Independent Planning Professional
For leading FICP’s Influence Committee in its goal to demonstrate the impact and value of meeting professionals, and to raise awareness of the importance of meetings and events in the process
As chair of the Influence Committee for Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals, my goal is to help bring awareness about the importance of our industry, our association, and the critical need for face-to-face contact. FICP has a stellar reputation as a meeting planning organization—we’re small but mighty—and it’s important to put ourselves out there for the betterment of the industry as a whole. Our 12-member committee of both meeting professionals and hospitality partners is developing subject-matter experts, working with the media, and driving new research, including our Pulse Surveys. It’s a way of thinking. We know that face-to-face meetings matter, but we’re asking questions about how that can be quantified. How can we measure the idea that meetings improve business results? How can we prove that meetings are worth the investment, so that when the next downturn comes, they don’t end up on the chopping block?
Embrace change—chances are that it will make things better. It’s important to stop, step back, and take a look at the big picture; the broad view is where it’s easier to see how change is likely to improve the situation.
Best Business Advice
Great business advice came from my parents, who lead by example: Treat everyone you encounter with kindness and respect, regardless of who they are. There are beautiful hotels, vibrant destinations, fun activities, and memorable experiences, but it is our interaction with people that sets the tone for any event experience. Whether it’s a C-suite executive, meeting attendee, hotel associate, keynote speaker, or Uber driver, it is the confluence of every person you connect with that makes the greatest impact. Communicating with fairness and transparency are paramount as you navigate the day-to-day life of an event strategy with the people who will bring your event to life.
I have learned so much from John Touchette. He was my boss at John Hancock and one of my first clients when I started my own company 12 years ago. In addition to his tremendous industry knowledge and talent, he is extremely well respected. His collaborative and respectful approach to everyone he does business with is an inspiration and reaffirms what my parents taught me.
Starting my own business has allowed me to remain focused and engaged in our industry but with much more flexible work conditions. As long as I have an electric outlet, a cell signal, and an Internet connection, I can be a responsive and strategic meeting professional for my clients from any location and, at the same time, retain control over my schedule. It has been nice to see more companies allowing associates to work remotely, providing for more flexibility, less commuting fatigue, and better balance.
When in a tough situation where you are managing a conflict or roadblock, it helps to talk things through and get another person’s perspective. That’s the best path to a win-win result.
Got a Spare Hour?
In my free time I read! A book, a magazine, my LinkedIn feed … I love to read and learn something new.
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