For Diane Miller, the appeal of being a meeting planner is in the variety of challenges and responsibilities the job entails — sometimes, all hitting at once.
“It’s like a puzzle — you put it all together,” says the senior administrative coordinator and meeting arrangements coordinator for the General Secretary’s Office in the Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, Mo. “It’s got its high moments and its frustrating moments. But seeing it all flow the way you dream is the fun part. You get to work with interesting people; it’s challenging, it’s stretching.”
Oh, and one more thing, she adds, laughing, “It’s humbling!”
What about overwhelming?
“Of course!” Miller says. “Doesn’t every meeting planner feel that way at some time?”
Every meeting planner in the business — religious or any other industry — can probably relate to Miller’s favorite way of coping with the inevitable waves of stress that big, complicated events bring their way.
“Chocolate is always good,” Miller says, letting slip a trade secret. “You take a step back. You take a deep breath. You ask for some strength and guidance from God. And sometimes you have to walk away from it for a few hours and attack again with renewed strength.”
With her dual titles, you can imagine that Miller does a lot. She says that her planning duties start with planning an annual leadership retreat for the denomination every February, and include the logistics of the Nazarene’s annual board meeting and a new district superintendents’ orientation every September. The latter could be especially troublesome this fall because the church’s administration is slated to move into a new building about that same time.
Copyright 2008 Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman