MPI Potomac FYI
Upcoming Events

Creating Positive Change with Diversity & Inclusion

Why does diversity and inclusion matter in the event and hospitality industry? Research has shown that diversity improves business results for clients, teams and employees and a more inclusive environment proves to be more innovative. An industry that hears and embraces many voices and perspectives will shape better outcomes and a stronger future for the meeting and hospitality industry. Join us for a dynamic panel conversation where diversity and inclusion professionals from various perspectives explore key issues and best practices to advance our organizations.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the impact of dversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Discover how inclusion can foster innovation.
  • Illustrate the advantages of teams with diverse generations, abilities, genders and cultures.

When:  
Wednesday, March 20
4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Where: 
The Eaton Hotel
1201 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Metro: Metro Center (Red/Blue/Orange)

Register here!

The Kentucky Derby is America’s original, extravagant springtime sports party. To continue building upon an MPI Potomac tradition, we invite you to experience an evening of southern charm and celebration as MPI Potomac teams with Louisville Tourism and The Omni Shoreham Hotel to bring the thrills of the Derby to DC! Register here so you don't miss out!

When:
Thursday, April 25
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where:
The Omni Shoreham
2500 Calvert Street NW
Washington, DC 20008
Metro: Woodley Park/National Zoo

Dress Code:
Derby or Business Attire

Register TODAY for a chance to spend a weekend at Churchill Downs.

Louisville Tourism is so excited to see you at the 9th Annual Derby Days & Silent Auction and will have a drawing for a weekend at Churchill Downs including airfare, a two-night stay at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, tickets to Churchill Downs and more!

A Special Guest Straight from Churchill Downs! Meet a real Kentucky Derby jockey while at the event and learn about the races from firsthand experience.

Silent Auction Donations Needed! The 9th Annual Derby Days Silent Auction is now open for donations. The auction will run from April 15 to April 25 with proceeds going to the MPI Potomac Chapter in order to support our members.

Click here to donate!

Hats and Outfits On! As we continue our Derby Days tradition, our hat contest will be in full swing this year. And to add to the fun, judges will be looking at the entire ensemble. Be sure to wear your Derby best to win! So go big or small, contemporary or old-fashioned or just plain fascinating. Women and men are welcome to top off their Derby duds with a variety of ostentatious head wear. No hat? No worries – come make one at the event and take it home for a fun keepsake of the evening.

 

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Volunteer Spotlight

Evan Nielson
AARP
Business Development Committee

Evan Nielson is a great contributor to the MPI Potomac Chapter. He is an active member of the Business Development Committee. Despite juggling a full‐time job and a full course load as a George Washington University master's in tourism student, Nielson is always up for anything and willing to help out with the committee in any way. He is always at our events and is well known by so many!

He also has served the chapter with special projects. Nielson brings a positive attitude to everything that he does. He pays close attention to the details to ensure that we move our chapter forward.

Nielson is certainly a great asset to the MPI Potomac Chapter. We cannot wait to see where his MPI Potomac journey takes him!

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The Hotel at the University of Maryland
MACE! 2019

                                     

                                      

Click here to see more photos!

 

 

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 ~ Contract Strategies for the Emerging Marketplace, April 9

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Feature

Mas Tadesse is a co‐founder of the Association for Women in Events and meetings manager for the American Dental Education Association. Acknowledged for her positive attitude, willingness to lend a hand and anticipating tasks before being asked, she truly has a knack for customer service and loves the hospitality industry. During the past 10 years, Tadesse has worked in several Washington, D.C., metro area entities, including the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Society of Landscape Architecture and the American Public Human Services Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from California State University, Los Angeles. She also is a member of PCMA, AWE and ASAE. Tadesse started her career in television news working in Southern California newsrooms, including KTLA, UPN and KABC‐TV. To gain on‐air experience, she reported for the ABC affiliate in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and the NBC affiliate in Bristol, Tennessee, with her final on‐air stop as a general assignment reporter in Las Vegas. She made the switch to meeting management and hasn’t looked back. She is a native of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and grew up in Pasadena, California.

Tadesse shares that, as a part of their efforts to build awareness of diversity and inclusion, AWE is thrilled to announce its first in‐person programming. AWE brings the movement to D.C. for a full‐day event at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C. With world‐class speakers like Michelle Obama’s head speechwriter, attendees will leave with a renewed sense of purpose and innovative ideas in addition to unique opportunities to meet fellow change‐makers in business, events and politics. To learn more, visit www.womeninevents.org/elevate‐powered‐by‐awe#/.

Additionally, in 2018, the Association for Women in Events worked closely with Reston Herndon meeting planners and designed a panel specifically around diversity and inclusion (D&I) because we live and work in increasingly diverse cities and communities that do not necessarily reflect our workplaces. For example, women are most of the workforce in the meetings and events industry; however, the majority of managers and executives are men. The disparity is greater when other factors are considered such as race, sexual orientation, gender identity and accessibility needs. What are the reasons for these disparities and how can we create workplaces that are reflective of our communities? As a panelist, Tadesse discussed the successes, opportunities and challenges of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Topics included the various dimensions of diversity, opportunities to enhance inclusion and the relative impact of D&I strategies.

"As a diverse group of co‐founders, inclusion was a central driver around why we created the Association for Women in Events. It's in our mission statement, and I feel that we truly live and breathe that. While women make up the majority of our community, we've made a concerted effort to include men as not only members but on our board and in our committees," Tadesse stated. This is one way they incorporated inclusion into their decision‐making process. 

Tadesse also believes that while recruiting a diverse workforce is important, it is also important to create a space for an inclusive culture. A real‐time example is when planning a conference her team is
hypersensitive to "manels" (all-male panels). This includes having panelists who are in varying stages of their careers. She recently attended a panel on differently abled people. This really opened her eyes about how society works with differently abled individuals. She learned that they are typically able to find unique and innovative solutions to challenges. Their perspectives, experiences and backgrounds support the diversity they need to achieve their strategic objectives.

The senior director for meetings, Audra (Franks) Johnson, M.T.A., CMP, CAE, of the American Dental Education Association says the best way to combat unconscious bias is to "respond" instead of "react." Tadesse provided the following example, which occured early in her career. There was a magazine article being written about diversity and inclusion, and they were asking for quotes. Each person the writer sought out was white and male. One of the men Tadesse knew advocated for her to be quoted instead of him. He gave her an opportunity and a platform reiterating that you need to speak to a diverse group.

Tadesse suggests hosting a brown bag lunch in your office and connecting with your team to find out what motivates them as a way to motivate a colleague who may be unreceptive to diversity in the workplace. People like to be heard and understood. Every week for one year her team had a brown bag lunch while they were building a new registration system. She had the opportunity to explain what she needed as an end user. The tech‐savvy team building the system said that what she wanted would take months to create and they couldn't accommodate her. Initially, she thought they were being difficult, but over time they developed a rapport and the result was a registration system that is still successfully being used 10 years later.

Tadesse’s advice on increasing awareness in your organization or association stems from something her team does. In their office they have a "buddy" system. Her buddy provides frequent coaching and feedback on office culture, and they meet informally once a month. Having a buddy also helped her collaborate with their multigenerational workforce and helped combat silos within the company. Her boss also does a great job applying a unique management style for each person on the team, which has created a dynamic, well‐managed diverse workforce.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for diversity and inclusion awareness. Communication, incorporating an organizational strategy that capitalizes on the multiple perspectives, and creating a collaborative environment all help toward the end goal of creating a diverse and inclusive culture.

 By Mas Tadesse and Veronica Frazier

 

 

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