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Leadership Corner July 2017
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Submitted by:
Megan Perks, CMP, CMM
Independent Planner
Palm House Group
Member since: 2003

Stephen Sullivan
General Manager
Riverside EpiCenter
Member since 2013


Membership Benefits – You Only Get What You Put Into it

Not everyone knows the benefits or how to get the most out of an organization like MPI Georgia. How can you? 

 First you have to join. Every meeting or ancillary professional should belong to MPI and their local chapter.

Our chapter, like most associations, has different rate and payment plans available. I found myself several years ago without the support of employment, and they worked with me to make it affordable. This offered a great way to find my next position. MPI Georgia provides career postings, and the ability to network for your next great job.

You only get what you put into it so do more than just join – Connect. The best way to start is to volunteer on a committee. What are your passions and skill sets? What do you want to learn? This is a great way to develop your personal and professional skills along with networking. Serving on a committee provides an opportunity to have a network which you can use as a sounding board... or even your personal advisory panel.

Attend meetings. MPI is a great place to meet other professionals and create your network. It gives you access to industry leaders and continuing education (CE) programs. The monthly programs and special events allow you to stay in touch and even let off some steam. Learn best practices and new trends or skills. Be part of the bigger picture. 

Be active. Once you know the lay of the land and have volunteered, consider pursuing a board position. Even if you are not selected, you will gain confidence, credibility, and visibility along with pushing you out of your comfort zone. This is also great for both your resume and in the workplace.

You only get what you put into it. Again the mantra for most is “I just don’t have the time.” It takes time to grow and develop anything of value. This means getting involved. Talk to a senior member or committee chair to start or rekindle your journey.

Stephen is currently the General Manager of the Riverside EpiCenter and Director of Curriculum for the 2016-2017 Board of MPI Georgia. His passions are food, fun, and fitness. 




President's Message


Andy Williams, CMP, TMP
Director of Sales
Destination South Meetings + Events
2017-2018 MPI Georgia President
Member since 2011


Introducing the MPI Georgia 2017-18 Board of Directors

I’m elated to introduce the MPI Georgia 2017-18 Board of Directors. Made up of a professionally diverse group, our board will utilize a variety of skill sets held by these individuals to advance our chapter’s goals and objectives. Meeting planners, transportation consultants, and destination management leaders will bring their creativity, business acumen, and strategic management strengths to the table for the many discussions and decisions that center around our chapter and our membership.

First and foremost, we give thanks to our Immediate Past President, Eileen Roehl, CMP, who led a tremendous effort to revamp how we organize and operate. Those efforts have resulted in clearer policies and procedures, stronger accountability, and a better understanding of task-oriented action items. We are viewed by the MPI headquarters as a leading chapter within the global community, as 2016 was a tremendously successful year.

President-Elect, Tim Barrett, CMP, will prepare our chapter for the future and provide support our leadership team, along with Tracy Keller, CMP, Director of Administration. I’m excited that Tim will oversee our leadership development team; two newly-created positions this year led by Jeff Whitney and Allyson Wagner. Jeff will focus on re-engaging senior planners, and Allyson will focus on our newer members. Volunteer opportunities abound within our chapter. This is a huge focal point for leadership development. The team will also create and implement a defined structure; setting a path for volunteers based on their goals within MPI Georgia. Our hope is that our volunteers gain experience within different areas, and progressively move into leadership positions where they will be able to lend their experience and passion for the chapter in those roles. Tim will also oversee our strategic partnerships team, led by Melissa Legaux, CMP, who will manage our targeted sponsorship outreach. This past year, we were fortunate to have 87 sponsors support MPI Georgia. We know that Melissa will take it to the next level.

Our Vice President of Finance, Heather Herrig, CMP, will manage the many line items of the budget that keep us operational. Heather’s love for numbers will be a huge asset in this role. I’m happy to report that we’ve experienced healthy profits, and as a result, have created a Member Enrichment Fund. This fund will enable us to reinvest into the membership, and provide enhanced programming throughout the year.

Cherron Gardner and Blair Sullivan head up our educational programs and the many moving parts those include. They will focus on relevant content with a takeaway that you can utilize at your workplace. We’ve put much effort into bringing you speakers who deliver content that makes sense for what you all do on a daily basis. We always welcome our members’ feedback in this area, and strive to deliver the topics relevant to you.

The membership team, led by Steven Schumacher and Danny Bacher, will continue to focus on new member activation, member engagement, and member satisfaction. MPI Georgia strives to be the most welcoming meetings and events industry association within the state of Georgia. Should you choose to join a committee, this team will work to ensure you are plugged in to the area that is most appropriate for you.

Our strategic events team, led by Abby Freeman, CMP, and Brittany Hinger, is already hitting the ground running. Coming off an extremely successful Phoenix Awards, both Abby and Brittany are well into the planning of two staple events: Fall Classic Golf & Bocce Tournament and Tech Summit. This year we’re excited that the Fall Classic moves to the Brookfield Country Club. Our Tech Summit event, in partnership with SITE Southeast for the third year, continues to gain momentum and grow. We’re very proud of the advanced planning that has already gone into both of these special events.

And last, but certainly not least, let us not forget about our communications team – the promoters of all things MPI. Led by Ashley Izydore, CMP, and Chris Bonnett, CMP, this team does a fantastic job of managing our e-mail communications, social media posts, website updates, and overall marketing strategy. Thank you for keeping us informed – we love the fresh ideas they bring to the table.

In conclusion, I couldn’t be prouder to serve our members with such a devoted group of industry professionals. I’ve said many times that I truly believe I get to work with some of the greatest people in the world each day. I was introduced to a healthy amount of those people through MPI Georgia. I look forward to a jam-packed year and hope to give back to our chapter what it has given to me.

Andy Williams, CMP, TMP
MPI Georgia President


more Calendar

2018 Phoenix Awards

August 2018 Networking Event

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