FastFive – May 2017
Agnès Canonica, CMP, CMM, HMCC
Global Account Director, Corporate Meetings & Events

1. What story in our industry impacted you the most in 2016 and why?
The election of Trump – how will it impact the healthcare system, banking industry and investment in research overall – uncertain times with very mixed agenda & messages. Unable to forecast the outcome and really sad to say that I hope it’s overall for the best. Current decisions, aspirations & defunding of various programs make me a concerned citizen on so many levels. I will leave it at that.

2. What advice would you give your younger self?
Family first; advocate for yourself – rarely will it be done for you; less talking, more listening; always be the bigger person; but my “go to” is treat everyone, no matter who they are, the same: this world needs a heck of a lot more empathy, humility and tolerance. In the words of the great Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

3. What’s your guilty pleasure?
The Voice (go Hunter, go!!!!) and Shameless (I’ve never been so shocked and laughed so hard, all at the same time)… and if you catch me in Buenos Aires, it will be mollejas (need to be extra crispy) and when in Panama, anything with 8 tentacles, grilled …this could be an endless list.

4. What does your current “just get it done” playlist look like?
“Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man (I always thought that would be brilliant hold music for a customer service phone line); ANYTHING Coldplay; “Din Daa Daa” by George Kranz (OK, I’m aging myself); “Love Me Now” by John Legend; “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber (NO judging) and “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone.

5. What’s your favorite book?
So many to name, as I’m an endless, avid reader of all genres, however – as I have to pick one, I was completely BLOWN away by the beautifully written TRUE story by Rebecca Skloot of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. ANYONE that touches healthcare needs to read this. I’m so grateful of where we are today as a result of advances however utterly dismayed by the atrocities that occurred in the name of science (which leaves you feeling both angry and awed – very confusing, conflicting emotions) – such a powerful reminder of how important continued research is – and the regulatory, ethical & financial clashes along the way – especially so relevant today with the new administration and cut-backs that it implies; stem cell research, etc.

About Agnès
Born and raised in the south of France, Agnès also lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Grand Case, St. Martin prior to moving to the United States in 1981. She is fluent in French and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese. Her professional background includes owning her own incentive company for over a decade and filling the role of strategic meeting manager in multiple industry sectors, including Life Sciences. For the last 14 years, Agnès has worked for leading agencies, responsible for implementing, growing, and leading International teams and accounts across the globe, delivering programs in over 50 countries.

Agnès joined MCI USA in 2017 to lead the Corporate Meetings & Events division across multiple industry sectors. As a thought leader/subject matter expert in the meetings industry, Agnès is frequently invited as a Subject Matter Expert contributor on SMMP, International & Life Sciences subjects, in addition to serving as an advisory board member for various global hotel brands. Canonica obtained her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2000, as well as her Certification in Meeting Management (CMM) in March 2008. Agnès is also an active member of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) and currently serving a three-year term on the CIC CMP Governance Commission.