by Blair Potter
Mariles Krok, CMP, CMM (MPI Southern California Chapter), earned much more than her CMM certification thanks to an MPI Foundation scholarship.
“I cannot thank MPI and the MPI Foundation enough for granting me a full MPI Foundation scholarship for the CMM program,” says Krok, senior director of meeting sales for Visit Anaheim. “After achieving my CMP four years ago, it was a long-term goal, but one that I kept putting off. With the scholarship, I was able to turn this dream into reality. It was a great experience, for which I was able to grow both personally—in making lifelong friends and colleagues—and professionally.”
She says both her clients and her employer better understand her commitment to the industry because she earned the CMM designation.
Krok first gained awareness of the meeting industry at age 12.
“My family took me to Lions Club International conventions nationwide and globally. I was left to explore while they were attending sessions,” she says. “When they came back, they would ask me to show them where the pool or the gym or the restaurant was. Ergo, I was giving site tours at an early age. It stuck, and brought me to the hotel industry, which led me to groups and meetings and now to the CVB. I love what I do and often speak to students about pursuing careers in our industry.”
Krok says one of the highlights of her career is the opportunity to serve as president for one of MPI’s largest chapters.
“Having served on committees as a volunteer and growing in leadership with MPI has afforded me the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally,” she says. “From being able to step in my customers’ shoes by planning programs and events to making lifelong friends having served on the MPI Southern California Chapter board for the past seven years has been such a great experience.”
Krok believes she is able to think more about the big picture due to her involvement with the meeting industry.
“I truly believe that ‘when we meet, we change the world,’” she says. “I feel that with my certifications, I am able to speak to my meeting planner clients in their same language as well as better help them to meet their needs in order to accomplish their goals.”
to learn more about MPI Foundation scholarships.