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Member Spotlight Kathleen Aris

MS_ Kathleen Aris

By: MPINJ | May 13, 2021

Name: Kathleen Aris CMP
Occupation: Director, Global Events Marketing
Planner or Supplier: Planner
Member Since: 1997
Current Employer: Sungard Availability Services

How did you get your start in the industry?
In 1994 I joined Strohl Systems, a small, privately owned company that developed and marketing Disaster Recovery Software. I was brought in as Marketing Manager, and as the company grew there was need for a full-time meeting planner. I focused on the meeting planning aspect, completed my CMP certification, and advanced to senior management in the organization. It was the opportunity provided by the owner that led me on the path I have been on ever since.

How many years have you been in the industry?
27 years

What is your favorite thing about our industry?
I love that what I do is not routine. Every event brings a different focus, need and challenge.

What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Follow your passion. Being stuck in a marketing job was not what I wanted to do. Once I focused on event/meeting planning the world opened up for me. New opportunity, challenges, a chance to travel the world.

What is the most memorable event you have planned or client experience you have had?
There are many but the one that stands out the most is the $1 million budgeted corporate New Year’s Eve function in the Year 2000. I created an outdoor event space on our CEO’s estate for customers and employees. One of the hardest events I’ve ever worked and certainly one of the most rewarding.

If you were not in this industry, what would you be doing right now?
Public Relations was my focus in college and my early career. I’d probably be in that role somewhere.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in NYC and grew up in Middletown, Orange County, NY

What is your favorite city to travel to and why?
I love Chicago. Great memories of fun times with friends and some of the greatest events I’ve planned where held there.

What is your favorite book?
Little Women 

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Elizabeth Ann Seton. I wrote a report on her at my mother’s urging when I had to pick a historic figure. I was so moved by her and her accomplishments in aiding orphaned children. My confirmation name is Elizabeth, after her. 

If you could live anywhere on this planet and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live?
In Italy’s Tuscan countryside.

Who would you like to be for a day?
I’d like to see what it’s like to be Oprah for a day.

Which three words describe you best?
Loyal, Dedicated, Fun-loving

What is your all-time favorite movie?
It’s a Wonderful Life

Describe your perfect day off?
Spending time with my family on the beach. 

What are you most excited about in joining MPI NJ?
I’m looking forward to meeting members of this chapter and embarking on new relationships with local planners. It will be great to network again with fellow planners!

 

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MPINJ

 
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