Natalia Roblero started in the incentive industry in 2014 but didn’t join SITE until three years later. “I had heard of the association because I worked for Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica and I was curious about what it was.”
After moving to the world of DMCs, she did some research on SITE and started to feel the need of belonging to an organization that not only had educational opportunities, but also kept members updated on trends in the incentive industry. “Of course, staying connected with the people in the industry worldwide is a huge plus,” she says.
Her mentor along the way, Natalia says, has always been Mauricio Arévalo, president of the SITE Central America Chapter. “I´ve known him for about six years now and always admired his passion and dedication, as well as his amazing attitude towards any challenge that is presented in this industry.He has placed his trust in me now to become the coordinator for SITE Young Leaders for our chapter and I am very grateful to have this opportunity,” she says.
In fact it was Mauricio who encouraged Natalia to speak at a SITE event in December for the first time. “It was in front of 65 mainly SITE members and I spoke about technology platforms and applications that work as great tools for the incentive travel industry. My voice definitely broke a couple of times, but now I cannot wait to do it again! I thank Mauricio for encouraging me to take a challenge I would have never thought about taking before.”
Natalia is also the SITE Young Leader Coordinator for the Central America Chapter.
One of the most memorable incentive trips she’s done for a client was for seasoned travelers. “This will always be a challenge for a meeting and incentive planner. I want participants to say, ‘I have never seen or done anything like this in my life.’ I’m lucky that clients have said that to me personally and it gives me goose bumps every time.”
A few years ago Natalia handled an event for 350 guests that involved about 10 events in four days. It was actually one of her first incentive programs. This incentive included events that were highly involved productions. Not only did they have to put together furniture at the last minute, the stage was made of dry African oil palm trees. “Everything went absolutely great. It made me very proud and it also made me look back and say, ‘never again will you think you are not capable of accomplishing something.’ Until today, I thank the people who trusted me on this one. I would probably not be here today if it wasn´t for that experience.”
When she’s not working Natalia cherishes time with her five-year-year old daughter Mila and other family members. Dancing, travelling, reading and learning something new every day is what she strives for. “I believe knowledge – of even the smallest things- will eventually help you in your life and even encourage others in the least expected situations. Learning and sharing knowledge will always be a part of your human growth”.
Natalia’s favorite movies are “Life is Beautiful” and “10 Things I Hate About You”, and says she has a new favorite song every month. “But my all time favoritewould definitely be “Red Red Wine” by UB40. I also enjoyed the books “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Memoirs of a Geisha”and am currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.”
If she were hosting a dinner she’d invite Anne Frank. “I have always connected in such a unique way with this girl having been able to visit her home/museum in Amsterdam, reading her diary, and just having an overall sense of what she went through, makes me always head back to making reality checks every once in a while, learning to deal with situations in a more sensible way, and just being grateful for the life I have and the life my daughter is having. You never know when things will change, so always being grateful is one of my life´s motto.”
She’d also invite her best friend from school, whom she says makes her feel eight years old again when they get together; a former or actual prisoner who, she says, feels like she would have a good conversation with; Jeff Bezos to learn about his corporate culture and work-life balance. “Just knowing how a human being can take a single idea and transform it into something as huge as he has, awakens my curiosity and makes me continue believing that everything is possible if you really allow yourself to dream.” Meryl Streep would be on the list for “her versatility, her power as a woman, her ability to adapt and give life to amazing characters, and her overwhelming kindness. She is just a unique human being,” she says.
And the best piece of advice she’s ever received? Her mother has always been a believer of the Indian proverb “if your problem has a solution, why worry about it? Now, if your problem does not have a solution, why worry about it?
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