Debra A. Beldon
Senior National Account Manager
10865 W. Alamo Place
Littleton, CO 80127
Tell us a little bit about your business/company and your current role within the organization.
I am a Senior National Account Manager with Experient, a meeting and event company. In my job I help my clients with sourcing and contracting the perfect hotels for their events.
Why did you want to be become a volunteer for MPIRMC?
As a past President of RMPCMA, past Chair of the Serving Up Hope Luncheon and past Chair of the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado, I feel strongly about my individual obligation to give back to the industry that has given me so much.
What were you hoping to get out of volunteering within MPIRMC? What have you gotten out of your volunteer role thus far?
Specifically, being on the communications committee allows me to use some of my English and Communications degrees in a way that my day job doesn’t.
What advice can you give a member that might be apprehensive to commit to a volunteer role within our organization?
I know some of our industry organizations can seem daunting with so many members knowing each other – when I switched from PCMA to MPI I was nervous too but the best way to get the most out of your membership is to get involved.
How did you get started in the industry?
I love telling this story because it demonstrates that there is no one path to success in our industry. I was out of college a year, waiting tables and biding time until I either applied to law school or got a real job. A friend interviewed for a hotel sales job and wasn’t interested but thought it might be a good fit for me. I went for that first interview and the rest as they say was history. Almost three decades later, here I still am!
Are there any mentors you distinctly remember who were supportive of your professional development?
So, so many. Can I name just a few – Gary Schirmacher my first boss at Experient and my best boss ever, Karen Garcia Gonzales, now with IAEE, but with Visit Denver when I started my career in Denver a million years ago, and Bruce Whitaker, Rocky Mountain Hospitality Network who guided my volunteerism back in my early days with PCMA. I’m grateful to all three of you and to so many more dear friends and industry colleagues.
What are three things you wish you knew as you were beginning your career?
Not so much things I wish I knew then but three things I think anyone starting out their career should know:
- Be nice to everyone. You never know when that receptionist you were dismissive or rude to on a sales call is going to get promoted and be your new contact.
- Keep your commitments. If you say you’re going to do something, do it and do it on time.
- Be brave. Some of the best things that have happened to me in both my professional and personal life happened because I took a risk.