PlanIt Tennessee
August 2013


In This Issue
Event Calendar
MPI:TN Facebook
CMP Program
Advertisers' Index
We Need Member News
President's Message
I AM MPI! Stacie Blazic
Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Professional Education and Member Support
Get Connected with LinkedIn and Pinterest!
Member News

Upcoming Events




August 21 - Central Education Luncheon - "Bandwidth for Dummies:  Understanding What it is and How Much You Need for Your Event"


Please join us from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Four Points by Sheraton Nashville Brentwood for education, networking and lunch.   You can learn more about this event and register by clicking here.

August 27 - Central MIX Event at Industry at the Pavilion.  

Join your chapter colleagues for a "Food + Cocktails + Fashion" networking event at Nashville's newest restaurant.  Click here to register and for more information about the event.


August 28 - East After Hours at the Oak Tree Lodge & Five Oaks Convention Center. 

Join us from 5:00pm-7:00pm for our next Business After Hours at Oak Tree Lodge & Convention Center for networking with your fellow MPI members. They have planned a fun evening for us with catered food, a tour of their newly renovated facility, and lots of prizes including gift certificates from their other venues. Click here for more information. 


Website Banner

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

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Anchor Tours
Big Events Inc.
BSA/Brantley Sound Associates, Inc.
Clayton Center for the Arts/Maryville College 
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
Liberty Party Rental 
NetConnect Group
PSAV Presentation Services 
   RiverStone Resort & Spa
 Schenk Photography
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
Scott WrightDirector 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:

Scott Wright 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! 

Melanie Clifford President Banner Header

Melanie Clifford BOD

MPI: Tennessee is off to a roaring start for the 2013-2014 year.  Our chapter hosted three Educational Luncheons in July with 147 people in attendance.  And we had a wonderful Tennessee group attend WEC in Las Vegas. 


The MPI One+ Magazine has been revamped and is now called The Meeting Professional™.  They will introduce an MPI member on the cover of every issue, and you'll notice many other new sections throughout The Meeting Professional that feature our members, what they do, and how they are transforming so many aspects of life around the world.  You will find wonderful changes.  Be sure to take a look when your copy arrives.


Remember to take advantage of our new Buy 5 get 1 Free Program for Educational Luncheons. The voucher booklet can be purchased at anytime for the cost of $175.00 and consist of 6 vouchers (you buy 5 get one free).  These can only be used for the Educational Luncheons in any region and are transferable and can be used for guest attendance.  They will only be good for the fiscal year July 2013-June 2014.  You know you are going to come so take advantage of this awesome program.


Don't forget to register for our Central Educational Luncheon on August 21 featuring a program on Bandwidth for Dummies...Understanding What It Is and How Much You Need for Your Event at the Four Seasons by Sheraton Brentwood.  


We have an exciting MIX Event on August 27 at Industry at the Pavilion.  Sip on craft cocktails and snack on chef-driven small plates while taking in the upcoming season's fashion trends from Apricot Lane.  MIX with fellow MPI members as well as members of other professional organizations.


And then join the East Region for an After Hours Networking event on August 28at the Oak Tree Lodge and Convention Center in Sevierville. 


In case you were not at the July Educational Luncheons, we announced our entire year's calendar is now on our website.  We have a very full calendar.  You can more effectively plan your year.  Go to to the event section.  You will see in event section a PDF of the 2012-2013 calendar. 


Who can you invite this month to attend one of our events?


Melanie Clifford 

Meeting Professionals International:TN - President 2013-2014 




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MPI Supports our Troops!

Our Community Service Project for September will be the 251st Military Police Company....which is based in Lexington, TN. This unit has soldiers from across the state to include some from Bristol and Knoxville, Middle TN and Memphis.

This is also the unit in which Scarlett Coffman's husband is currently serving. The unit arrived in Afghanistan in late July and is expected to be there until May of 2014 or later. This location has about 1100 troops but a very small store in which to gather their personal needs, so below is a list of needs. If you would like to participate you can bring your items with you to any of the 3 September Road Shows. Due to shipping, cash donations will also be excepted.

Shampoo (no cream rinse)  
Body Wash  
Q Tips  
Mouth Wash  
Tooth Paste  
Dental Floss  
AA Batteries  
Water Flavor Packets  
Twin Sheets  
Standard Pillows  
Razors or blade refills  
Beef Jerky  
Coffee (no beans - must be ground)  
Hand Sanitizer  
DVD's....perhaps movies you want to get rid of  
You are welcome to bring other snack food items...please no chocolate

MPI Gives Back (East Afterhours 08.28.13)

In honor of National Teddy Bear Day (Sept), meeting professionals across the country are collecting Teddy Bears to give to their local Fire Departments. Firefighters will be able to give children a teddy bear to help comfort them when they are displaced due to a fire or medical emergency.
Bring a Teddy Bear with you to help the Sevier County Fire Departments!


Stacie Blazic

1.  "I am Stacie Blazic and I am MPI. I am VP of Business Development at Signature Transportation Services. A Tagline I often use is: "I'm not Bashful, I'm from Nashville".  I love what we do."



2.  When did you realize that you wanted to be in the meeting

and event industry?  - When I was laid off from my previous job! This industry  is right up my alley! I am a people person and I have never met a stranger. I am still waiting for that telephone pole to ONE day talk back to me!!


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

event?  - I have only been in this industry for a year but I must say that when I started my job at Signature I hit the ground running and went to every meeting or event that I could!  My most memorable event has been the 2013 Gala! My date for the evening was my very first friend in the business, Jamie Hulet. We had a great time at the event and was topped off by Jamie winning The Chapter Leader of the Year award! I was proud of Jaime and very happy for her


4.  What is the most bizarre moment you've experienced at a

meeting or event? - Same meeting, 2013 MPI Gala! Seeing Adam in his DRAWERS! I am anxious for more BIZARRE moments!!


5.  How did you get connected to MPI, and how has it affected
your life?I shared earlier that I was knew to the industry and I knew that to be successful I needed to surround myself with like-minded, successful people. The evening of the Gala I saw all the successful people in the room and the fun that everyone was having.  I also saw the smiles on the faces of the great people that had organized such an awesome event and how relieved and how happy they were that it had all come together so beautifully! I was quoted in the July MPI Newsletter as saying, "It was awesome and I had so much fun. ... like going to a Southern Baptist Church Revival because afterwards I walked down front to find Tracy Wray and told her to "SIGN ME UP" on the membership committee!! The feeling was infectious and I knew I wanted to be a part of it all!"  
I wanted to become more involved and get to know more people to help grow my business! I am happy to say that I am now the Chair of the Retention Committee!



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MPI:TN extends their thanks to the following organization(s) for their continued support:

Anchor Tours
The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum 

Check out the new Event Sponsors Page by clicking here



Money Man   



A new Membership Contest will be announced soon.  Stay tuned for more details and a way to help grow our local chapter and awareness of our amazing industry. 

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The Recruitment Committee is looking for recruits!

As the new chair of Recruitment for the upcoming 2013 / 2014 year, I would like to welcome my committee members and thank them for their involvement.  Your Recruitment committee members are Molly Munden, Elizabeth Wasternack,  Jodie Kavanagh, Meredith Schakel, Hilda Pope, Sheena De Giorgio, Mindy Powell-Hardy and Karen Morrisey.  We're a friendly bunch, so let us know if there is someone interested in joining TNMPI!  My contact information is or 615-620-2045.  We look forward to a successful year and many new faces!




Meeting and Event Planning Certificate Program at Belmont University



The next Meeting and Event Planning Certificate program offered by the Center for Executive Education at Belmont University, in partnership with TN:MPI starts October 4th. If you plan social or corporate events for your organization, or have new employees you would like to train, this five session certificate program will give you new skills to work more effectively and more efficiently. For more information or to register click here. 



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Updated CMP Study Sessions!


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

Park in visitors parking in front of the building
"Conference Center"
Enter the main front doors
Take the elevators from the lobby to the LL
Turn left into the Conference Center 

The next CMP Study Group begins in August. The Study Group dates are noted below. Each session will be from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at the HCA Offices. At each session we will review the different section of the CMP Blueprint and those sessions are noted as follows:

Tuesday, September 24

Domain G Meeting or Event Design
Domain E Human Resources
Domain D Financial Management
Domain I Marketing

Tuesday, October 15

Domain H Site Management
Domain J Professionalism


Also, there will be a special CMP Boot Camp prior to each exam window. This session will be a quick review just before the exam answering any last minute questions or test concerns. Each Boot Camp also will be from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at the HCA Offices.

The CMP Boot Camp dates are:

Tuesday November 5



Hours spent in the Study Groups do count as classroom hours for the CMP application. If you have not completed your application and are in need of hours to fulfill the new minimum of 25 classroom hours, the Study Groups are a great way to gain hours.

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



Please contact Carol Norfleet, CMP with any questions.


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


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Get Connected!

Did you know MPI TN has their own LinkedIn page? Join the group and connect with other members. Have a question for planners and/or suppliers? Post a discussion and let the best of the best answer it!



MPI TN now has a Pinterest page, where we will pin helpful information for you, our members.  Are you interested in finding out more about our venue for the next meeting? Want to know were the linens came from for our gala? Can't remember who catered the last luncheon? Then check out all of our meeting boards on our page! 





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




Members Celebrating August MPI Anniversaries:


15 years

Anne Coggins, Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau

12 years

Jill Baker, Hampton Inn & Suites Beale Street
Kathleen Metts, CMM, APR, Impact Associates, Inc. 
11 years 

Sandy Walker, CMP, UL Workplace Health and Safety   

9 years 

Jennye Williams, Sheraton Music City Hotel Nashville
8 years

Kathryn Smith, Franklin-Williams County Convention & Visitors Bureau 

7 years

Beth McDaniels, Tennessee Medical Association
Wilma Cooley, Tennessee Medical Association
Andrea Cowsar, Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau 

6 years

Lauren Ross, DMCP
5 years 
Maggie Young, CMP, Plan Ahead Events Memphis
Lana McDonald, MBA, The Hotels of Court Square

3 years 
April High, Atlas Concepts
2 years
Joe Fleenor, The Rainmaker Companies
William Deutsch, CMP
1 year
Katie Tygard 
Stacie Blazic, Signature Transportation Services
Tara Moore, CMP, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Erika Biddix, CMP, MAC Meetings & Events
Rena Shannon, CMP
Sara Moggio, OZ Nashville
Jodie Kavanagh, American Pool Players Association, Inc.
Patrick Umsted, Hyatt Place Germantown
Kathleen Wallish, HCA

New Members
Connie McEwen, Town Centre
Elizabeth Mobley, Parthenon Management Group
Jessica Plansky, Tennessee Performing Arts Center Management Corporation 
Cory Todd, T-Star Limousines & Coaches
Tami Vater, Blount Partnership/Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority