PlanIt Tennessee
President's Message  
It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!!  Between trying to figure out where the heck to put the Elf each night or morning, the shopping, the wrapping and the 10 parties you have to attend it is also the craziest time of year!!   November was also a busy month for all of us but ended up being a great one!  We had a very successful Past President's Roadtrip!!!  What a killer time we had traveling across our amazing state and being in each one of our regions.  Thank you again to everyone who had a part in making it happen!!  Melanie Clifford and Carol Norfleet a huge shout to you guys for putting it all together.  Thanks to Deb and Grand Avenue for coordinating all the transportation and getting us there on time and safely!  Thanks to hotels in each region, Courtyard Marriott Knoxville Airport Alcoa, Doubletree Nashville Downtown and the Doubletree Memphis for hosting each luncheon.  Thank you to Nolan and OnStage for the AV and to Schenk Photography for capturing us at our best moments!!  Last but not least to all the Past Presidents who gave their time, energy, wisdom and talent.   Carol, Melanie, Robyn, Sheena, Caroline, Angela, Tammy, Sheryl you all are awesome thank you so much for your leadership over the years and making our chapter one of the most successful ones in MPI.  To you the members thanks for attending and making it the most successful Roadtrips to date.  To all the new members who joined welcome to the family and I encourage you to get on a committee if you haven't already.  We have our Holiday parties coming up in the West and Central so be ready get your holiday cheer on!!!    The MPI:TN Board of Directors want to wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays and we look forward to an amazing 2016!!!

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
2016-2017 Board Nominations
Are you an industry leader looking for an opportunity to showcase your skills and contribute to the success of MPI:TN?

If so, consider volunteering your time and talent to the 2016-2017 MPI:TN Board of Directors!

The MPI:TN Board of Directors is responsible for chapter operations including programming, financial oversight and governance.  By volunteering your time, you will help shape the future of our industry across the state!

Please note the following dates:
Now through December 18, 2015
Call for Nominations (required of all candidates)

December 18, 2015

Board Interest Form Due to Tammy Gilbert Cardona, CMP, Immediate Past President -

January 8, 2016

Application Deadline
BOD Application (Word)

February 8, 2016

2016-2017 Board Slate Submitted to Membership

March 1, 2016

Final Slate Submitted to MPI Headquarters

Nominations will be conducted in accordance with the Meeting Professionals International Tennessee Chapter By-Laws. Any planner or supplier in good standing is eligible. Your consideration should include the types of skills and talents you can contribute, your past involvement with the chapter, recognition of the time commitment involved in a leadership role and the necessity of your employer's support. 

Please contact Tammy Gilbert Cardona at 615-259-4725 or with any questions.

The Nominations Committee:
*    Immediate Past President - Tammy Gilbert Cardona,
     CMP (S)
*    President Elect - Katie Rogers, CMP (P)
*    Angela Layton, CMP, CMM (P)
*    Angie Campbell (S)
*    Tiffani Wilson (S)
*    Cory Brooks (S)
*    Kelly Kaplan (S)
*    Mike Henry (S)
*    Therese Byrne (P)

MPI:TN 2016 - 2017 Board of Directors Job Descriptions, Board Interest Form and Board Application may be found here.
Holiday Party Save the Dates!
West Region
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
5:00 pm
at the Doubletree East Memphis
Central Region
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
at Margaritaville
'Tis the season...and there's no better way to celebrate than with your MPI friends! Escape to paradise, visit with friends, and network with industry professionals at one or all of the annual MPI Tennessee Chapter holiday parties.  

Warmest thanks to our hosts Doubletree East Memphis and Margaritaville.
Vice President of Membership Global Competition - DECEMBER ONLY!
The Vice President of Membership whose chapter has the most new, rejoining and reinstating members within the month of December will receive a one year membership extension. Our current VP if Membership extraordinaire, Valerie Summers with Destination Musick City, has volunteered to donate the money she would have spent on her membership renewal to MPI:TN!   Let's get going and win this competition not only for bragging rights globally but to build our scholarship fund!

If your membership is up for renewal between November and March, would you please consider renewing in December? If you have had guests attend luncheons whom haven't joined yet, please reach out and encourage them to join our family in December. 

Remember, students can join for only $50.  Also, the referring member still gets a $25 credit towards your next membership renewal as well.
Volunteer Opportunities
Looking for a way to be more involved and active with your chapter?  Join the West Region Leadership Team.  We are seeking awesome members to help make the West Region of our Tennessee Chapter better than ever.  If you are interested in helping with our monthly meetings, education, membership (recruitment & retention), the student club, and/or strategic alliances please contact Antwone Stigall, CMP, for more information.  We look forward to hearing from you.
Save The Date

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Nashville
February 18 - 19, 2016

February 18    Kick Off Reception

February 19    CONNECT Workshops and Keynote Address by Michael Dominquez,
                       Senior VP & Chief Sales Office for MGM Resorts International

Upcoming Meetings and Community Service Projects
East Region Education Meeting
Tuesday, January 12, 2016  
11:00 am - 1:00 pm 
Marriott Knoxville
501 E. Hill Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee 37915 USA
Central Region Education Meeting

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Studio A at the Grand Ole Opry House
2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214

Entertainment: The Effects, The Booking, and The Behind the Scenes
*We will be collecting children's books for "Big Book Love"
A message from MPI:TN CMP Scholarship Recipient Micki Stayton
Micki Stayton, CMP
OZ Arts Nashville

I was thrilled to receive the Meeting Professional International Tennessee Chapter's Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) scholarship. I was at a crossroads in my career and felt like I was in a rut not progressing in my career. I had planned to study for my CMP two years prior, but did not have the funds to continue the process.   I was not making the industry standard salary and had been job-hunting for a while to no avail.  Finally, I decided I had to do something to get the attention of employers to get a position I felt I was qualified for.  So, I took money from my savings to invest in my career and began studying for my CMP. Then at an MPI luncheon/meeting, someone suggested I apply for the MPI scholarship. Why hadn't I thought of that??
I passed my CMP test and was awarded the $500 scholarship! Receiving the scholarship allowed me to progress in my career and I now have an incredible new position as a Director of Sales and Events.  I love MPI! MPI Rocks!
The Gala and Silent Auction are coming!  The Gala and Silent Auction are coming!
Yes, it is already that time.  Time to start collecting donations for MPI:TN's biggest event of the year...the Gala and Silent Auction.  Start thinking about businesses you may reach out to for donations.  Planners, think about all the money you have spent at resorts and venues across the country over the past year.  Surely some of them would be willing to donate a couple nights stay or a gift certificate.  Plus, who knows, they could possibly book a meeting from the person who buys their donation!  More information about the Gala and Silent Auction will be coming soon.  Questions about the event may be directed to Desiree Wooldridge, CMP,
"New Member Spotlight"
Name:  Don Osborn 

Current Employer and Position:  Event Logistics, Inc., Director of Sales

How long in the industry?  26 years   

Why did you join MPI:TN?
I have been a member in the past and enjoy the networking and the educational aspects.

What would you like to gain from MPI membership?
In addition to enhancing my industry knowledge I want to gain more networking opportunities and build my personal and business contacts. 

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I have almost 20 years of experience with the Marriott Corporation prior to becoming a meeting planner for a private company.  While my hotel experience is in both rooms and food and beverage my passion is F&B.  I enjoy good food and great wine. I grew up on a farm and look forward to moving back to a small farm (locally) in the near future.
Name:  Jill Yochim  

Current Employer and Position:  Owner of Eleven|Eleven events and also Program Coordinator, Event Meeting & Planning Coordinator at Union University Hendersonville.

How long in the industry? 20+ years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
My passion has always been event management so I decided to fully engage. I recently completed Belmont University's Certificate Program for Meeting and Event Planning in their Executive Education Program and I plan to apply for the CMP exam in July. This year I have successfully managed events ranging from executive meetings, parties, album release events and two galas.

What would you like to gain from MPI membership?
I would like to meet and learn from the industry leaders who can help me fine tunes the skills I already possess.  30 years in the Nashville area working in the music and education industry has given me a broad networking base and opportunities for advancement.  I would love to learn more from those who have paved the way to make our city such a success.

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I am a people person and a big dreamer who is very passionate about what I do.  Most people ask why and I ask why not?  With a great team the biggest dream can be accomplished.  I am excellent at time management and team coordination. I look forward to getting to know MPI's members and getting involved in the organization.
Name:  Shannon Worley 

Current Employer and Position:  Franklin Marriott Cool Springs- Sales Manager

How long in the industry? 22 years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
To cultivate existing and build new relationships.

What would you like to gain from MPI membership?
Build stronger personal and business partnerships throughout the region.

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I am a native "Nashvillian" with over 20 years of hospitality experience in Middle Tennessee.
Name:  Rob Clifton, CMP 

Current Employer and Position:  Director of Global Accounts/Team Director, ConferenceDirect

How long in the industry? 35+ years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
For continued educational opportunities within our industry.

What would you like to gain from MPI membership?
An opportunity to learn from my peers.
Member News
Congratulations to Jamie Hulet on being selected to sit on the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce Women in Business steering committee.