Eight Candidates Receive Master Bridal Consultant™ Designation

By Renée Grannis, MBC™, Association of Bridal Consultants, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Eight individuals from throughout North and South America were awarded Master Bridal Consultant™ (MBC™) status at the 2013 Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) Business of Brides Conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., in November.

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The new Master Bridal Consultants™ are: Left to right: Sari Skalnik, MBC™, Puerto Rico; Barbara Diez, MBC™, Argentina; Jessica Yates, MBC™, Maryland; Caroline Muzo, MBC™, Ecuador; Christine Terezakis, MBC™, Florida; Catherine Katz, MBC™, North Carolina; Laurie Beckman, MWV™, MBC™, New York; and Brenda Fernandez Zamora, MBC™, Mexico.

This year, 16 candidates applied for MBC™ status but only 13 presented at conference and eight were awarded. The candidates were rated in 10 categories. These included: wedding portfolio, essays, presentations, education and professional development, industry experience and contributions, leadership and professionalism, supportable business, oral communication, interview questions, and master qualities. Panelist comments about the candidates included:
“Absolutely master material!”
“Her presence is palpable! She is enthusiastic and really seems to loves her craft.”
“Showed so much passion for the industry and confidence in herself that there was no PowerPoint!”
“Strong leadership skills.”
“Lovely wedding portfolio.”
“Loves educating others and growing the ABC.”
“Here is the whole package—exactly what a MBC™ should be!”
“Showed immense preparation and presentation skills. We need her!”

The master process has evolved over the years
The path to the current MBC™ and Master Wedding Vendor™ (MWV™) designation process has evolved through the more than 30 years of its history. When the MBC™ designation category was created, there was only one person who reviewed and decided if the candidate was “master material” and that was Eileen Monaghan, then vice president of the ABC. In 2003, Monaghan decided to include the opinions of other MBC™ in the selection process, forming an ad hoc panel.  While at conference, she gathered as many masters as she could to sit and listen to candidates make their case for master’s designation. After the presentations, the group would discuss the merits, with Monaghan making the deciding vote. In 2006, the review process became more formal as more and more candidates applied. Multiple panels of at least three MBC™ and MWV™ met to review and discuss the merits of each candidate.

Since then, the ABC has moved ever closer to quantifying and defining the qualities of its highest designation—master status. In an effort to offer an unbiased panel, the ABC does not allow a candidate to be reviewed by anyone in their home state nor by anyone who has reviewed them in the past. The candidate’s panel will always be fresh. No past information is given to the current panels.

This year’s changes meant rapid results
As all good things change and evolve, this year’s process was no different. For the first time, candidates received rapid results. Morning candidates were welcomed back at noon, and each panel delivered the results of their deliberations to each individual. Candidates scheduled in the afternoon, were brought back at the end of the last session and were given the same courtesy. The ABC feels it’s important to deliver all results personally and not be phone or email. For those who were unsuccessful in their bid for master status, the panel offered a quick outline of the areas that could be enhanced, with a more detailed notice in writing to follow so the candidates know what they have to do when they reapply for master designation.

More changes on the horizon
As the ABC panelists and candidates went through MBC™ process this year, a number of ideas were generated based on feedback. These ideas will be reviewed and many incorporated; for example, some of the categories in which candidates are rated will change next year. And while the road to master status is evolving, it remains a worthy rite of passage for those looking to advance themselves in this industry.

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