1. What does receiving the CDME designation mean to you?
The CDME designation is a significant milestone as it demonstrates not only my commitment, but also RACVB and the industry’s commitment to getting better. The more people that go through the program, the better. I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from so many talented professionals, and I am excited to put what I’ve learned into practice.
2. How did you first get into this industry?
I have a background in media relations and communications, both of which are great fits for the tourism industry. In April 2012, I reached out on a bit of a whim to the Rockford Area CVB—my hometown tourism agency—and they ended up calling me back a couple months later when a sales position opened up. It’s been a fantastic journey since then!
3. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is building long-term relationships. There are so many people I’ve had the pleasure of working with that last seven-plus years that have transitioned from prospects, to clients, to repeat customers, and now lifelong friends and mentors. The creative process and autonomy to successfully build many first-time wins for the organization and region is at times a close second, but it’s really about working with goal- and success-oriented people that makes the job the most fun.
4. What is the biggest challenge you've face in your career, and how did you overcome it?
There are constant challenges, but no single one stands out. Keeping things fresh is something I pride myself in, but it’s also an ongoing challenge. We’re all really busy, so setting aside creative time to break up the monotony of your day-to-day activities or to identify what that next level of success looks like sometimes takes a back seat. Essentially, it becomes a mindset thing, and a good reset button for me is to take a walk, work out, or call a colleague/friend to bounce ideas off of for a few minutes.
5. What are your future career goals?
To maintain a focus on the process and keep getting better everywhere, trusting that the results will follow. It’s really about being present.