August 06, 2012
Bill Reed knew from his teens he wanted to be a part of this industry. His career started in highschool while working a “not so glamorous” job at a hotel creating arrival fruit basket amenities. After working in nearly every department at that resort, he got his degree in hotel administration from Florida International University. His career path has taken him from Westin Hotels & Resorts to Canadian Pacific Hotels (which became Fairmont), Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and finally to his current position as Senior Vice President, Strategic Sales at Experient, Inc.
Talk to Bill about what excites him in the industry and it is obvious he is passionate about the influence that meetings have on the world.
“I get very excited when I think of the impact that great, purpose-driven meetings have on attendees’ careers, organizations’ and companies’ growth, society’s development and the way that we, yes, those of us in the meetings industry, shape the future. There has never been a great idea in the world that was implemented without the need for a meeting of some sort. Imagine our power as meeting professionals as the backbone of evolution in our world. Think of the impact of meetings hosted by the many fine cancer-related associations, like PCMA members American Cancer Society and American Association for Cancer Research. Technology and its effect on communications would not be where it is today without successfully orchestrated meetings hosted by technology companies, like PCMA members Microsoft and Cisco.”
Bill is reluctant to share his greatest professional achievement because he believes his greatest achievement is still ahead of him and wants to stay focused on the future.
When it comes to an industry mentor he can’t nail down just one. He credits his successes and lessons learned to a number of individuals and to something his father once told him, “wherever you are, make sure you show up.” He has built that into his approach to business by making sure he is present in all situations and is attentive to everything around him. “Over the course of my career I have watched many people and made mental notes about what I admired, appreciated about their approach, skill or demeanor, and tried to emulate these in my toolbox. They each have taught me a valuable lesson in one way or another because they all had different strengths. PCMA people like David Evans, Jim Sweeney, Anne Hamilton, Susan Katz, Liz Erikson, Dobby Wall, Joan Eisenstodt, Annette Parker, Janet Hunter, Richard Green, Teri Tonioli, Joan Cutlip-Spivey, Gary Schirmacher, and others because the list is truly unending,” said Bill.
Life outside of work for Bill is filled with being an avid sports spectator, books and the occasional martini. Family is something he places great value on and loves spending time with his siblings, nieces and nephews.
Something that may help to explain why Bill is such an energetic and enthusiastic person…in college he was the school mascot.
Bill’s first involvement with PCMA was before he was a member. “I was assigned to be the convention services manager when a PCMA summer conference was held at my hotel. Like many CSMs that are assigned a VIP group, I was told how important the group was by our General Manager with the inspiring words of “Don’t screw it up!” The meeting went well and after being with the group morning, noon and night, I wanted to become a member because I saw the members were the most skilled in the meetings industry.
PCMA has impacted my career in so many ways, it might be impossible to cover them all. Mostly, the membership is the cream of the crop and it has enabled me to be surrounded by extremely bright people that I can learn from and model, the purest form of value proposition from any association, but one that PCMA truly delivers upon. In my office I have a framed quote of Oprah Winfrey’s. The quote is “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” PCMA has elevated the way that I think about industry issues, and PCMA members lift me higher as a person and a professional.”