Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 19 2016

PCMA Southeast Chapter Member Spotlight - October 2016

Chris Colbert - Director of Membership

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

You could be next…

This month, the Spotlight is on hospitality industry veteran Bonnie Wallsh.

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

What is your current job title and name of your organization?
Chief Strategist, Bonnie Wallsh Associates, LLC    

How long have you been a PCMA member?
Since 2008, 8 years

What aspect(s) of your PCMA membership benefits you the most?

Continuing professional education and networking opportunities

Leisure time -- when you have it -- is a precious commodity. What is your “dream” idea of a perfect leisure day?
Enjoying brunch with my son and daughter in a bistro and spending the day enjoying nature… Atlanta’s Botanical Gardens with my son and hiking in Muir Woods near San Francisco with my daughter. I am counting the days until my son and I walk my daughter down the aisle in Tilden Regional Park overlooking the botanical gardens in Berkeley, California for her brunch wedding.

If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

Since I can’t carry a tune, even if it had wheels, it would be a miracle if I sang on American Idol. I would sing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

How do you research potential meeting venues and what is a major influencer in making your final decision?
I am a strong proponent of working with convention and visitors bureaus and tourist offices, and that would be my first step. Secondly, I contact my national sales reps with whom I have cultivated relationships. Next, I contact knowledgeable colleagues with whom I trust. Once contacts with potential properties are made, I always prefer working with a supplier who is honest, ethical, professional, and who will partner with me on a successful event.

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
I’ve been told that I resemble Barbra Streisand who I admire for her professionalism and values. We both went to high school in Brooklyn and still retain our New York accents.

What is your advice on staying relevant in the hospitality/meetings industry?

Get actively involved in the industry by joining associations and volunteering with your chapter or national organization. Attend conferences and become a Renaissance person continuing to learn while mentoring newcomers into the industry. Helping others always pays off in satisfaction and sometimes in developing business relationships.

What is your ultimate vacation destination?
I work to pay for my travel addiction and I have enjoyed taking European cruises and exploring Israel while volunteering on an army base. Future experiences on my bucket list include taking an African safari and traveling to Australia and New Zealand.

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