by Kaylee Hultgren | November 01, 2008

"Rachael Ray would be the best planning partner. She has high energy and a creative flair." 

Beverly Laing, CMP, CTC, is senior account manager at Irvine, Calif.-based JNR Inc., a company that runs meetings and incentive programs for Fortune 500 clients. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the meetings industry, including serving as director of professional development for the Southern California chapter of Meeting Professionals International. Earlier this year, the chapter voted her Meeting Planner of the Year for 2007-'08.

Over the years, who has inspired you? My first mentor was my first boss in event management -- Mike Davis, senior director of rules and competitions at the United States Golf Association. More recently, Haley Powers, CMP, has been a mentor for me in MPI. She got me involved in the association's membership committee.

Why were you named Planner of the Year? Among other things, I revamped the Awards & Recognition department of our chapter to recognize additional volunteers.

What celebrity would make the best planning partner? I'd say Rachael Ray [of TV's Food Network fame]. She has a down-to-earth style, high energy and a creative flair.

What makes a perfect attendee? I love enthusiasm and high energy. When someone comes to an event with these qualities, it shows that they really want to take part.

How would you reward yourself for a meeting well done? Take a long vacation and just stay at home, since I am not there as much as I would like to be.