As part of a new series, Lactation Matters will highlight the many amazing staff and board members of ILCA! For our first article, we introduce to you Amanda Joslin, Director of Conferences.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I started working for ILCA in February of 2011. How time flies! A year later, I still love what I do every day and have learned so much about the importance of breastfeeding. I studied at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (International Business) and Bachelor of Arts (Spanish). I began my career in marketing for a kitchen ventilation company. During my time there, I became the Manager of Marketing Services and planned my first meeting. I was in charge of planning a sales meeting for about 250 sales personnel in Chicago, Illinois. I had no idea what I was doing and I had to learn along the way. I realized, at the completion of that meeting, that becoming a meeting planner was what I had a passion for.
What position do you hold at ILCA and what are your responsibilities?
As ILCA’s Director of Conferences, I work with the Conference Program Committee chair and Education coordinator to coordinate and implement our annual conference and meeting. I have a variety of responsibilities, including preparing meeting specifications, arranging room blocks, coordinating the food and beverage, and facilitating speaker arrangements. I am also involved in the creative direction and fulfillment of the program website, registration brochure, save the date, exhibitor prospectus, conference handbook, signage, on-site materials, and receptions. I negotiate and manage all vendors including entertainment, transportation and printing services. Another one of my responsibilities is researching sites for the upcoming Annual Convention locales. This includes narrowing down a list of prominent locations by conducting site visits, contract review and negotiation, and preparing a summary of proposals for board decision. I am currently working on my Meeting Planner Certification, which I hope to complete in the fall.
What is one thing people may not know about you?
One thing people don’t know about me is that I love to dance! I get ready in the morning and dance to music. I listen and dance to music while in the shower. I try to dance sometimes in my car, but it’s hard sitting down. I’ve always wanted to take a professional hip hop class, but I’m too scared I would be awful at it. Secretly I wish my mom had kept me in dance or ballet longer when I was younger!
I’m looking forward to our upcoming meeting in Orlando, Florida this July. I’m really excited about the new initiatives we have planned and looking forward to seeing everyone again!
What has been the most rewarding highlight while working at ILCA?
Completing my first conference in San Diego in July of 2011. My biggest conference I had coordinated before ILCA was 250 people, and I thought that was huge!
If you could dream of something for the ILCA office, what would it be?
A pool!! Or a hot tub would do – our staff loves hot tub time at the end of a long day at conference!