KARIN MILLIMAN, CMM
Strategy & Implementation Director Meeting & Event Services PricewaterhouseCoopers
PAST Milliman moved into meeting planning from a career in corporate banking (“I realized it wasn’t the long-term career for me.”) She took several NYU School of Continuing Education classes in meetings and then one day, over lunch with some banking colleagues, “We were sharing what we would do if it weren’t banking. When I described my dream job of being a meeting planner, a colleague knew of a company that might be looking for a planner. And, as they say, the rest is history!” She worked for two third-party agencies that specialized inover the span of about three years before joining Pricewaterhouse, where she has been for the last 18 years. In 2002, after the merger of PW and Coopers & Lybrand, PwC centralized all meeting planning, her department merged with the larger meeting and events group, and she was promoted. In her current role, she reports “ultimately to finance through national operations, which includes meetings, travel, and security.”
CRED Milliman has spent the past few years building relationships with peers at organizations such as Meeting Professionals International, Meetings Competitive Advantage Forum, and GBTA, where she is a member of the Groups & Meetings Committee. She has taken what she learned, adjusted PwC’sprogram in response to internal changes, and “built a business case to continue to evolve our program in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. PwC now has a hybrid operating model that includes both virtual and face-to-face meetings, and includes off-shored, outsourced, and internal resources, all focusing on providing seamless service to our meeting customers. The model is truly cutting-edge in the industry.”
LOOKING AHEAD Milliman wants to share best practices with meeting professionals in other PwC firms (PwC is a global network of member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity in its country of operation) so they can leverage policies, procedures, and supplier relationships across firms.
ADVICE “Embrace and be a champion for change. The meetings industry has changed radically over the last few years and all indicators point to change as a perpetual state of being as corporations look to continually re-evaluate and optimize the way they deliver services that are not their core business. Having weathered the economic downturn, most corporations are seeing increases in their meeting volume, but meetings may not look the same as they always have and may not be delivered in the way they always have been. You have to remain open to managing that changing landscape."—Barbara Scofidio