40 Under 40
Michelle Carlen Director of Sales, Destination Irvine
For the past 12 years Michelle Carlen has been involved in the hospitality industry, developing the skills she originally learned while working for a travel agency.
"I love helping people and I love travel, so the opportunity to work with people helping them have a superior travel experience is what inspires me."
A member of organizations such as ASAE, DMAI and PCMA, she's currently the director of sales for Destination Irvine in Southern California, where she's hard at work promoting the destination as a viable option for faith-based meetings and conventions.
As someone who likes to get as much accomplished as she can, sometimes it's hard for Carlen to tell herself that she doesn't have to get everything done in a day-especially when she sees the growth potential of her destination. But when she does find time to relax, you'll find her practicing yoga or creating watercolor paintings.
What was the best advice someone gave you when you started in the industry?
To enjoy my time in each position, knowing that my time and energy will afford me the experience I need to advance in my career.