by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2007
Louise D. Paul

"I don’t let anything
scare me, such as
things I’ve never
done before."

Louise D. Paul, CMP, CMM, project manager, Global Meeting Solutions for San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems won the tech company’s 2006 meeting planner of the year award. She works in Cisco’s Research Triangle Park, N.C., office, and is actually an employee of third-party meetings management company StarCite. Paul worked on 450 Cisco events last year.

Was there one event that won you the award? No, I think I won because of my overall work, my attitude and my work ethic. Plus, I earned my CMM last year.

What type of meetings do you work on? I did mostly short-term events last year, what we call turn-and-burn. I didn’t travel for those, obviously; I would never be home. Now I am doing larger programs, where I’ll be traveling. I got promoted from meeting manager to project manager soon after I got the award.

What’s the most challenging event you’ve done for Cisco? College Days: Within a period of about six weeks, in four locations, we bring in probably 1,500 college recruits and interview them for positions. It’s every day for six weeks. The hardest part is dealing with immature college kids and the constant turnover of attendees.

Have you always worked on tech events? No. I’ve been planning for 25 years. I’ve had my own business. I’d been in the medical field, so coming to Cisco two and a half years ago was a total change in industry for me. But I don’t let anything scare me, such as things I’ve never done before. I take chances -- well-thought-out chances.