Sales Manager, Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau
As a single mother with two part-time jobs, life was a grind for Alison Huber. A friend suggested she would like the Meeting and Event Planning program at Madison College and it could lead to a good career.
“My bosses supported me going to college,” she said. The program included both online and classroom instruction, so Alison didn’t have to make the 60-mile drive to campus every day. She liked the small class sizes and felt comfortable approaching her instructors for help.
A three-credit internship at Chula Vista Resort gave Alison the opportunity to work in every department of the business. Five weeks before graduation, she accepted a training coordinator position with the accounting and advising firm Virchow Krause (now known as Baker Tilly). Six months later Alison became a meeting planner for the State Bar of Wisconsin, managing small events and an annual state convention involving 1,200 attendees.
The next step in her career ladder was with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards where she planned an annual event involving 2,100 attendees and 300 exhibitors. Her instructor encouraged Alison to take the Convention Industry Council exam to become a certified meeting professional. Alison is also past president of the Wisconsin chapter of Meeting Professionals International.
After two years in that position, Alison heard about an opening at the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau. “I had been working in the meeting planning side of the industry, now I wanted to work in the supplier side,” she explained.
Now she acts as the middle person between hotels and planners to find the right venue for their events. Her job involves selling the Wisconsin Dells as a good location for association, trade show and sporting event planners.
“Technical college provides real world experience,” Alison said. “You will learn from instructors who have been there and remain relevant to the industry. I learned tools that I still use all the time.”