PlanIt Tennessee
April 2013


In This Issue
Event Calendar
MPI:TN Facebook
CMP Program
Advertisers' Index
We Need Member News
I AM MPI - Katie Rogers, CMP!
2013 - 2014 MPI:TN Board
Nashville's Community Service Project for April!
Gala 2013 News!
Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Professional Education and Member Support
Member News

Upcoming Events

 April 9 - Knoxville Education Luncheon 


Please join us at the Sevierville Convention Center for "Being Relevant in an Irrelevant World: Tips, Tactics & Best Practices the Digital Age" presented by Rich Benjamin .

Click here for more information.  

April 17 - Nashville Education Luncheon 


Please join us at Maggianno's Little Italy for "Meet, Greet and Speak" presented by Gail Hulnick.  Click here for more information. 



May 13 - Nashville Education Luncheon 


Please join us at The Adventure Science Center for Mike Dominguez's presentation on the "State of the State!" More information to follow soon!


May 14 - Memphis Education Luncheon 


Please join us at Hilton Memphis for Mike Dominguez's presentation on the "State of the State!"  

Networking and Registration will begin at 11:30 am; 

Lunch and Speaker will begin at 12:00 pm. 

Invitation will be emailed soon!


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Stay up-to-date on what's happening!

 Grand Ave logo - 2011  



Anchor Tours
Big Events Inc.
Brantley Sound Associates, Inc. (BSA)
Country Music Hall of Fame´┐Ż and Museum
Dancing Bear Lodge/Townsend, TN
Drury Plaza Franklin
Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs
Gary Musick Productions
Graceful Tables
Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg
Hard Rock Cafe Memphis
Hard Rock Cafe Nashville
Hilton Nashville Downtown
Hutton Hotel
NetConnect Group Marketing Solutions
   RiverStone Resort & Spa
 Schenk Photography
 Swank Audio Visuals
Union Station Hotel
         United Airlines    
Do you want to become a MPI:TN sponsor
and partner with the state's largest and most vibrant community of meeting and event professionals!   

For more information contact
Marilyn Johnson, CMP
 Director of Strategic Alliances for MPI:TN.

MPI:TN FaceBook!

If you're not keeping up with MPI:TN on Facebook, 
become a Fan today!

Find us on Facebook

Future CMPs


Interested in the CMP process? Visit the MPI:TN website, or contact one of the regional representatives below.


MEMPHISCindy Brewer, CMP


NASHVILLE - Carol Norfleet, CMP

Donna Thomas, CMP

 Advertiser's Index 

 Check out MPI:TN's new Advertisers' Index at

MPI:TN Website -- Marketplace Page -- Advertiser's Index



Once you see it, you'll want to be seen and found there! Low-cost, high-value marketing opportunity for year-round visibility on the MPI:TN web site!


For more information, email:

Marilyn Johnson at


Karen Morrissey at

Member News (2)

Do YOU have Member News to share?

If so, please email it to and put "Member News" in the Subject Line. 

We can't promise to run everything, but we'll do our best! 



1. "I am Katie Rogers and I am MPI. I love what we do."


2. When did you realize that you wanted to be in the meeting and event industry?


Planning started for me at an early age. In high school I planned the senior trip for our entire graduating class; I planned youth group trips and eventually started my first entrepreneur venture as a wedding coordinator. My interest in events grew through an Entertainment Marketing class at MTSU. While in college I completed an internship with Toys R Us planning in-store events for all Middle and East Tennessee stores. That experience solidified my passion for event planning and I knew this could be something I would enjoy as a career.


3. What is your most memorable moment at a meeting or event?


Every event is memorable in some way and it's hard to pick just one. A few moments at the top of my list would be wrestling an alligator during a customer event at Gatorland, driving a Lamborghini during a customer advisory council meeting at the Las Vegas Speedway and passing Tori Spelling in our hotel lobby in Deer Valley.  While planning events at Emdeon I've been fortunate to travel and visit some amazing places such as Napa, Costa Rica, Aspen and Cabo.   


Katie Rogers Gator Wrestling  


4. What is the most bizarre moment you've experienced at a meeting or event?


During the opening of our 2009 National Sales Meeting at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, we had a Fire Marshall present to assure the safety of our guests as The Passing Zone's performance incorporated the use of comedy, juggling chain saws, and live fire! We also asked our friends at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel to act as paparazzi, giving our guests a true celebrity experience. Our meeting that year was themed after The Oscars. 


5. How did you get connected to MPI, and how has it affected your life?


I attended my first MPI:TN meeting about 5 years ago. I immediately got involved, first serving on the Membership Committee. Since then I've served on several other committees and on the MPI:TN Board of Directors for 3 years now. I truly believe you get out of this organization what you put into it. I've gained professional relationships, friendships, partnerships, knowledge, new ideas, experience and a mentor. I'm grateful for all the opportunities MPI has given me.  


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MPI:TN Members, the Nominations Committee is pleased to present the following 2013/2014 slate for your Board of Directors:


MPI:TN Board of Directors Position


President (2 year commitment)

Melanie Clifford

President Elect (3 year commitment)

Tammy Gilbert Cardona

Immediate Past President

Caroline Platz

Vice President Membership

Tracy Wray

Vice President  Education

Valerie Summers

Vice President Communications

Scarlett Coffman

Vice President Finance

Adam Spivey

Vice President of East Region

Erika Biddix

Vice President of West Region

Bridget DiCello

Director of Communications

Jamie Hulet

Director of Monthly Meetings

Holly Stevenson

Director of Leadership & Professional Development

Jessica Pfranger

Director of Special Projects

April High

Director of Strategic Alliances

Scott Wright

Director of Member Care

Katie Rogers

Director of Administration

Debbie Garcia



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Nashville April Community Service Project 

We are excited to bring back our monthly community service projects!  At the April meeting we will be collecting donations for the Nashville Humane Association.  Below is a list of items they desperately is always welcome too.



Milk Bones Sm/Med/Lg
Peanut Butter

Puppy Pee Pads (for PPAWS program)

Ziplock Bags Quart Sizes
Dog and Puppy Food (for Food Bank program)
Canned Dog Food (for Food Bank program)
Canned Cat Food (for Food Bank program and shelter)
  Towels and Blankets


Bring your donation(s) to the April 17th meeting!


 The Nashville Humane Association

is proud to have placed
3,122 companion pets
into homes in


Thank you for supporting Nashville Humane Association

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Gala/Auction - June 12, 2013 - Music City Center

Music City Center Logo




We need it, you have let's work something out!

PLEASE get those donations in to support education and scholarships for our Chapter!


Gala tickets will be available SOON...



Please start getting your Auction items in - If you are RENOVATING or UPGRADING or made any CHANGES or ADDITIONS to your services, property, etc.  THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO GET YOUR INFORMATION OUT TO over 250,000 people AND our MPI FAMILY on the Bidding 4 Good Website.


Thank you so much for your Support!!!


Click here for the Silent Auction Donation Form


Coleen Cussick, GALA Chair

Jordan Haley and Rachel Oliver, AUCTION Co-Chair

Susan Raque, Dir. Special Projects


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The Gala is coming! The Gala is coming! And we need YOU to make it the BEST.ONE.EVER.

PLEASE reach out to EVERYONE you can to bring in as many wonderful and fabulous donations as soon as you can. Our deadline is QUICKLY approaching for Maximum Exposure on the Auction Website! 

We need donations WORTHY of being displayed in the BRAND NEW MCC, and to motivate you, we have a video to share... 


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Planner & Supplier


of the Year Nominations


 Due by April 12th

Nominations for MPI:TN's Planner and Supplier of the Year are being accepted now through April 12th. These awards recognize leadership and excellence in our Chapter.


To nominate one of your peers, please send the name of the individual(s) to VP of Membership Tracy Wray at  If you have any questions, please contact Tracy at 615-712-2303. Nominators and nominees will remain confidential and only award winners' names will be revealed.  All nominees will be considered for the awards to be presented at the MPI:TN Gala on June 12th.

Here is what one of our recent Award winner had to say about being nominated by their industry peers:  

It was such an honor to win the award of "Meeting Planner of the Year" at MPI:TN's 2012 Gala Awards Banquet.  It was definitely a pivotal moment in my career to be recognized in this way.  The well wishes from my peers meant so much!  It also opened my eyes to many others that are worthy of this designation and challenged me to actively participate in nominating others for this award every year.

MPI:TN extends their thanks to the following organizations for their continued support:  

Welcome to the Ad Index Music City Tents & Events!

Thank you to the Branson Lakes Area CVB for renewing your Ad Index Listing!

Check out the new Event Sponsors Page by clicking here



Money Man   



Goin' Fishing?.... Try the MPI Waters...


Who can you "hook" on YOUR fishing line to join MPI Tennessee?


When you "catch" or sign up a new member, you will receive a "Caught One" Ribbon added to your badge and when you have been recruited or "hooked" by a member, you will receive a "Hooked One" Ribbon.


Fishing can make you $ BIG MONEY $ if you catch the MOST, so get those lines out and reel 'em in!!!


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MPI's Top Five List of Why You Need to

Renew Your Membership


5. It is MUCH cooler to be an MPI member than PetSit member (Professional Pet Sitters Int'l). Really, it is.

4. Fun, food, and getting out of the office for Luncheons or Mix Events!

3. GREAT Education on a monthly basis!

2. Long-lasting relationships are forged - both professionally and personally!

1. Connections, Connections, Connections - it's all about WHO you know as well as WHAT you know and MPI covers BOTH!



CMP Study Sessions Announced!

CMP Study Sessions for 2013 will be held at the HCA Headquarters, Building 2 at 2515 Park Plaza Nashville, 37203.

Participants for any/all of the sessions will need to register with Carol Norfleet, CMP at the email address below.


Please contact Carol Norfleet, CMP with any questions.


CMP Study Sessions - Session 1

April 16 - Hermitage Room - LL East Conference Center


CMP Study Sessions - Session 2

August 27 - Athena Room - LL East Conference Center

September 24 - Building 2 - Conference Room 1 West - First Floor

October 15 - Iris Room LL East - Conference Center


Intensive CMP Boot Camp

April 30 - Building 2 - Conference Room 1 West - First Floor

August 1 - Building 2 - Conference Center 1 West - First Floor

October 29 - Nashboro Room - LL East Conference Center


Carol Norfleet, CMP, DMCP

Executive Vice President and COO

Destination Nashville, A Global Events Partner

(615) 851-9190               Phone

(615) 354-4254               Cell

(615) 851-0941               Fax




Check out photos of some of the recent MPI:TN events at our Facebook page by clicking here!




Members Celebrating April MPI Anniversaries:


17 years

Sheryl Baker, Peabody Hotels

14 years

Rebecca Ashley, Caesars Entertainment 

10 years

Sharon Hill, Nashville Municipal Auditorium Marilyn Johnson, CMP, Independent Planner   

8 years 

Aaron Mayo, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

3 years

Vicky Ballard, CMP, The Inn at Opryland
Lisa Skinner, Ackermann Public Relations

Julie Rule, CMP, ServiceMaster
Sophia Boulanger, Hilton Memphis 

2 years

Kimberly Bean, KBT Creative Support Services

Natalie Branham, Hilton Nashville Downtown

TJ Portis, Kre8tiveDesigns

1 year

Tara Fleisher, Hilton Brentwood/Nashville Suites
Timothy Grable, The Grable Group
Hilda Pope, Conference Group
Amy Kelly, Business and Legal Resources
James Hagy, Chef's Market Cafe & Take Away
New Members
Christi Baggett, Sheraton Read House Hotel
Alice Fleenor, CTTP, Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Vanderbilt
Christine Rice, Fee Hedrick Family Entertainment 
Cindy Tipler, WKRN/Young Broadcasting
Jessica Townshend, Hilton Knoxville Airport
Tammie Vogel, CAP-OM, International Paper