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Our CTSM community overflows with stories... moments of triumph, exercises in resilience, and nods of understanding. We're a collection of specialists across the industry who are incredibly proud of what we do, what we create, and the CTSM tribe we've become part of.




Brittany Cook, CTSM BronzeMy introduction to corporate trade shows and events happened fast.
Brittany Cook, CTSM Bronze
Senior Event Planner
CFA Institute, Cornell University
Charlottesville, VA


My introduction to corporate trade shows and events happened rather fast and furiously while working for my former employer, Northrop Grumman. I had accepted a new position managing trade shows and sponsorships, within a sector that I was unfamiliar with, and I was required to relocate. On top of that, I had only ever attended one trade show in my lifetime. While I was trying to adapt and absorb as much as I could, as quickly as possible, my boss at the time handed me a copy of EXHIBITOR magazine, with a CTSM feature on the cover. I did some research, talked with colleagues in other sectors who were familiar with the program and decided to enroll, with the support of my leadership.

Three months into the program, I took a new position as an Event Planner with CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals, and relocated back to Charlottesville, VA. CFA Institute recognized it was important for me to complete this certification, and without question agreed to support me through to completion (and beyond!). Continuing on the fast and furious track, eight short months after enrollment I had completed the requirements, passed the test, and submitted my portfolio. At the one year mark, I am now CTSM Bronze certified.

Fortunately for me, I worked for two organizations, though vastly different in mission, industry and overall size, that each saw value in the CTSM certification. I took courses at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 that not only upgraded me to CTSM Bronze, but were also relevant in my current role as an Event Planner, showing the flexibility and vast offerings that the CTSM program awards. Jan Nelson and Melanie Swanson were instrumental in guiding me through the program, and Wendy Lewis does an extraordinary job keeping everyone on track. This is a program not to be missed!



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