6 Questions With Beth Schnabel

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6 Questions With Beth Schnabel

By Beth Schnabel | Jul 7, 2023

Your personal volunteer story

When I started my career in events, I had an incredible leader and mentor who told me to ‘find my people’. Through that directive I found MPI and signed up for a Beginner’s Bootcamp at WEC2017 in Las Vegas, NV. After the first day, I knew I had ‘found my people’ and looked for ways to stay connected. We have a running joke in the Wisconsin Chapter that all volunteers get their start by selling raffle tickets at a Chapter event, and that is exactly how I got started. I knew I wanted to get involved, but didn’t know how to get started, so when a friend I met at WEC2017 asked me if I was interested in selling tickets, I jumped at the chance. That initial spark of interest waterfalled into opportunities to join committees, eventually leading to my first term on the Board of Directors in 2020.

What made you want to volunteer at MPI? Or why you chose to start volunteering.

Initially, I started volunteering to grow my network of peers and grow professionally into my role as an event manager. I was a team of one at my organization and didn’t have an internal team to learn and grow with, so I know I needed to find that on my own. Volunteering with MPI provided the opportunity to learn from more seasoned professionals and created a network of experts to share ideas. As my industry knowledge grew, my professional goals evolved to include leadership skills. Volunteering with MPI provided me with the leadership experience that I was able to translate into my 9-5. 

What ROI have you gotten since volunteering for MPI?

I have been fortunate that both organizations I have worked for in my tenure as an MPI member have supported the time commitment required of volunteering, and that is accredited to the return of that investment. First and foremost is the incredible network that is fostered by deeper engagement with the chapter. I can’t even count the number of times I heard from my leadership to ‘ask your MPI friends’ when approaching a situation at work. In addition to a network of industry experts, I have an increase in confidence, expertise, and opportunities to grow my public speaking, a skill previously avoided at all costs, all of which has resulted in promotions and pay raises. And maybe most importantly, I have some amazing friendships that have formed with those volunteering alongside me.

What inspires you to continue to serve?

Volunteering with MPI is like any other relationship, it goes both ways. You have to put in what you expect to take out. That is what inspires me to continue volunteering because I know I have gifts to give, but also the gifts I receive back in return. I will be stepping into a new team for my fourth term on the board bringing new learning and development opportunities. I will have more face-to-face time with our members as VP of Membership, which will grow my network and relationships, reinforcing the value of volunteering.

What makes volunteering with MPI special?

For me, it’s the relationships formed that make volunteering with MPI so incredibly special. When you walk out of a 2-day board retreat with the only note on how to improve is ‘more time together,’ you know you have something special in your life.

Expectations versus the reality of volunteering

I had a bit of imposter syndrome when I first started volunteering with MPI. I was only a few years into my career as an event manager and often felt like I had nothing valuable to bring to the table. When I was provided the opportunity to join the board, I pushed myself outside my comfort zone knowing this was a huge opportunity for personal and professional growth and said yes. My first term kicked off on July 1, 2020, with a healthy mix of veteran board members and fresh-faced newbies like myself. Any expectations I had quickly shifted as I realized we were all essentially new board members, faced with the effects of COVID-19. The stress of that time makes it difficult for me to remember what expectations I really had, but understanding the time commitment necessary was a quick realization. What I didn’t expect were all the opportunities that developed because of the time committed to volunteering.




Beth Schnabel
6 Questions with Beth Schnabel

Name: Beth Schnabel, CMP Director, Strategic Events
MPI Wisconsin Chapter
MPI Member since March 2017

Contact information:
Email: bschnabel@cfcu.org
Linked IN: Beth Schnabel, CMP, CED, CUDE