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Industry Briefs

Born in Connecticut and raised in Virginia, Shawn-Ta Wilson now resides in Florida, the Sunshine State. Shawn-Ta is an Event Manager with over 30 years of experience managing tradeshows, conferences, conventions, and meetings. She has maintained her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation since 2002.

Shawn-Ta's career in event management began in Reston, Virginia in 1988. She credits her passion for this dynamic industry to her first employer. The association produced tradeshows for the printing and graphic communications industry. Traveling to cities from Chicago to Los Angeles to New York, and several others opened Shawn-Ta's eyes to career opportunities she did not previously realize existed.

The foundation of excellence held by the association she worked for at that time, complimented her innate desire to maintain high professional standards for herself. While working with the association, Shawn-Ta developed the motto of "good enough is not good enough when we have the opportunity and ability to do better". This motto was fortified for her after one of the association's most successful events (one million square foot trade show in the early 1990s). The president of the association congratulated everyone on the stellar work they contributed to the event, many even received a bonus. When the president concluded by saying, "We cannot rest on our laurels", Shawn-Ta appreciated his desire to strive for even better.

Since 1994, Shawn-Ta has been employed by the City of Tampa at the Tampa Convention Center. During her time there she has held several different positions and is now a Sr. Convention Services Manager (CSM). Her position at the convention center is history-making. Shawn-Ta is the only African-American female Convention Services Manager in the 33-year history of the center. She has successfully executed at least 700 events, to include a few you may be familiar with: Amway, Nike, Bishop TD Jakes, National Baptist Convention, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Church of God in Christ, AEAONMS / Shriners, NCAA Women's Basketball Coaches Association, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha, to name a few.

When asked, some of the things Shawn-Ta is most proud of in her career are:

·      Working the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as a Sector Coordinator at the Georgia Dome.

·      Speaking at several national and local industry conferences and meetings.

·      Writing industry related articles.

·      Contributing content for a breakout session at a national industry conference.

·      Serving as a board member for an industry association.

·      Receiving an international award for Convention Services Manager of the Year.

·      Creating departmental standards and guidelines which are still in effect today.

·      Impacting positive change in City-wide employee benefits, which resulted in employees being able to utilize sick time when adopting a child.

Having her industry roots in show management, is what Shawn-Ta believes has made her successful as a facility event manager. She understands the client's expectations and keeps their best interest at heart, while balancing her responsibility to the Center. She has established trust with her clients, and they know she will always work on their behalf to ensure successful event outcomes.

As a youth, Shawn-Ta realized that writing was an effective means of communication when words were difficult to verbalize. She is grateful to now use her gift of writing to honor and glorify God.

While the event industry is certainly a passion of hers, Shawn-Ta is also a published author of multiple faith-based books. Her writing style inspires, encourages, and gives hope. She believes it is important to share testimonies of faith with others.

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