Hello, my name is Thuy Diep (2E Deep)… with a whole bunch of acronyms after it - I’d like to share (3) chapters of my story with you. A lesson learned, a pivotal moment, and a personal journey.
These chapters are the catalysts that ignite the core of my being and have guided me to this very moment with you. Everything I’m about to share serendipitously aligns with the focus of ILEA LA during this new term and beyond.
1. A LESSON LEARNED
I joined ILEA in 2012 on a student membership while I was attending The International School of Hospitality (TISOH) in Las Vegas. (a whoppin’ $50.00 for the year, might I add.)
Prior to my first networking event, I felt confident, eager to mingle. I was ecstatic for this opportunity - but the moment I entered the room... I completely froze! My social butterfly of a personality morphed into the shyest of wall flowers right before my eyes. I became the smallest fish in the sea who couldn’t swim… let alone walk in a pencil skirt!
Despite my intimidated state, Event Professionals engaged with me— introducing me to their contacts, inviting me in on their conversations. Me! A student, barely even a young professional yet, who couldn’t even give these people any business or leads. I went from being invisible to truly seen by the unique, creative, and plain ol’ crazy individuals who quickly became my Work Family.
My first networking event taught me to be continuously mindful of returning the favor— by sharing that sense of belonging through engaging, connecting, accepting, and collaborating with anyone, especially those who like to admire the wall paper alone. That lesson learned was INCLUSION.
2. A PIVOTAL MOMENT
The inaugural ILEA Las Vegas SEARCH Charity Gala in February of 2017 was my AH HA! moment. With over 20 supplier partners, 50 live plus silent auction sponsors, AND 12 students who flew in from a college in Rhode Island - We ended up raising over $20,000 for fellow event professionals in crisis. To this day, that is the most profound experience I’ve had working in this industry, and here’s why—
The time and energy it took to strategize, design, and produce that event was so worth it, so meaningful because it was an act of kindness that united us all. Together, we didn’t just create an event, we crafted a positive memory that helped fellow event professionals in their time of need.
I currently serve on SEARCH Foundation’s Board of Directors internationally, and I’m happy to officially announce… that a collection of local event industry organizations and association leaders have come together to form LEAD LA. My Pivotal Moment was accepting the importance of being a part of the Community.
3. A PERSONAL JOURNEY
My professional name is Thuy Diep with a whole bunch of acronyms after it… but my birth name is Ngoc Diep Thuy.
In my culture, your name is said in the order of middle, last, then first. My middle name means gem, first name - water, and last name deep.
The meaning of my name is ‘Gem is Deep Water.’ That deep water is in reference to the Hong Kong Harbor, where my parents landed after fleeing Vietnam by boat— and where I was born. In hopes of freedom and a better quality of life, we were accepted into the United States to start our American Dream. I am a Refugee. My personal journey is one of DIVERSITY.
ILEA’s mission is to advance the live events industry by creating an inclusive global community dedicated to personal and business development along with inspiration to elevate all professionals engaged in live events.
We, as the local chapter, will be an extension to that very statement. Diversity & Inclusion is needed now more than ever. It’s not a trending phrase, but a responsibility we all must uphold. The key to maintaining diversity and inclusion is to focus on our Community, not just within the industry but here locally in Los Angeles. To support and promote the Angels of this city with the sense of belonging this association is built upon.
During the next (12) months, you’ll continuously see Inclusion, Community, and Diversity come alive, intertwined into every decision we make for you, our members (and future members).
We at ILEA LA look forward to proudly showcasing our identity while getting to know your own story. It is your story and all of our stories coming together that will propel ILEA LA’s legacy forward.
That is our promise, our duty, our honor.
We are ILEA Los Angeles.
Thuy Diep (2E Deep), CGSP, DMCP, CSEP
ILEA Los Angeles
Chapter President 2020 - 2021