Amy Spatrisano, CMP, has announced that she is leaving her firm, MeetGreen, on June 30. The Portland, Ore.–based conference management company made its mark as one of the early consultancies to specialize in helping meetings and events become more sustainable.
In 2003, Spatrisano and business partner Nancy Zavada also co-founded the Green Meeting Industry Council, a not-for-profit association whose mission is to transform the global meetings industry through sustainability. As chair of the APEX Green Meetings and Events Panel (an initiative of the Convention Industry Council) in 2008, Spatrisano led the task force that was charged with creating standards for more sustainable meetings. These would become the APEX/ASTM Standards for Green Meetings, which was published in May 2013.
Spatrisano has sold her share of the company to Zavada, who will continue the good work, with a great team, in event sustainability.
Spatrisano talked with Betsy Bair of MeetingsNet at the recent IMEX trade show in Frankfurt about her reasons for making such a dramatic change in her life.
“It became apparent to me that I no longer had the passion or drive to advocate for sustainability in the meetings industry. It had started to wane. Nancy and I have this philosophy about how people engage in their work. Whenever we interviewed people, new hires, we’d ask them: ‘In your last job, were you a prisoner, a tourist, or an adventurer?’
“Prisoners approach their work as if they have no choice; they’re stuck in their jobs. It might be because they take the job for the money, or it could be they don’t see a way out. They often complain about their work. The person who’s a tourist comes and goes; they watch to see what everybody else is doing, and if it’s something safe, they’ll go along with it. They don’t go against the flow. They are not risk takers. The adventurer, on the other hand, takes risks; they are more fearless and they enjoy the challenges.
“I was no longer feeling like an adventurer. I was becoming more of a tourist, perhaps even heading toward the prisoner side. I no longer felt the same level of drive or passion for the work we were doing. The industry engagement in sustainable practices is continuing to build and evolve, which was the whole idea, one of my hopes. There are so many bright, smart, energetic people out there taking sustainability initiatives to the next level, which is awesome! Now, it’s time for me to find another avenue to engage in as an adventurer.
“I’m taking a bit of time off to discover what my next chapter will be. Whether or not it will be in the meetings industry is a big question for me. I don’t know what that looks like at the moment, but I have a few ideas. I’ve been so fortunate to have built such wonderful relationships within the industry and plan to stay connected. As I take this leap, I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, something Emerson wrote:
Do not go where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
“That’s likely where you’ll find me.”
Send a note to Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org