In order to get to know our Hall of Famers better, CMEExpo will be interviewing inductees one by one after their induction. These interviews have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Name: Tuesday Johnson-MacDonald
Inducted in: 2019
Category: Industry Planner
Currently working as: Founder, president, and lead project manager at TAP Resources
CMEExpo: Tell us a little bit about your journey into meetings and events and how long you were in the industry.
TJM: I got started in the meetings world more than 20 years ago. Before I started in events planning, I worked in the Indigenous market, as a policy maker and then a director of social services for two different First Nations communities. But I got tired of the politics and left that realm. When I was at home looking for new opportunities, a colleague of mine called me up to help her with a couple of conferences. So I helped her and after that, her boss offered me five more conferences.
I thought to myself then, that if I was going to join the industry, I was going to do it right. So I pulled together a business plan and jumped in with both feet on the entrepreneurial side. And TAP has been up and running for 20 years now.
CMEExpo: What piqued your interest in meetings?
TJM: Well initially, when I graduated high school, I went to school for hospitality management. But I never ended up using my diploma because I jumped right into Indigenous organizations. So I sort of ended up where I thought I’d be after highschool.
For me, I love bringing people together to help them achieve their meeting objectives. But I like the idea of bringing people together on a much deeper level, and at TAP resources that’s exactly what we do for our clients.
CMEExpo: What is your favourite part of the industry?
TJM: I love the creativity that comes with the industry. We get so many opportunities to get creative with the events we do. And helping people bring their vision to life is one of the best parts of the job.
CMEExpo: You were inducted as the industry planner; can you tell us what that means to you?
TJM: I was so honoured. For me, it was a symbol of a lot of professional and personal work. When you understand my background and how I was raised and my struggles…to me being inducted meant I was seen, heard, and acknowledged. And that’s immense to me. I was just really, really honoured to be nominated and then to be selected was really heartwarming.
CMEExpo: Can you tell us about the favourite event you’ve planned?
TJM: Yes. My favourite event is something we planned recently: The World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education. We won two awards for the event, and it was the first international event we’ve ever done. It was a lot of hard work and long hours, but it was extremely successful. It was so great having so many Indigenous peoples from so many tribes and nations in Canada together under one roof.
It was one of those events that challenge event planners in the best way. That’s what drives us.
CMEExpo: Do you have a dream event you’d like to plan?
TJM: I’ve done so many of my dream events already. We’ve done some really cool things, but maybe taking some of the events we’re doing and making them work internationally is a dream of mine. It’s a target we’re starting to work on and expand our reach, but going to another country and delivering events there is a new challenge for us.
CMEExpo: Tell us what’s next for you. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
TJM: At TAP Resources, we are actually starting to work on succession planning. We don’t want to close down the business but we are hoping in the next few years we can find someone who is willing to buy it and take over the business so there is a smooth transition for our clients.