A Visit with MPI Potomac Past President Matthew J. Wales, CMP by Faye Pastor, CEM, CMP

It looks like the MPI Potomac Chapter got lucky. Our fabulous featured past president, Matt Wales, happened into our wonderful industry (or shall I say was drafted into our industry) by chance.

Matt says that his career at AACTE started out in Government Relations. Matt’s abilities and personality were a standout as his mentor, current Chief of Staff at AACTE, Gail Bozeman, recruited him to join the newly-created Meetings & Events team. "She felt like my skills and talents were the perfect fit for our new team, and I was ready to take on a new challenge in my career."

How did you "find" MPI?

Matt told me that his mentor suggested he immediately invest in his professional development and get involved within his new industry. With that suggestion in mind,  Matt became involved with the MPI Potomac chapter. At the first MPI Potomac event he attended, he was welcomed and immediately connected with Michelle Marie Adams, CMP, who in turn made sure to introduce him to several other MPI Potomac members at that event. Matt credits his getting so involved with PMPI to someone taking interest in him from the very first meeting. "That’s what our chapter does best."

Matt became a member of MPI in July 2008, and by September 2008 was "full steam ahead" on the Leadership Committee. Along with Michelle, they spearheaded a very successful (and fun) fashion show, "Project PMPI," that offered fashion insights, interview tips and other tidbits to help people succeed in the workforce.

"Never be afraid to ask any question. We at MPI Potomac are there to help you. We want you to be involved. A new member today will be the future leader tomorrow, and it’s our job as leaders to make sure they get the support they need to reach that level."

Matt beams, "MPI Potomac is the third largest chapter, and we are exemplary leaders in our field. Other chapters look to us for best practices. We have earned the 'highest satisfaction score' among MPI’s large chapters over and over again. We are setting trends, and our leaders are serving on multiple committees, boards and task forces at the global level. We don’t just make an impression on MPI; our members are actually helping to paint the whole picture."

"Never in a million years" did I think that "MVP" idea (the theme for the year Matt was president) would still be so remembered and after I was president." He was pleasantly surprised how that theme resonated and inspired chapter members. Another awesome accomplishment during Matt’s presidency: The chapter won the MPI Rise Award for Community Achievement in Marketplace Excellence.

Matt is still very proud to be a part of the MPI Potomac chapter and glowingly refers to the chapter as the "Best of the BEST." Here’s your opportunity to become the best of the best. Get involved, join a committee and be a part of the momentum.