What It Takes to Go From Planning to the C-Suite

What It Takes to Go From Planning to the C-Suite

If you were to peek in at an aspiring association CEO event, you’d probably expect to see more meeting professionals planning the program than participating in it. After all, a lot of association meeting planners talk about how they want that proverbial seat at the table. But how many want that seat to be at the head of the table?

While a career path from meeting planning to the C-suite may be unusual, there are planners who believe that meetings can in fact be a good proving ground for top association executives. Witness the planner participants signed up for last year’s American Society for Association Executives Aspiring Association Executives pre-conference workshop, which was designed to help attendees design a career path to the top of the association hierarchy.
MeetingsNet asked three of those planners to share their stories.

Mathew Marcial, CMP, CAE


Matthew Marcial, CMP, CAE, senior director, events, Meeting Professionals International, a global association for meeting and event professionals with more than 90 chapters in 24 countries

Career path to date: Marcial got a job at a resort during the summer of his senior year in high school and worked his way up to a management position as he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

With an MBA in hand and his sights set on a career in hotel management, he had just relocated to take a more senior-level position at a property in Florida when an opportunity opened up for him to oversee the meetings and events team at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “What sold them on me making the jump from the hotel side was my experience with negotiations and contracting,” he says.
It was at AACE, he says, that he saw “all the opportunities that association management offered.” He continued to chase those opportunities with a position as director of meetings and education with NAFA Fleet Management Association, where he oversaw both the meeting management and the education and certification teams, broadening his experience.

To see the other 2 interviews click here 

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