Manager, Global Accounts, HelmsBriscoe
How did you get started and what got you from there to the meetings and events industry today?
I earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing from Ohio Dominican University and a degree in hospitality management and tourism from Florida Atlantic University.
After 30 years in the sales, advertising, and marketing field, I launched my own company, EMILATE, a marketing and sales business process outsourcing company providing external marketing services. I focused on helping new entrepreneurs and businesses build, create, and launch websites, and I worked with sales teams to craft and mine sales lists.
During the first several years of running the company, many of my clients were being tasked with creating and planning their organizations’ meetings. From leadership conferences to sales meetings and executive retreats, marketing professionals who used to create logos and agendas for company meetings were now asked to find hotels and meeting space for upcoming, ever-changing conferences. That is when I decided to become a licensed associate with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based HelmsBriscoe so I could harness their resources and technology to best assist my clients.
As a global accounts manager with HelmsBriscoe, I prospect for clients and then help them source venues for their meetings. I conduct site inspections and visits and help clients with contract negotiations. My role is to support my clients by using HelmsBriscoe’s knowledge and supplier relationships to find the perfect solutions for their meetings. The best part is that using me as a resource incurs no charge to my clients. When everything has to be perfect and there is no room for error, I strive to consistently provide superior service.
Strategic meeting management, meeting planning consultation, site selection specialist, and contract negotiations: I do it all and love it.
How do you keep up with industry trends, changes, and cutting-edge developments?
I keep up to date on industry trends by attending as many conferences as I can to learn more about the industry. I also read as many industry-related magazines as I can to stay abreast of economic changes and developments.
What essential skills should every industry professional possess?
The essential skills any meeting planner must possess include patience and organization. Contracts are changing quickly nowadays, and people are scheduling further out with more and more obstacles than before the pandemic, so being patient is critical. Using company planning tools and having each deadline set as a reminder helps me stay organized and on top of each client meeting.
What is the philosophy or approach to work that gets you through stressful times?
My philosophy is that the customer is always right. In today’s world, we have an immense supply of hotels, so I am usually able to find exactly what my customers want. Step by step and day by day, I get through the stressful times. When things are slow, I find a class or take online courses to further my knowledge and experience for my clients. I am always seeking new forums to gain more knowledge and insight into the meetings and events industry.
What is the best professional advice you ever received?
The best professional advice I ever received was simply to stay humble. It is easy to get a big head, but it is also easy for things to fall apart quickly. I am grateful for each opportunity to help my clients, and I have a wonderful team of colleagues who encourage and support each other.
Describe your biggest professional success.
My biggest professional success is having the ability to remain nimble and curious. I am always seeking to grow my business so I can respond to the changing needs of my clients.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is that every day represents a new opportunity to serve someone; that is why I am here.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to swim, cook, or crochet in my free time. But my greatest joys and accomplishments are my two beautiful children and my wonderful loving husband, who is my biggest cheerleader. When my children were young, I had the honor of being a bear den leader for our son’s Cub Scouts pack and a leader for our daughter’s Girl Scouts troop, where she earned the Gold Award, the organization’s highest honor. I was proud to help them reach their goals and fulfill the purposes of Scouting, such as character development, spiritual growth, good citizenship, and respectful relationships.