MPI50: Carol Krugman

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MPI50: Carol Krugman

By Michael Pinchera | Sep 16, 2022

Carol KrugmanCarol Krugman, MEd, CMP, CMM—one of MPI's 50th anniversary "Legacy Contributors," recognized this year—discusses some of her MPI origin and history.

I am one of those trying to gracefully age Boomers who “fell into” meeting planning in the 1980s. As a corporate public relations and marketing manager, I organized countless meetings and events on five continents for 15 years, before discovering MPI by accident in a chat room on Compuserve in January 1995. It was nothing short of a revelation to discover that planning meetings was more than an ancillary component of some other job. I attended my first WEC later that year, primarily to meet the people with whom I had been computer chatting every night and was staggered to discover so many more who understood exactly what I did for a living and why. So much to learn! So much to share! Who knew? Spending three days with so many accomplished, energized, generous, kick-ass people, all united in a common purpose and sharing similar experiences, was totally exhilarating. Although “When we meet, we change the world” did not become a tag line until many years later, that first WEC in 1995 definitely changed my world.

Looking back to that watershed year, it is clear that joining MPI back in 1995 also changed the course of my career. Long before Facebook, my membership enabled me to establish a worldwide network of friends and colleagues, with whom I worked, traveled and maintained regular contact over the years. Participating fully in the association and becoming active immediately, I embarked on a compelling and satisfying volunteer journey that became major component of my professional development over the course of my career. I served on numerous committees, sat on both the MPI association and foundation boards of directors, developed curriculum, taught in flagship educational programs and gave innumerable presentations at chapter, regional and international conferences non-stop. Decades of sharing my specialized knowledge and expertise, as well as acquiring additional industry knowledge from others, had a direct effect on the success of my career over the years, as the work of my heart and the work of my business merged seamlessly. Then, just when I became eligible for Medicare and was considering slowing my life down from perpetual fifth gear to oh, maybe, second gear, I was given the opportunity to transition from professional practice to full-time academia.

Thanks to what began as a lifelong teaching and learning adventure with MPI in the 1990s, I had already trained two generations of colleagues and remained deeply committed to the future of the profession. Why not go for the Trifecta and educate a third new kick-ass generation to advance our amazing industry? Six years, one new degree program and two changes of hair color later, I looked at the heavy crystal lifetime achievement awards on my bookshelf (each of which could be used as an effective weapon of self-defense, if necessary) and decided to let the next wave of Type A+/get-stuff-done mavens go forth, prosper and rock the industry. Which, of course, they are.

Many thanks, MPI, for enriching my already exciting and challenging career for so many years. And all best 50th anniversary wishes from my new vantage point as Chief Retirement Officer for the Institute for Acquired Sloth. I didn’t even hit my peak until I turned 50, so I look forward to watching and cheering on your continued success.

 

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Michael Pinchera

Michael Pinchera is an award-winning writer and editor for The Meeting Professional as well as a speaker, technologist and contributor to business, academic and pop culture publications since 1997. Read more of his work at www.whatmemeworry.com.