2021 IAEE Young Professional of the Year Award Winner
By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Moriah Hathaway, CEM, Manager, Exhibit Services, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), is credited with transforming the Midwestern Chapter in her three years as a Board member. One of her strongest contributions has been how much she has grown Young Professional (YP) involvement in the chapter over the last few years and her assistance with developing a Chapter Connect Program. Chapter leaders commended her for going above and beyond to build out a YP Committee and get YPs involved in a leadership role within the chapter. They note this has been a huge reason why the chapter is repeatedly acknowledged as the most engaged chapter.
Moriah’s outgoing personality makes everyone feel welcomed as she encourages people to get involved. Due to COVID-19 and the lack of connection with each other it created, Moriah was hugely instrumental in helping develop a Chapter Connect program, where people sign up to receive a monthly connection. On the back end, it took a lot of time to develop this program and then match participants, which paid off. The chapter received much positive feedback on how this program helped people feel connected during a difficult time and how it helped people grow their networks.
Moriah serves as an inspiration to fellow YPs and chapter members, and inspires more involvement every day. She is lauded as a huge asset to the chapter and the IAEE community. Her contributions to the industry earned her the IAEE Young Professional of the Year Award last year, for which she was recognized this past December during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA (watch Moriah’s acceptance speech here).
IAEE President & CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA (left) presents the Young Professional of the Year Award to Moriah Hathaway, CEM (right) during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2021 in Philadelphia, PA.
Here, Moriah shares with IAEE her passion for the industry, her inspiration for creating a mentorship program for her chapter and her strategies for overcoming obstacles.
IAEE: You helped lead your chapter during our industry’s most challenging time in recent history. What was your approach during this process and what do consider its biggest lesson(s)?
Moriah: It was certainly a fun year filled with its challenges. My approach was to cultivate a compassionate, creative and fun environment, where industry peers could continue to connect and learn together. A community that provides support, encouragement, and enables fellow board members and chapter members to have a valued voice in the industry. Personally, my biggest lesson was to continuously remind myself to asses situations with empathy and grace. The beginning of this decade has affected us all differently. Kindness, breeds kindness.
IAEE: You have been commended by fellow chapter members for ramping up YP participation. What do you think is the most significant contribution YPs offer and, alternately, what do you find YPs need the most from their chapters?
Moriah: Ramping up YP participation was most definitely a group effort! In order to continue to build engagement and future leaders it is upto current leaders to mentor, support and encourage young professionals to be involved with their chapters. Why?? IAEE and the IAEE YPs have created a community that empowers young professionals to have a valued voice, a seat at the table and a platform with leadership opportunities. I believe the Young Professionals’ most significant contribution is providing disruption and new prospectives. Challenging the events and meetings industry to continue to elevate how ALL industries connect, meet and learn.
IAEE: Tell us a little more about the chapter’s Member Connect program. What is the inspiration behind it and what has been the most rewarding aspect of its development?
Moriah: The inspiration behind this program was to create and reimagine a mentorship program. The concept was to build opportunities for industry peers to connect, learn from each other and foster organic mentorship. Collaborating, listening to collective research, creating ideas and developing this program into fruition with fellow young professionals was most definitely rewarding. The Member Connect program also provided me with the opportunity to connect with two fellow industry leaders that aided in fostering our collaborative mentorship. Win! Win!
IAEE: You have also taken the time to earn your CEM designation – congratulations! How has your CEM best served you, and what advice would you offer someone considering starting their CEM journey?
Moriah: Experience, listening and learning from others is everything! The CEM Learning Program provided endless and diverse opportunities to connect and learn. Understanding industry standards provided me with a base skill set to become a better problem solver. The CEM program created a network comprised of industry leaders from all avenues, enabling us to learn, laugh and grow from each other’s success and failures. Advice, do it, and do CEM Week! The opportunity to connect with industry peers in-person is invaluable.
IAEE: Your colleagues applaud your enthusiasm and energy for the industry. What drew you to the exhibitions and events business, and what about it appeals to you the most?
Moriah: Thank you to my fellow colleagues for the kind words! I fell into this industry by accident. I had just gotten back from backpacking in South East Asia for two months. I started part time as an Exhibitor Service Representative with Freeman. After my second week and first show site experience, I expressed to my director, I would do whatever it took to become full time! The comradery, the ever changing environment and, the opportunity to never stop learning is what fired my enthusiasm 10 years ago, and continues to drive my energy and passion for the exhibitions and events industry!
The Call for Nominations for this year’s IAEE Awards is now open! Check out all of the award categories here and be sure to submit your nominations by 31 August!