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Don't let your boss's 'no' stand in the way of your 'yes'

Your boss's no illustration

A MESSAGE FROM OUR BOARD as seen in the September 2021 MPI-New Jersey Newsletter

I’ve heard some good stories from industry colleagues about how their bosses have supported them through their membership with MPI.

Membership - company sponsored.

Events during the workday - approved.

Education programs - expense it.

But their stories weren’t my story and that bothered me. I knew I was missing out on something good. No matter how I positioned involvement with MPI as a good thing for business, I found myself outside the fishbowl, looking in on the action.

Those industry colleagues said MPI was the place to be if I wanted to be a well-informed, well-rounded meeting professional. A world-class academy, certificate programs, premier member benefits, resources, and a second-to-none global marketplace would be at my fingertips.

I wasn’t in the place to be, though. No matter how I finessed my work schedule to attend local MPI events, the boss said the time to be away from the office just wasn’t there.

Translation: No, you can’t go. If you do, use your paid time off.

Undeterred, I turned that boss’s no into a yes for myself. An act of rebellion? Maybe. Hey, being resourceful and finding solutions is what I do every day. So, I took the boss’s advice. I used paid time off to attend lunchtime and after-work events with MPI New Jersey.

The programming, social scene, and leadership opportunities were outstanding and kept me finding ways to remain engaged. When I couldn’t attend an activity, I offered to design the presentation slides for the chapter’s educational programs. I found a way into the room without being in the room. Video calls for committee meetings kept me involved and positioned me to demonstrate my leadership skills.

This may sound corny, but here it goes: The Internet is an awesome place. Let me explain…

MPI’s on-demand education from the World Education Congress (WEC) was one of the best investments I made in myself. Also, thoughtful digital articles in The Meeting Professional magazine, and the rich information found in MPI’s Communities all boosted my knowledge base. I even funded my Certified Meeting Professional certification (CMP) personally, as not to “owe” my former employer anything. Back then, I took every opportunity to apply what I learned through MPI to transform me into an in-demand independent meeting planner.

Yup, you read that right!

The pandemic ignited a parting of the ways for me and that boss. And because I understand the power of a good-bye, I’ve taken my association management experience and MPI brilliance to run my own company full-time. I now have the freedom to say yes to MPI even more. Opportunities are now boundless to work through the unmatched MPI Supplier Network of venues, CVBs, and more while gleaning from the best of the best in the hospitality industry.

To every phenomenally supportive stakeholder who invests in the professional development of their team members: Thank You! Our industry deserves great leaders, like you. As your team grows, greater profits will follow. Support them and they’ll run through walls to achieve your organization’s goals and objectives.

A yes to MPI is a yes to so much more for yourself. Now, go make it happen!


Nance Communications founder, Lauren Nance, CMP, currently serves on the Board of Directors for MPI New Jersey as its Director of Education.

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) strives to lead the world in education, networking and innovative solutions that advance the meeting and event industry alongside the careers of the professionals in it. Through MPI’s global network of local chapters, it activates, educates, supports, and connects the connectors - people who are passionate about bringing people together.

Learn more about MPI New Jersey at


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