• Reflections on How Parenthood Parallels Planning

    FROM THE Summer 2018 ISSUE

    It Takes a Village

My daughter was born on her due date: Aug. 12, 2017. “Of course she was!” everyone said; I’m a planner and things in my life go according to a carefully and meticulously laid plan.

This “following a plan” impression people have of me got me thinking about the meetings and events industry. A behind-the-scenes look, however, often offers a whole other story. While Lillie, my daughter, was born at 8:57 p.m. on her due date, I labored for 28 hours prior to that. And had three epidurals. And had a C-section to bring her into this world. It was exhausting. It was scary. And it was perfect. Virtually nothing, except the end result, went according to plan. And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing.  

All of this reminds me of putting on an event. You know the end goal; you work to define a road map to achieve that end goal, but what you really end up doing is a whole lot of punting. If you’re a good planner, you make sure you have really smart, creative, agile people around you the whole way. When I was having Lillie, there was a whole cadre of people around supporting me and making sure that we achieved our goal of bringing a healthy, happy human into the world. 

Not only is labor like putting on an event, but parenthood also reminds me of the job I (and many of you reading this) do. Or, put a different way: Much of what we do as meetings and event planners has prepared us for parenthood. Rarely do you work on it alone. As a mother, I rely on my husband, parents, day care providers, doctors, friends, books and mom-groups; as a planner, I rely on my CSM, transportation provider, decorators, trip directors, caterers, production team and professional organizations to create a flawless event. 

I wouldn’t want to plan and execute an event without my support team around me, and I certainly wouldn’t want to mama alone. With each event, I hope to better myself as a planner and better the experience for attendees and stakeholders; with each day as a mama, I hope to find new ways to make Lillie smile, laugh and learn. Both jobs are constantly evolving and never-ending, and that’s what makes it so fun and so very rewarding.


Debbie Friedman-Hueller, M.A., CMP, CSEP, CMM, is a veteran of the meetings and events industry. She has spent her career doing more than managing logistics; she is a strategist, designer, and choreographer who executes in-person and virtual meetings and events. 

Minnesota offers vibrant autumn color and provides a kaleidoscopic backdrop for your event.

New England often gets the most credit for its spectacular fall color, but many rank Minnesota in the top tier for seasonal beauty, making fall an ideal time for meetings anywhere in the state. From the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Twin Cities and Rochester, there are a variety of venues with ideal seasonal settings that can cater to groups of all sizes. 



Experience Rochester MN appointed Angie Richards to the position of vice president of sales. She previously held the position of area director of sales for Avra Hospitality in Rochester, Minn. 

Richards will lead Experience Rochester MN’s sales team, which is responsible for the booking of meetings, conventions, and other events at Mayo Civic Center as well as group sales for the entire city.


Radisson Blu Mall of America promoted Kate Anastasi to director of sales and marketing. Anastasi has been with the Radisson Blu Mall of America team for eight years and has held many support and leadership roles within the sales team. She had most recently served as the assistant director of sales and marketing. Anastasi won the 2021 Radisson Blu Manager of the Year award.