Lori Wagner - MPI Ottawa
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Lori Wagner - MPI Ottawa

By Lori Wagner | Aug 15, 2019

I received my social work degree and worked in group homes with children and adults with special needs. While on vacation in Venezuela, my friend and I were offered jobs as social directors at an all-inclusive resort, and we moved down there. We then moved to Banff and then Cancun, and I realized that the meeting industry was where I was meant to be—and I haven’t looked back since! Meeting people from around the world and helping create memories that will last a lifetime is what I have enjoyed the most over my career.

I’ve had the opportunity to work in hotel sales, in tourism, with Porter Airlines and now as regional director with Meeting Encore, the first site selection and sourcing company in Canada. My experience has provided me with a unique understanding and perspective of the meeting industry and allows me to better assist my clients when choosing hotels and venues for future programs. Our team is comprised of industry professionals across the country and I’ve known them all for many years—they are family.

In 2010, I was due with our second child at the same time as the MPI Ottawa Chapter Prix Prestige Awards Gala. Our son arrived a few days early, so I was able to attend the gala, where I was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award. The support I received from our chapter members was so heartwarming and I thanked our son in my speech for arriving early and for understanding how important MPI was to me so that I could be there to celebrate with my industry friends and colleagues! That evening was definitely one of the most memorable moments in my career to date.  

My parents have always supported everything I have chosen to do, and I watched them work hard as they built their own businesses over the years. Their focus was always on providing the best customer service for their clients and I share that same passion. I am very lucky to be surrounded by supportive family and friends inside and outside of the industry.  

I joined the MPI Ottawa Chapter in 2000. My colleague was unable to attend the MPI World Education Congress in Las Vegas, so I became a member and represented our hotel. I was energized by the passionate people I met. I got involved at the chapter committee level and then became director of monthly programs and events on the board. I returned to the board in 2018 as VP of membership. My involvement with MPI has presented many of the opportunities that have come my way, and I highly encourage everyone to get involved. 

Many people outside of our industry do not truly understand what we do and the economic impact and creation of jobs that the meeting industry provides across the world. Global Meetings Industry Day has helped to create awareness, however I think that there is still a long way to go.

I am most passionate about my children and being their mom, and I am so thankful to have them in our lives every day! In our industry, we are presented with many unique opportunities, and I’ve been fortunate enough to share some of these experiences with the kids. I’ve been a hockey manager for my son’s team for the past two years, volunteered for multiple school trips and enjoy spending quality time with them and my husband. I am proud of the people that they have become and look forward to seeing how they are going to make their own impact in the future.   

 

Author

Lori Wagner - Jeb Pasillas Photographer
Lori Wagner

Lori Wagner is regional director for Meeting Encore and VP of membership for the MPI Ottawa Chapter. She has been an MPI member since 2000.