Alejandro Verzoub, president of AV Business & Communication, Buenos Aires, Argentina has been a SITE Member since 2000. He served on the SITE International Board of Directors from 2009-2013 and as President in 2012. His wife Monica is a company vice president and his children, Lucila and Ivan are active in the business.
What are some of the greatest takeaways from your tenure as SITE President?
As a member of the SITE Board and as President in 2012, I had the pleasure to connect with members from around the globe. I also had the extraordinary opportunity to visit a long list of the world’s great destinations letting ‘SITE Shine’ (my slogan at the time) and educating industry professionals on the business value of motivational events and incentive travel.
Sharing different roles on the board helped me to expand my patience and tolerance, and learn a little bit about politics, too. As a leader, I learned that you must be consistent and credible in order to convince others to believe in your ideas and motivate them to turn ideas into action.
How have your experiences with SITE guided and shaped your business?
Since joining SITE over 17 years ago, my participation has provided many personal and professional benefits. As a new member, I had the chance to connect with industry veterans who served as mentors and helped me to better understand the industry. After attending my first SITE conference in Las Vegas in 1999 I was thrilled with the idea of competing for the Crystal Awards. Twelve months later, we received our first Crystal Award for an exceptional campaign we organized for British American Tobacco in Argentina. The tremendous PR gained from this experience helped our company to build credibility and respect not only with clients, but also with other industry professionals who value working with our company.
What words of advice would you share with students and young professionals on how to achieve career success in today’s competitive, global environment?
AV Business & Communication is a family business and our children, Lucila and Ivan, have been part of our work life since their early years. Lucila (23) is working full time as an event manager with our company. She joined SITE this year, is serving on the SITE Young Leaders Committee and is actively working with the SITE South America chapter to help organize a Young Leader group in South America.
Ivan (20) is currently spending one semester in Groningen, The Netherlands and, through the generosity of SITE members, has been blessed by exceptional internships in China, Punta Cana, and London. They have both gained experience by coordinating hosted buyer groups at IMEX, ibtm World and other international shows.
Through all this different opportunities they have gained a strong understanding of how specialized our industry is and the different career options that they can explore (they are not obligated to work with us!)
Trying to counsel young professionals on how to be successful in our field is very subjective. I have learned from our family’s experience that the real challenge is to get young professionals engaged and keep them motivated. They have to be approached differently as they don’t like the typical advice and mentorship from “ the expert father who knows everything.”
Since we are working in a global industry, one piece of advice is that you need to be fluent in languages. You also need to develop the skills of speaking in public, in front of a group of colleagues or clients, as this will be crucial in your professional life. As an example, Lucila was very shy as teenager, but she had a great sense of humor and sarcasm, so she decided to train and learn Comedy Stand Up. After 6 months of hard work she successfully performed a Stand Up routine for an audience of 100 spectators. Breaking the chains that limit you does not mean that everything will be easier, but communicating with others is critical to success in our industry.
Other important attributes are passion and commitment, listening to others and developing relationships (your biggest assets!) It is also important to stay informed about the world and industry trends. SITE and the chapters offer excellent training and resources to help young professionals learn and grow in their careers.
At the end you need to know a little bit of everything…once you start your journey in our industry you discover that it is small world out there.
About SITE’s Journey:
SITE’s Journey is a digital compendium of our association’s history told through the eyes of the leaders who founded and led the organization since its inception in 1973. As you page through the history, you’ll see how world events impacted our growth, membership and activities. Even during difficult times, the SITE Board of Directors, Foundation Trustees, headquarters staff, chapters and members all worked tirelessly to keep SITE strong and continuing to contribute value to the global business community.