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Monique Rowe, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Monique Rowe, convention & events services manager, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

As a destination marketing and management organization we are responsible for the marketing and management of all tourism for Madison. Although people understand the concept of tourism, many are not aware of the local economic value generated from tourism. In 2016, visitors spent $1.2 billion in Dane County alone, up 5% from 2015!

The most rewarding aspect of this job is helping create memorable experiences for visitors while they are in our destination. These memories and experiences have earned Madison accolades such as topping the list of “Happiest Cities in the World,” “Best College Towns,” and most recently “America’s Fittest City” by Fitbit.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker. He is the author of the classic Start With Why book, and presenter of numerous TedTalks. Sinek explains most companies do their marketing backward. They start with their “what” and then move to “how” but they neglect to even mention “why” they do what they do. We all do this in our own lives; we haven’t found our “why.” Why is the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires us to do what we do every day. His talk helped me identify what inspires me, how to think and act with purpose, and establish habits that put me at my best professionally and personally.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

From high profile events such as the Super Bowl to sold-out citywide conventions, I’ve done it all, but I would say the highest point of my career is when I have the opportunity to stand up in front of an audience and tell them why I love my job. Nothing is more gratifying then speaking to a group of hospitality and tourism students who are as passionate as I am about this industry.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Find your why! Work for what you believe, not the money or the status — that will come. Don’t ever burn a bridge because you never know who you will run into somewhere down your career path. Network, network, network — never underestimate the power of people!

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