Global DMC Partners, a network of more than 65 destination management companies around the globe, has promoted its president, Catherine Chaulet, to take on the additional role of CEO. Chaulet has been with the company for six years. We asked her about the changes she’ll see in her expanded position and her observations from a career in meetings and events.
MeetingsNet: What is the key change for your daily life taking on the CEO role?
Cathering Chaulet: What I want to focus on now as president and CEO is giving visibility to our industry and the hard-working individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Hospitality professionals do far more than create meetings and events; they contribute to opening people’s minds to the richness of diverse cultures. My goal is to showcase the importance of these individuals and the greater industry, ranging from creating jobs and strengthening local economies, to promoting stability and peace. I look forward to traveling extensively to champion for meeting planners and hospitality professionals, and to educate others on the importance of our industry while strengthening our relationships around the world.
MeetingsNet: Looking back over your career, what have you learned about the meeting attendee experience that you didn’t know when you started the business?
Chaulet: I have learned and witnessed first-hand that our industry is due far more credit than it receives. We are a leader in providing the latest technologies, speakers, and cutting-edge experiences. Meeting attendees are often introduced for the first time to outstanding innovations and transformative ideas, and meetings are where business and creativity thrive. I am also continually delighted and impressed at how today’s attendees expect to make a difference in the destinations they visit. Their genuine interest in contributing to local economies and supporting key causes during their conferences, incentives, and meetings makes a true difference.
MeetingsNet: What’s the most memorable conference you’ve attended that you were not involved in orchestrating, and what made it stand out?
Chaulet: One of the most difficult parts of managing a conference is building an attractive program with speakers that “wow” and engage everyone in the audience. I attended the Simmons Women Leadership Conference a couple years ago and was blown away by the program and the quality of all the speakers involved. Each was absolutely mesmerizing as they inspired us and lead us to action. At the end of the day, I remember feeling empowered and ready to conquer the world. One notable speaker was former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, with whom I had the immense pleasure and honor to exchange a few words. To this day, I continue to be inspired and build upon what I learned during this conference.
MeetingsNet: What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
Chaulet: While my accent is clearly French, many are surprised to learn what a diverse family I come from, spanning many different countries. However, it should be of no surprise that today I work for a truly global company like GDP. I am grateful to my “melting pot” of a family for giving me the gift of appreciating and valuing other cultures.