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By: Chantale Degagne | Feb 17, 2019

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Name and designations: Tessa Toutant
Position: Senior Coordinator/Co-Owner
Employer: Plannin’ Companion Strategic Event Management
Joined MPI in September 2018
Email: ttoutant@plannincompanion.com

I was born in London, ON but grew up in Winnipeg, MB. My mom is a teacher and my father a Senior Representative of an automotive company.

I was a competitive dancer for 12 years. I competed all over Canada and the United States, following a dance injury to my ankle I took a step back from competing myself and began to teach. I taught for about 4 years, 3 in Winnipeg and 1 year in Ottawa.

When I was 12 years old I had my first ah-ha moment in planning; my father was my brother’s peewee football coach and I was asked to do the team’s warmup (since I was a competitive dancer). That day I directed a group of boys, organized a short and long term warm-up plan, and loved every second of it. That day, I knew I wanted to be in coordination.

I went to the University of Manitoba where I graduated with a Recreation Management and Community Development Degree specializing in Event Coordination, I then moved to Ottawa, ON.

Always remaining within the field of planning, I got to network with multiple individuals and learn the ins and outs. I have always remained within the industry, but it took me a while to find where within the industry I fit best.

My favourite industry app that I would recommend, although it sounds strange is “Scannable”. It is a scanning app. In our industry we are always on the go, and to be able to properly scan a document, ID, etc. from your phone and be able to copy it, print it, or email it, has been a lifesaver on many occasions.

The one dream that I have seen fulfilled to date would be to own my own company; to work for myself and make my mark in the world and now I am doing it. I have co-owned my business since February 2018 and to think of the leaps and strides we have taken is mind boggling.

The best advice I have ever received is to always introduce yourself with a strong handshake.

The best advice I would give to my younger self would be that you can’t control everything. I remember feeling like I could always do more, be more, and work harder. When things would fall through, or not work out the way I had planned, I would see it as a failure. In the end, everything happens for a reason, and you can’t control everything.

My favourite networking event so far has been attending the CSAE conference in Ottawa, I loved it. I met so many MPI members and had amazing networking opportunities.

My Favourite Quote would be from Benjamin Franklin:

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 

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Article written by: Chantale Degagne, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Article Edited by: Darlene Kelly-Stewart, Stonehouse Sales & Marketing Services

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