What are your goals as chair of the Foundation?
My goal as chair of the Foundation is certainly to ensure that the Foundation provides the resources to support the global growth goals for PCMA in general. Part of what we do — and really the main tenet of our focus — is to make sure that there is the right kind of funding for key scholarships and research and that we’re bringing opportunities for industry-leading education to the marketplace and to the community. My goal is to ensure that we stay the course on that, but that we’re also creative in our approach in meeting the emerging needs of PCMA members, especially those in the role of business event strategist.
Why is the Foundation’s work important to the business events industry?
What the Foundation does is provide the framework to help support and fuel career development, through scholarships, for our colleagues. And there are a lot of individuals who can benefit from our scholarships. If you look at the diversity of the types of research projects and the types of studies that the Foundation has been able to underwrite, all of those activities and outcomes help provide the community with an opportunity for greater learning and to improve as business event strategists, which is again a strategy for the overall organization. So, it’s the framework, the catalyst, for making those things happen, and they would not happen if it wasn’t for the Foundation.
Why is it important for you to serve as a volunteer leader with the PCMA Foundation?
Given the fact that I work at a company whose lifeblood is supporting volunteers and associations, being a volunteer leader is representative of what I do. It’s to be able to showcase the importance of volunteering in the community and give back to this profession and industry that I’ve dedicated most of my life to.
My company (SmithBucklin) serves volunteer leaders all day. And so I thought it was important to walk the talk. We’re also deeply invested in talent development for our team. As I started to get more involved with PCMA, I had a real passion for engaging in a deeper way and contributing to building a network of amazing, innovative, creative, smart people. And so it’s just been an unbelievable pleasure for me.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I think it’s important to show the value of people participating in PCMA and the Foundation through their contributions and giving. And “giving” doesn’t only have to be big corporate dollars, although those are significant and we value them and we value those partnerships. But one of my unofficial goals personally is to really try to show how individuals can make a difference even with $10. I want to show the benefits of those donations going, not only to their peers, but to truly helping evolve the industry.
I always tie it back to, “Yes, dollars are important but please think about the impact those dollars are making and the difference you are making in our industry.”