These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine Roberts was recently hired as Executive Director of the MPI Foundation.
What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as executive director of the MPI Foundation?
I’ve been a member of MPI for many years, and have enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the MPI community and foundation as a volunteer leader and past-president for the MPI South Florida Chapter. In my new role, I will now be able to reach a broader audience of the MPI community and through my efforts with the foundation, help to provide valuable services and resources through our chapter grants and scholarships, along with research to help the business events industry.
How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
For the last 10 years, I served Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as Vice President, Convention Sales, and while engaged with MPI personally, also had the opportunity to work with MPI and the MPI Foundation as a strategic partner. These partnership opportunities helped Greater Fort Lauderdale leverage the MPI global community to spread the word about the destination for business events, and allowed me to see the worthwhile things that MPI and the Foundation are able to provide to the meetings industry and members in need.
How did you get into the industry?
I joined the industry almost 30 years ago as a salesperson in the hotel field, and was fortunate to have enjoyed a number of opportunities with increasing responsibility in a variety of hotels and resorts. And while living in the Fort Lauderdale area, I had the opportunity to join the destination marketing organization and focus on helping to bring business events and conventions to the area that I love. Through the past years, I have benefited directly from the educational programs that MPI afforded me at WEC and locally, and from networking that cemented both professional and personal relationships that will last a lifetime.
What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
My top goal is to increase funds contributed to the Foundation which will result in more scholarships, grants and key pan-industry research projects that will make our industry stronger. Other goals include increasing the awareness of the Foundation to our MPI Community–both to reinforce the good that we do every year and to ensure our members know about the opportunities available to them when they are in need. I believe that by simply marketing our accomplishments and programs more regularly to all of our members and chapters, we can enact a more even distribution of both contributions and benefit distribution across the globe.
What do you enjoy most about the industry?
I enjoy the organized chaos of the industry. Though there are many industries to which that statement might apply, the intricate and finely tuned orchestra of people involved in the execution of an event, from the suppliers, service delivery teams, planners and stakeholders is fascinating to me. I studied business and psychology in college, and a good intersection point of those two areas is a meeting or event.