Each month we will be highlighting one of our amazing employees. We’ll ask them some work-related questions and also some not-so-work-related questions – hopefully, you’ll be able to see why we think we’ve got the best people around.
Today, our spotlight is on Heidi Brand, Program Operations Manager in our travel department.
First off, tell us how long you’ve been at MEI?
Briefly explain your day to day duties. What do you think others in the company would be surprised that you do?
I work with hotels, destination management companies and other local suppliers to plan and operate group travel incentives and meetings. Once a travel incentive or meeting has been sold, I work with the local suppliers to plan everything for the group including air travel, hotel reservations, transfers, activities, meals, special events, and entertainment. In addition to managing my programs, I also book and manage the freelance travel directors for all of our travel programs.
What’s been your favorite project working here?
The incentive programs are the most fun to plan – great destinations, wonderful food and top-notch events, activities and entertainment. The most memorable programs that I planned were in Whistler/Vancouver, Switzerland and Punta Mita, Mexico.
How has MEI helped you in your career development?
I started out working full-time and now, by choice, I’m a part-time employee and in the same position that I started in. I work more hours during our busy season and reduce my hours in the summer so I can spend time with my kids. Several years ago, I was given the added responsibility of managing the travel directors.
Favorite travel destination of your own?
Personally, my favorite place to travel is Hawaii, specifically Kauai and Maui. I lived on Kauai for 3 years and have many friends there and so many cool memories. I also got married on Maui.
Favorite line from a movie (or book)?
I like the line “Listen, all you do is give me answers. Just give me the right answer.” from the movie Casino.
Android or iPhone?
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Nicole Kidman – In the past (my younger years), many people have told me that I Iook like her.
If you could go back to any time period, which would you go back to and why?
College for me (Texas Tech University) was an absolute blast. I would love to be back in college again.
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
For sure tacos/Mexican food.
How do you spend your time outside of work? Hobbies, activities, family?
I play on a women’s soccer team and in a tennis league. I also enjoy playing sports in the park with my family and friends.
Brag a little: what accomplishments are you most proud of (not work-related)?
I donated a kidney to my brother-in-law which ultimately gave him 8 more years to live. I’m also very proud to say that so far, I have raised 3 confident, smart, happy daughters (they are only 17, 13 and 8 though). Also, I’ve held a job pretty consistently since I was 14 years old.