Greater Midwest Chapter

September 10 2013

GMC Student Member Spotlight: Kelli Jones

Jill Formeister
Although student member Kelli Jones just joined PCMA this summer, her membership has already helped her greatly. “For a summer school class I needed resources and creditable research on my given topic. It was a struggle to find resources, but once I became a student member, I had unlimited access to publications and industry statistics through PCMA. My schoolwork quality improved and I was able to enrich my classroom learning. The tools provided have not only helped me in the industry, but in my education as well.”

Kelli’s first job was an internship at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers in the front office. The hospitality industry intrigues her because of “the variety of opportunities available. Hospitality, I have learned, has many dynamic job types and offerings.”

She will graduate in December 2013 from Roosevelt University and College of DuPage 3+1 program with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management (BSHTM). She is “keeping an open mind to industry opportunities and my goal is to be in hospitality sales. I expect to contribute excellent service to every guest or client. Providing quality service is an important skill to always remember.”

Kelli was most surprised to learn that you never stop learning and growing in the hospitality industry. “I never thought I could find such passion for a career or industry. I truly feel enriched and connected to this industry and I am excited to see where it leads me.”

She counts several GMC members as her mentors and is “truly grateful for all their guidance. One is Lora Tannehill, CMP, Director of Scientific Meetings at the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR). Lora was my boss for an internship I did with her earlier this year. She was always so helpful and guided me through the meeting planning process. She provided me with a wealth of knowledge that I know I will use throughout the rest of my career. Also, Leslie Sargent, Global Account Director with Starwood Hotels and Resorts is another mentor. Leslie has been a close family friend my whole life. When I started my studies in hospitality, she was a great resource when I need advice and guidance. Leslie informed me of all the benefits of becoming involved and furthering my industry education. Finally, my current professor at Roosevelt University, Danielle Urbina, encouraged me to become a student member of GMC PCMA. She stressed the importance of professional associations in the industry as a networking tool.”

Kelli attended the July Member Mixer at Pinstripes in Oak Brook and described it as “a wonderful opportunity to network with industry professionals and meet fellow GMC members. The Greater Midwest Chapter members were friendly and welcoming to me as a student. Everyone I met was enthusiastic and encouraged me to continue to be a part of a wonderful organization like PCMA. I do plan to attend future GMC events and have already registered for a few.”

She said that “GMC can help me establish a career through events like the July Mixer with networking and interaction with industry professionals. I believe it is important to not only reach career goals through a professional organization, but also to give back to the greater community. Those factors attracted me to PCMA.”

She has not been involved in the student chapter yet because she just joined over the summer. “I have, however, been involved in other professional activities such as a Hospitality Club at College of DuPage. Also, I do my best to get involved in my hometown (Wheaton) and volunteer time for a variety of charitable events.” Besides career preparation, Kelli’s interests include “traveling and exploring new places. I also enjoy playing golf, and cooking is one of my favorite activities. Spending free time with friends and family is always a joy.”