MPI Perspective - February 2008 - (Page 23)

my mp i – paul a hig g ins MPI has expanded my toolbox. I’ve learned new skills and met many clients through PAULA HIGGINS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF SALES SONOMA COUNTY TOURISM BUREAU the educational programs. Getting involved also helped me come out of my shell; I’m much more outgoing now. What is the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau? We are the official destination marketing organization for Sonoma County, which is dubbed the area, “Sonoma Country.” safe environment to learn new skills and try new concepts. How has your MPI involvement contributed to success at your company? MPI has expanded my toolbox. I’ve learned new skills and met many clients through the educational programs. Getting involved also helped me come out of my shell; I’m much more outgoing now. What separates your company from others in the industry? The main difference is each of our staff has the authority to make decisions that will best benefit the end user. We are all empowered here, which allows us great flexibility to meet the needs of our clients. Also, because we are a non-member organization we are able to work with our partners based on our partners’ products and the needs and requests of our clients. In one word how would you describe your MPI experience? Flexible. How long have you been in the business? Eighteen years. I’ve worked in many different areas of the business. I graduated from the hospitality programs at the City College of San Francisco and University of Nevada Las Vegas. My career has included hotel and restaurant operations and restaurant sales and training. I worked as an executive chef at Chevy’s Restaurant for five years then became a lead trainer for the restaurant. I trained more than 65 managers at various Chevy’s Restaurants throughout the United States. My husband and I relocated to Sonoma County in 2000, where I continued my career in hotel sales before joining the Bureau three and a half years ago. More about Paula. Paula is a jewelry designer. She has created all types of jewelry for men and women using beads and precious metal clay. “I love to see my designs on friends and family and hear all the positive comments,” Paula says. “As a matter of fact, the next time you see me wearing interesting jewelry, ask me about it. It’s likely my work.” Paula and her husband have been married for 16 years. When not making jewelry, she can be found walking her Cocker Spaniel, Bud, on the beach or taking friends and family to local wineries, hiking the Sonoma Mountains, or shopping through Sonoma Country. ● Paula Higgins is Associate Director of Sales at the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. She can be reached at (707) 539-7282 or What is your role at your company? I encourage and welcome groups to Sonoma County. We offer seamless services to our clients. I’m part of a team that takes the client’s vision and turns it into a Sonoma reality. Courtyard by The Perfect Room for the Perfect Meeting The newly renovated Courtyard by Marriot Modesto offers 333545 everything you need for your meeting. We are conveniently 1/8 H located off Hwy. 99, with newly renovated guest rooms and Page 23 meeting space, offering complimentary Wireless Internet access throughout. Let us help you plan the perfect meeting! Why did you join MPI? I joined MPI in 2000 for the networking value. It has paid off tremendously. What advice do you have for others considering MPI membership? Get involved. Volunteer on committees and follow through on committee work. There are so many different ways to enhance your personal job and learning experiences through MPI. Find those that are in line with your work and personal goals, then allow MPI to be your vehicle to meet those goals. MPI is a very 1720 Sisk Rd., Modesto, CA 95350 (209) 577-3825 333545_courtyard.indd 1 MPINCCperspective | VOL. 26, 6/14/07 |11:42:09 AM NO. 4 23

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - February 2008

MPI Perspectives - February 2008
President's Message
Bulding Relationships for Work
Principles of a Professional
Love Alliances, Hate Negotiations
The Lost Office Relationships
My MPI - Paula Higgins
Member Pearls
Green Meetings
Chapter Chatter
Join the Ranks - Become a CMP
Destination Spotlight - Ontario, California
Index to Advertisers

MPI Perspective - February 2008