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SUSAN KATZ
Director, Corporate Events & Travel
True Value Co.

PAST Katz began her career in travel, working for a company that organized the travel and hotels for large conventions, then moved into another position planning group international travel programs where she also organized educational sessions on the destinations the groups were visiting. She then spent more than 15 years managing meetings and events for associations, including the American Dental Association and the National Safety Council, before moving to the corporate events side of the business. She has been with True Value for seven years.

HIGHLIGHTS “I would definitely say the highlight of my career was when I was elected chairman of the Professional Convention Management Association. (Her term began in January.) Leading this organization—which has been instrumental in providing me with the education and contacts I needed to succeed in my career—is a great honor.

LOOKING AHEAD “The next couple of years are not really about advancing my career at this point, but about helping my team and others advance. Along those lines, I have established a New Professional Task Force at PCMA to help us develop the next generation of planners and suppliers and to help PCMA remain relevant to the next generation of leaders in the meetings industry.”

MENTORS “I have been lucky to have had so many mentors throughout the years—people who have really helped and guided my career. In my first association, my boss really taught me how important it is to develop relationships with suppliers and how important it is to maintain your reputation. I have made lifelong friendships through the industry and I’m grateful for those friends who have always been there and provided me with support and assistance. My way of giving back is supporting PCMA in providing the information and education the next generation needs to succeed and lead.”

ADVICE “The best advice I can give to all in this industry is be lifelong learners. Our industry is constantly changing; Make sure you stay knowledgeable so you can continue to contribute and increase your value to your organization. Find opportunities to give back to your community and to others in the profession. It’s extremely fulfilling when you can use your planning knowledge to help others.” —Barbara Scofidio