PlanIt Tennessee
President's Message  
Happy April!!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter, and enjoyed some egg hunting and special day with friends and family.  We had some great events last month in all three regions.  If you missed them it is your loss!!  Our very own Colleen Cussick presented in the West & East and killed it in each region.  Then we spent some time with our Nerdy BFF Beth Z who rocked it in Nashville.  Next we got our social on at Mason's in Loews Vanderbilt Hotel at the end of the month.  Great time was had by all and thanks Desiree on another great MIX Event.  Looking into this month we only have one event planned but it is a biggie, Global Meetings Industry Day aka GMID!!  On April 14, 2016, leaders from across the meetings and events industry will come together to support  Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). GMID will showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities.   Many of you have registered already but if you haven't please do as it is a free event and almost at capacity.  It will be at the newly renovated Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville and a HUGE shout out to Dena Tidwell and the entire team for hosting and sponsoring this entire event. Y'all ROCK!!  Please check out our website for more details and the registration link.     
Please mark on your calendars May 24th will be our annual Circle of Excellence Awards Gala and Auction at the Doubletree Nashville Downtown.  It is going to be an incredible night of celebration of the year that the chapter has had as well as recognize outstanding members.  Congratulations to all the nominees!!!  It is a huge honor to be on that list as you were nominated by your peers to be recognized for your outstanding contributions to our chapter and industry.  I am excited to see who will be taking home the trophies!!
Welcome to all our new members this past month, thank you for joining and becoming a part of our Tennessee Family.  Please get engaged by volunteering on a committee as this is how you are going get the most out of your membership.

To all our volunteers, thank you so much for giving your time and energy to our chapter. You are what make it ROCK!!!!

See you all soon!

In This Issue
Our Sponsors
Platinum Partners


Gold Partners 

The Peabody Memphis
Do you want to become an MPI:TN sponsor and partner with the state's largest and most vibrant community of meeting and event professionals?

For more information, contact Colleen Cussick, Director of Strategic Alliances for MPI:TN!

Looking to make a job change or know someone is?  Check out the positions available at
Chapter Statistics After First Quarter 2016 
Total Membership     302

New Members Since January 1, 2016     33

Total New Members for the 2015-2016 Year   82

Total Retention, Non-student    73%

Volunteer Engagement    
101 chapter members serve on a committee

Average Total Education Meeting Attendance    
92 per meeting

Average Planner Attendance at Education Meeting    
22 per meeting

Average Satisfaction of Chapter Education Programs
9.30 per meeting

Average Attendance for Networking Events
50 per networking event

Here's what members are saying about March's events

"Colleen delivered content that was meaningful, valuable, and applicable to the planner and the supplier.  She was engaging and very informative.  She definitely deserves to get the Meeting of the Year award.

The Peabody was a great venue for this presentation.  The food was amazing as always and they had some really nice takeaways at the event to promote their new in-house spa.  Thanks Sheryl

Michael White sponsored the linens and they were VERY NICE.  The overall design of the meeting was TOP NOTCH!"


"This was one of the best educational luncheons in a long time.  Colleen rocked it out!  I think that what was so great was the laughter.  She had everyone engaged.  We ran over and no one left.  That in itself is unusual.  Great job.  It is just what the East Region needed."

"Loved the "Build a Grilled Cheese" bar - fun idea! And the group might have been small, but they were engaged and fun!"


"The education luncheons keep getting better and better, as everything about this rocked! The venue, the food, the education were all amazing! Great job to the Education Committee!!"

"One of the BEST events I have ever attended. The location was great, the food was amazing & the speaker was just wonderful! I loved it all!!"

"I LOVED this month's Central luncheon. The food and drinks were phenomenal [can we have Bloody Mary's at every meeting], and Beth Z was so fun and energetic. She had great content and a great presentation style. I will DEFINITELY be putting the info she gave us to good use!"


"I felt this event was enjoyable, relaxed and very welcoming to all and provided an excellent opportunity for well "mixing"."

"Great Job Desiree!!!  Perfect networking event and the Loews did an awesome job as always!"

"I cannot say enough good things about Michael Dominguez - and kudos to the MPI Middle TN team who chose him!  I could have listened to him for an entire day - you could tell how knowledgeable he was - so engaging, and the facts just rolled off his tongue - talking about the business was like breathing for him - obvious he has a stellar mix of enthusiasm and insight.  Listening to people like him is so intriguing - probably the best speaker that I have encountered at one of the MPI meetings.  I thought it was impressive you could garner someone at his level to speak.  Thank you for your effort to get him here!"

"Thank you to Shannon Yeater & Mindy Powell-Hardy for their hard work.  This was one of the best MPI events I have been to thus far."

"That session was by far the most relevant and useful educational program I have experienced from MPI. I was thrilled."

"Let's do more of these! It was SO beneficial to have these ladies speak and for us to be aware of what is going on in our city and the steps that are being taken for events in our community. 110% relevant and so great we had the opportunity to ask questions."

"The program was exceptional!  It was great to have someone form the Mayor's Office and CVB to give us information on what's coming our way and Michael was awesome. Great venue and food!  Kudos to all who put this program together!"
Coming up in April...
Thursday, April 14, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at Wildhorse Saloon

This day will be celebrated in conjunction with TNSAE, TBTA, ISES, SGMP and more of Nashville's meetings and events industry associations.  This will be an event you won't want to miss!  Go to the event calendar to register.

Presentations by:
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry
Butch Spyridon, President, Nashville Convention and Visitor's Corporation
East Region
MPI:TN East Membership After Hours Event
"MPI: Your Path to Success" 
Thursday, April 28, 2016
4:00 PM  - 6:00 PM
Southern Railway Station - Spencer Ballroom
306 West Depot Avenue,Knoxville, Tennessee 37917
Circle of Excellence Awards Gala & Auction  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Nashville Downtown
Networking and Auction, Nominees Reception 5:30 PM
Dinner and Awards 7:00 PM
Drinks and Dancing 8:30 PM

Join MPI Tennessee Chapter and industry professionals for the annual Circle of Excellence Awards Gala & Auction hosted by DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Nashville Downtown on Tuesday, May 24.  This is one of the most popular events of the year and is on track to be the most glamorous, fun, and entertaining gala in our chapter's history. This year's gala theme is "MPI's Night at the Oscars" and will kick-off with a red carpet reception at 5:30 p.m. The silent auction will once again be powered by BiddingForGood and featured items can be viewed during the reception.  We encourage you to visit the auction before the gala to register, bookmark the site to your device, and check-out the amazing donations, . 

New to the gala is the Circle of Excellence Nominees Reception where award nominees and their guest are invited to an exclusive celebration before the gala. At 7:00 p.m. the silent auction closes and doors open to an unforgettable evening full of entertainment, great food, and the pinnacle of the night: The Circle of Excellence Awards.  At 8:30, we will celebrate our nominees and congratulate the winners at a fabulous after party.
We hope you will join us for a night of celebration!
Would you like to donate an item to the Circle of Excellence Awards Gala and Silent Auction? Do you want the opportunity to showcase your products and services while helping raise money for our chapter? Do you have a connection with a vendor or retailer you would like to reach out to for a great donation?  Click here to access the Donation Letter and Form.

To receive the maximum marketing benefit for your donation, please complete and return the donation form as soon as possible.
January Program Rescheduled in June
The January 2016 program that was cancelled due to weather has been rescheduled for June 29.  Same topic.  Same location.  Hopefully no snow!
Central Region
The Effects, The Booking, and The Behind the Scenes
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Studio A at the Grand Ole Opry House
2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37214

MPI:TN Named Finalist for Two RISE Awards
It is with great pleasure we announce that MPI Tennessee has been selected as a finalist for the 2016 MPI RISE Awards for Educational Programming and Membership Achievement. On behalf of the RISE Awards Judging Panel, we congratulate you on your accomplishments and look forward to sharing your achievements with our membership and the meeting and event profession.

This year all of the top 2016 RISE Award finalists will be recognized at WEC 2016 in Atlantic City, and the award recipient for each category will be announced live.  Finalists will be featured during the RISE Awards Luncheon on Monday, June 13, 2016 at 1:15pm during WEC.

We are excited about being able to share all of the achievements and outstanding work from our MPI community and we look forward to highlighting your success in June.

Daniela Caputo, CiS WPICC
2015-2016 Chair, MPI RISE Awards Judging Panel

Need Additional Clock Hours for your CMP?
MPI Global has a library of webinars for members to access.  See the list of upcoming webinars by clicking here
Membership Recruitment News
MARCH - Member Madness - The Winner of the drawing for the Preditors game tickets and dinner in the Patron club was Mary Katherine Roberts with the Country Music Hall of Fame.

APRIL - It's Raining Members!!
For each new member referral an MPI:TN member gives us before April 30 their name will go into a drawing for a Premier Wine Tasting for 2 at Arrington Vineyards. (Valued at $100.00) Please email your referrals to Susan Raque at .  The drawing will be held on April 30.

MPI Global is pleased to offer you an opportunity to help a colleague, friend, or young professional experience the benefits of MPI membership. By giving this voucher to a future MPI member, you will allow them to waive the $50 application fee. Also, for each new member who uses this referral voucher, you will receive $25 off your next membership renewal. Be sure to add your name and member ID to each voucher prior to giving it to a new member. After all, what are friends for?
Voting Still Open for Planner & Supplier of the Year
Don't forget to submit your vote for Planner and Supplier of the Year!  Ballots are due April 15.  If you did not receive the e-ballot please contact Holly Stevenson, CMP, at
Community Service Corner
Join your MPI:TN family as we come to together to assist the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
12:45 pm to 4:00 pm

Member News
A special thank you to Holly Stevenson, CMP, for designing the Circle of Excellence Awards logo.  Who knew Holly is such a talented graphic designer!

Jackie Marko of Destination Nashville recently received her DMCP, Destination Management Certified Professional, designation.  Congratulations, Jackie!

New Member Spotlight
Name:  Lindsey Chance  

Current Employer and Position:  Loveless Events, General Manager

How long in the industry?   7 years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
To network with other meeting professionals in my area.

What do you hope to get from your MPI:TN membership?
I would love to increase my professional relationships in town, form more vendor relationships and get more involved with volunteer work and helping with other organizations when possible.

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I have worked at a few different hospitality organizations and am currently the General Manager of Loveless Events that just re-branded ourselves this year! I am seeking friendships and connections and am excited to jump in!
Name:  Collin Husbands   

Current Employer and Position:  Catering Sales Manager, Omni Nashville Hotel

How long have you been in this position?   2.5 years

How long in the industry?   10+ years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
To gain greater access to the best in the business here in Nashville.

What do you hope to get from your MPI:TN membership?
Partnerships, knowledge, ideas and enlightenment.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with?  Why? 
That's like asking me which of my children I love most.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.

In my spare time enjoy running, golf, basketball and cold beer.
Name:  Sandra Johnson   

Current Employer and Position:  Tennessee Bankers Association/Training Center Coordinator

How long have you been in this position?   3 years

How long in the industry?   10 years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
I would like to obtain the CMP designation and learn more about the industry.

What do you hope to get from your MPI:TN membership?
Besides the CMP, I would like to expose my Training and Event Center to meeting planners who could benefit from this type of venue.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with?  Why? 
This is tough to say, all things Christmas, all of the entertainers I have had the fortune of working with, and most especially Toby Keith's group.  After working with them for a number of years at a couple of venues, as crazy as things have gotten, they are still a little like family.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.

I am an avid camper, a self-professed "rock hound" and a want-to-be silversmith.
Name:  Chuck Satterwhite   

Current Employer and Position:  Travel and Meeting Planner, The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA)  The United Methodist Church

How long in the industry?   11+ years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
I joined MPI to grow as an event professional and to learn from others in the industry.

What do you hope to get from your MPI:TN membership?
Partnerships, knowledge, ideas and enlightenment.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with?  Why? 
I would like to gain friendships, contacts, and experience from my MPI membership.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.

I recently moved to the Nashville area from Virginia.