by Kaylee Hultgren | November 01, 2007

Sheila Stampfli"I am most proud of being able to maintain long-term relationships with clients."

Sheila Stampfli, president of Courtesy Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based conference and event management company, recently was named one of two recipients of the 2007 Women Who Advance Excellence in Associations award, granted by ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership’s Greater Washington Network. She also has served as chair of the Professional Convention Management Association’s Education Foundation.

Do you have any role models? My role model was Jane Marilley, who founded Courtesy Associates in 1947. When she was 25 years old, she borrowed $500 to start a telephone answering service, which quickly expanded to handling meetings and events. Jane was way ahead of her time, a true professional businesswoman, and a marvelous teacher and role model.

What has been your greatest achievement? I would have to say that it was building on the vision of what Jane first began, and developing Courtesy into a global business and leader in our industry. But I am most proud of being able to maintain long-term relationships with clients, colleagues and even our competitors.

Any advice for “newbies” entering the industry? When I meet with potential employees, I look for certain qualities they must have before they are ready to make a career in our industry: They must be 120 percent focused on service; they must be relentless in their attention to detail; and they must walk in with a smile on their face and be ready to tackle any challenge thrown their way.