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MPI Ottawa Membership Spotlight: Carolyn Leslie

Membership Spotlight

By: MPI Ottawa Member Care Committee | Sep 22, 2020

Carolyn Leslie
Events and Engagement Specialist, Community Foundations of Canada
Tel: 613.236.2664 ext. 223 Email:

Carolyn L Photo

Why did you decide to join MPI Ottawa?

My decision to join the Ottawa Chapter of MPI in August 2016 stemmed from two central priorities, one on a personal level and the other on a professional level.

On a professional level, I believe it is important to build relationships with individuals working within the same industry and community. Not only does it provide the opportunity to build your network but it gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons, learn new skills, and meet people that help you become a better meeting planner.

On a personal level, I was new to Ottawa and was looking to build my social connections. I couldn’t think of a better way to start than with people I already had so much in common with!

How has having this membership helped being part of the Ottawa meetings community?

The question is “how hasn’t it?” Being a member of MPI creates many significant opportunities to get to know such a wonderful group people with incredibly wide ranging experiences and backgrounds in the Hospitality Industry.

To add to this are the incredible broad spectrum of events that these opportunities stem from… there really is something for everyone! Big events, smaller intimate events, sports events, outdoor, indoor, touring, daytime, nighttime, lunchtime and online events offered for the Ottawa MPI members. Each one of these events enables opportunities to connect with the Ottawa meetings community.

Do you have an example of a situation where having the membership helped you in your role?

Honestly, I have so many examples of how my membership and connection with MPI Ottawa has helped me both in my work and on a personal level.

I have made vital connections with destinations, venues and suppliers, learned to build emergency, communication and volunteer manuals, sourced services and items for my events and connected with members who have helped guide me through contract negotiations, event scripts, registration glitches, rooming list management, F & B decisions and sustainability initiatives.

Tell us about your experience in volunteering with MPI Ottawa.

The “ah ha” moment for me happened the night I attended my first MPI event, the awards night in the spring of 2016.  I was so impressed by the dedication and passion for the work being done by the MPI members and I was unbelievably inspired by the energy and connectedness I felt at the event.  I walked away with three very clear goals:

  • to become a member of MPI
  • to work towards attaining my CMP
  • to become a part of the organization through volunteering

I became a member of MPI in August of 2016, attained my CMP designation in August of 2019 and started volunteering this past fall as the co-chair of the 2019 Festive Gala.

Volunteering with MPI really completed the circle of learning for me. Being a member has provided educational opportunities for me to build my skills and to develop in my role as a planner and in conjunction with attending a wide range of events, has led to significant expansion of my network. It felt like the natural next step was to start volunteering for the organization that allowed for so much personal and professional growth.

My experience volunteering with the Festive Gala team can only be described as an explosion of learning! It was such an incredible experience to work alongside this amazing group of people. The experience, knowledge and energy and that was brought to the planning table was inspiring. It was truly a team effort.

I am very thankful for my volunteer experience with MPI… for challenging me and helping me produce better work than I otherwise would.

I would absolutely recommend other planners to join and to get involved!

Article compiled by MPI Ottawa Member Care Committee

Article edited by Rozanne Lyons, CMP, Intertask Conferences



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MPI Ottawa Member Care Committee

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