Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 01 2012

Why Liz Erikson Gives

By PCMA

October 01, 2012

When she was a in senior high school, Liz Erikson knew she wanted to work in the hospitality business. At the time, she may not have recognized that her ambition would pave the way to her current position as Executive Director, Meetings & Incentives, North America, Fairmont-Raffles-Swissotel.

"I thought it would be great to work in a restaurant," Liz says. "I worked in a coffee shop after school and really enjoyed waiting on people. I also enjoyed the money."

However, the coffee shop earnings were far from enough to support Liz as she continued to explore possibilities for her future at the City College of San Francisco's Hotel and Restaurant School. She worked to put herself through college on her own. As she struggled to make ends meet, what felt like a miracle occurred: she received a scholarship from the owners of a local restaurant.

"I received a $500 check, which paid for my books and necessary extras for the term," Liz recalls. "It was a lifesaver."

A Scholarship that Fueled Success

That lifesaver helped fuel Liz's professional development. After finishing school, she worked for Princess Hotels before serving as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Hotel Mark Hopkins. Now, more than 40 years later, she's doing much more than waiting on people. From acquiring new accounts at Fairmont-Raffles-Swissotel to chairing the PCMA Education Foundation, Liz is one of the most respected leaders in the hospitality industry.

Still, Liz has not forgotten the impact of that check. That's why she regularly contributes to the Foundation’s Seize the Future campaign. Her contributions help fund educational programming, research and scholarships.

"I remember what it was like not to have much," Liz says. "If I can ease the burden of others, God bless."

Be a Leader. Be a Donor.

You can ease the financial stress for students who are in Liz's shoes today.  Donate today and help tomorrow's leaders take advantage of opportunities to learn, grow and seize their futures.  

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