JUN 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Home SMERF PLANNING GUIDE Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase Former Military Planner Says Donʼt Forget To Plan For Your Own Next Adventure By Sherry Hilley, Retired Military Planner Retirement…that little word can change your life! After 35 years of devoted Government service with the last 15 years as a meeting and conference planner, retirement sprung upon me like an early foggy morning. I knew I would continue networking with my friends and colleagues on other adventures so taking this next step in my life seemed natural. Having little time for outside interests during my career and raising a family, I was looking for- ward to expanding my role as a board member for a local chapter of meeting planners and sup- pliers recently chartered in Alabama. However, I was disheartened to learn that as a retired meet- ing planner member of the society, I no longer qualified to hold a leadership position. The over- all consensus of the society's board of directors was that a retired planner member would no longer be of any value to a supplier member. I could certainly continue my membership as a "retired status" and attend the monthly meet- ings, but I would no longer be classified as a leader with actual hands-on experience. But I feel it's important for me to be a part of the meetings industry, so I am supporting the chapter in other ways. I have influenced several colleagues to join the chapter as well as provide significant input to the program committee for the upcoming regional conference. Skills and character are two cornerstones of an effective leader, and they can apply to the work- place as well as the community. What will you do when you retire? Are you planning for this event in your life? For me, retirement means the sun is shining with new opportunities. So I say, be ready for what's next, and continue to serve and influence the meetings industry. ■ Rising from the banks of Augusta, Georgia's beautiful Savannah River is the location of your next meeting. Expanding the convention center to more than 100,000 square feet, the new Trade, Exhibit and Event Center combines edgy design with old Southern charm. And just steps away? Artists Row, boutique shopping, the Riverwalk, and countless dining adventures. Augusta's TEE Center truly is the center of everything. TRADE, EXHIBIT AND EVENT CENTER 26 ConventionSouth JUNE 2012 www.con v

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