LaToya Scott, CMP, 35, works in Austin, Texas, as a meeting planner for Texas District & County Attorneys Association. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Scott discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: TDCAA has meetings every month, with the exception of October. Along with my counterpart, my responsibilities include contracting hotels, ensuring on-site logistics meet contract requirements and processing foundation payments. Our top priority is being accessible to our members and offering the best customer service possible.
How I got here: I spent the last four years of my hotel career involved in different organizations such as Society of Government Meeting Professionals and MPI. My board positions involved meeting planning responsibilities, so I decided to take all my volunteer work and make a new career out of it.
My greatest career accomplishment: The highlight of my new two-year career is receiving my CMP designation. Not only did I develop a new discipline, it’s one of the main reasons I was blessed with the job I have today.
Impressive stats: Expenses are high when planning an annual event. Don’t feel like you have to “play ball” with the venue if it’s not cost effective. Thinking outside the box saved us over $35,000 by using a city’s perk instead of conforming to industry standards. Instead of having a regular reception, we designated several host restaurants from the city’s program.
A specific improvement I’ve made: Before I arrived, our association had no meeting signage. You only knew where the meeting room was by asking hotel staff or following the crowd. After asking my previous employer to borrow their signs, I gave a presentation on how vital general and directional signs are to a meeting. The idea was welcomed and the investment was made. Our members compliment the signs at every meeting. You’d be surprised how many associations don’t have signage.
What I’m working on: The majority of our members are state prosecutors. After a year of hearing amazing stories and interesting journeys, I’m excited to take up classes in the law field.
What I do outside of work: After years of serving in the local chapters and on the boards of SGMP and MPI, I’ve taken this year to spend quality time with my 14-year-old son and 3-year-old nephew. Family time is the best time. I’ll start 2018 fresh and jump back into volunteer work.