INCENTIVEWISE

Get to know SITE’s new CEO, Annette Gregg

We’re extending a warm welcome to Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, who recently started at SITE as our new CEO.

Here’s a glimpse into what Annette has on her to-do as she jumps into the role. She also shared several words of wisdom for current SITE members and for those considering joining us to #beinSITE for the association’s 50th-anniversary year.

Why were you interested in serving as SITE's next CEO?

Ever since my first SITE SoCal event years ago, I knew this was a passionate community. I loved the education, active Young Leaders program, and SITE’s commitment to our global travel and events industry.

As I planned incentive programs in my job roles, I understood why there’s such passion — incentive travel celebrates human achievement. We bring people together to motivate and build comradery. These shared experiences unite people in a uniquely powerful way.

As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness.” I’m honored to work for an association that promotes these opportunities and values.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Author Jim Collins coined the “Stockdale Principle” based on Admiral James Stockdale’s beliefs as a prisoner of war: “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

This is one of my leadership values, optimism balanced with realism.

Secondly, I’m a curious and transparent person who likes to understand the “why” behind things and engage in open dialogue.

Lastly, I’ve devoted my career to the travel and events industry so I will never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do myself. I’m a player-coach that likes to work alongside my teams.

What are you most excited about in looking ahead, both for SITE and for the incentive travel industry at large? 

This is such an important time for SITE, celebrating 50 years of incentive travel excellence in 2023. I’m excited to tell the SITE story and craft the direction for the next 50 years. 

I think the reason incentive travel has always survived economic downturns and remained a priority for achievement programs is our drive to explore and experience new destinations. After the pandemic, there’s an even great desire for us to be together. The incentive market will continue to lead the way in presenting new locations, unique experiences and immersive programming.

What are you most curious to hear about and learn from our vibrant community of SITE members? 

By 2025, nearly 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials. This will be a staggering shift from a workforce made up of primarily baby boomers. I also heard a recent stat from Freeman that the average age of a travel and event professional is nine years younger than it was prior to the pandemic.

We need to look at our current and future members and make sure we are offering values that resonate with these different generations. Younger professionals want development for career advancement, and tools that help them plan programs with purpose.

Beyond generational-specific needs, today’s incentive professional needs a professional community that will help them succeed in an ever-changing environment. I look forward to learning how SITE can better meet those needs.

If you were speaking with someone who’s unfamiliar with SITE, as a new leader of SITE yourself, what would you say to convince them to join SITE (or #beinSITE, as we commonly say!)

I have a 22-year-old son who works for a global marketing and events firm. In their hybrid work model, he is only meeting his coworkers sporadically so building a professional and personal community has been challenging.

In this global remote work environment, community is more important than ever. SITE can be that platform that brings professionals together. So I’d tell them to join SITE as one way you can build lifelong personal and professional relationships.

How can members get to know you or connect with you further?

I’d love to chat anytime! I am passionate about building equity in the workplace and enjoy sharing ideas about elevating others.

If you’re in Southern California, join my husband, son and me for a beach volleyball game!

Written by

SITE Staff

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