Monday, November 21, 2016

LGBTMPA Interviews Gary Murakami

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?" -Martin Luther King, Jr.

LGBTMPA takes a moment to chat with Gary Murakami, CMP, CMM, Director of Global Sales for MGM Resorts International to get his insights and thoughts on the importance of professional involvement in industry associations and specifically, LGBTMPA. Gary is currently on the Board of Directors for Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and a member of the Convention Industry Council APEX Standards Committee. He is also actively involved in LGBT organizations including serving as Chair of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation Board of Directors and Chair for the Out & Equal San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate.

LGBTMPA: Why did you get involved with LGBTMPA and how do you think this association can contribute to the industry?

GM: The involvement and network of a meetings and events association specific to the LGBT community and its allies will provide a critical opportunity to assist in an individual's professional development, as well as to enhance one's network. LGBTMPA can articulate the unique needs and concerns for the LGBT professional in addition to advocate and deliver feedback to issues that can affect the hospitality industry. I am particularly enthusiastic to see the continued development of LGBTMPA as the association continues to grow and to evolve. The association can further demonstrate the significant purchasing power and impact of LGBT meeting professionals in addition to those conventions and meetings that serve the LGBT community and businesses. LGBTMPA can serve as the voice of the LGBT meeting professional and assist in advancing the overall professionalism and education/learning opportunities.

LGBTMPA: How has your involvement in meetings and events industry organizations changed you or have had an impact on your career?

GM: I remain passionate and inspired by our industry each and every day by its ability to connect and to change lives. The industry overall is a significant driver and contributor to the world economy and shapes and stimulates ideas, creativity, and business. As someone that has been involved with numerous other industry organizations including Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), I foresee that an organization like LGBTMPA can work collaboratively alongside these associations and others to further grow and develop the overall industry with a focus on the specific needs and issues of the LGBT meeting professional community. Through my involvement in various organizations, I have had an incredible opportunity to grow my career through education and to increase my professional network.

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