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MPI Georgia Grapevine
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  Submitted By:
Jeff Whitney

President
Event Transportation / Atlanta
Community Outreach Committee
Joined MPI Georgia: 2002

April 2017 Grapevine

     

Professional Advancement

Congratulations to Pamela Shepherd, CIS, CHSC, on her new position at the LA Tourism & Convention Board. Pam’s title is National Director, Hotel Sales, Southeast. 

Pam describes this area as “everything from Pasadena to Malibu, Santa Monica to Redondo Beach, and all things in between, plus Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and of course the sexy new Downtown LA.”

Over 150 new hotels opening in 2017 – in a city that is the hub of chic. Pam’s new role is to find meeting, incentive, and convention business for Los Angeles from Texas to the Carolinas.

     
     

Professional Advancement

Lance Hornecker, CMP, CMM, a seasoned sales, hospitality and meetings expert, has joined Meeting Expectations as vice president of sales. In his new role, Hornecker will build upon the companies’ key strategies and objectives, grow relationships with current and potential clients and drive growth for the company through sales initiatives.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lance to the Meeting Expectations team,” Meeting Expectations President Brian Meyer said. “Lance brings a breadth of sales experience and leadership, which aligns with our overarching company goals as we continue to expand upon our events management, association management and technology services.”

Lance has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, with keen insight into food and beverage, hotel operations, sales and marketing. Most recently, he served as global account director for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. During his tenure, he secured more than 400 million dollars in business and won numerous sales awards, including the Excellence in Sales Award, and Sales Person of the Year. Lance served on the board of directors of Meeting Professionals International – Georgia Chapter (MPI Georgia) for seven years and held a variety of positions including president. MPI Georgia recognized his efforts with numerous awards, including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, the President’s Award, and Supplier of the Year (twice).

     

 

   

GES Acquires ON Event Services

Global Experience Specialists (GES) has expanded its event production capabilities in North America with the acquisition of AV production and technology services business, ON Event Services. This latest expansion builds on GES' acquisition of Blitz Communications in the UK and sees it extend its global reach, with 85 facilities worldwide.

ON Event Services’ team of 225 members of staff support more than 1,000 events per year and look after around 800 clients including major brands such as Coca-Cola, INFOR, and World Financial Group. The firm is also the preferred in-house provider of audio visual services for 30 venues and six major concert facilities. ON Event Services will now operate as ON Services, a GES Company, and Stan Milner, president of the company, will continue in his role.

"ON Services and GES are a great fit. It was important for us to join a company with a similar focus on creating live experiences and dedication to client service," said Milner. "We are looking forward to working with the GES team to help clients create engaging events from start to finish. This provides great opportunities for our clients and our employees."

Click here to read the full article. 

     
     

The Butterfly Effect

As some of you may recall, we launched a community service project awhile back, and we have an additional update to share on our progress. 

MPI Georgia Member, Russ Lopinto, received an envelope that contained $50.00 cash to invest in a “good works” effort to pay it forward to a person or group that might benefit from the act of kindness it generates. 

Russ engaged in the project by purchasing a case of Girl Scout cookies which he then distributed to residents in distressed neighborhoods, primarily in Vine City. He also distributed cookies to military personnel coming home through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Russ’ thoughts on his experience: “I guess the real ‘Butterfly Effect’ will come true when one of the people that experience my outreach will think it is rewarding enough to do pay it forward. At the very least, it has been rewarding to me personally.”

     

March 2017 Grapevine

 

Congratulations to Miranda Behner on her new position at the World of Coca-Cola as Event Concierge of the Bottle Cap Suite. The private event space is the perfect choice for your business meeting or special gathering. The Bottle Cap Suite features a private entrance and two adjoining rooms with a total of 1,140 square feet of flexible meeting and event space.  

     
   

Big shout-out to Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPMTracy continues to lead our industry’s knowledge and awareness of food allergies, dietary requests, and ensuring every meeting attendee has a delicious and nutritional meal that meets their special dietary needs. Tracy is featured on the cover of this month’s, The Meeting Professional Magazine, as she continues to better understand the importance of food and its impact on the meeting industry.

     
 

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Steven Hughes. Steven served as the MPI Georgia Executive Director from 2002 to 2005. MPI Georgia experienced tremendous success and growth during his tenure including numerous Chapter of the Year awards, membership growth, and highly successful signature events.

Steven will be fondly remembered for his generous and kind hearted nature, and the many great years he put forth in support of MPI Georgia and Meeting Expectations. Of late, he was working with his father in their family business in Savannah, GA.

We honor Steven’s memory and his many contributions to the meetings industry at large.

The family suggests remembrances be made to the:
Coastal Conservation Association of Georgia – Stevie Hughes Memorial Fund
c/o Sea Island Bank
15 Lake Street, Suite 170
Savannah, GA 31411-2972

 2017 Allie Awards Winners

Congratulations to our fellow MPI Georgia members who won awards at this year’s Allie Awards, held on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at the Georgia Freight Depot. The name “Allies” was selected to represent all “allied” event companies in Atlanta working together for a common good: to promote excellence in event design, planning, and production.

The inaugural event was held in 1991 to a group of 185 event professionals in the Greater Atlanta area, during a broadcast of the Oscars, with awards presented during commercial breaks. That year there were few categories. But, each year since then, the committee has added new awards to recognize the growth and depth of our industry.

Bookmark this page as we will be linking snippets from the award recipients or click here for the event Facebook page with photos from PWP Studios.

BEST CULINARY INNOVATION    Ideas from On High   Proof of the Pudding
BEST MENU DESIGN          Tastes and Tunes of the South           Proof of the Pudding
BEST OFF-PREMISE CATERING   The Signature Hurricane    
  Proof of the Pudding
BEST ON-PREMISE CATERING   The Street’s the Place to Go               Proof of the Pudding
BEST EVENT INNOVATION   The Butler Wall       Bold American Events
BEST EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY   Making Spiderman Jealous   PWP Studio
BEST ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION (Over $20K)   Camp Ignite   Destination South Meetings + Events 
BEST THEMED/UNIQUE ENTERTAINMENT   Camp Ignite    Destination South Meetings + Events 
BEST EVENT: Corporation/Association (Under $100K)   Koningsdad: Kings Day … USA   Corporate Events Unlimited
BEST EVENT: Corporation/Association (Over $100K)   Camp Ignite   Destination South Meetings + Events
BEST TRADESHOW/CONFERENCE   IHG Winning With Wellness   Corporate Events Unlimited
LOGISTICAL ACHIEVEMENT - Planning   Camp Ignite   Destination South Meetings + Events 
BEST AV DESIGN   Rebrand Launch     Active Production and Design
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN   Lighting Design Takes Flight   MAGNUM
LOGISTICAL ACHIEVEMENT - Technical Production   Hi-Tech Campout   MAGNUM
BEST TEAM EFFORT - Corporate Event   Camp Ignite   Destination South Meetings + Events, MAGNUM, EastCoast Entertainment, Absolute Entertainment
BEST TEAM EFFORT - Wedding Event    Married in the Mountains   Active Production and Design, Event Rentals Unlimited

 


February 2017 Grapevine

 

     

Congratulations to Matthew Thomas. He was recently promoted to partner with EastCoast Entertainment (ECE), a nationally recognized entertainment booking agency and event production firm.

When asked about his new role, he says, “The opportunities I have had here at ECE have seemed to be limitless. Having a career that allows me to continue to work with the many artists I respect and love means so much to me. With the growth of the company and the opportunities we have as an organization, there is no better time to be in the role I am in now as a partner. I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of it all.”

And saving the best news for last…

Matthew and his wife, Katey, are proud to introduce their first born, Brady. Born on January 5, 2017, which is also his mother's birthday, at 6:45 pm, at just under 7 lbs and over 20 inches.

January 2017 Grapevine

Greetings and Happy New Year

As editor of Grapevine, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year, and a very successful and meaningful 2017. 

 The Grapevine is designed to provide recognition to our members as they experience new opportunities in life, both personally and professionally. It’s a great way for your fellow members know more about you. 

   

As the Charlie Brown cartoon states: “In life, it’s not where you go; it’s who you travel with.” I hope you continue to “travel” with the MPI Georgia Chapter, and share the meaningful aspects of your life with your fellow members. 

As you know, the meetings and events industry is very relationship driven. Grapevine is an effective tool in providing recognition, shared interests, and valuable connections within our chapter membership.

Please send your updates within any of the following categories to me at jeff@eta-dmc.com, and I’ll be sure to include your news in our monthly reConnect newsletters. Be sure to include the details: names, dates, job titles, job descriptions, current photo, organization name, etc.

Here are some general topics included in The Grapevine:

Professional Advancement
Promotion or New Job
Professional and Community Board Involvement

Announcements
Engagement, Wedding, Births, Relocation
Unique Travel Destinations and Experiences
Educational Degrees Earned, Noteworthy Professional and Personal Accomplishments

Awards & Recognition
Industry, Sporting, Educational Awards and Designations
Profile or Contribution in Featured Magazine Articles

 


December 2016 Grapevine

     

Hali Cooper, CMP is back in Atlanta and working with PSAV as Regional Vice President, Sales. Her affiliation with MPI has been the catalyst of some amazing career opportunities. She served on the Board of MPI Georgia and formed relationships with members that helped her find the perfect job when she moved to Chicago. Hali was active in MPI Chicago Chapter where she served as President, a highlight of her career before moving back down to Atlanta. Her running route has changed from Lake Shore Drive to Kennesaw and Acworth. 

   

Sharon Collins, CMP, CMM, DES, has a new position with the American Cancer Society (ACS) as Director, Strategic Meeting Partnerships. She is an avid bird watcher and loves to play Mario Brothers on the Xbox. Sharon is also a history buff who loves pop culture. Sharon has worked with ACS for 10 years, which has been a most rewarding experience. Prior to ACS, she ran the meetings department at the Kellen Company.

   

Congratulations to Tiara Bebbs on her new position as Registration Specialist at Meeting Expectations. Tiara loves to sing, and during graduate school sang the National Anthem at a Marlin’s baseball game (we’ve probably all done that, but she got to use the microphone). She was accepted into the School of Music as a jazz vocalist at East Carolina University for undergrad, but instead decided to major in International and Organizational Communication.

   

Cheers to Gary Schneeberg on his new position as Sales Manager of Business Development with the Dalton Convention Center.  Gary attends numeorus chapter luincheons and events; and has extensive years and experience in hotel sales with both Hyatt and IHG. He is also an avid supporter of many deserving charitable organizations, including the annual AIDS Walk and PRUMC Global Missions.

   

Congratulations to MPI Georgia members, Felicia Newberry and Todd Finch, with The Magnum Companies. They got hitched in November. Both Todd and Felicia have been major supporters and leaders within the Chapter. We wish them good health and much happiness in the years ahead.  


Guess Who?

   

Here’s an adorable photo of one of our MPI Georgia members. Important note: she’s the one in the white outfit. This member is a born leader. She also is avid and proficient cruciverbalist (in other words, she likes crossword puzzles). Our friend grew up in Phoenix and can barely tolerate temperatures below 55 degrees. She has a legitimate phobia of birds, and once tried out for Jeopardy.

Who is this outstanding member? 

First correct answer wins a prize.  Submit your guess to Jeff Whitney. You can also nominate a mystery member for next month. 


November 2016 Grapevine

    Congratulations to Tim Barrett, CMP on his new position as Director of Meeting and Program Operations with Destination South Meetings + Events. He also serves as our chapter’s Vice President of Communicatiuons. Tim, we wish you much success. 
     
    Congratulations to Andy Williams, Destination South Meetings + Events, and his wife Ryan, on the birth of their son. Morgan Andrew is a happy and healthy little boy who arrived on Friday, October 28, 2016. Welcome to the world, Morgan, we celebrate your arrival. 7 pounds,  6 ounces, 20 inches.
     
    Kate Vinyard, Streamlinevents, and her husband Jim, celebrate the birth of their daughter, Margaret Ann Vinyard. Maggie is a happy and healthy little girl who arrived on Thursday, October 13, 2016. Welcome to the world, Maggie, we celebrate your arrival. 7 pounds,  6 ounces, 20 inches.

Note from Jeff:  Not a typo… Yes, both of these sweet “wee ones” have the same weight and length.

Guess Who Revealed

This MPI Georgia member is one crazy guy!

He’s a pro in every sense of the word. He sees the world as ”his body is only half full.” He’s never met a task (or cask) he couldn’t accomplish. It would have been interesting to see who actually won the battle of wills in the pictured scenario. He’s a dreamer, he’s resourceful, he’s passionate, he’s driven, and he can always find the humorous side of any situation.

 
     
     

Who is this outstanding member?

Shout out to Steven Schumacher. He is a can-do industry professional who seeks challenges and opportunities to enhace his skills and expand his experiences. Steven’s the kind of person that will continue to make news and positively impact our chapter. As you can tell from the photo, he’s always cooking up something.

 


September 2016 Grapevine
Professional Advancement

    Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Steven Schumacher on his new position as Director of Sales at the Dunwoody Convention + Visitors Bureau.

Steven was previously a Sales Manager at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. Steven will be using his knowledge and experience to bring more planners and their meetings to the Dunwoody area. We congratulate Steven and wish him success in his new position. Steven serves on the MPI Georgia Board of Directors for 2016-17 as Vice President of Finance.

  Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Bethlehem Dempsey on her new position as Events, Development & P.R. Specialist for Child Enrichment Inc., a non-profit organization in Augusta, GA.

Child Enrichment's mission is to provide comprehensive intervention, stabilization, advocacy, and prevention in the best interest of abused and neglected children. Bethlehem’s role includes event coordination and communication; fostering and maintaining relationships with partners, board members, staff and the general public. We congratulate Bethlehem and wish
her success in his new position.
    Scott Richmond is proud to announce his new position as Group Sales Manager for the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan.

Scott was previously the Director of Sales at the Dunwoody CVB. Scott will surely be an asset to his new property. Be sure to reach out to Scott whenever you are placing a meeting in the Big Apple. We congratulate Scott and wish him success in his new position.

Announcements

    Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Steven Schumacher on his marriage to the lovely MaryKate Wellington. The wedding was held at the InterContinental Buckhead on Saturday, August 20th. Your MPI Georgia members wish you many years of happiness together.


August 2016 Grapevine
Guess Who

   

This MPI Georgia member is one crazy guy!

He’s a pro in every sense of the word. He sees the world as ”his body is only half full.” He’s never met a task (or cask) he couldn’t accomplish. It would have been interesting to see who actually won the battle of wills in the pictured scenario. He’s a dreamer, he’s resourceful, he’s passionate, he’s driven, and he can always find the humorous side of any situation. 

Who is this outstanding member? 

Send an email to Jeff Whitney to win a prize or nominate a mystery member for next month.


July 2016 Grapevine

Announcements


 

Kate Vinyard, CMP, and her husband, Jim, are expecting a sweet baby girl, Margaret Ann Vinyard, in October 2016. Kate is the Managing Director of Face2Face Meetings & Events.

Guess Who Revealed

   

This MPI Georgia member positively impacts our industry every day. She is the daughter of a US Marine. She attended high school in Okinawa, Japan, and Albany, GA. Her first planning “job" was social chair of Chi Omega chapter at NC State. She has worked two Olympic Games. When she ran in her first and only marathon, she finished in top 50th percentile of women. She has one brother, two nieces, and one nephew. She has visited five of seven continents and her goal is to reach all seven.

Who is this outstanding member?

 Drum roll... Tracy Stuckrath!


Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM
Founder and Chief Connecting Officer
Thrive! Meetings & Events
Member since 2011

Tracy is an event planner and consultant who is one of just 275 people in the world to hold a designation as a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP), among several other industry certifications. She is also one of the 15 million Americans with food allergies. She has won many industry awards through the years... In 2015, Tracy was named one of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry by Meetings & Conventions magazine.

Would you like to submit a friend for the mystery member in August? Send an email to Jeff Whitney.


June 2016 Grapevine 

Professional Advancement

 

 

Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Abby Freeman, CMP. Abby recently announced her new planner position at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

 

  

 

  

 

 

Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Anna Williams of Juice Studios. Anna has been promoted to Associate Director of Sales. She is thrilled with this exciting new role and will lead Juice Studios DMC Sales efforts in Atlanta & Savannah.

 

Announcements and Congratulations

Our MPI Georgia Family is Growing

 

 

Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Anna Williams, Juice Studios, and hubby Ryan Williams on the birth of their first child, Isaac Howard Williams. Isaac was born on February 26, at 12:26 AM, weighing 8lbs, 6oz, and 20 inches long. All the doctors tell them he is “perfect” and they whole heartily agree. Isaac was born via gestational surrogate—a very special and life changing journey for their family. Two increased responsibilities: new job and new mommy.

  


 

Andy Williams, CMP, TMP, Destination South Meetings & Events, and his wife, Ryan Williams, are expecting their first child – a little boy. He is healthy thus far and the expected due date is October 22, just three days before their second wedding anniversary. His name will be Morgan Andrew Williams. Congratulations to Andy and Ryan, and we look forward to meeting Morgan after his arrival in the fall. Two increased responsibilities: 2016-17 MPI Georgia Chapter President-Elect, and new daddy.

  

 

Guess Who?

 

This MPI Georgia member positively impacts our industry every day. She is the daughter of a US Marine. She attended high school in Okinawa, Japan, and Albany, GA. Her first planning “job" was social chair of Chi Omega chapter at NC State. She has worked two Olympic Games. When she ran in her first and only marathon, she finished in top 50th percentile of women. She has one brother, two nieces, and one nephew. She has visited five of seven continents and her goal is to reach all seven. Who is this outstanding member? 

Be the first to guess our mystery member, with an email to Jeff Whitney to win a prize.

 

      



 


August 2015 Grapevine

Submitted by: Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta

LET'S CELEBRATE


Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Steven Schumacher, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, who recently announced his engagement to the lovely MaryKate Wellington. Steven is the chair of the MPI GA Member Activation Committee (MAC).
We wish you both much joy as you plan your wedding, and for your future happiness!



Congratulations to MPI Georgia Past-President, Candice Crossfield, CMP, who recently launched her new meetings and events planning company, Concerto Events.
Congratulations to Kelly Bush, CMP, CTSM (aka “the gambler”), Manhattan Associates, who recently finished in second place at the WEC Big Deal Poker Tournament in San Francisco.

You go, Kelly! We’re proud of your accomplishment, and even prouder to have you as a member of the MPI Georgia Chapter.
Congratulations to Allyson Wagner, Omnience, who has recently been appointed MPI GA Vice President - Education & Niche Events.

GUESS WHO

 


 

This seasoned planner has traveled around the globe planning and managing corporate and association meetings and events. This especially attractive photo of her was taken during a meeting in Harbin China, where she took out time to visit the Harbin China Ice City, February 2010.

Guess who…

Be the first to guess our mystery member and you’ll win a prize.

Submit your answer to Amy Hokkanen.

 

 


 

 



JULY'S "GUESS WHO" REVEALED:
Oscar Winner, Halle Berry in “Boomerang” has a connection to one of our MPI Georgia members.
This active member is an MPI Georgia Committee Chair. What most members don’t know about our latest “Guess Who” is that prior to her hospitality industry career, she designed the leather and fur tote bag that Oscar Winner, Halle Berry, carried in the Paramount Motion Picture “Boomerang” also starring Eddie Murphy. This member’s fashions were featured in at least two other motion pictures. Who is this fashion-forward, savvy member?

ANSWER:
Dahlia Williams, CGMP, Edgar's Hospitality Group

Congratulations to E.J. Westley of WestKNET for being the first person to correctly identify Dahlia.

If you would like to be featured in an upcoming edition of the MPI Georgia Grapevine, please submit your announcement to Jeff Whitney and we will do our best to put you in the next edition.



July 2015 Grapevine

Submitted by: Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta

COMMUNITY OUTREACH


Thanks to our members who participated in the recent sorting project at the ACFB Product Resource Center. Our members helped sort thousands of pounds of food that create thousands of meals for the hungry throughout our State and community. Members pictures are from left to right: Sara Mellars with friend, Paul Prusas, CMP, Candice Crossfield, CMP with son Kyle, Scott Richmond, Carol Hall, and Bobby Hobes, CMP.



ANNOUNCEMENTS


Congratulations to MPI Georgia member Arielle Galimidi, CMP, an independent planner with AG Events, who recently announced her engagement. We wish you much joy as you plan your wedding.



AWARDS AND RECOGNITION


Congratulations go out again to Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM of Thrive! Meetings & Events, who is featured in M&C’s July edition as one of M&C's Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry. The issue includes an impressive write-up on Tracy and her leadership in educating our industry on how to address the needs of people with dietary restrictions, which Tracy "works to educate venues and planners on how to do that while serving safe, delicious, and nutritious foods for all at events."




BUTTERFLY EFFECT


MPI GA Member Monica Brewton, Sales Manager at Emory Conference Center Hotel, was selected as one of our first Butterfly Effect project recipients. This endeavor was launched in March 2015. The following is an overview of how Monica “invested” her $50.00 in our acts of kindness outreach.

A little girl was asking her mom if she could buy a toy she saw while in Publix. Mom explained that times are tight, and that it's just not possible to get… Maybe later… Monica happened to be within earshot and the mom gave a knowing look. Monica offered to make 'maybe later' happen now and discretely offered $10.00 and asked that she share a blessing down the road.

Monica typically does not drink coffee but really needed a little something to kick start her morning after a restless night. While in the drive-thru at Starbucks, she noticed the car behind her and decided to buy their coffee and breakfast sandwiches. She asked the attendant to tell them 'Happy Friday.’ She mentioned that she loves when this happens as it typically begins a wave of purchases for more customers.

Thanks, Monica, for your efforts to represent our organization as we test our theory that acts of kindness do indeed extend throughout the community.



GUESS WHO



Oscar Winner, Halle Berry in “Boomerang” has a connection to one of our MPI Georgia members.

Guess Who: This active member is an MPI Georgia Committee Chair. What most members don’t know about our latest “Guess Who” is that prior to her hospitality industry career, she designed the leather and fur tote bag that Oscar Winner, Halle Berry, carried in the Paramount Motion Picture “Boomerang” also starring Eddie Murphy. This member’s fashions were featured in at least two other motion pictures. Who is this fashion-forward, savvy member?

Be the first to guess our mystery member, with an email to Amy Hokkanen, and win a prize.


JUNE'S "GUESS WHO" REVEALED:
This active member represents one of our major sponsors. He is outgoing, enthusiastic, and passionate about his company and its services. His hobbies include traveling, hiking, yoga, playing soccer, and cars… Hello to Danny Bacher, CEO at Topper Worldwide. Danny will be featured in the Member Spotlight next month.


If you would like to be featured in an upcoming edition of the MPI Georgia Grapevine, please submit your announcement to Jeff Whitney and we will do our best to put you in the next edition.



 

June 2015 Grapevine

Submitted by: Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta

CAREER UPDATES


Scott Richmond is proud to announce his new position as Director of Sales for the Dunwoody Convention & Visitors Bureau. Scott was previously the Business Development Manager at Crowne Plaza Ravinia where he worked extensively with the Dunwoody CVB. Scott is looking forward to new opportunities to use his skills and experiences to effectively market the facilities of the community and the surrounding areas as a preferred business, convention, and tourism destination. Scott, we know you’ll be a great success.



AWARDS AND RECOGNITION


Sara Mellars, MPI Georgia student member (and this editor’s Co-Chair for MPI Georgia Community Outreach Committee) was honored as Student Member of The Year during our Annual Phoenix Awards at American Spirit Works. Sara is an outstanding volunteer with a big heart, who has a passion for food and a passion for our chapter and it’s role in her successful career. Sara works as a Pastry Chef at one of Atlanta’s legendary restaurants, Canoe. Congratulations, Sara.



GUESS WHO



Guess Who: This active MPI Georgia member represents one of our major sponsors. He is outgoing, enthusiastic, and is passionate about his company and its services. His hobbies include traveling, hiking, yoga, playing soccer and cars… can you guess? Be the first to guess our mystery member, with an email to Amy Hokkanen, and win a prize.


 

MAY'S "GUESS WHO" REVEALED:
He’s a talented MPI Georgia member and a long time chapter volunteer. Fun loving, enjoys international travel, and one of his favorite hobbies is to collect favorite movies.

Cheers to Adriel Jones, CMP, of the Georgia Center of Excellence at Georgia State University. He serves as an Event Planner coordinating training events and meetings related to improving the behavioral health systems in Georgia. Adriel is a CMP Study Group committee member and a previous Shining Star winner.


If you would like to be featured in an upcoming edition of the MPI Georgia Grapevine, please submit your announcement to Jeff Whitney and we will do our best to put you in the next edition.

May 2015 Grapevine

Submitted by Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta

CAREER UPDATES

Tim Barrett, CMP, is proud to announce his new position as Catering Sales Manager with Bold American Events. Tim specializes in working with corporate and association clients to create events that appeal to all of the senses. He brings nearly 20 years hospitality experience to the dedicated team of professionals that have been making lasting - and bold - impressions since 1996. Previously, Tim was a Senior Catering Sales Manager at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center where he produced special events for a variety of university, corporate, association, and social clients. Prior to this, Tim helped develop complete programs for corporate, association, and incentive planners at Atlanta's first and foremost destination management company, Atlanta Arrangements (eventually GEP Atlanta). Congratulations, Tim.
Benita L. Falk, recently announced her new position as Vice President, Event Marketing, SunTrust Bank. Benita is excited about her new role where she will be able to use her extensive industry experience to further strengthen the Bank’s events department. Benita has held key meeting and event management positions with KPMG, Georgia-Pacific LLC, and NCR Corporation. Benita has been an inspiration to your Grapevine Editor since I first was introduced to Grapevine when Benita started the featured column. Congratulations, Benita, SunTrust is fortunate to have you on their team.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Congratulations to Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM, who is featured on the front cover of this month’s M&C Magazine. "An advocate and practitioner of combating food allergies at meetings and events, Tracy, who has food allergies herself, beats the drum for making F&B more inclusive of attendee needs that are frequently overlooked." Tracy is a Hospitality & Events Industry Speaker, Consultant & Trainer, Advocate for Dietary Needs, and an award-winning Event Professional. MPI Georgia Chapter is proud to have thought leaders like Tracy, as a key knowledge resource and valued member.

GUESS WHO


Guess Who: This adorable (look at these faces) and talented MPI Georgia member is a long time chapter volunteer who is also a past Shining Star Recipient. He is fun loving, enjoys international travel, and he collects favorite movies. And he’s also a twin… can you guess who he is? Be the first to guess our mystery member, with an email to amy@gampi.org, and you will win a prize.

If you would like to be featured in an upcoming edition of the MPI Georgia Grapevine, please submit your announcement to Jeff Whitney at jeff@eta-dmc.com and we will do our best to put you in the next edition.

April 2015 MPI Georgia Grapevine

CAREER UPDATES

 

Andy Williams, TMP, MPI Georgia’s Vice President-Membership has joined the Destination South Meetings & Events team as Director of Sales. Prior to joining DSME, Andy was Director of Sales at the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody. Congratulations, Andy.

 

Lori Harbin has joined the Corporate Events Unlimited team as Account Executive. Lori was previously with TEP Catering as Catering Sales Manager. Lori is also the current President of the ISES Greater Atlanta Chapter. Congratulations to Lori.

 

Laura Guerin, CMP, MPI Georgia’s Vice President-Communications has announced her new position at Leadership Atlanta as Associate Director of Programs. Laura was previously with the Southern Economic Development Council as Director of Membership & Events. Congratulations, Laura.

 

Tess Vismale, CMP, DES has opened iSocialExecution, Inc., an event execution firm which focuses on onsite execution to save planners time and energy. Tess is a Digital Event Strategist (DES), speaker, and sustainability consultant. Tess is a native Chicagoan by way of Atlanta. She holds a BA from Spelman College and enjoys social media, creative visionary thinking, tennis & watching mixed martial arts (MMA). Congratulations, Tess … we wish you much success.

                                 

Guess Who:

Carol Hall, Association Sales Manager, Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center

Congratulations to Jennifer Thompson, Visit Savannah, for identifying Carol Hall as our “Guess Who” mystery member.  Jennifer was the first person to correctly identify Carol and wins a beautiful coffee table book on Atlanta.

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The MPI Georgia Grapevine appears in each issue of Re:Connect, and provides our chapter members with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition for personal and professional accomplishments, career changes and advancements. We’d love to include your noteworthy information in an upcoming issue!

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Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com



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March 2015 MPI Georgia Grapevine

Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CAREER UPDATES

 

Steven Schumacher has accepted a new position within the IHG family. Beginning March 16, Steven will be the new Small Meetings Manager for the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta. Steven moves from Crowne Plaza Ravinia where he was Government Sales Manager. Congratulations, Steven.

 

Susan M. Dewberry has accepted a new position as Sales and Special Events Manager at Atlanta Botanical Garden. Susan also serves as Vice-Chair of the MPI Georgia Connections Committee.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Congratulations to Meghan Griffin Norton, National Senior Sales Manager at AlliedPRA Atlanta Destination Management, and her husband Ben. On Monday, March 2nd, they became the proud parents of Benjamin “Griffin” Norton. Benjamin was born at 7:14 a.m. and weighs 7 pounds, 9 ounces. The Norton family now consists of Mom, Dad, big sister Ella Frances, and little man Benjamin. Be sure to congratulation Meghan on the newest addition to their family.

 

                   

Guess Who:

This amazing and talented MPI Georgia member has a heart of gold, and has demonstrated her support and passion for our chapter, and its charitable outreach, throughout her years of membership. Additionally, she has quite the eye for finding a unique piece of furniture, and the ability to refinish it beautifully, so that it can occupy a special place within her home—or provide some additional “mad money” funds. One of her favorite colors is turquoise … can you guess who this is? Be the first to guess our mystery member, with an email to amy@gampi.org, and win a prize.

The MPI Georgia Grapevine appears in each issue of Re:Connect, and provides our chapter members with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition for personal and professional accomplishments, career changes and advancements. We’d love to include your noteworthy information in an upcoming issue!

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Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com

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February 2015 MPI Georgia Grapevine

CAREER UPDATES

Bob Carignan, CSEP, MPI Georgia Vice President - Finance, has recently engaged in a new career endeavor as a partner with PlayWorks Group. Bob's 17 years of industry experience along with his passion for corporate team-building, employee engagement and recognition will be a great complement to the PlayWorks Group team. Business Development and Facilitation will be Bob's primary roles as the company looks to grow their offerings and client relationships in the southeast and nationally. MPI wishes Bob all the best with his new opportunity!

Susan M. Dewberry has accepted a new position in the metro Atlanta hotel community. She is the new Group Sales Manager with the Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta. Susan also serves as Vice-Chair of the MPI Georgia Connections Committee.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Congratulations to Dale Gustafson, Director of Sales & Marketing at Embassy Suites Atlanta Centennial Park, for receiving the CEO Light and Warmth Award from Hilton Hotels. Out of over two thousand employee nominations globally last year, only 12 received this highest Hilton honor. For those of us who know Dale, this well-deserved honor befits the man. Be sure to congratulate Dale when you see him!

Jeff Whitney, MPI Georgia’s Grapevine editor, yours truly, is featured in this month’s issue of KSU College of Continuing and Professional Education’s blog. The article entitled, Instructor Insight: Meeting and Event Management, presents an overview of the certificate program and outlines what students will gain by registering for the course. MPI Georgia has embraced this program, with many chapter members serving as course instructors. Click on the following link to learn more. http://ccpe.kennesaw.edu/news/instructor-insight-meeting-events/

The MPI Georgia Grapevine appears in each issue of Re:Connect, and provides our chapter members with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition for personal and professional accomplishments, career changes and advancements. We’d love to include your noteworthy information in an upcoming issue!

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Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com



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January 2015 MPI Georgia Grapevine

CAREER UPDATES

Andrea Largay, CMP, independent meeting planner, recently announced the opening of her new company, Meeting Needs LLC. Andrea is a 20+ year meeting professional who specializes in corporate meetings and events. Prior to opening her new firm, Andrea worked with KPMG-Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific LLC, and Lend Lease.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Congratulations to Connie Bergeron, CMP, President, Site Selection Solutions, Inc. On January 13th, Connie was inducted into the membership of Atlanta Community Food Bank‘s newly created Champions Club. The Champions Club members represent volunteers whose personal fundraising efforts for Hunger Walk/Run exceeded $500 per person. Connie is pictured with ACFB’s Executive Director, Bill Bolling.

Save The Date: The Hunger Walk/Run 2015 is scheduled for Sunday, March 15. GaMPI members are encouraged to begin fund raising now to help make 2015's Walk/Run even better than last year.

Congratulations to Amy Erskine, Conference Solutions Network, on becoming GaMPI’s newest member of our 2014-15 Board of Directors. Amy has been appointed to fill the vacant slot on our Board, and will serve as our Director - Communications. Amy will work closely with Laura Guerin, Vice President – Communications, and all of our Communications Committees. We’re looking forward to Amy’s executive leadership, and encourage all of our members to congratulate Amy when you see or communicate with her.

The GaMPI Grapevine appears in each issue of Re:Connect, and provides our chapter members with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition for personal and professional accomplishments, career changes and advancements.

We’d love to include your noteworthy information in an upcoming issue!

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Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com


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December 2014 MPI Georgia Grapevine


CAREER UPDATES

Mitch Fielder recently joined the Georgia Press Association as the Member Services Director.  Congratulations, Mitch! See more exciting news for Mitch in “Announcements” below.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Congratulations to Meghan Griffin Norton, Allied PRA – Atlanta,  and her husband Ben, on the announcement of a new member of the family to arrive in 2015. How exciting for them!

Congratulations to Mitch Fielder, Georgia Press Association, and his wife Rebecca, as they welcomed 1st child and daughter to the world, Reagan Reese Fielder, on September 22nd, 2014.

HOLIDAY WISHES

The GaMPI Grapevine extends best wishes to you for the upcoming holiday season. We hope you’ll be surrounded by friends and family as you gather together, and that 2015 brings you good health and happiness! We value you as a member of our industry, and as a member of MPI Georgia Chapter.

The GaMPI Grapevine appears in each issue of Re:Connect, and provides our chapter members with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition for personal and professional accomplishments, and career changes and advancements. We’d love to include your noteworthy information in an upcoming issue!


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Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com

Larry Greene, Greene Classic Worldwide
Email: Larryg@gcllimo.com


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November 2014 MPI Georgia Grapevine


CAREER UPDATES

Shannon Pike, Classic Party Rentals, has been promoted to Regional Business Development Manager: East. Congratulations, Shannon!

Debbie Stazak, Molnlycke Health Care, was recently promoted to Manager, Corporate Events and Trade Shows. Congratulations, Debbie!

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Congratulations to Andy Williams, CVB of Dunwoody, on his recent marriage to the lovely Ryan Morgan Williams. The two were married on Saturday, October 25, at Burge Plantation. The couple honeymooned in Jamaica. We wish you both much happiness and health throughout your life together!

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AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Golf Tournament

Congratulations to our golf tournament winners. Be sure to extend congratulations to them on their winning ways the next time that you see them.

1st Place:  Bob Deuben, JoJo Herlitz and Dan Keyser.

2nd Place:  Kathi Kelly, Steve Damerow, Josh Brown and John Patton

3rd Place:  Korey Johnson, Robert Fell, Tony Arena and Andy Williams

Bocce Ball Tournament

Congratulations to Matt Pave, The Westin Key West Resort & Marina, and his team partner, Karen Terhaar, for their successful Bocce Ball play during the annual GaMPI Fall Classic. We had 12 teams enter the tournament, and Matt and Karen took the title. I am proud to say that Lori Harbin, TEP Catering, and I came in 2nd.

We had a great time and invite everyone to register for the tournament next year!
 

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Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com

Larry Greene, Greene Classic Worldwide
Email: Larryg@gcllimo.com

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October 2014 MPI Georgia Grapevine


CAREER UPDATES

Arielle Galimidi, CMP, has announced her transition to an independent planner. Arielle previously worked as a dental education meetings and events planner. Congratulations and best wishes for continued success.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Congratulations to Heather Herrig, CMP, of EVERY LAST DETAIL, and her husband Joe, on the birth of their beautiful daughter, Hadley Faye Herrig. Hadley Faye was born on September 9, at 11:16 p.m., and weighed in at 8 lbs, 2 oz. We wish her a life of happiness and good health.

 

Congratulations to Hayley Burch, CMP, ‎The Ridges Resort & Marina, and David Goldhagen on their recent wedding. The couple were married on Saturday, September 20, 2014, in Canton, GA. Best wishes to you both for a happy life together.

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The GaMPI Grapevine appears in each issue of Re:Connect, and provides our chapter members with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition for personal and professional accomplishments, and career changes and advancements. We’d love to include your noteworthy information in an upcoming issue!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com

Larry Greene, Greene Classic Worldwide
Email: Larryg@gcllimo.com


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September 2014 MPI Georgia Grapevine


CAREER UPDATES

Ginny Izydore is now Regional Sales Manager at Barnsley Resort.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Juice Studios (Anna Williams) will be partnering with the For A Day Foundation – Atlanta Chapter to host their 3rd Annual Cocktail for Kids. For A Day Foundation provides therapeutic experiences for children battling cancer and other blood disorders at Children’s Healthcare. Cocktail For Kids will be held at The Greystone at Piedmont Park on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and includes a slient and live auction.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT:   www.foradayfundraiser.eventbrite.com

Face 2 Face Events (Kate Vineyard, CMP) is proud to announce her affiliation with The Art of Diplomacy/Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting.  Kate and her team will be selling group events in conjunction with this upcoming exclusive and iconic Winston Churchill Exhibit - happening ONLY in Atlanta October 3, 2014 - February 1, 2015 at the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlantic Station. www.churchill-atlanta.com

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AWARDS & RECOGNITION

PCMA ANNOUNCES Proposed Slate of 2015 Board Officers and Directors

Our congratulations to two (2) GaMPI members who are in leadership positions on the 2015 PCMA Board of Directors

Phelps Hope, CMP, Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions, Kellen Meetings
(Term: 2015 – 2017)

Ann Godi, CMP, President & CEO, Benchmarc360, Inc.
(Term: 2014 – 2016)

Read more

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The GaMPI Grapevine appears in each issue of Re:Connect, and provides our chapter members with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition for personal and professional accomplishments, and career changes and advancements. We’d love to include your noteworthy information in an upcoming issue!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Jeff Whitney, Event Transportation/Atlanta
Email: jeff@eta-dmc.com

Larry Greene, Greene Classic Worldwide
Email: Larryg@gcllimo.com


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August 2014 MPI Georgia Grapevine


CAREER UPDATES

Andrea Largay, CMP, joined KPMG in April 2014, as a Senior Associate for Events & Meetings. She joins Benita Falk, Associate Director, Meetings & Events, KPMG.

Beth Chitnis, CAE, Executive Director, Meeting Expectations, has returned to GaMPI from the Chicago MPI Chapter.

Candice Crossfield, GaMPI Immediate Past President, joined Kellen Company in May 2014 as Manager, Meetings and Expositions.

Naomi Green is the Director of Partnerships for The Giving Kitchen whose mission is to provide crisis grants to members of Atlanta's restaurant community facing unanticipated hardship.

Cathy Harrell Pennington, is the new Regional Marketing Manager at The Christie Cookie. Cathy has also been newly installed as the Vice President of Education for The National Association of Catering and Events.

Dana Bloom Pederson is now Global Account Director at Trump Hotel Collection.

Kate Lastinger, CMP, CMM, GaMPI Past President, is now Director Global Events at NCR Corporation.

Phelps Hope has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions at Kellen Company.

Nancy Wilkerson has joined Barnsley Resort as Director of Sales.

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LIFE CHANGES

Congratulations to Laura (Pope) Steele on her marriage to Logan Steele on Saturday, May 3 at the St. Simons Island Lighthouse.

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AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, Founder/Chief Connecting Officer, Thrive! Meetings and Events, has been recognized by Meetings Focus Magazine as a leading educator for Meetings Trendsetters 2014. Tracy specializes in educating meeting planners and suppliers alike on F&B and food allergies, and serves our industry as a content speaker.

http://www.meetingsfocus.com/tabid/162/ArticleID/23913/ViewAll/True/Default.aspx


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