IAEE Awards Spotlight on Dana Kirkhart, CEM: 2016 Merit Award Winner

By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager

Dana Kirkhart, CEM, Director of Client Solutions Manager for Freeman, was nominated by the IAEE Central Texas Chapter for her many years of leadership, encouragement and assistance to chapter members. She began her chapter leadership in 2009, serving for three years as Chair of the Summer Social Committee. Dana was elected to Director-at-Large in 2011, then as Secretary in 2013. She became the chapter’s Chair-Elect in 2014, served as Chairperson in 2015 and Immediate Past Chairperson in 2016. Dana’s leadership is reflected in her vast willingness to assist in various chapter projects, and her outstanding dedication was recognized in 2016 with the IAEE Merit Award.

IAEE: You have been actively involved in your chapter’s leadership for nearly 10 years. What keeps you coming back and why do you feel it is important for IAEE members to dive in at the local level?

DANA: The education and the people are what have kept me coming back for the past 10 years. I consider the education opportunities offered one of the best ways to gain knowledge in our industry. It is a great way for me keep up with what other industry professionals are implementing in their events.

IAEE: What is your favorite part about organizing chapter events, such as the Southwest Showcase?

DANA: Being a part of planning any IAEE event has always taught me something new! When I had the opportunity to serve on the Leadership Committee for Southwest Showcase, it was fulfilling to be able to work alongside a team with so much experience and support such an impactful event for Texas.

IAEE: What are some of the chapter initiatives you are most proud of?

DANA: I really love how committed our chapter is to providing quality education to its members and to staying in constant communication with our members.

IAEE: You’ve served in all the positions available within the chapter leadership. Do you have a favorite and, if so, why?

DANA: I really enjoyed serving as Chapter Chairperson. It challenged me to work beyond the borders of my comfort zone and helped me grow professionally. It is also a position where you have to be very engaged, and I enjoyed always knowing what was happening in our chapter.

IAEE: What advice would you give to someone considering joining his or her local chapter, and/or considering taking a step into chapter leadership?

DANA: If you are on the fence about joining, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by joining. You can’t put a value on the experience, education and connections you will make while being a member of IAEE.

IAEE is accepting nominations for the 2017 Merit Award! Click here to learn more about the IAEE Individual Awards and submit your nominations today!

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