PlanIt Tennessee
President's Message  
Hey Everyone,

March is here and spring is upon us!!  First I need to say thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement during my family's recent loss, they were greatly appreciated.  Now down to biz!!  CONGRATS to the Education Committee on a killer CONNECT Event!!  I am sorry I missed it but heard amazing comments and that Michael knocked it out of the park like I knew he would.  

The next several months are busy ones for our chapter so get ready.  All three of our regions have educational luncheons this month.  We also have our Central MIX event later this month so be on the lookout for that invite.  Next month we are gearing up for GMID!  What is that you ask?  Well it stands for Global Meetings Industry Day.  I won't go into detail about it as you can learn more about it via this link  We are partnering with all of the other industry associations for a big celebration that will take place on April 14 at the Wildhorse Saloon.  The invite will soon be headed your way for this event and it is one you won't want to miss as we join forces to raise awareness about our industry and the impact it has not only for our state but globally.  Looking into May our annual Circle of Excellence Awards and Silent Auction will be taking place on May 24 at the Doubletree Nashville Downtown.  Go ahead and put this on our calendar as once again it will be a party!!!  Speaking of Auction we are currently seeking asking for donations of any kind for the auction.  This is the Chapters biggest fundraiser of the year so please, please, please donate and ask for auction items.  The money raised supports our efforts in providing quality education and scholarships for our members!!

Thank you to everyone who completed the satisfaction survey last month and congrats to Chelsea Williams on winning the $100.00 gift card.  See, it pays off to fill out those surveys!!! Welcome to our new members that joined last month and if you haven't already please join a committee and get involved to get the most out of your membership.

Thanks and see y'all soon!

In This Issue
Our Sponsors

Platinum Partners


Gold Partners

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
MPI:TN Board of Directors Confirmed 2016 - 2017 Slate
The MPI:TN Nominating Board is pleased to announced the confirmed slate for the 2016-2017 Board of Directors.

Adam Spivey, Hutton Hotel
July 2016 - December 2016
Katie Rogers, CMP, Change Healthcare
December 2016 - June 2018

President Elect
Katie Rogers, CMP, Change Healthcare
July 2016 - December 2016

Immediate Past President
Tammy Gibert Cardona, CMP
Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.   
July 2016 - December 2016
Adam Spivey, Hutton Hotel
December 2016 - June 2018

Vice President Finance
Jamie Hulet, Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group
July 2016 - June 2017

Vice President Membership
Valerie Summers, Gary Musick Productions
July 2016 - June 2017

Vice President Communications
Desiree Wooldridge, CMP, Caterpillar  Financial
July 2016 - June 2017

Vice President Education
Shannon Yeater, Butler Snow LLP
July 2016 - June 2017

VP East Region
Kristi Sowards, Knoxville Convention Center
July 2016 - June 2017

VP West Region
Antwone Stigall, CMP, New Memphis Institute
July 2016 - June 2017

Director, Special Projects
Lauren Stout, Gaylord Opryland
July 2016 - June 2017

Director, Strategic Alliances
Jill Kopecky, Neste Event Marketing
July 2016 - June 2017

Director, Communications
Chelsea Williams, Imagination Branding
July 2016 - June 2017

Director, Monthly Meetings
Mindy Powell-Hardy, CTIS, Hard Rock Café Nashville
July 2016 - June 2017

Director, Leadership & Professional Development
Kimberly Marlin Bean, KBT Creative Support Services
July 2016 - June 2017

Director, Member Care
Susan Raque, Destination Musick City
July 2016 - June 2017

Director, Administration
Jessica Pfranger
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum    
July 2016 - June 2017
Member thoughts from CONNECT Education & Marketplace...
"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!"
Upcoming Meetings and Events
West Region
"Lights, Cameras, Microphones!
Budgeting Realities for Your Live Event Production"
Tuesday, March 8, 2016  
11:15 am - 1:00 pm
The Peabody Hotel
East Region
"Lights, Cameras, Microphones!
Budgeting Realities for Your Live Event Production"
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Hilton Knoxville Airport
Central Region
How DO they DO that:
Secret Tech Weapons for Meeting Professionals
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Patron Platinum Club in Bridgestone Arena
Spring MIX Event

Let's Get Social!

Join us for a fun and interactive social media networking event!  Get ready to follow, friend and connect with fellow meeting and event professionals.  
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Mason's at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Global Meetings Industry Day
Thursday, April 14, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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!

Presentations by:
Megan Barry, Nashville Mayor
Butch Spyridon, Nashville Convention and Visitor's Corporation President

#GMID16, #TNGMID16 and #MPI
Circle of Excellence Awards Nominations Now Being Accepted
The Planner and Supplier of the Year awards are distinguished awards given at the MPI:TN Circle of Excellence Awards Gala each year.  These awards are given to an exceptional member in each category who represents leadership and excellence in the meeting planning profession along with a commitment to the local meeting community and an exemplary record of customer service in the industry.  Nominations for these awards are received from our membership and all members are eligible for the award in their respective category. 

To nominate someone for each of these awards, please email Holly Stevenson, CMP by March 18th.
MPI Tennessee Chapter 2016 Circle of Excellence Awards Gala & Silent 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

Every year, MPI: Tennessee comes together to celebrate the accomplishments of its members and to raise funds so we can continue to support our chapter programs and member benefits which include: member scholarships, monthly education programs, networking events, and other opportunities that bring the best industry resources to our members and partners.   Registration opens soon.
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.

FYI... last year had over 140 silent auction items and raised over $20,000 dollars at this event.  Let's kick it up a notch in 2016!  More items donated means more money raised.  More money raised means more SCHOLARSHIPS! 
Refer a Friend 

Member News
CMP Congratulations to MPI:TN's newest CMP, Ms. Rhonda Selby of Medtronic, Inc.  Way to  go, Rhonda!

The Association of Destination Management Executives International recently honored long time MPI:TN member Rhonda Marko, DMCP, CMM, CMP of Destination Nashville with the Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award is presented to ADMEI individuals who have made a significant contribution to the destination management industry during their career.  Rhonda is now a part of the ADMEI Hall of Fame.  In addition to this award Destination Nashville also took home the following awards:

"Best Creative Activity- Best Recreational Activity" For Super Workout
"Best Innovative Events $500,001 and up" From Edison to LED Power Your Performance

Current Members: Are you up for renewal this month? Renew your MPI membership this month and you will be entered into a drawing for one of two great prizes. The winner will pick either one! Either a Complimentary CMP Study Kit or 1 year extended MPI membership. Renew today!
New Member Spotlight
Name:  Sara Holifield   

Current Employer and Position:  Tennessee Primary Care Association, Training Coordinator

How long have you been in this position?   3 years      

How long in the industry?   8 years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
In the health care world there are a lot of resources for clinicians, support staff, and administrators but meeting planners seem to be forgotten. I wanted to join MPI to connect with others who understand the work I do and learn from their experience.

What do you hope to get from your MPI:TN membership?
I look forward to networking with other meeting planners to have a sounding board for ideas and advice. I'm also excited to meet people who look at my neatly organized event binders with admiration rather than bewilderment!

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with?  Why?
Last year we had a Star Trek theme for our annual conference and it was great to see how one TV show connected with people on so many levels. People loved joking about the cheesy special effects and costumes but also talked about how the show inspired them to pursue careers in science and medicine. I had never really understood the appeal of Star Trek but after that experience (and watching hours of episodes for research) it all clicked for me and now I'm a big fan.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.
I'm a great tap dancer, I love home organization projects, and my husband was on the team that won an Oscar for Best Sound Editing for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Name:  Veronica Seaman   

Current Employer and Position:  LEO Events, Director of Events

How long in the industry?   I have been in the events industry for 10 years.

Why did you join MPI:TN?
Networking, learn about latest trends, sales

What do you hope to get from your MPI:TN membership?
Make connection. I do a lot of business through connections. People have thought of me when opportunities arise and forward business to me.

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
Fun facts:
I love great danes and have two Ludwig and Ellie!
I started my own event business my senior year of college.
My work was featured in Modern Weddings magazine and by Ruffled.