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Member Spotlight Kaaren Hamilton

MS_ Kaaren Hamilton

By: MPINJ | Jun 28, 2021

Name: Kaaren Hamilton, CMP, CMM
Occupation:  VP Global & Strategic Sales Organization
Planner or Supplier: Supplier
Member Since: 2006
Current Employer: Sonesta + RLH Hotels

How did you get your start in the industry? 
Working in a restaurant while in High School.

How many years have you been in the industry? 

What is your favorite thing about our industry?
That is has always and will continue to be an industry that values the human connections and relationships that drive this business.

What is the best career advice you’ve received?
“The bike steers easier when its moving, get on the bike” advice given to me by Hubert Joly (The Heart of Business) who took a chance on me with my first big promotion.  I think about this every day and his message was about taking risks, learning to figure things out and that by doing while planning, you are constantly changing to adapt to market conditions.

What is the most memorable event you have planned or client experience you have had?
So many over the years, but I will always cherish the events I was part of planning for MPI NJ.  My first board role was Director of Monthly Programs, an amazing experience that gave me a true appreciation of the planner’s role.

If you were not in this industry, what would you be doing right now?
Perhaps I would be full time in a related business, commercial real estate.

Where did you grow up?
The beautiful North Shore of Long Island, where everyone spent a lot of time on the water, boating, sailing, swimming, etc.

What is your favorite city to travel to and why?
London, its where I went to university, met my husband, and has become a second home. "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life", very true.

What is your favorite book? 
Memoirs of a Geisha

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you bring with you?
A flint for starting fires, a sharp axe, and a waterproof tarp.  Big fan of the Alone (History Channel).

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Margaret Thatcher. I lived in the UK when she was prime minister and was mesmerized by her orations and the way she should could debate!

If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why? A bird. Who would not like to fly?

If you could live anywhere on this planet and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live? 
San Francisco or the Bay area, with a weekend home in Napa!

Who would you like to be for a day?
POTUS.  For just one day!

If you could invite one famous or noted people (past or present) to dinner who would you choose? 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Which three words describe you best?
Wife, mother, friend.

What is your all-time favorite movie?
Saturday Night Fever or Dirty Dancing.

Describe your perfect day off?
Starts with 30 minutes of yoga followed by a 3 mile trail hike with my dog. Meet up with friends for lunch, finish the afternoon with a round of golf.  Dinner is spent at home with family, cooking together, laughing a lot, and maybe even playing one of the many board games we acquired during lockdown!

How long have you been a member of MPI?
20+ years

What do you love about MPI NJ?
It’s a community that welcomed me and invited me to learn, collaborate and develop skills that have served me in my professional role.  It has been a great resource to me for development and leadership skills building.




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