David Diaz, CIS, is the President of Site Mexico and CEO of Procesa Event Management & Incentives, a DMC and incentive/meeting production company with offices in Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City, Mexico. David is one of the first Site Chapter Presidents to obtain the Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) accreditation.
How did you become involved in the travel and hospitality industry?
David Diaz: I studied Marketing in Mexico and received an International Marketing Degree at Quebec University in Montreal. For several years I was at Guadalajara City Hall in charge of the cultural activities and events and different companies started asking me for help planning their meetings and events. My wife was the Spectacles director for “Octoberfest” an important festival in the Jalisco State. Together we started Procesa Event Management in 1998.
Serving as Site Chapter President is a volunteer position and requires a significant time commitment. What motivated you to assume a Chapter leader position?
David: I first learned about Site in 2007 when they “arrived” in Guadalajara City promoting a program “Your Best Reward is Mexico” (YBR). It was then that I really understood the importance of my role as a DMC and meeting planner in the Mexico meetings and incentive travel industry. Immediately I wanted to become a Site member.
We worked hard to get Guadalajara YBR certified as an incentive travel destination and put it “on the map” for the rest of the world. Although we were very happy to be certified, something was still missing. Incentive planners were still not considering us as a preferred Mexico destination. Ella Meserly, Kitzia Morales and Julia Trejo (past presidents for the Site Mexico Chapter) were doing a great job with the program in other cities in Mexico and Julia even returned to Guadalajara to give us a refresh. I went to talk with Eduardo Chaillo who was the Executive Director for the Meetings and Incentives Industries for the Mexico Tourism Board in Washington and asked him how to make this program a success in Guadalajara. His answer was, “What are you doing to make it a success?” Then I knew I must play a bigger leadership role in the industry. Fernando Compean, also a Site Mexico Past President and very important in Mexico´s meetings industry, suggested that I consider succeeding Julia Trejo as President of Site Mexico. So there it is! Ella, Kitzia, Julia and Fernando inspired me and Eduardo gave me the extra little push that I needed and here we are in 2013, trying to take the meetings and incentive travel industry to the next step in my country.
When recruiting new members, what do you tell them are the greatest personal and professional benefits of being a member of Site?
David: I always say to them that, if you want to get better results, first you have to be prepared. Site can prepare you with seminars and educational activities and networking with other industry professionals around the globe that may result in new business opportunities. We are very excited about the Site 40th Anniversary! We are running a program that we have named “Mexico 40” and the goal is to get 40 actions in this year to position Site as a leader in the meetings and incentives industry in Mexico. Our recent Site Breakfast was a total success. The place was full of important people from the industry with no room for more! At the end of the event there was a little celebration cake for the Site Anniversary. It was a surprise for me and we celebrated with two Site Mexico Past Presidents, Fernando Compean and Dario Flota, along with Luis Villaseñor, our general Vice-President for Site Mexico.
Please tell us more about the “Your Best Reward is Mexico” (YBR) initiative in Mexico.
David: YBR was born in 2006 with the objective to increase the Mexico market share of the international incentive travel business, giving value to the cultural and natural attractions of emerging destinations and positioning Mexico as the ideal multi-destination for incentive travel. Guadalajara and Queretaro City have completed the YBR certification and we have begun promoting these destinations. This year we are going to finish the program with Campeche and Ixtapa and we are going to start the program with San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas State. For the Site Global Education Week, we are going to hold YBR seminars at Campeche City on April 15 and at Ixtapa City on April 17. We are hoping that the YBR program becomes a model for other Site Chapters and regions around the world to adopt. I encourage destinations and Site members to contact me for more information on the YBR program to learn how it might work in their regions.