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2016 40 Under 40: Mark Harvey, CGMP, CMP, CMM

Mark HarveyMark Harvey, CGMP, CMP, CMM 37, Director of Meetings and Operations Society of Government Meeting Professionals, Washington, D.C.

What he does: As a one-man department, Harvey executes all aspects of meetings and conferences produced by the society. He also acts as second-in-command to the CEO and manages daily operations of SGMP’s virtual office.

How I got here: “In high school, I worked as a reservationist for Williamsburg Hotel & Motel Association. I moved to D.C. to attend George Mason University’s Tourism and Event Management program while working for Hyatt. From there, I decided I wanted to be one of our clients when I ‘grew up,’ and hopped the fence to the planner side. Four planner positions later, here I am.”

Brag-worthy: Harvey has tripled the society’s engagement with industry partners and increased sponsorships steadily over the last three years.

Next-level idea: “Our group is very social, and our old format was too formal. I worked with Social Tables to redesign the floor plan to become a social event instead of a pipe-and-drape show; performed an extensive financial analysis; and after receiving board approval, moved forward to execute, with the program selling out more than a month before the show.”

Next-gen thinking: “Times are changing; associations are changing; we need to change too. Great minds can pull together to meet [attendees] where they are.”