Kali Andress, CMP
28, Meeting Planner and Event Manager,
Asphalt Institute, Lexington, Ky.
What I do: “I handle all aspects of planning and execution for Asphalt Institute, an international trade association for producers of liquid asphalt. We host three meetings a year all over the United States and Canada for 300 to 500 attendees.”
What she really does: Her boyfriend tells people her job is to “put flowers on tables.” If only it were that easy, she says.
How she got here: While studying at University of Kentucky, Andress interned for the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She assisted with planning its annual convention, was hooked from the start and went full time with AVCA the day after graduation.
Next-gen idea: AI is almost 100 years old, and there was a mentality of doing things the way they’ve always been done. “One thing not working was our formal plated dinners,” says Andress. “We would lose many attendees to the entertainment of the city we were in. I developed a new motto: ‘Don’t fight it; facilitate it.’ Now, instead [of ballroom dinners], we’ve rented out private terraces at Fenway Park, or paraded in a second line down Bourbon Street in New Orleans.” Members love the relaxed atmosphere, and attendance has gone up 7 percent.