSTRY JOB Manager, development department, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

MY PREVIOUS THREE JOBS Founding partner, InterVISTAS Consulting Inc.; vice president, Western Transportation Advisory Council; manager, Edmonton Economic Development Authority.

WHAT I DO I manage the development and delivery of DestinationNEXT — a DMAI initiative to create a roadmap for the future of destination marketing organizations.

MOST INFLUENCED IN MY CAREER BY Gerry Manning, senior vice president, Canadian Airlines.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM HIM He told me to look at my career in three phases: first phase — learn as much as I can, be a sponge, become an expert in my industry of choice (don’t worry about money, focus on opportunities and knowledge); second phase — capitalize on that knowledge and reputation by building a successful business and/or career (achieve financial security); and third phase — give back to the industry and community (achieve personal satisfaction and fulfillment).

FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY JOB Working with a wide cross-section of interesting clients and destinations.

MY NEXT BIG CAREER GOAL Semi-retirement, where I can actually enjoy some of the destinations I am working with.

MY ADVICE FOR YOUNG MEETING PROFESSIONALS Treat your personal career as a startup business. Invest in it. Learn and experience as much as you can to become a leading authority in your field. Engage in extracurricular activities to round out your personality and skill set. It is a very competitive industry, and you need to be able to differentiate yourself from others.

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso formerly was executive editor of Convene.