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Global DMC Partners Salutes Female Leaders in the Destination Management and Event Planning Industry for International Women's Day
In support of International Women’s Day, taking place on March 8, Global DMC Partners, the largest global network of destination management companies (DMCs), recognizes the following female leaders in the destination management and event planning industry. Each weighs in on what #BalanceforBetter, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, means to them.
Deana B. Mitchell, CMP DMCP CCSE
Owner of Realize Colorado, a Global DMC Partner
After more than 20 years in the food and beverage and conference services industry, Deana B. Mitchell moved to Colorado where she started doing contract work in the event world. Today, she leads a team of the award-winning destination management and event company, Realize Colorado.
Mitchell believes women bring various positive qualities that are key to the industry, from time-management to problem-solving skills.
For Deana, “Balance for Better” is about achieving a work/life balance. “Achieving a work/life balance is always going to be challenging in our line of work, but it is attainable if you set boundaries for yourself, your company and your employees. It is all about the culture you create.”
Cindy Y. Lo, DMCP
President & Chief Event Strategist for Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner
Cindy Y. Lo is a modern Renaissance woman. She is the owner and Chief Event Strategist of Red Velvet Events in Austin, Texas. Lo also works an as international speaker and is an Amazon best-selling author for Behind the Red Velvet Curtain: Build and Run the Event Planning Business of Your Dreams.
She believes that “Balance for Better” is not the same quotient for everyone. “I am so fortunate to have a partner in life that understands what I need on a daily basis to fill fulfilled and balanced back at home and at work. It’s not the same quotient for everyone and that’s the first rule of thumb we must all realize,” she said. “Just because I’m O.K. with working the schedule I do, I definitely don’t expect my own employees to work the same way. Rather, I expect them to want to exceed their customer satisfaction within the means of what is considered reasonable workload. If they are feeling imbalanced, I expect them to speak up.”
Managing Partner, U.K., Global DMC Partners
After more than 20 years in the industry, representing quality suppliers seemed like the right way for the U.K.-based Maxine MacPherson to advance her career. Having a portfolio of trusted suppliers to help event planners manage corporate group events meant her team could support them with the best in the industry.
“As women, we are a diverse and complex species, able to cope with stress, manage multiple tasks at the same time and can often be quite stubborn in our efforts to succeed,” said MacPherson. “However, I also think we are natural nurturers and are keen to keep a happy working environment with those around us. Most of all, I feel that many women are very resourceful and make the most of what they have available to them.”
MacPherson admires women who can climb the industry ladder, work within an all-male board and still ensure they are nurturing their teams, and their clients. But mostly, those that ensure, and even insist, they have time for their families.
“It takes a strong woman to meet the demands of everyone around them and manage it all with good grace,” she added. “I admire our own Prime Minister Theresa May. I think she is an inspirational role model for girls on not giving up on a task, for pushing forwards even when the going gets tough and male criticism is abundant.”
Global Sales Executive, Morris Meetings & Incentives
Danene Dustin finds herself living the dream, which allows her to not only travel the globe but also to help others embrace and enjoy the world to the fullest. Her global sales executive role at the Utah-based Morris Meetings & Incentives gives her the unique opportunity to partner with organizations in the design and management industry, while delivering memorable, exotic group travel experiences.
Dustin believes that women bring their creativity, excellent organizational skills and ability to multi-task successfully to the industry.
She would like to see women working together more cohesively and supporting, mentoring and developing ways to genuinely be happy for each other’s successes, whether professional or personal.
“Balance for Bettercomes down to each one prioritizing and fitting things in that really mean the most,” says Dustin.
Event Planner, Gartner
Brie Richards has been exposed to the event planning industry from a very young age. Her mother planned all the community events and retreats for her church back in Amarillo, Texas, and would often bring her onsite, causing her to fall in love with the excitement of the hustle-and-bustle of the event world.
Her mother not only taught her to work hard but also to learn the importance of the relational side of every task. This she attributed to helping her create strong work relationships with other women and establish a mindset of teamwork versus competition when working with others.
Richards believes women bring a sense of drive and determination to the industry. “I love getting to see women step up in leadership roles and am inspired by their drive to make others around them better,” she said.
She believes that we are complex beings who need to strive to maintain a “Balance for Better” physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual selves. “Each of these pieces plays an important role in making up who we are, and when one of them gets overworked, it hinders us from being the best that we can be. In my life, I have found that when I allow myself to focus on keeping each of elements of wellness in check, I am best able to experience life at its fullest.”
Director, Event Management, Event Travel Management
Lynette Donahue has always been drawn to planning events through various roles in the corporate world. In the beginning of her career, this role was introduced to her as one of many “duties” she was tasked with carrying out. However, as Donahue developed as a professional, she was able to move into positions that involved more and more work related specifically to event planning. Eventually, she worked hard enough to earn the role of Corporate Events Manager, which quickly became the career of her dreams.
Donahue sees that women’s natural tendencies at multi-tasking and mentoring are huge benefits for the meetings industry.“How often have we seen cartoons depicting women being able to juggle countless items up in the air at one time? This same distinct multi-tasking characteristic in women is immensely valuable and necessary in this industry. At any given minute we can have seven things we are currently doing, while thinking forward about 26 more.”
According to Donahue, “Balance for Better”is a strong statement, which conveys complete gender and life balance. “All of us have so much to contribute regardless of gender, and everyone who wants the industry to grow and succeed should be both heard and asked to be involved. No one will do this for us, we must do it for each other,” she added. “We need to support each other in the industry, mentor each other, grab a buddy, a sounding board, anything that keeps you strong and determined. We need to check in with each other and ground ourselves in our priorities. If that type of energy can build on itself and gain momentum, it will bring our “Balance for Better” mission to life.”
Managing Partner, Moore Carlyle Consulting & MCC Destination Management
Anita Carlyle has had a love for travel ever since she can remember. She was fascinated by glamorous hotels from a young age, which guided her to completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hospitality and Tourism. Through school assignments, summer internships, and early work experience, she gained experience in all types of tourism jobs from busing tables, waitressing and bartending in restaurants, acting as a cruise director on a private event yacht, managing hospitality events for the Toronto Blue Jays to working for hotels in almost every position, including a long tenure with Hilton. She draws upon her diverse knowledge to now manage a Toronto-based DMC, a perfect blend of all things hospitality.
With regards to “Balance for Better,” Anita says, “Understand that work is only a piece on the pie chart of life, and we must always be mindful that each piece should be of equal size!”
Partner, Creative Director, Moore Carlyle Consulting & MCC Destination Management
Sheri Moore stumbled upon the industry coming from a marketing and PR background. She was immediately hooked by the ability to build an event from concept to execution, to tell stories and to share amazing experiences. Sheri credits much of her success to being surrounded by talented, dedicated female leaders in the industry and many trailblazers in other industries. What they had in common was their desire to share their experience and to provide support and guidance at every opportunity.
“Women in every industry have many roles to juggle. This industry in particular is tough because many events invade non-traditional working hours and can be draining during high season,” said Moore. “Thinking of balance as scales of equal weight can add more pressure and stress to an already stressful career. Instead, I try to think about being better to ourselves and others by integrating what we love at work and what we love in life over time. Sometimes one has more weight or has to take a step forward, but, in the long term through an integrated approach, balance is achieved as long as joy, growth and gratification can be found throughout. This has to include carving out time for ourselves doing the pleasures, whatever that is, that feed our souls and replenish our energy.”
About Global DMC Partners
Global DMC Partners is the largest global network of independent destination management companies (DMCs) and sales advisors offering meeting professionals one worldwide solution for total event success. The network has exclusive partnerships with more than 65 DMCs that represent over 500 destinations around the globe. Each DMC provides an unparalleled level of creativity and commitment to clients by promising to deliver one-of-a-kind programs under a singular standard of excellence. Thanks to a global team with decades of experience and a passion for the industry, clients can centralize everything from DMC communication to DMC spend through one dedicated Global DMC Sales Advisor. For more information, including a complete listing of destinations in the Global DMC Partners network, please visit us online at www.globaldmcpartners.com.
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