Congratulations to Tina Garcia, CEM of the Southwest Veterinary Symposium for becoming a CEM gamechanger! Read about her CEM journey, and why she believes CEM designation allows you to be a leader in your field.
Hometown: Garland, TX
University of Education: Southern Methodist University
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
The CEM designation will better prepare me as the leader in my organization for any obstacles we face now or in the future. Knowledge is power, and making sure that I have the best information from the industry leader will make my organization stronger.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
It is vital to keep our industry moving and learning even in difficult times. The CEM designation allows you to be a leader in your field and network with some of the industry’s top people.
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
Due to COVID, our organization had to make staff reductions. With less staff, it required all staff to be cross-trained on each other’s positions. I couldn’t imagine a better investment to learn more about Exhibitions than to obtain your CEM. I have my CMM and my CMP. I wanted to round out the trifecta with my CEM.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
I would say, do it! It was an excellent program, and I would recommend it to anyone in Exhibitions. The program is not just for the Exhibits Manager positions. I can’t imagine a better time to get your CEM and to stay up with all the current trends in the Exhibitions industry.
How did you start your career in this industry?
I started my non-profit management career and helped create a small medical conference for the organization I worked for at the time. I then moved on to the current organization I am with and brought all those skills I learned from the non-profit world into my current position.
How have you made a difference with your show or with working with a client by applying the knowledge you gained by obtaining your CEM designation?
I think gaining my CEM will help my organization stay ahead of the curve with our current industry’s changing times. It is so refreshing to hear and network with others who have had similar experiences and how they handled the current crisis we are all facing.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
There were several ideas that I would get from the classes and then put them into use quickly. One example would be after the risk management class, I went back and took a hard look at our crisis management plan and tweaked it to make it stronger and more executable.
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
I enjoyed the virtual learning method of the program. At first, I was worried I wouldn’t get that much out of it. I was so wrong! I enjoyed that way of learning, and it was so interactive.