Meetings Canada


Industry Insider: Personal Transition & An Opportunity to Give Back

Les SelbyWhen my kids graduated from high school, I gave both of them a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”  That might seem strange reading for a teenager ready to go to university, but I have always thought that the great truths in the world are often quite simple if we are smart enough to recognize them. “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting, So…get on your way!”

For over 39 years, I have worked in retail and in the meetings and incentive industry.  Once I felt I had stopped learning and there were no new experiences, it was time to move on.  I jokingly say I was a millennial before people knew who they were–I was lucky to work as a corporate, independent and 3rd party planner.

Late last year I decided it was time to embark on a new personal adventure, so I announced to the management team at One10 that I was going to retire.   They were very supportive, and I was able to stay to complete the transition that started in the late summer of 2017 of the Canadian meetings and incentive business from Aimia Proprietary Loyalty to One10 Canada Holdings ULC.  I left the company at the end of March and am eager to transition to a new stage in my life.

I have written more than 80 articles as The Industry Insider because our profession constantly faces new challenges and we are all looking to be the best we can be.

Retirement doesn’t mean I am leaving the meetings and incentive industry.  I am continuing with my role as a member of the MPI Foundation’s Canadian Council and I will still write The Industry Insider.  The meetings and events industry is constantly evolving, and I feel privileged that I can stay involved in this great profession.

I was originally asked to write a blog or two for Meetings + Incentive Travel‘s website in the fall of 2009.  Sandra Eagle, who was the editor then, and I agreed on three basic ground rules:  the blog could address any topic that might encourage professional conversation, I could not promote my own employer, and I could not criticize a competitor.  Three editors and nine years later, I have written more than 80 articles as The Industry Insider because our profession constantly faces new challenges and we are all looking to be the best we can be.

I have been lucky enough to have had some amazing mentors—Duff Shaw, Don Brommet, Diana Stefaniak, and so many others. For me, serving on the MPI Foundation Canadian Council and writing the Industry Insider is an opportunity to give back to an amazing profession filled with awesome people.  I also need to thank all of you who read the blogs and leave comments or send me emails.  Certainly, today is our day.

~ Les Selby has been a corporate, independent, and third-party event professional for more than 28 years.  He has earned both his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation and his Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM). Inducted into Meeting + Incentive Travel Magazine’s Industry Hall of Fame in 2009, Les is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). He served on the Toronto chapter’s Board, was the 2000-2001 chapter president, and currently serves as a member of the MPI Foundation Canadian Council. In 1997, Les was recognized as Planner of the Year by the MPI Toronto chapter, and received the President’s Award for 2009. He can be reached at

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