Mindy Gunn, AVP, CMP
Technology and Operations Group Event Manager
Wells Fargo Bank
Mindy Gunn didn’t choose event planning — it chose her.
Gunn planned on attending law school, but she switched career paths when she was offered a job as a meeting planner with Wells Fargo Bank.
“My start in the meetings and events industry came when I co-founded a nonprofit organization in college that produced and promoted free concerts and theatrical productions in the community,” Gunn says, adding that she also produced events while working at Wells Fargo as she attended Brigham Young University.
Gunn has been with Wells Fargo for 15 years, starting as a teller.
In her role as an event manager, Gunn joined the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International seven years ago. She initially joined as a way to gain her certified meeting professional (CMP) designation, which she did in 2006.
“MPI provides a link to other meeting professionals, as well as valuable resources to help me manage my ever-changing role in my organization,” she says.
“I am able to network with others in my profession, and keep apprised of what is happening in the industry in a way that works for me, whether it be a networking event, or, more often, the Web resources.”
Gunn says the current economic situation hasn’t changed her association with MPI; it is still a resource.
“MPI has provided important information and resources on how I can be more strategic in the support of my company from a meetings perspective,” she says.
Gunn adds that MPI also can help industry newcomers in this economy.
“I think there are fewer newcomers to the organization,” Gunn says. “With the current job market, it is becoming tougher to enter the industry, and as a result, fewer new members. These newcomers are vital to continue innovating and keeping the approaches ‘fresh.’”
Gunn says she wants to personally mentor newcomers in order to help them understand the opportunities MPI has to offer both personally and professionally. Gunn admits she didn’t take advantage of an MPI mentor when she was offered one, but she says she now knows that mentors are important.
“I would also like to see these new members aligned with mentors from their area of focus, so they can truly learn more about how to take the most advantage of the opportunities before them,” Gunn says.
Not only are newcomers an important part of MPI’s future, but so, too, is bringing together existing members, Gunn says. She says that a forum for members from all branches of the industry, from independent and corporate planners to suppliers, is something that would benefit all members.
“The more we understand each other’s roles, the better we can work together,” she says.