What the ADMEI President’s Award Means To Me

When I received the President’s Award from the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) two weeks ago, I honestly was the most surprised person in the room, especially since I was live-tweeting the results from my table.

Now, my involvement with ADMEI is no secret. RVE has covered it before in this blog. As their Director of Communications for the past year (and headed into my second year in the same role), I give a lot of my personal time to this DMC-centric organization. But I honestly did not expect to be honored by the outgoing ADMEI president, Bent Hadler, DMCP, CIS. To share some history since I was honestly a bit clueless of the historic significance of this recognition – this prestigious award is named after Joanne O’Connor, the very first president of ADMEI, who led the organization 41 years ago. It’s always awarded by the outgoing ADMEI President to someone who he/she feels embodies the ADMEI spirit and has contributed significantly to the growth and success of ADMEI the past 12 months under their term as ADMEI Presidency. (See a list of past President’s Award winners here.) Seriously, pinch me as many of these past recipients are my mentors who I value their professional guidance so much.

Someone asked me why I think I received it and honestly I had to think very hard because our ENTIRE Board of Directors (BOD) this past year worked very hard to achieve our key goals of Transparency, Branding & Growth for ADMEI and their members…so I think I got lucky and here’s why. The biggest contribution I gave back to ADMEI this past year was the new website design; this was a pipe dream but each year the BOD was told why we could not afford a new website redeisgn. Thanks to a very hard-working BOD and Executive Director Fran Rickenbach, CAE, IOM, we managed to pull it off without a budget increase. I won’t lie: it’s been a lot of work! But it’s work I truly believe in. I know that ADMEI is a great one-stop shop for professional DMCs around the world, and if I can help move it forward and position it more effectively in front of other DMCs and our hospitality industry peers, I am up for the challenge.

So thank you again, Bent, for this distinctive honor. I can’t wait to see all that ADMEI accomplishes in the next year with our new Board of Directors under newly elected President David Rome, CMP, DMCP. Be sure to follow ADMEI happenings via the following social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Experience the world like a local!