Chapter News

Meet Our 2020 Pillar Award Winner, Dionne Hulsey

What brought you to the meetings industry?
An add on in 2001.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Don’t be in such a hurry – early in my career I was so focused on my “title”.

What difference has PCMA made in your career?
PCMA has opened so many doors while providing me with amazing educational & networking opportunities. Through PCMA I have made many lifelong friends.

What is your greatest career accomplishment?
Being named Chief Sales & Services Officer for Total Hospitality Industry Solutions in early February 2021.

You’re a Chief Sales & Services Officer at Total Hospitality Industry Solutions. That’s a nice title – what exactly do you do at work?
I often joke that I am the “Chief Plate Spinner” (I honestly thought about having that be my title but did not feel it was professional enough!) – I keep our projects flowing and make sure everything stays on track. I love that no two days are alike.

Please tell me a little about your journey to the Pillar Award, how did you get here, who was important to the process, what did you do to prepare?
I do not think you can prepare for an award & I never made receiving an award a “goal” of mine. Being involved in PCMA is something which I enjoy & I hope it shows.

What does receiving the Pillar Award from GMC PCMA mean to you?
It is more meaningful to me receiving it for 2020 – the year of toilet paper shortages! If anything, it’s a THANK YOU from the chapter for my efforts.

What’s your 2020 pandemic story?
Well, being an overachiever, I went through TWO job searches in 2020. I was all set to start a new position on Monday March 16, 2020 – was dressed and ready to leave the house and then I received the call that we’d be shut down for two weeks… sadly that position was eliminated because of the restrictions on group gatherings in Chicago. Like so many, by the end of March I was filling out unemployment paperwork for the first time in my life – did not have a clue how to navigate the process. First time in a long time I had “TIME”… accomplished such achievements as cleaning & polishing my silver (took 3 days because I had not touched them in 15 years), learning how to use my bread machine & pasta machine (in my defense I did NOT purchase these gadgets!), explored the miles & miles of bike paths / trails and road my bike for countless hours, took as many free on-line courses as I could and spent quality time at the beach (‘cause in Indiana the lakeshore was open for most of the summer).  

Who is your celebrity look alike?
No clue! In my 30’s I was told I looked like Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Arch) but I don’t see it.

What’s your walk-up song? What music motivates you?
Most all 80’s music motivates me. The first songs that came to mind as walk up songs include:

  • Sedated by the Ramones
  • The Purdue Fight Song (“Hail Purdue”)
  • Oh Yeah by Yello (from Ferris Buellers Day Off – best 80’s movie ever!)

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Catch a direct flight to Greece and lay on the beach!

What’s your least favorite word?
Prior to 2020 it was the word “GOT”… drives me crazy when newscasters use it. After last year… “PIVOT” “LOCK DOWN” “SOCIAL DISTANCE”

What’s something no one (or very few people) know about you?
For someone of Greek decent… I honestly cannot stand the taste of feta cheese (I know, crazy, uh?)!

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Camped outside on a cold January night in West Lafayette, Indiana for concert tickets. There was over 30 of us who were part of the group, so over 2 or 3 days we took shifts waiting in line because we wanted good seats. My class & work schedules were pretty full, so I pulled an overnight shift – I know, WTF!?? Back then we did not have the kind of cold weather gear we have today. I recall a lot of blankets; beanbag chairs and hot chocolate w/ peppermint schnapps being involved. I still have my ticket, photos from that concert and amazing memories from the “camp out” and concert!

What was the first concert you attended?
The concert I camped outside for in 1984… The Kinks & The Romantics!

Jacky ListonMeet Our 2020 Pillar Award Winner, Dionne Hulsey