• 16/08/18 News

    Meeghan De Cagna listens before she leads

    Meeghan De Cagna is the type of leader who puts others’ needs before her own. No matter the situation, she executes her servant-leadership style with grace and humility, always making time to brainstorm with her colleagues and discuss creative solutions. In her role as Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer at the Endocrine Society, Meeghan leads strategic growth through the development of programs and key relationships with the Society.

    Meeghan’s story is the final installment of our Women in Leadership Series, where we’ve spotlighted innovative women in leadership positions who are paving the way in their association or company. They offer insight into their careers, tips for women starting out and their “secret sauce” ingredients for getting where they are today.


    Meeghan De Cagna   →  Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer, Endocrine Society

    Q: What is your current position and how long have you been in your field?

    A: I currently have the great good fortune to serve as the Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer at the Endocrine Society—the largest professional organization in the world for scientists and clinicians who work in the areas of endocrine diseases and disorders. The field of endocrinology is quite broad covering some of the world’s most challenging diseases, including diabetes and obesity, to the rarest diseases, such as acromegaly or Cushing’s Syndrome.
    My specific role is to lead strategic growth through the development of programs and key relationships with Society supporters such as academia, industry, foundations, government and regulatory bodies, and patients. I’ve been a working professional for 25 years and a Society staff member for 2.5 years.

     

    Q: Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader and how did he/she affect your leadership style?

    A: I’ve been fortunate to have several mentors in my personal and professional life and each of these key relationships have influenced my leadership style. Professionally, for more than 18 years, I worked for a woman named Barbara Harris, and she had the greatest influence on me—going from a young woman and recent college graduate to a seasoned executive over the course of those years truly shaped me.

    More than anything, Barbara taught me about being resilient and championing other women. She taught me that you can make a major career shift mid-life and have an extraordinary “second act.” I’m in the midst of my second act right now; I never would have dreamed that I would come into the association world or healthcare and yet here I am, doing work that I love and am passionate about. It’s that passion for the work that fuels my performance and my leadership.

     

    Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

    A: I’ve learned so many, but servant-leadership is what resonates with me. Service, advocacy and putting others’ needs before my own. I strive to lead with grace and humility, listening before speaking, having high expectations of myself and my staff, learning from but also forgiving failures.

     

    Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

    A: Don’t view failure as a character flaw. Trust your talent, your intellect, your resourcefulness. You are so much more than you think you are.

     

    Q: What strategies would you recommend to women who are trying to achieve a more prominent role in their organization?

    A: Find mentors within your organization and outside of it. Be clear about what you’d like to learn, recognize that your professional growth and development is your responsibility. Don’t get caught up in titles, how large your staff is, what the organizational chart looks like or office gossip. Focus on the breadth and scope of the work you are doing. Become someone who cultivates relationships, connects people and opportunities. Lastly, keep your word.

     

    Q: What is your secret sauce?

    A:Two ingredients in my secret sauce for life:

    1. Live in a state of gratitude for all the experiences, the successes, the failures. I find that gratitude leads to learning and growth, it challenges you to reflect, to seek insight from others and to find the positive, always.
    2. Have an insatiable curiosity every day to learn something new.

     

     

    That’s a wrap for our Women in Leadership Series. Read part one here , two here and three here.

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    Meeghan De Cagna listens before she leads
  • 14/08/18 News

    Robin Reynolds’ innovative leadership drives TriStar’s success

    Robin Reynolds is the visionary and driving force behind TriStar. She’s a fountain of ideas, always devising new and novel marketing strategies that marry past successes with the future needs of our association partners. As COO and Co-owner of the company, Robin’s innovative leadership keeps TriStar ahead of the competition, year after year. She empowers. She inspires. She works harder and smarter than anyone else in the room.

    Robin’s story is part three of our Women in Leadership Series, where we’ve spotlighted innovative women in leadership positions who are paving the way in their association or company. They offer insight into their careers, tips for women starting out and their “secret sauce” ingredients for getting where they are today.


    Robin Reynolds → COO, TriStar

    Q: What is your current position and how long have you been in your field?

    A: I’m one of the founders and owners of TriStar Publishing. I’ve been in the event business for 25 years.

     

    Q: Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader and how did he/she affect your leadership style?

    A:There isn’t any one individual who has necessarily impacted my leadership style. If I had to pinpoint what defines me and has shaped me as a leader, it would without a doubt be our staff. To trust, build and develop with the people around you is extremely rewarding to me. To empower our people and to be able to share in the success of the business with them is what drives me.

     

    Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

    A:It takes all types of skill sets to run a business. Recognizing one’s strengths and placing them in a position that utilizes those assets positions them for success.

     

    Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

    A: To my younger self, I would say mistakes are OK. They’re the learning blocks for tomorrow’s successes. In starting and owning a business, you make mistakes. As the years have gone by, I’ve come to let the mishaps go and use them as moments to build upon.

     

    Q: What strategies would you recommend to women who are trying to achieve a more prominent role in their organization?

    A: Don’t focus on anything other than being the best! Work smarter AND harder. That might fly in the face of what some leaders may think, but I’ve yet to see anyone fail who didn’t do both of those things, every day.

     

    Q: What is your secret sauce?

    A: Never staying the same. I love change! I’m continuously challenging our staff and clients on how we can improve our products, services and processes.

     

    Stay tuned for part four of our Women in Leadership Series. Read part one about Jill Murray here and part two about Diedra Crawford here.

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    Robin Reynolds’ innovative leadership drives TriStar’s success
  • 09/08/18 News

    Diedra Crawford on leadership: ‘Always be yourself and stand firm on your values’

    With more than 20 years of marketing, management and meeting planning, Diedra Crawford is an expert in her field and a leader in her industry. As Industry Sales and Operations Director for Digestive Disease Week® (DDW), she oversees exhibitor and vendor relationships, contract negotiations, and event logistics for the world’s largest gathering of digestive disease health professionals. Diedra’s story is part two of our Women in Leadership Series, where we’ve spotlighted innovative women in leadership positions who are paving the way in their association or company. They offer insight into their careers, tips for women starting out and their “secret sauce” ingredients for getting where they are today.


    Diedra Crawford  → 
    Industry Sales and Operations Director, DDW

    Q: What is your current position and how long have you been in your field?

    A: Industry Sales and Operations Director, DDW

     

    Q: Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader and how did he/she affect your leadership style?

    A: I have two people: 1. Jackie Russo, IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events) industry icon. I saw her at one of my first IAEE events and was super impressed with her. I met her at that meeting, and we’ve been friends since then. She showed me that you can be a female in this industry and still be beloved and recognized as an industry leader. This affected my leadership style by boosting my confidence that you can be nice, friendly, fair and female as a leader. And you don’t have to be a 50-plus-year-old male to make a difference in this industry.  2. My previous boss, Chris Dolnack at NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation). Chris taught me the value of being authentic. Always be yourself and stand firm on your values.

     

    Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

    A: Listening, which leads into collaboration.

     

    Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

    A:Be more open, but hold true to your values. Your values ground you.

     

    Q: What strategies would you recommend to women who are trying to achieve a more prominent role in their organization?

    A: Claim your ideas and get credit for them; demonstrate your value and be heard.

     

    Q: What is your secret sauce?

    A: Not sure this meets the secret sauce question, but the beach or lake with my family and dogs refreshes me. 

     

    Stay tuned for part three and four of our Women in Leadership Series. Read part one here.

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    Diedra Crawford on leadership: ‘Always be yourself and stand firm on your values’
  • 07/08/18 News

    Jill Murray celebrates 30 years in the event industry

    Jill Murray is a dynamic leader at TriStar. She brings enthusiasm, keen negotiating skills and an unparalleled attention to detail in her role as TriStar President and Co-owner of the company. Jill’s experience and expertise is evident in the top-notch production department and thriving company she’s helped build, but it’s also a reflection of her careful tutelage, down-to-earth leadership style and commitment to relationships.

    In recognition of Jill’s 30th anniversary in the event industry this past June, we’ve spotlighted innovative women in leadership positions who are paving the way in their association or company. They offer insight into their careers, tips for women starting out and their “secret sauce” ingredients for getting where they are today.


    Jill Murray  →  President, TriStar

    Q: What is your current position and how long have you been in your field?

    A: President of TriStar; 30 years as of June 1!

     

    Q: Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader and how did he/she affect your leadership style?

    A: I’d have to stay it was a collaborative effort by both my grandmother and my dad. My grandmother worked full time while raising my dad. I spent a lot of time going to work with my grandmother, and she never acted like “the boss.” Her philosophy was: You roll up your sleeves along with your staff so you are always aware of their perspective. I’ve always believed creating this mutual respect in the workplace is a significant factor in company success. My grandmother also taught me the importance of attempting the work-family balance. She always said it never balances—just continuously shifts from one side to the other and you need to accept it or you’ll go crazy trying to create that balance.

    My dad started working at age 15 (still is at 86 and recently was recognized for his 65 years in banking). He started as a teller and still will occasionally work at the counter to greet clients and hang out with his employees. He has always acknowledged their importance in his success. He always put himself in their shoes and remembered his humble beginnings when dealing with specific employee issues. Again, it’s about having that mutual respect.

     

    Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

    A: I am not sure how to break it down to one lesson learned, and I am still learning! But probably that humility is an important characteristic in developing as a leader. Don’t give yourself too much credit when things are going well. There is always a strong team behind that success. But don’t be too hard on yourself when things go badly. Accept, learn and move forward.

     

    Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

    A: Slow down. Listen more to the mentors that were put in my path. Seek respect, not popularity. Let go of the need to be right; focus on being righteous.

     

    Q: What strategies would you recommend to women who are trying to achieve a more prominent role in their organization?

    A: First, be the best at what it is you do. Being the best gives you the confidence to “go for it.” Communicate your goals; don’t wait to be noticed to begin the dialogue. Start it. Understand the importance of relationship-building; connect with influential people and seek them out for strategic advice. Women are great about networking in their personal lives, but I don’t see it often in the work environment. The knowledge you can get from having a powerful network can be dynamic.

     

    Q: What is your secret sauce?

    A: Haven’t you heard that I’m disastrous in the kitchen? If there is a secret sauce, it was by accident. Any success achieved is due to the good Lord and the great staff we are fortunate to have.

     

    Stay tuned for part two, three and four of our Women in Leadership Series. 

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    Jill Murray celebrates 30 years in the event industry