Lori Keenan, CMP, AVP, corporate events & program specialist, at BNY Mellon/Dreyfus in New York, N.Y., is a member of the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Membership Committee

Why did you decide to volunteer your time on the membership committee and what do you enjoy about your involvement?
I joined FICP almost two years ago and wanted to find a way to become more involved with the organization. Joining the membership committee has been a wonderful way to meet people, learn more about the organization, and assist with the promotion of membership to other local area planners.

What is your biggest meeting planning challenge currently and how are you meeting that challenge?
Doing more with less is an ongoing theme in the world of event planning. We are faced with tighter budgets and fewer resources but in the end it all comes down to establishing a sense of partnership with your vendors. Finding a win-win proposition for all parties is more challenging in today’s environment, but it is still possible.

What do you wish you had more time for in your job?
That wish list could become very long, but if I had to choose one thing, I would love to have more time to manage my e-mail inbox. Thankfully, Outlook has an excellent search function!

What’s your best tip for keeping up your energy on site at a meeting?
I learned early in my career that if I can stick to my “regular” schedule while on site I tend to have more energy. I always start my day off with a great breakfast and if I really start fading, a bit of fresh air and quick walk around the property usually does the trick.

Forging relationships with C-level executives is critical today. Do you have any tips for creating successful partnerships?
Most people seem to forget that C-level execs are people too. My approach is to identify each executive’s operational style as quickly as possible and then tailor my interactions to that style. Their time is valuable just like mine, so by doing this I make sure we can get to the point and accomplish our goals in a timely manner.

If you could eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh, this is a tough one. I actually moved from Texas to New York City to attend culinary school, so I have been privileged to have some great food over the years. I have to go with a really tasty guacamole. I miss my Tex-Mex but thankfully my husband has perfected the dish and it is a staple in our home.

Describe your favorite photo or object sitting on your desk right now.
Pictures of my family! When my day starts to get crazy I can always stop what I am doing for a few moments and look at those faces smiling back at me. It helps me remember what is truly important in life.