After completing her formal education at The Art Institute in Atlanta, studying art marketing and advertising, Tina Gunn Weede went to work for advertising giant J. Walter Thompson in their recruitment advertising division, where she worked for two years.
She started her journey in the incentive industry with Osborne Incentives (which became USMotivation) in the communications department. She then went into sales, rose to sales leadership and became president of the company in 2010. One of the most memorable incentive trips for a client, in fact, is when she was president of USMotivation.
“I went on a client trip to Bora Bora as travel staff. Barbara Nindos and I were the only two travel staff because the program was small. We wore matching maxi dresses each day (we looked the part!) and ensured that each participant had the best experience possible. The incentive was sponsored by a manufacturer and was a reward for their dealer’s sales teams. It was a magical experience and a perfect incentive trip. At the end of the program I was told that I was the best activities director that they had worked with...but why it was one of my most memorable, outside of the trip being so successful, I was able to serve our clients and ensure their experience was most memorable,” Tina says. “This is what I love to do.”
Her first foray into the SITE world was at the Global Conference in Switzerland as a young leader hosted by Jonathan Caplan, with Starwood at the time.
“This was the first year for the SITE Southeast Chapter, so it was great to be part of the excitement that year --and then I was hooked. I love SITE and what we stand for. SITE has matured over the years to really focus on the business case for incentive travel, really getting to the why we do what we do and the benefits it brings to our clients. I have loved being part of SITE. Some might think this is part of work, but it is not. I have really enjoyed being part of SITE Foundation; I love the research and how what we are doing is making such a positive impact on our Industry.”
Industry mentors include the late Jane Schuldt, Jose-Manuel Garcia and Stephen Powell. “Stephen was the reason I joined the SITE Foundation Board of Trustees. Stephen was a strong leader and I learned so much from him, about the industry, sales, and why the mission of The Foundation was so important. Jane was the reason I took a leadership position as VP Research for SITE Foundation. This was a position that Jane had held, and it was quiet intimidating to follow in her shoes. Jane supported me in this role and helped me to be successful by supporting change and growth in the area of research. I loved Jane, she was so smart, cared so very much about SITE and our mission and I will always see Jane as the face of SITE. Jose-Manuel and I have known each other for more than 20 years and not only has he set such a great example of how to create amazing experiences, he has built his company on trust and honesty, where he and his associates have created an amazing culture built on respect and the desire to serve. Jose-Manuel not only cares about people, he has started a non-profit to bring awareness and support initiatives to save our Earth.”
Two of Tina’s mentors outside of the industry include her grandmother, “Granny Gunn” and her mother Nancy Jones.
“Granny Gunn was an amazing Christian woman who loved unconditionally. She was so respected and loved by everyone. I would spend my summers with her and my grandfather and those were some of the best times of my life. She taught me what it means to be a servant leader, to be kind and to do my very best. She lived to be 96 years old. My Mother is also an amazing Christian woman and a lot of who I am today I contribute to my mother. Through her love and strength, she has taught me that no matter what happens, you can still do the right thing, that no matter how hard things get or if someone is watching or not, just keep your faith and keep moving forward…she has demonstrated the highest level of integrity and has set such an amazing example for me and my family.”
In her spare time, Tina supports son Alex in basketball and Boy Scouts (he’s committed to earning Eagle Scout) and she loves to cook for friends and have dinner parties. If she had the chance to invite people to a meal, she’d invite Jesus “who taught us how to love each other;” her Granny Gunn – (she was in the paper once, so she was famous) “just because she was awesome, funny, smart and I miss her; Lucille Ball, she made me laugh; Jimmy Carter because he is such a great humanitarian, and Queen Elizabeth, to get the real scoop on what it is like to be a royal.” The meal would be gluten free lasagna, short ribs, or Chicken Marsala, which she learned to cook at a Pacific World and Retreat Resources event.
Tina also paints and teaches three-year olds in Sunday School. She’s also part of a small women’s group at her church and loves to travel.
She and her husband Dan have been traveling of late, visiting colleges with daughter Megan. “It’s so hard to believe that she will graduate from high-school this year.”
Tina says people are her passion and it’s the reason she gets up in the morning. “Our mission at Peerless Performance is ‘Everyday we get to enhance the quality of people’s lives.’ This holds true for our for-profit as well as our two non-profits; Megan’s Smile and Confetti Celebrations. Megan’s Smile has the mission to help struggling adolescents and their families; Confetti Celebrations, supports women with cancer by providing a weekend retreat with their best friend, mother or sister. We are in the process of creating new websites so that we can get the word out about the programs.”
TIna is proud of many things in her career. One, trying to save USMotivation, though not successful. “Thankfully our associates were so amazing they are working for great companies and I now have the opportunity to continue to try to make an impact in our industry, for our clients and our non-profits. Sometimes, when a window is closed a door is opened. We just recently formed a strategic alliance with C.A. Short, one of the largest recognition and engagement companies. We will use the Peerless Study, our proprietary on-line diagnostic tool, that allows us to measure the emotional and cognitive welling being of an associate, as our engagement assessment tool. Peerless Performance will provide the design, modeling, measurement and execution for all incentive programs.”
Tina is also proud of her work with SITE. “When I was asked almost six years ago to join the SITE Foundation as a board of trustee, I felt honored and humbled to be part of this group…and I still do today. As a board we have accomplished so much, from raising money that supports research and education to our certification programs. We have formed an alliance with IRF and FICP for the Industry Index and are moving forward with a forecast study. I’m proud to have been part of this board and thankful for the opportunity to serve the members of our association and the industry.”
TIna’s favorite movies are Gone with the Wind, The Devil Wears Pradaand The Bucket List and her favorite songs are A Wonderful World and Be Humble and Kind. And her favorite book? Oh, The Places You Will Go.