• Meet Ashleigh Esselman, 2019 Best Meeting Professional

    Minnesota Meetings + Events is proud to introduce our 2019 Hall of Fame, made up of seven top-notch individuals who are positively impacting the meetings and events industry.

     
    POSTED April 29, 2019
     
    1

BEST MEETING PROFESSIONAL
Ashleigh Esselman

Energy Programs Director; MEA Energy Association

On her work at MEA: “I work with about 15 different committees, about 150-plus individuals, [planning in-person learning events]. ... It’s a lot of opinions and a lot of perspectives and trying to steer that in a direction where everyone is focused on the same mission and vision is a challenge, but also a good opportunity to get a lot of people involved. … We’re touching on things like safety and regulations and it makes a difference, it impacts their day to day and their successes and their careers and they look to us for that and I think that’s a pretty rewarding role.”

On being overprepared: “I try really hard as I get ready for an event to take into consideration all the possible ups and downs and variables that could come my way so that hopefully by the time the ones that you didn’t think of show up, everything else is managed as well as it can be so those don’t become as rattling and I can take them on with a good sense of composure.”

On how she unwinds: “I do take a couple of days off to be home with my family. I have two little girls at home and the third one [was born in January] and two dogs. My husband is home with them by himself when I’m travelling … it’s always good to settle back into that chaos.”

On her future: “I am pretty happy where I am right now in a lot of ways. I’m a lifelong learner so I’m always looking for a new challenge or a chance to grow professionally. … I’m just enjoying the balance of work and life and the people that I get to see every day and the great industry that I work in right now. A lot of it feels very settled in a good way.”

Minnesota has a bounty of venues that are made for sharing on social media.

 

MNM+E’s annual readers’ choice awards brought 295 meeting and event professionals to the Lumber Exchange Event Center on April 24 to honor the 2019 award winners and Hall of Famers. Frank Maciel was the event’s emcee. Mall of America was the premier sponsor, and Discover St. Louis Park was the event’s Uber sponsor, giving attendees a credit to the ride-share app.

 

Meghan Gustafson and Christie Altendorf, co-chairs of ILEA Live 2019, talk about the event’s return to Minneapolis and how they’re working together to pull off an event to remember.