Beth Fagan has been an active member of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International for five years, and has served as co-chair of the chapter’s membership recruitment committee for two years.

This involvement is a natural fit for Fagan, who manages the membership services and meeting planning departments at the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) based in Scottsdale.

“As the manager of membership services, my role is to oversee the maintenance and the analysis of the data for over 1,500 members,” she says. “As a membership association, MPI provides excellent practical examples of dealing with the challenges of attracting and retaining members.”

As manager of the meeting-planning department, Fagan also is responsible for coordinating all aspects of NCPDP’s annual conference, as well as quarterly meetings.

“This includes hotel arrangement, meeting room set up, food and beverage, trade shows, golf tournaments, formal dinners, informal parties and receptions,” she says. “MPI provides education programs focusing on current trends, and by staying informed about what’s going on in the industry, I am able to plan innovative and effective meetings for our members.”

Fagan believes that MPI offers some incredible benefits to help her in these roles, including educational programs and the opportunity to meet and interact with others in the meeting planning industry. “Monthly speakers at the local meetings and annual conference provide a wealth of information that I find extremely useful,” she says. “In addition to the educational speakers, I am able to learn from my peers in the industry at both the local and national levels. The opportunity to network with those who have a shared understanding of the industry has often provided input, ideas and contacts that have helped me become a more proficient and innovative meeting planner.”

All levels of business travel, including the nonprofit sector, have been affected by the state of the U.S. economy, according to Fagan, but she’s dedicated to moving forward in her industry.

“It’s a constant struggle to gain active involvement from our members, but we have tried to address the economic shortfalls with an aggressive membership recruitment campaign and a constant line of communication to our members that illustrates the value of active participation,” she admits.

“Through MPI’s online forums, I’ve had the opportunity to share my experiences and learn what others are doing to counteract this issue.”