Mentors. They’re the individuals who help guide newbies and the imperative piece of the success puzzle. They educate from a different point of view, help us to network and teach by example. I am fortunate to have not one mentor, but three. Even if we don’t speak for months, I know I can pick up the phone or send an email for their support and guidance. It’s important to have these individuals in my professional and personal life as I continue to grow. But why three?
I met my first mentor, Anne Dunlavy, on the first day of a job. At the time, she was the director of sales for Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, providing the supplier perspective as well as an industry overview. During breakfast, she became my partner for my first meeting, someone who would guide me through networking opportunities. Through time, she became an honest friend. My second mentor supplied a different angle—that of a meetings professional. Mary Belding, CMP, previously held my position. Her historical perspective was invaluable as I learned the programs and planning process of a new organization. She also encouraged me to obtain the CMP designation, something I’m always paying forward as I encourage other industry colleagues to do the same. Karyn Nishimura Sneath (pictured above), my third mentor, helped guide me from a management and programming perspective. I was determined to have the programming piece of my career be important, and a speaker who could captivate an entire room was the perfect individual to help teach me what I needed to know.
I have great mentors who I also call friends, and I know it’s my responsibility to pay it forward. I always try to be a resource, not only to those in the industry, but also to anyone seeking an outside perspective. But I’m always learning from those around me. Who is your mentor? How do you pay it forward?