Samantha Moore is the Meetings and Membership Coordinator for the American Bakers Association. She graduated from Penn State in 2011, with a Bachelors of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. While attending Penn State she was an active member in their PCMA chapter, where she was Vice President her Junior year and President her Senior year.
“I can accredit my career to PCMA.” They create endless opportunities for young professionals to see and learn about the industry. “People don’t realize how big the industry is and PCMA does a good job of pointing that out.”
Samantha got her start in this industry after attending her first Convene in Dallas, where she met Art Shaw, who took her on sales calls during her spring break. Through Art’s mentorship, Samantha obtained an internship with the American Bakers Association (ABA), where she is now working fulltime. Samantha did work for the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers for a few months as their Meetings Registrar in between her internship and fulltime position at the American Bakers Association.
Her primary responsibilities as a Meetings and Membership Coordinator are registration and meeting logistics. She also does some work with accounting, database, membership and sponsorships. Luckily for Samantha, her favorite part of the job is interacting with the members. Which as you can imagine, she gets to do a lot of. So, it’s a Win, Win!
When asked about what she liked least, Samantha said, “the misunderstanding people have of what the meetings industry is or does.” It’s a bigger industry than people think and people don’t realize it takes a certain skill set to be successful. It can be frustrating when people outside the industry think that anyone can do it.
Now, no one’s perfect and everyone makes mistakes. So, what would Samantha say is her biggest? The American Bakers Association uses a software system that generates reports on how registration is doing for meetings and compares it to previous years. Unfortunately, the system broke without anyone realizing it and Samantha reported numbers that were significantly below the actual numbers to her Board. Thankfully, after further investigation the mistake was caught and corrected. However, the Board was a little concerned in the interim.
In our industry, you can find yourself faced with many challenges. The biggest one Samantha has faced is that the ABA meetings team inherited many contracts when she started, which ended up having smaller room blocks then she needed. So, when those meetings happened she was challenged with finding overflow hotels to accommodate her attendees as well as her members demands. But those obstacles were overcome and everything worked out. Samantha said, “I like challenges, they keep me busy and I don’t like to be bored!”
Samantha leaves us with a few pieces of advice. If you’re still in school, ALWAYS have an internship! Figure out if you’re really passionate about this and what works for you. And most importantly, Don’t be afraid to ASK! This applies to everyone, whether you are new to the industry or a veteran. You’re never too young or too experienced to learn.
For those of you in the Washington, DC area, Samantha organizes the Mentorship Program for PCMA’s Capital Chapter. If you are interested in being a Mentor, Mentee, or helping Samantha with the program, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any questions for Samantha, please comment below!