These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terri Woodin was recently hired as the Vice President of Marketing & Global Meeting Services for Meeting Sites Resource.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as the vice president of marketing and global meeting services?
I look forward to expanding MSR’s presence in the press, social media channels, speaking engagements, writing for publications and sharing what we have been doing since 1993 for our clients. I'm also looking forward to driving the future success of MSR as one of the top organizations that delivers global hotel sourcing, custom hotel contract negotiations, professional meeting support services, and Strategic Meeting Management consulting.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
My education at Michigan State University, The School of Hospitality Business and my study abroad experience at Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, Switzerland set the stage. My 30-plus years in the hospitality industry working in catering/conference services/banquets, on-property hotel group sales, hotel chain global sale, and then the past five years as a meeting planner has provided the hands-on experience and context to deliver what our clients at Meeting Sites Resource need in this current economic cycle as I source and contract meetings, incentives and conferences.
3. How did you get into the industry?
Growing up in Chicago with a steep history of my family arriving from Ireland prior to Mrs. O’Leary’s cow knocking over the lantern, and numerous memories created with each generation at Wrigley hoping the Cubs would win it that year…but, there was always next year. Each time I visited downtown, I loved to explore the historic hotels like the iconic Drake that opened NYE 1920 and continues to host Chicago’s social elite for daily afternoon tea or the Palmer House that was one of the most extravagant wedding gifts of all time that opened in 1871 only to fall victim to the Great Chicago Fire and burned down 13 days later only to be built again. The Chicago Historical Society hotel tour was one my favorite things to do! I thought it would be so amazing to work at one of these amazing places with so much history of service to generations before us.
I was a freshman in high school when I started working for Marriott in Chicago, and my VP of Food and Beverage told me I could go to college for hospitality. Intrigued, I wanted to know more and asked around (no Internet to research back then) to learn what the top schools were for hospitality: No. 1 Cornell and No. 2 Michigan State University. That was it! Wanting the Midwest hands-on approach, I enrolled and graduated from MSU in 1988.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
I am very excited to work with an amazing team that is passionate about what they do for their clients and how I can help them to reinvent what we do and how we do it to continue to provide value and relevance.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
Giving back and sharing the knowledge I have gained throughout my career as well as being a continuous learner myself. As a 23-year member of MPI, I currently serve on its Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional magazine. I also serve on the Michigan State University, The School of Hospitality Business Board of Directors. I write for industry publications and speak at industry events such as MPI, PCMA and IMEX. I mentor hospitality students and enjoy helping them as they navigate their careers.