Caroline “Carrie” Dietrich, 38, works in Washington, D.C., as program manager, conferences and meetings at National League of Cities. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Dietrich discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: I manage the logistics and meeting planning for the Daniel Rose Center, which is a program in partnership with the Urban Land Institute that consists of roughly 15 meetings a year. I am also part of the planning team for two annual conferences at National League of Cities, focusing on housing and other on-site logistics. Finally, I work on other events during the summer meeting schedule at NLC as needed.
How I got here: Sometimes I pinch myself when I think about my career because I started out as an elementary school teacher for six years. When I left the teaching profession, I began building my resume by networking and participating in as many event experiences as I could. Luckily for me the hard work paid off, and I was fortunate to be hired by the ULI and now NLC, despite not having a degree in this industry.
My greatest career accomplishment: I’m proud of taking the risk and leaving teaching to pursue my dream of being a meeting professional. I’m also proud of the relationships I’ve formed with colleagues and peers since I started in this profession because it is they who drive me to be better at my job.
Impressive stats: I manage concessions for our two main conferences with our housing vendor, which usually includes 10 to 15 hotels or more. This is a giant puzzle for some, but I love it. Also, in my time with the Rose Center, I helped win a grant for an additional program that added an entire fellowship to our scope of work.