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Diane Dukes, CMP Director of Meetings & Events Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) I graduated from UNLV Hotel Administration School in 1990 and worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years before deciding to become a meeting planner in 2005 and earning my CMP in 2007. I wish someone would have told me the amount of hours we would have to put in and that once meeting plan- ning ‘gets in your blood’ you can’t get seem to shake it. I also didn’t realize how physically demanding our job is, especially on site. It is not just the standing or walking for 16 hours for four to five days in a row, it is the lifting of boxes, and moving signage or luggage, etc. I also don’t think meeting planners get the respect or attention we deserve.


The best part of my job is the people I get to meet. My as- sociation hires premier speakers for our events so I have met President Clinton, Tony Blair, Ben Stein, Condoleezza Rice, Malcolm Gladwell and so many others. This year we are lucky to have comedian Dennis Miller and author Michael Lewis. As the planner, I am the one who gets to meet/greet these folks upon arrival, walk them to their rooms and actually spend some quality time with them prior to going on stage. Not many people get that opportunity!


Paulette Sorenson, CMP Education Director Minnesota HomeCare Association When I entered this industry in 1985, I wish I had known that you are only as good as the information you receive. You need to ask, ask and ask! I’m a lot mellower these days. I can be confident that I have the information needed for a success- ful event. I became a CMP in 1989. Today, the single most enjoyable part of my job is seeing how well everyone enjoys the event.


Jill Hericks, CMP Corporate Sales Manager Global Spectrum, Sioux Falls Conven- tion Center When I entered this industry in 2002, I wish I had known that sometimes it is ok to advise a client that your venue is not the right venue for their event, if your facility cannot meet their program needs. I became a CMP in 2011. Today, the sin- gle most enjoyable part of my job is knowing that I can make a difference by demonstrating my passion for the industry and sincere care for each client, one event at a time.


10 MIDWEST MEETINGS FALL 2012


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