Rosealee Lee Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Inducted into Minnesota Meetings + Events Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy of Kevin Rofidal

Photo courtesy of Kevin Rofidal

Rosealee Lee, an instructor in the Meeting and Event Management program at Dakota County Technical College, was inducted into Minnesota Meetings + EventsHall of Fame, winning the magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Featured with six other Hall of Fame inductees in the Minnesota Meetings + EventsSpring 2009 issue, Lee was honored at the magazine’s annual Best of Readers’ Choice Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony Feb. 26, 2009, at The Hotel Minneapolis.

“It was a magical evening,” said Lee, who was also selected to join Minnesota Meetings + Events Editorial Advisory Board. “The who’s who of our industry attended the party. I felt like a queen for a day.”

Lee’s husband David Lee and her daughter, Jessica Bartram, another instructor in the DCTC Meeting and Event Management program, accompanied Lee to the awards party, braving near-blizzard conditions to share in the festivities.

Rosealee Lee, Photo courtesy of Kevin Rofidal

Previously honored as the DCTC 2008 Outstanding Instructor of the Year, Lee has more than 30 years of industry experience and has served DCTC students for more than five years in adjunct and full-time faculty positions. She teaches at the college’sApple Valley site.

Lee points to partnerships with industry employers and professional associations as the reason for the continued growth in hospitality careers. “We are thrilled to be educating our students for employment,” she said. “Hospitality is a dynamic business and maintaining responsive communication with employers is important to the success of our students.”

Rosealee Lee’s other achievements include:

Photo courtesy of Kevin Rofidal

Photo courtesy of Kevin Rofidal

Rosealee Lee’s Minnesota Meetings + Events Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech:

Thank you. I am grateful for the divine guidance and love in my life, the Editorial Advisory Board of Minnesota Meetings + Events, and Tiger Oak Publications and their great staff.

Thank you to Dakota County Technical College, which lent its resources and support for a program that now trains many adults in our field each year and has the first two-year meeting and event management degree in the state.

I came to them a few years ago and said, you know, we all reinvent ourselves on average seven times in a lifetime, and few colleges are providing the opportunity to retrain for a whole new career while you continue working. People can’t just stop life and go back to school.

And then they listened when I told them about how strong the need for education in meeting planning and related hospitality careers was becoming—that meeting planning would soon be recognized as its own profession—that it’s the doorway to many other jobs within the hospitality industry. And that’s where this most recent chapter of my career took root.

Thank you to my family, David and Jessica, who have supported and sometimes just plain propped me up for all these decades.

Thank you to the students and alumni. Without you, none of this would be. And thank you to the employers who hire trained interns and employees. We are just beginning to experience a shortage of trained workers in the hospitality community. Research tells us that this trend will continue.

You see, my generation is leaving the industry. So here is my challenge for all of you: this industry grew up in the last 40 years—what was simple and not so tough is now a very sophisticated and complex profession that requires specialized education.

To ensure the future of our industry, we have only two choices: Die and take the industry with us, or build our accomplishments forward.

Join me, please, in building the industry forward. Thank you.

Meeting and Event Management

The Meeting and Event Management program prepares students to enter a truly exciting industry. Individuals already employed as meeting planners or in tourism, hotel, and convention service positions will expand their career opportunities with the program’s comprehensive curriculum.

The program serves as the missing ingredient for individuals who want to offer premier services and guest satisfaction to many different types of customers in a variety of industry businesses:

  • Convention and visitor bureaus
  • Travel agencies
  • Meeting, conference and event management businesses
  • Marketing and public relations firms
  • For-profit and nonprofit corporations
  • Golf and country clubs
  • Zoos
  • Resorts
  • Guest-centered attractions offering food, lodging or meeting spaces

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for meeting and convention planners is expected to grow 20 percent through 2016, which is faster than the national average. Job openings will result from employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the workforce or transfer to other occupations. reports that a typical meeting/event planner working in the U.S. earns a median base salary of $51,205 a year., the go-to source for employment and education in Minnesota, lists the following wage data for the Twin Cities seven-county metro area:

Meeting and Convention Planner

  • Average wage: $23.44 /hour
  • Top earners: $33.73/hour