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Earning My CGMP Gave My Career a Boost

Anita Yearwood, CMP, CGMP, serves as the director of stewardship events in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University, SGMP Old Dominion chapter member and as a Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustee. In this interview, Anita shares how earning her Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) certification helped advance her skills and her career. She is looking forward to attending the CGMP Summit on Monday, June 24, 2019, as a pre-conference event prior to 2019 NEC in Detroit, Michigan.
Why did you make the decision to earn your CGMP?
 
When I joined SGMP in 2009, I'd been in the industry for five years without any formal education specific to government meetings. When I looked at the people who were leading at local and national levels of SGMP, I noticed most of them were CGMPs and Certified Meeting Planners (CMPs). I admired not only their leadership skills but also the depth of knowledge they had specific to government meetings. I decided that I needed to increase my knowledge and skills, so that's what I set out to do.
 
How has earning the CGMP impacted your career or job?
 
Since earning my CGMP, I've becomethe go-to person for government meetings and special events for my employers throughout my career. I've had the pleasure of planning events that featured two former presidents, the last two and the current governor of Virginia and countless local, state and federal government officials.
 
Do you have examples you can give where training from the CGMP made a difference in your work?
 
Generally speaking, I've had the opportunity to plan events in different parts of the country. Because of my CGMP, I can be confident that when I reach out to CVBs, hoteliers and other vendors, we're all speaking the same language and understanding the same terms.
 
What are you looking forward to most about the CGMP Summit at this year's NEC?
 
I'm looking forward to the opportunity to hear the latest industry information, share best practices and network with some of the best and brightest in the government meetings industry.

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