Here at Smart Meetings, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day all month long. Cheers to these inspiring female event professionals!

This article was created in collaboration with DAHLIA+Agency.

“Carina Bauer— I have watched Carina for several years run her business alongside her father with the utmost class, grace and flawless execution. Carina not only shows up for our industry, but she exemplifies true leadership through her thoughtful decisions, willingness to listen and courage to innovate. As a business owner myself, Carina inspires me to push my own boundaries and exercise my voice for the betterment of the meetings and events industry.”—Sarah Soliman Daudin


Marin BrightShe had a vision 19 years ago for a publication that empowers planners with an educational and inspirational publication beautiful enough to be on a consumer newsstand. And five years ago she recognized that while this is a majority female industry, they are not reaching the highest management level. She saw the solution as bringing people together for the first Smart Women in Meetings Summit—a day of networking, innovative resources and celebrating the women who get things done. She has been an inspiration to me and many others.”—JT Long

“Jeanne ProcopeJeanne’s style of leadership inspires me daily. She consistently leads with integrity, purpose + the absolute best sense of humor.”—Courtney Stanley

“Deborah Sexton has always inspired me… Her brilliance and support always pushed me to do more than I ever thought possible.”—Carolyn Clark

“Dahlia El GazzarI’m inspired by witnessing first-hand Dahlia bloom, blossom and thrive from “company employee” to an entrepreneur has been awe-inspiring (and mindstamping, as she says!) for me. She has created opportunities for many other women (and men!) as she has built an incredible team of educators/consultants …this, combined with her infectious personality and warm heart, make her an inspiring, magnetic and just a rock solid WOMAN!”—Keri Kelly

“Mindy Weiss is so incredibly talented and has such an abundance of warmth. I love her openness — she laughs, tells jokes and knows how to work so hard, and yet, finds time to chat and have fun! Mindy’s connection with her clients and the people around her is inspiration, and something to be admired. Yes, her talent tells its own story but it is also about the connections you make and about the people falling in love with you – that’s business and that’s building a legacy.”—Sandy Hammer

“I admire ‘HER’! There are too many women I admire and each for different reasons. The woman founder who is innovating and making #S#itdone, the one who speaks up for the rights of others, The one who juggles family/kids and running on the global stage and boardrooms,… All of them motivate me, inspire me and push me to be a better version of who I am.”—Rachel Stephan

“Megan Tanel inspires me. She’s an executive and a working mom. She leads people as she lifts them up. She’s frank but honest, smart yet humble, sincere and funny at the same time. To a fangirl like me, she walks the walk for events and women.”—Michelle Bruno

“My inspiration for #IWD2020 is Ann Taylor of @achairaffair – always positive, mothering, and encouraging, Ann is the matriarch of the Central Florida Special event and wedding industry. She loves connecting people with people. She has helped so many local event businesses and individuals grow and I’m proudly one of them. She is also a breast cancer survivor + heart attack survivor.”—Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez

“There are many women who inspire me daily. April Taylor, my mentor, was the one who inspired me to always go above and beyond to service the client without being afraid to challenge their goals.”—Mahagoney Jones

“Claire Smitha leader and mentor I can look up to and think, someday I want to be just like her, both professionally and as a person.”—Shawn Cheng

“Necoya Tyson— She is climbing heights and making amazing strides, doing it with a smile on her face.”—Sherron Washington

“Allie Magyar for being a non-tech tech empire builder.”—Marie-Claire Andrews

“Carolyn ClarkShe continues to teach all around her and motivates with patience, endless knowledge, and is the best devil’s advocate. She’s my Sandra Oh.”—Dahlia El Gazzar