FICP Profile: Jana Stern, VP, Education, Director, Conventions & Conference Planning, ING, Minneapolis

Q: What have the benefits of FICP membership been for you?
A:
I have been a member of FICP since 1995. I will never forget my first annual meeting in Hawaii. Planners and hospitality partners made me feel welcome from the first evening. Many of those people are still my friends today. I am able to reach out to any FICP member and share challenges and find solutions. The benefits of FICP are relationships, relationships, relationships.

FICP also provided me an opportunity to find mentors. In most companies, there are only a couple of planners. By attending FICP conferences, I found my mentor, and she was right in Minnesota! We would pal around at the meetings, but we would also have one-on-one time throughout the year. She was there to answer all those questions that new planners ask. I believe this benefits my employer, ING. The training ING can offer is in the insurance business. FICP teaches me about the hospitality industry: negotiating, cost analysis, food and beverage trends, etc. I’ve also found numerous opportunities for professional growth.

Q: Why did you volunteer to serve on the FICP board of directors?
A:
Many home-office people at ING are active members in insurance organizations like LIMRA and AALU. I wanted to participate in something that I am passionate about, and that’s FICP. Selfishly, this board appointment will be my chance to work with a different team of planners to see how they do things and learn from them. All FICP members bring so much to the planning community and I’m proud to be a part of it!

Q: What are FICP’s goals with regard to education?
A:
We are striving toward a streamlined educational platform across the regional meetings, the Forum, and the Annual. We’re planning webinars, talk radio, and workshops based on feedback from our members. Our intent is to be a forerunner in new, innovative, and creative ideas that our members can take back to their companies to provide value.

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