Stephanie Sadri - MPI Rocky Mountain
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Stephanie Sadri - MPI Rocky Mountain

By Stephanie Sadri | Sep 6, 2019

I was asked to help bartend at a large conference in 2007. I ended up getting put on a buffet, where I had no idea what I was doing. Many frustrations later, I finally had it set up. A gentleman came by and began moving things, and when I voiced my displeasure, we had a brief exchange. He handed me his card and asked me to come see him about a job. He hired me to do catering sales for Centerplate at Invesco Field (where I met my husband). I had been in restaurants for eight years, but this was my first introduction to the event industry. He saw something in me and took a risk. I owe my whole career, passion and family to that brief moment.

I was part of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) when it came through Denver. It was amazing watching everything come together and to witness the monumental moment of Barack Obama accepting his first presidential nomination. I remember the exhilaration of being told we were awarded that agreement and the chills I got when he spoke for the first time.

I would like to eventually be someone other people can come to for encouragement and support. I have so many mentors who have been so pivotal to me as I continue to grow, and I hope someday I can reciprocate that.

We all could write books on the crazy situations we have dealt with—from 7,000-lb. icicles coming through the ballroom ceiling to mattresses being put in a storage room for “extra sleeping room.” The DNC was tough with the security and secrecy measures, not to mention the sheer number of people.

My biggest challenge has been balance. We are such passionate people and believe in what we do so strongly that it is easy to get sucked in and put your whole focus on your clients, events and industry. Every day I must make a concerted effort to give my family the same focus I do my career. But it is worth it for me. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when events are successful, and I hope my kids strive to love what they do as much as I do someday. I want them to remember me working hard, but also being there for them, too.

Freddie Templeton (our chapter admin) has been so crucial to my success. She is encouraging, knowledgeable, patient, loving and just a solid human being. I have cried on her shoulder, laughed with her and am constantly learning from her. She is an incredible leader but so humble about it.

The MPI Rocky Mountain Chapter was doing their 40th anniversary event at my hotel, and I was put in charge of it. I got “voluntold” very quickly after that, starting with our golf tournament, and I’m now entering my sixth year on the board.

Being an MPI member has made a huge impact. To be around so many industry leaders, I have learned so much and continue to learn every day from these extraordinary people. I have taken chances and leaps of faith in my career path because of their encouragement and support—they believed in me when I didn’t. Plus, the education and connections have made me feel so much more well-rounded.

I feel there is division in our industry. Planners vs. suppliers, third parties vs. hotels, hotel brands vs. each other. There is so much change in our industry—a supplier today could be a planner tomorrow, and vice versa. We need to remember we are all in this industry together and working together is way better than against each other.

I have a six-year-old and a 10-year-old. I try to be involved in their school, activities and passions as much as I can be. We have a lot of extended family that keeps growing, and I love seeing our family tree change each year. We have an amazing tribe of friends. Cooking is my other passion—but generally it involves cooking for my family and friends!

 

Author

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Stephanie Sadri

Stephanie Sadri is manager, global accounts for HelmsBriscoe and vice president of finance for the MPI Rocky Mountain Chapter. She has been an MPI member since 2012.