MPI Potomac FYI

Spotlight on Evan Nielson

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Day Job: Event Coordinator Event Strategy & Services, AARP

Committee Work: Business Development, Community Outreach & Advocacy, MACE!

1. Why did you join MPI Potomac? 
A little over three years ago, as I was finishing my undergrad at the George Washington University, a panel of MPI Potomac members came in to speak to my event management class. Hearing their stories and the relationships they developed in the chapter encouraged me to attend an MPI event. That first event showed me how joining MPI would be a meaningful way to develop my new career in the events industry. 

2. How did you get involved in MPI Potomac?
I joined the MACE Committee at my first Summer Sizzle in 2016. Planning MACE was a great way to see how the chapter plans one of its large-scale annual events. The experience pushed me to continue seeking out additional committees and learning about the different elements of the chapter. 

3. What’s one of your biggest professional success stories?
One event I am particularly proud of was for OregonSaves, a new state-sponsored program, strongly advocated for by AARP, that allows employees to easily build retirement savings. This two-day conference in Portland, OR was the first event I traveled to solo and managed on-site without any assistance from my colleagues. The program included high-profile speakers like the state treasurer for Oregon and it was covered in prestigious publications, including The New York Times

4. How do you define success? 
Success to me is all about growth. Regardless of the actual outcome, if I can say that my actions helped me, others, or an organization grow for the better, I feel successful. 

5. What’s your favorite inspirational quote? 
"If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead" – Gusteau in Ratatouille. I always strive to learn from the past and look toward the future.

6. What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I enjoy any opportunity to relax and watch TV (everything from Survivor to Modern Family to the Real Housewives). It’s an easy way to disconnect from responsibilities for an hour.

7. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled? 
Mackinac Island, MI. It’s a 3.8-square-mile island in between Michigan’s lower and upper peninsula. The neatest part is that there are no cars allowed on the island, so the only way to get around is by foot, bike, or horse-drawn carriage. The slower pace is wonderful for relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.

8. What is the one thing you can’t live without? 
Coffee, without a doubt!


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