She has 20 years of event planning experience and a doctorate in Sustainable Events and Tourism from the University of Utah. Mercedes has invested most of her career researching, teaching and implementing sustainability in events, venues and tourism. In both of her current roles, Mercedes gives keynote speeches, develops curriculum, and consults organizations to better engage stakeholders around sustainability. Mercedes has also conducted research on employee perceptions of sustainability programs in US convention centers.
Prior to her current roles, Mercedes taught courses in event planning and sustainable tourism for Old Dominion University and the University of Utah. She was the Managing Director and Event Director of The International Ecotourism Society, where she planned Sustainable Tourism and Ecotourism Conferences in California, Kenya, Brazil and Ecuador. She also worked for Classic Party Rentals in Los Angeles as an Event Consultant, helping with a variety of Hollywood events, fundraisers, festivals and weddings.