Kate McGee was a young corporate planner two years out of college when September 11 changed the world. Like so many in the business — which was already struggling with a weak economy — McGee found herself laid off and re-evaluating her place in the world. It was then, she says, that she fell into independent planning — mostly by circumstance. “I'd worked with Kathryn Jurgensen (of Irvine, Calif.-based Premier Meetings) on a few meetings after I lost my job. She knew I was planning on moving ...

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