Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 22 2016

PCMA SE Member Spotlight - June 2016

Chris Colbert - Director of Membership

The PCMA SE Chapter is proud to spotlight one of our 400+ members from across the continent and Puerto Rico in each newsletter.

You could be next… Please contact Chris Colbert at ccolbert@travelcobb.org.

This month's spotlight is:

Julia O'Brien CTA
Convention Sales Director, Eastern Region
Visit Anaheim

How many years have you been in the hospitality industry? 10 years

How long have you been a PCMA member? I just joined!

What is your current job title; name of your organization and how long have you been in this position? I am the Convention Sales Director, Eastern Region with Visit Anaheim. I’ve been with Visit Anaheim for 8 years, and in my current position handling citywide opportunities from of the Northeast and Southeast for a little over a year.  

What is your goal or objective for being a member of PCMA SE? I joined PCMA SE to network, share ideas/knowledge with other industry professionals, and gain education opportunities not otherwise available.  

The best compliment you have received professionally was….? How responsive I am to phone calls and emails. I know my planners are working on tight timelines and the sooner I can get back to them, the sooner they can move on with the coordination of their program.

Please tell us about what you do in your job in 3 words or less. Promote meetings in Anaheim (sorry that’s 4 words!)

PCMA provides many opportunities for education, networking and volunteering; which of these have you benefited from the most? Since I’m a new member I can’t speak to these in great detail, but look forward to getting more involved and volunteering. I find that’s the hands down best way to get the most out of a membership to a professional organization.

What social media platforms do you engage in to interact with meeting planners and other hospitality professionals and why? I use LinkedIn often to keep in touch with clients, find new clients and stay in touch with hotel/supplier partners alike. I don’t Tweet, but always look to see what my groups in-house are tweeting and instagramming about when they’re here in Anaheim for a meeting or convention. Love seeing their photos and captions, and where they’re headed after the meeting concludes for the day: The Anaheim Packing House - our artisan food hall,  a local brewery, Disney, an Angels baseball game…

The most fascinating destination you have ever visited is…? Traveling to Spain was amazing. I grew up learning about Spain, the culture and language throughout school, and finally getting to visit cities like Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, Alicante, Granada was a once in a lifetime experience.

What is one thing that you do in your personal or professional life that you feel adds value to your well-being? Exercising – I’m a big fan of TRX. It helps me deal with stress, and be an overall more positive, healthier person, which makes me more productive at work and happier in my personal life.

Let's have a hypothetical challenge. If presented with a bowl of steamed crickets (let’s say 100 of them) and $1000 cash if you down the entire thing in front of a very large crowd of people while standing in a box with hundreds of squirming earthworms: would you or wouldn’t you? (No earthworms will be hurt during the challenge. Can’t say the same for the crickets.) This is why I could never be on the Amazing Race – I am not an adventurous eater, my husband would have to do all the food challenges. The earthworms don’t bother me, but eating crickets – no thanks! Now if it were a million dollars… ;-)


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