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Don’t let the dulcet tones of her Texas drawl fool you; Patty Stern is a real contender. In fact, this industry leader won Planner of the Year three times and in three locations—Texas, New York City and New Jersey. 

Stern got her feet wet on the supplier side at her family’s high-end limousine business in Dallas. Her commitment to involvement and understanding the industry was evident from that very first day. “I joined MPI and the Dallas CVB to get involved,” she says. Involvement is ingrained in Stern, who has been a longtime board member of both MPI and ILEA. Stern joined the business as a supplier, but quickly saw that her skills for planning transportation for conference and convention made her stand out. 

Her family’s business was sold to Carey International in 1998 and she continued working for them, largely handling pharmaceutical road shows, but, “I was attracted to the planning side and I wanted to be involved in the planning earlier, since transportation is often at the end.” 

She started her own business in 2001, expecting to be a DMC and ended up focusing on conference planning. “My first client was a 5,000-person convention, and I spent an entire year working inside the corporation as a planner,” she says. Her business grew from referrals and, thanks to her marketing background, she was able to offer more than just planning services. “I was one of the first planners in the country to offer a whole marketing module,” she says, including the development of conference websites for clients. 

Her business was booming in Dallas, but then one day everything—her direction and home base—took an unexpected turn. “My husband died unexpectedly at the age of 42,” she says. “It changed everything.” She moved to New York City and worked for the New Jersey-based MDP, planning pharma meetings for Pfizer. She spent two and a half years with the company before moving to New Jersey and starting fresh. “I decided to focus on marketing events, rather than planning them,” says Stern, who launched her eponymous company in 2010. “I had to spend the first four years proving myself again.”

But this energetic leader doesn’t let any challenge slow her down. Completely deaf in the left ear and with only 10 percent of hearing in the right ear since the age of 3, Stern says her inability to hear clearly drove her to get more involved in technology. In spite of that, Stern is well-known for her powerful listening skills—she often spins conversations into of-the-moment educational topics for industry associations—and her can-do spirit. 

Awards do not come easily in the restaurant business. Michelin, AAA and Forbes tell us who the best is (and Wine Spectator when it comes to vino), and there are only a select few of local establishments that make the esteemed cut. The Bernards Inn is in rare company, as it is the only restaurant in New Jersey that has made the Forbes list of the top restaurants in the United States. AAA counts just 11 restaurants in its Four-Diamond rating in our state. While you may hear that trophies are handed out just for showing up, it’s clearly not the case when it comes to dining.

 

What generation will make up 75 percent of the workforce in 2025? If you guessed millennials, you’d be right! According to an article titled "How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America" by Morley Winograd and Dr. Michael Hais, by 2020, millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans, and by 2025 they will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce. What does that mean for corporate planners? They will have to evolve the way they plan corporate events from boomers and Gen X’ers to millennials or face having an event that will become a social disaster!

 

INSPIRATION
The freshness of the new, clean sunlight inspired Marlene Freeman to design a neutral-colored table that awakens your neurons with the millions of sparkling lights reflecting off the abundance of crystal pieces upon this table.

DETAILS
This table delights the eye with a bevy of crystal pieces featuring a variety of patterns, some etched with straight, sharp lines and others decorated with flowing, organic designs.