by By Kaylee Hultgren | January 01, 2009

Michelle Malloy"The first words out of my mouth were, 'I want to be like the cruise director from The Love Boat.' "

Michelle Malloy, CMP, CAE, is director of meetings for the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She was this year's recipient of the Outstanding Meeting Professional Award, presented by the Association of Meeting Professionals, also based in Washington, D.C.

Do you have a role model?
My mother. From her I learned how to listen to people and really hear what they are saying. When she organized events and fundraisers, I saw how she did things today so she would not have to do them tomorrow. She is calm under pressure and taught me to treat everyone graciously and with respect.

What was your major in college?
The first words out of my mouth to my college counselor were, "I want to be like Julie McCoy, the cruise director from [the 1980s TV show] The Love Boat." There wasn't a hospitality school at the University of Maryland, so she suggested that I study public relations. Somehow I made every project into a "special event."

How do you deal with the stresses of your job?
I have fabulous friends and family that act as an excellent support group. I also try to play golf as often as possible. It's amazing how much stress you can relieve hitting a good, long drive!
Do you have any advice for newbies? Get involved in every way you can. I believe that you get out what you put into activities.