by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | February 01, 2007

February 1992 coverFifteen years ago this month, Jennifer Brown, CMP, was M&C’s cover model. As the newly promoted director of continuing education, West region, for Price Waterhouse (today’s PricewaterhouseCoopers), Brown was profiled for making the leap into management ranks. Today, she is a partner at Irvine, Calif.-based Meeting Sites Resource, a full-service meeting planning and site-selection company launched by her husband, Tim, 19 years ago.

Brown’s job seems quite different now than it was then. Technology advances, such as electronic requests for proposal, have simplified site selection and made it more efficient, she says. But planners face new challenges, such as Sarbanes-Oxley. “In the old days, you could pick up the phone and call your hotel contacts,” Brown recalls. “Today, you have to be able to show you sought multiple bids, and that adds a lot of paperwork and stress.”

Despite the changes, some aspects of the industry remain ingrained. “It’s still difficult for a woman to get in the boardroom and become a decision-maker,” notes Brown.