Congratulations to recent #CEM graduate Crystal Harper-Pierre, CEM of the School Nutrition Association! Read why she pursued her CEM to stay up to date in the field of events & exhibition management.
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
University of Education: University of Maryland College Park
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
It has allowed me to continue to grow and learn new trends within the industry. Having worked in the trade show industry for 20 years, it informs the client of my skill level, education and experience.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
One needs to stay abreast on what is new within the Industry. It allowed me to continue learning.
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
I wanted the members to know that they were communicating with an individual that was knowledgeable in the field of Events & Exhibition management. I wanted to learn about new trends that would assist me in managing our annual trade show.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
DO IT! You will connect and learn so much from the Instructors and your fellow peers. By listening to their experiences and being able to ask for advice & solutions, will proved to be a benefit you in the future.
How did you start your career in this industry?
In 2001, I started a temping assignment as the Meetings & Exhibits Coordinator for the School Nutrition Association (SNA). Then it happened…I was hooked! I had the opportunity to learn the Industry, meet some wonderful & knowledge people in the field and travel the USA. Twenty years and three positions later, I am still working for SNA, but as their Exhibit Sales Manager.
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 took the content I learned from the classes and I used the information with the day-to-day operations and planning of future trade shows.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
I informed my mentor (Russell Schneider-GES), my colleagues (they were very supportive during the process) and I headed to the Beach with my husband Victor for a much-needed relaxing weekend.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I enjoy taking dance lessons (Tango/Salsa)