Inspire the Next Generation of Leaders
A promotion led Daine Appleberry to apply for the IAAPA Young Professionals Mentor/Mentee Program because he realized a partnership with an experienced industry professional could offer helpful insights on assimilating to a new position and establishing a plan for success. Through the program, the director of guest services at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans was paired with mentor Kenneth Maguire, director of guest experience operations at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.
“The first question Ken asked me during our introductory call was, ‘What would you like to gain from this experience?’ I told Ken I was interested in learning how to support my new direct reports without micromanaging them,” Appleberry says. “Ken has shared several techniques with me that I have been able to implement. These techniques have allowed me the opportunity to train and develop new leaders in my organization.”
The IAAPA Young Professionals Subcommittee created the mentorship program in 2017 to support its mission to develop the industry’s next generation of leaders. The program’s goal is to provide an opportunity for young professionals to gain insight into career paths, networks, and professional growth by connecting with industry veterans.
Appleberry and Maguire arrange biweekly calls that vary from 15-minute check-ins to one-hour in-depth conversations. During the calls, Appleberry updates Maguire on his progress based on discussions and guidance from previous sessions, and then the mentor and mentee tackle new ideas and questions.
“Working with Daine has been a blast. He is so full of enthusiasm and energy; he just wants to learn as much as he can,” Maguire says. “His passion for wanting to be the best leader he can has been an inspiration to me as I continue to strive to be the best leader I can be.”
Appleberry also had the chance to visit Maguire and his team at Monterey Bay Aquarium to conduct some benchmarking practices.
“I am hoping to pass along my passion for the people—our staff—and how we can invest and grow them as not only great employees but great people,” Maguire says. “I have tried to instill with Daine how important it is, at least in my eyes, to really spend time with his various teams, asking them what is or is not working and what he can do to better support them.”
The 2020 IAAPA Young Professionals Mentor/Mentee Program will run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Mentor/mentee pairs are expected to meet virtually at least four times throughout the year. In-person meetings at an IAAPA Expo or event are encouraged.
Mentee applicants must be 35 years or younger (excludes undergraduate students) and a member of IAAPA or part of a member company. Mentee applications are available at www.IAAPA.org/YoungProfessionals and are due Oct. 1, 2019. Industry veterans with a minimum of 10 years of experience who are interested in becoming mentors can submit an interest form online at www.IAAPA.org/YoungProfessionals.