My Journey As a Member & Leader of the Association of Bridal Consultants
Below Jacqueline Vazquez shares her story, successes, challenges, and growth.
Every year that passes by I sit down to reflect on what I have done, and who I have connected with along the way. I became a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants 10 years ago (2008) after being in the industry about 9 years, and the one thing that I remember was creating my 5-year goals from the moment I joined ABC. Every year included continual education to grow and build my knowledge. ABC has a point system which made it easy for me to track my goals, so I made that my tracking system. In the growth process for the 5-year goals, I had indicated that within 3 years I would become a Professional Wedding Planner, and that by year 5 (2013) I would make it to the Accredited Wedding Planner level. Little did I know that focusing on education and becoming an ABC leader would give me the tools to achieve my goals sooner than anticipated.
I attended a seminar facilitated by Master Wedding Planner Lois Pearce, and I asked her a question which, pretty much, led me to my current ABC State Manager status. I asked her, “How can I become more involved in my state?” and she simply responded, “contact the State Manager and ask”. I thought, Wow it was that easy? At first glance, I did not think so, but guess what it was. I went from becoming an ABC member to being designated as a Professional Wedding Planner to becoming the ABC Local Networking Group Director (LNG) for Westchester/Bronx area all within two years. Now this seemed to be a tad bit out of my comfort level, but when you have the passion for something and goals, venturing into different lanes is what helps you succeed. When you want to succeed you don’t wait for it to happen you have to go for it, hustle, and get it done.
Within 3 years of becoming the New York ABC LNG Director, I earned my designation as an Accredited Wedding Planner, followed by achieving one of my biggest goals earning my designation as Master Wedding Planner. As a side note: when I first applied for the Master Wedding Planner designation I did not get it, but that did not stop me. I refueled and with the pointers from the panel I went back and on the second try earned my designation.
After 3 years of being the ABC LNG Director, I was appointed as the New York ABC State Manager and for the last 5 years I have been leading New York, building relationships on a national and international level, and discovered what I love to do other than planning weddings and events. I love to give back to the industry, mentor, connect and be a part of building a community of strong and educated professionals who have values and respect for the industry. I don’t do this to become a celebrity or have an elevated status, I do it because I genuinely believe that if you build it others will follow. I want everyone who has the passion to succeed to be provided with the tools that will help them. Some important characteristics that have helped me along the way include being respectful, transparent, approachable, humility and kindness. Treat others as you want to be treated.
Now I may have lost a few of you along the way, so here is a recap.
2008 – Became an ABC Member
2008 – Created a 5-year goal
2010 – Became ABC NY LNG Director
2013 – Became ABC NY State Manager
2017 – Became ABC National Outreach Director
When doing something right it may seem easy to others, but it’s NOT. Everything you do comes with challenges and failures, but if you have the passion for something you find ways to get back up, break the barriers, break the glass ceiling and make it work. I have loved the roads these opportunities have led me to, because without that I would not have been able to step out of my comfort zone, meet and connect with amazing wedding professionals, and have the opportunity for doors to open for the next chapter in my life and career. In December 2018, my term as the ABC New York State Manager ends, but I will be continuing as the ABC National Outreach Director.
I have been blessed and honor to be in the company of amazing professionals, friends, colleagues, educators, and mentors who continue to support me as I support them. So, to everyone I say thank you, and stay tuned as I open new doors, get into new ventures, follow my dreams, and inspire others along the way.
Thank you to all who have been a part of the ABC New York Team (Melissa, Lisa Marie, Qwandra, Simone, Darryl, Adrienne, Tammy, Lisa, Kate, Laurie, Regina, and Renee) those who have attended our meetings and have supported me along the way (too many to name) and all of the speakers and sponsors. I especially want to thank the ABC President David Wood III, the amazing ladies at the ABC Corporate for constantly being available and supportive Nicole, Annemarie, and Elayne, and I would like to thank Lois Pearce for being an amazing wedding guru, Shelby Tuck Horton for the inspiration you share with others and believing in me, Joann Gregoli for the opportunity, Elise Enloe for your passion in the wedding industry and always being straightforward, Mark Kingsdorf for your guidance as I looked to achieve my Master designation, Monica Richard for your sweet and loving spirit and insights, Donna Brian for believing in me and being awesome, and Beverly Bonner for being a great leader for the ABC State Managers.
If you wish to reach out to me regarding ABC, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Jim Rohn said it best: “Life is not just the passing of time, Life is a collection of experiences…”
With that said, effective January 2019, I welcome the new ABC NY State Manager, Melissa Fife, PWP. Melissa has been a member of ABC for 9 years and became a part of the ABC NY Westchester/Bronx Steering Committee in 2010. In 2013, she was appointed as the ABC NY LNG Director for Westchester/Bronx and has done a great job in putting together meetings in her area. Melissa has been a great team member, consistently attended other NY meetings and has continually made education a part of her continual success. I wish Melissa all best in her new role. If you are attending the ABC Annual Conference this year look to connect with Melissa and Congratulate her.
Melissa Fife, PWP, Events by Missy & Co.
November 18, 2018
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