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ILEA ONWARD - Moving Onward with ILEA - Barb Harris


As we move into renewal season for ILEA, the Chicago Membership team sat down with Lifetime, Long Term, and Past President members to hear why they are so committed to being a part of ILEA. Learn more about why these members are moving ONWARD with ILEA!

How long have you been a member of ILEA?
Since 2009 / 12 years

What did it mean to you to be the President of the Greater Chicago Chapter?
My presidency was about legacy; I wanted to establish a strong chapter infrastructure so future leaders would be set up for success.  I always felt a tremendous amount of appreciation and support from the community, and it was important for me to give back to an organization that helped me acclimate after moving to Chicago from Detroit.

Reflecting on my time on the board, it provided me with the leadership and management skills that opened the door for the next step in my career.

Did you meet any important people of influence in your career through ILEA?
So many!  Some of my absolute best friends in the world I met through ILEA, and I have developed vendor partnerships that have transcended business to real friendships. 

Who/ what inspired you to go into the events industry?
There was a course at Indiana University that was unofficially called “Pick Your Major”.  It was a series of personality tests that identified various careers I might be good at, which lead me to tourism.  My childhood babysitter got me my first event planning job, and the rest is history.

What are you most excited for in the future of events?
The pandemic allowed all of us the time to slow down and evaluate how our businesses were and were not working.  We have the chance to start at Day 1 and make the changes we always talked about.

I believe attendees globally will have a greater appreciation for travel and experiences, and I look forward to delivering the best of what Chicago has to offer.

How are you continuing to evolve your network and community over the years?
Staying involved with ILEA will always be a priority to me.  The Chicago chapter’s membership base looks a little different each year.  New blood brings new ideas, and freshness.  Being in tune with an evolving community means I can ensure CTC’s clients are always getting cutting edge and bespoke experiences.

Connect with Barb:
Barb Harris and CTC DMC
LinkedIn: Barb Harris and CTC DMC
Facebook: Barb Harris and CTC DMC

Referral Program
Have a new referral or closed piece of  business that came from another ILEA Member? Please complete our Referral Tracking Program, linked here, to help us track the ROI of membership! If you have questions, please reach out to the membership team at