Today marks M&IW’s 56th anniversary, and what a ride it has been! From our humble beginnings as a travel agency to our recent Journey to World Class, we have grown by leaps and bounds. Under the leadership of founder Dan Neider’s daughters, CEO Tina Madden, CPA, and Chief People Officer Jean Johnson, M&IW continues to innovate and inspire as one of the top event and incentive-travel management companies in the industry.
“As we reflect on 56 years of M&IW, we are so proud of the legacy our grandfather and father passed on,” said Tina. “They built a business that still lives and continues to grow and thrive.”
Of course, we wouldn’t be where we are today without our most valuable resource: our talented team of meetings, events, and incentives experts. To help celebrate our anniversary, we asked employees to reflect on their time with M&IW, what it means to celebrate our past, and their hopes and vision for the future.
Shauna McNaughton, HMCC
Vice President, Global Enterprise Solutions
“I joke when I tell people that I have been here so long that I feel like part of the furniture. But this does have a lot of meaning when I talk about my M&IW experience and tenure as M&IW feels like home.
I’ve been with M&IW since 1998 and have been provided with so many opportunities for my career and professional development along with a lot of opportunities to travel the world. Working for a company whose owners truly care about you and your family is the main reason I have never wanted to go elsewhere. I could only ever work at a company where I am appreciated, respected, challenged, understood, and listened to and, most of all, where when they say they put family first, they follow through.
M&IW has the same approach to our customers, and this is another reason I am still here. We work hard to understand our customers and their unique needs. We bend and shape to fit their goals and objectives on every level, and this allows us to work with customers in a true partnership where we value each other. You just can’t find that everywhere.”
Lisa Twardowski, CMP
Director, Event Experience
“Celebrating M&IW’s past grounds our company in Midwest values and a strong work ethic. Our owners cultivated a unique culture that supports and celebrates one another during good and tough times. As we have grown larger, they actively work to keep that culture an integral part of M&IW. We are constantly building on our past, learning and growing from our experiences, and updating process and procedure. As the world evolves, we evolve with it.
M&IW has provided me countless career growth opportunities. Over the past 18 years, I’ve been able to expand my knowledge of the hospitality industry by working on various program types in many different capacities. I’ve been a planner, worked on our Finance Team, dabbled in Event Technology, and enjoyed time on our Customer Success Team. I am currently bringing this full-circle experience gained over the years to thrive in my new role as a Director for our Event Experience team.
My hope is that the next generation of M&IW continues to evolve and be at the forefront of our industry while making memorable experiences and connections for our team and our customers.”
Sr. Director, People Engagement & Operations
“For the same reasons you celebrate a birthday or anniversary of a person, we celebrate M&IW’s past to reflect on all we have accomplished and to be grateful for the years together. There have been so many people who have been part of our success that we all have a part of our history and celebration.
One of my favorite sayings is ‘life is a long journey.’ I just started my 18th year at M&IW, and I have had incredible opportunities to travel, meet people, and learn new things during my time here. Anyone can pursue a new path under the M&IW brand. From operations/logistics to technology, from customer-facing to behind-the-scenes, there is a place to grow (and stay) at M&IW.”
Business Development Director, Sales & Marketing
“I have been with M&IW for 13 years, and it has been so incredible to see the growth and innovation that our company has gone through over time. When I first started, we were at 125 employees, we were not a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, and we did not have the depth and breadth of services and talent we have today. It has been amazing to be part of such an incredible M&IW family (old and new) and to see how we keep pushing ourselves to be the best of the best in our industry. The one thing that remains the same over time here is the incredible culture and leadership we have at M&IW!”
Sr. Engagement Consultant, Incentives & Engagement
“Reflecting on the history of the company allows us to understand the journey of where we’ve been and the values that were instilled from the beginning. I will always remember hearing about Mr. Neider schlepping bags and jumping in to help wherever needed to get the job done. Even now, 12 years after I first started here, Jean and Tina continue this dedication and ‘do whatever it takes’ philosophy. They have kept the values instilled from the beginning yet have brought the company into an amazing place today. Our Journey to World Class continues while we honor the past.
In another 50 years, I hope M&IW will still be viewed as one of the premier meetings, events, gifting, and travel companies. There may be something we don’t even know about yet added to our services! But hopefully the same values of kindness, customer focus, employee wellness, and more will continue to exist 50 years from now.”
Mae Ibe, CMP
Director, Conference & Tradeshow Services
“I am proud to be a part of a long-standing, successful company. I’ve been with M&IW for 10 years and have stayed because I like the family-owned vibe, feeling like I belong and am appreciated. I hope the next 50 years brings us more customers and more employees to share the love with, and I hope it stays focused on employee and client appreciation.”
Nicole Raudabaugh, CMP, CIS
Customer Success Manager, Incentives & Engagement
“I think it is has been amazing to see how much M&IW has grown over the past seven years that I’ve been with the company, both literally and figuratively. We’ve grown in numbers and revenue and customer and event counts, but we’ve really grown as a company and become more sure of who we are, what we excel at, and where we should put our focus. I’ve stayed with M&IW because I feel supported here to work on being the best I can be. I’ve been shown that it’s OK to take risks and make U-turns if needed, but throughout, keep true to yourself by being brave and honest. That mindset has made me a more confident and dedicated person and team member.
For the future, let’s set some lofty goals! We passed one million sleeping rooms booked last year. Can we hit two million in the next 10 years? I’d love to see us with employees in all 50 states and in more locations abroad. The tricky part is that I don’t want us to become too big to be nimble, too big to maintain our easy decision-making tree internally, too big to see that the details matter. Let’s grow, but grow with intentional purpose!”