Site Young Leader Shannon Gehringer is the Assistant to the President at BCD M&I and the primary touch-point for all regions and functions of the company as it relates to interactions to and from the office of the president. Her responsibilities include coordinating meetings, handling logistical requests, managing the president’s calendar, ensuring the lines of communication with the president remain open and timely, and assisting in prioritizing his schedule. Shannon has also had the opportunity to go on a few client programs to gain experience as a Travel Director. When onsite, her responsibilities vary from ground transportation to registration to meetings & events to rooming and F&B.
Site Source: Why did you choose the Travel & Hospitality industry as a profession?
Shannon Gehringer: I received a B.A. in International Studies and French from DePaul University in Chicago. From there, I worked for Site Global. I chose to pursue a career in the travel & hospitality industry for several reasons. Ever since visiting Belize and St. Lucia on mission trips in high school, I’ve been energized by international travel and immersing myself in different cultures. I truly believe there’s no better way than to travel to learn about others and myself and deepen my understanding of the world. Traveling offers countless opportunities to grow personally and professionally. On that same note, the travel & hospitality industry is global in nature, so I knew I’d have the chance to work abroad at some point. I aspire to earn the CIS, CMP or CMM designations and learn as much as possible through firsthand experience, onsite at client programs.
Site Source: What or who motivated you to join Site?
Shannon: I used to be the Membership Services Coordinator for Site Global, which is how I was formally introduced to the organization and therefore the motivational experiences industry. This is a true case of “it was meant to be.” Having served as staff for Site, I quickly saw the value in membership by attending industry tradeshows, the Site International Conference and various Site events. I knew from my countless interactions with global members, sponsors, the Board of Directors, the Site International Foundation Trustees and of course the Young Leaders that this was a highly motivated group of professionals of which I wanted to belong. I’ve also spoken with Past Presidents who have been Site members for 20+ years, and that commitment inspires me. Managing Site Nite registration and sponsorship sealed the deal. That’s my all-time favorite Site event and I learned a lot from the planning aspect behind the scenes. Actually, I remember watching a synchronized swimming water show at the Wynn Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas and thinking, “I’m in the right place.” So once I moved to BCD M&I, I joined Site to stay connected, engaged and inspired.
Site Source: What do you feel are the most valuable benefits of being a member of Site, specifically Site Young Leaders?
Shannon: I used to preach to Site members that the most valuable benefit is intangible – networking and building relationships. Now that I’m on the other side of Site, member vs. staff, this is still true. I think most members would agree with me. I know that the people I’ve met through Site are not only valuable professional contacts for business, but they will remain lifelong friends, which is just as important in the long run. Above all, the contagious electricity at Site events is reason enough to join the club. The Young Leaders are the ones carrying the torch forward, so being a part of that group is beneficial because I’m exposed to the trending conversations on what the future holds, and able to foster relationships early on in my career. Plus, any opportunity I can call myself “Young” is one I’m going to take!