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Volunteerism in the Travel Industry

By Cindy Hartner

APRIL 2018

Volunteerism in the Travel Industry

By Cindy Hartner, Director of Global Sales - DMC Network

Hi, my name is Cindy, and I am a self-confessed volunteer addict ☺.  I volunteer judging high school musicals and mentoring drama students in the Washington state, I am involved with Boxer Rescue organizations (the dogs, not the athletes)… and, of course, I volunteer within the amazing industry that we all call home, the travel industry.

I am the Immediate Past President of the MPI Washington State Chapter, a past board member of MPI Dallas/Fort Worth, past board member of ILEA Seattle, and a Past President of ILEA Dallas. Each of these positions have involved a different skillset and mind frame over the years – and each have brought a huge amount of satisfaction to my life.

I know that I am in the career position I am today because of the mentors and teachers that I have met through my volunteer work. For me, personal and professional growth most often came in the form of opportunities to volunteer my time to give back to my industry and to my community. Both intertwined and I found business success and personal growth in areas that I never would have imagined.

The results can only be calculated in hindsight, and the very best rewards have always come from approaching each opportunity with a spirit of service rather than having an attachment to the outcome.

In the continuous spirit of giving back, I’m going to share with you a couple of the mantras that I have lived my volunteer life by that have helped to make me a successful volunteer:

  • Every day, remember the faith and trust placed in your hands to lead and guide the organization and to play your part. A volunteer position is a privilege, not a right.
  • You’re not there to press your own agenda, but to move the organization forward for the benefit of all members. You will always gain personal development in the process ☺.
  • Listen to the views around the table. Your way will not always be the right way. Take advantage of the thought leadership that you are being exposed to on your committee and grow from it.
  • Find a cause that you believe in within the organization and work on championing that cause. It is always easier when you are advocating something that you are personally truly passionate about, and this will come across when you are speaking to members.

And remember, the prize of volunteering is the opportunity to dig a little deeper and be a part of creating and growing something that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Sometimes (often) you don’t get instant gratification - that’s okay, be patient.  Think of something that you are proud of accomplishing in the past. Did that fall into your lap, or did it take some time? The same logic can be applied to volunteering in the travel industry – it will take time, but you will always be proud of the outcome.

I always ask myself whether I have helped someone else in the process. If the answer is "yes," then I know that I have been successful.

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