Successful Meetings - February 2008 - (Page 17)

News & Analysis > On The Record Terri Breining Gives Back Marking the 20th anniversary of her independent planning company, Concepts Worldwide, this month, Terri Breining is more focused than ever on giving back to the industry. Her efforts have come with rewards—she’s racking up accolades left and right—but her motivation is more about altruism, along with good dose of business savvy. Here’s what makes this independent businesswoman tick. SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS: In conjunction with San Diego State University (SDSU)—where you’ve taught for many years—you are celebrating your company’s twodecade mark by launching an internship for 20 college students studying meeting planning at hospitality schools nationwide. This comes after you started a scholarship for students in SDSU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program several years ago. Why have you come up with these programs? SM: EIBTM International bestowed its first annual “Personality of the Year” award on you this past December. What does that mean to you? BREINING: I was completely stunned! It feels wonderful. If people do their work for awards and acknowledgments, it’s the wrong reason; if it’s the primary goal, there’ll never be enough acknowledgment. But if the motivation is to give back to an industry that’s fed us and because it’s the right thing to do, then these acknowledgments are wonderful gifts. SM: Concepts Worldwide employees submitted an application for the company to be named one of the “Best Companies to Work for in San Diego,” by a local paper, and they succeeded. How have you created that type of environment? BREINING: I respect and like them, which is a good start. But also, we do community service events that enable our employees to give back. We have opportunities for people to express their opinion, such as the annual retreat, which every employee attends. And we listen to what they have to say; we’re implementing a number of changes that were suggested last year. Also, when I’m in town, I’m available all the time if anyone needs to speak with me. They don’t have to make an appointment or go through someone else. We have a lot of laughter: If I hear people laughing, I don’t go out to them and bark that they need to get back to work. In addition, there’s acknowledgment of hard work and if people make mistakes, they’re not fired or belittled. It comes down to courtesy and respect. ON THE RECORD: TERRI BREINING Owner, Concepts Worldwide the more I learn. It has driven my professional development. Also, without a doubt, one of the benefits of this work is that I get business. SM: Concepts Worldwide was recently certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Why did you apply for this national certification? BREINING: We’ve received many different women-owned business certifications over the years but some were just because they said so—there wasn’t much to them. But this particular one has a very rigorous application and audit process. You have to be implementing good practices to qualify, and you have to reapply for certification every year. So now, for companies that have a mandate to work with minority- and women-owned businesses and who keep a list of such entities, we’re on the list. It gives us an edge. TERRI BREINING: As someone who’s enjoyed satisfaction and success, it’s my responsibility to give back to the industry. And what’s kept me teaching, for about 18 years, is the joy that comes with seeing the lights come on for people when they discover that meeting planning is a possibility for them. There’s great satisfaction in helping someone find his or her career path. SM: You have a long history of serving the industry, having chaired Meeting Professionals International in 2003-2004 and, since early 2007, the Accepted Practices Exchange Commission. What does that work bring you? BREINING: Again, it’s about corporate social responsibility. Plus, the more I’m out there learning, teaching, and volunteering, SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS FEBRUARY 2008 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - February 2008

Successful Meetings - February 2008
Editor's Note
Trade Shows
On the Record
Planner's Spotlight
Websites of the Month
Technology Talk
Personal Success
Food & Beverage
On Site
Tools of the Trade
The Rainbow Connection
The CVB in Your Backyard
Welcome to the Webolution
The Rail Deal
Spas with a Sense of Place
Places & Spaces
Mystic, CT.
Hong Kong
Florida’s East Coast
Atlantic City
Maui, Kauai, & Lanai

Successful Meetings - February 2008