PlanIt Tennessee
February 2014


In This Issue
Event Calendar
MPI:TN Facebook
CMP Program
Advertisers' Index
We Need Member News
Social Media Links!
President's Message
Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Professional Education and Member Support
Member News

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, February 19 - Central Educational Luncheon

Please join us at the Drury Plaza Hotel - Franklin for a fantastic presentation by Kim Riley, "Networking 301 - How to Connect All of the Dots" 

Click here for more information and to register. 

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


  Grand Ave logo - 2011   

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
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! 


Connect with MPI TN Today!

Your Tennessee Chapter of  MPI is loaded with Social Media Opportunities.... so if you have not  "Liked Us"... Facebook,  "Linked with Us"...Linked In, "Pinned Us"....Pinterest or "Tweated with Us" .... Twitter

Please use the links below to Follow us TODAY!



Melanie Clifford President Banner Header

Melanie Clifford


It is that time of year again. MPI will send out their annual survey on February 14 via email to all MPI members. Please take a few moments to complete this. Your opinion matters. This is an opportunity for your voice to be heard. We will have a drawing for all of you who complete the survey. We will have two winners, each winning a ticket to the GALA. This drawing is for Tennessee Chapter members only.

Do you wonder how our industry is doing? The CIC has just released new data on the economic impact of the meetings industry. In 2012, 1.83 million meetings were held in the US attended by 225 million attendees, providing more than $115 million dollars in contribution to the GDP to fuel the economy. Meetings contribution to the GDP surpasses that of the air transportation, motion picture, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sport industries. The total economic output of meetings was valued at $770.4 billion dollars in 2012. WOW! Doesn't that make you proud to be part of such an exciting industry?

Make sure that your contract information is current. Someone may be accessing the database looking to do business with you. If you have changed jobs or have new contact information, please be sure that you go to and log into your account to make any updates.

It is a pleasure to be your President for the 2013-2014 year.

Melanie Clifford 



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February's Community Service Project is Here!  
Walden's Puddle provides care and treatment to sick, injured and orphaned native Tennessee wildlife. We are the only professionally-staffed wildlife rehabilitation and education facility in Middle Tennessee. We do not charge for services and receive no federal or state funding at this time.

We are here to help you help wildlife in trouble. If you suspect an animal is orphaned, please observe to make sure its mother is not nearby. If you know the animal is orphaned or if you find an injured wild animal, call our Wildlife Admissions Line immediately at (615) 299-9938 and LEAVE A MESSAGE. DO NOT E-MAIL.

Walden's Puddle will accept lots of items as donations.  Click here for a complete list.  

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Record Attendance in the West 
And great insights from our Planner Panel

Thank you to our Panelists - Pattie Kempka, from Ducks Unlimited, Jennifer VanDyke from Thomas & Betts, Lani Glancy from AutoZone, and Patricia Browning from Buckman International! The Panelists answered questions submitted by the attendees.
Overall, they expected their number of events to stay the same, but several were expanding and expected their headcount to increase. Panelists expressed concern about the number and availability of flights and how that affected their costs, cutting into employees' personal time, and risk management.

Most important in the hotels they stayed? Bathrooms with pretty linens, and the personal attention and extras like the mints on the pillow or creatively folded towels. 'Celebrate a birthday with us and bring the cake!'

The panelists also held a variety of sizes of events from groups of 30 to 800, and looked to the hotel/venue to help them to be successful by offering transparency between groups at the hotel, respecting the needs of the 30 and the inevitable noise and fun expected from a large group of duck hunters most of whom can't hear!

Do they want speakers who offer interaction? Yes, interaction is awesome, to an extent. Groups over 50 just aren't effective when they try to be too interactive, and some speakers do lecture better where others are quicker on their feet interacting with audience questions.

The panelists also wanted to know from our moderator, John Oros of the MCVB, what Memphis was doing to draw Trade Show business, and to make Memphis more attractive.

There was definite agreement among the panelists that venues can never underestimate the power of their staff, both positively and negatively, during an on-site tour and during the event itself. 
Thank you also to our host - Philip Austin and The Fogelman Executive Center!  


 Don't Forget the Connections Campaign!  

The Connections Campaign is a celebration of successful connections between MPI members. How have YOU connected?

Our vision and mission as a member-centric organization are focused on building those personal and business connections for you, connecting you to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. It's about supporting each other, and helping each other to BUY MPI. The Connections Campaign is a celebration of those successful connections! Click HERE to submit YOUR entry.


Money Man   





Membership Recruitment Contest


We need your help in bringing in new members! We all know someone that would benefit from being a member of our great MPI:TN Chapter! Be the member to recruit the most new members between now and April 30th for your chance to WIN! Contest is statewide and you must have a minimum of 3 recruited new members to be eligible.

1st Place Grand Prize: One-night stay at the Omni Nashville Hotel with breakfast for 2 at Kitchen Notes plus a gift card to Pinewood Social

2nd Place Prize: One-night stay at Hyatt Place Downtown Nashville plus $100 gift card to The Farm House


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The 2014 Member & Chapter Satisfaction Survey - Headed Your Way on Valentine's Day-Today!

Knowing how to best meet your needs and exceed your expectations is important to your chapter leaders and MPI staff. Sharing your feedback about your MPI experience takes just 15 to 20 minutes.

Out of respect for your time, International and Chapters have collaborated to only issue one satisfaction survey to the membership. We've done this because your feedback is important and enables MPI to improve programs and services to better meet your needs. We will use your input to make adjustments, refine and deliver greater value to you. We thank you in advance for taking the time to complete our survey.


MPI Members,

We determine our monthly programming based on input from our members. We value your opinion. Could you take just a few minutes to complete this simple survey to tell us what programs and speakers you would like to see at our Connect meeting? Connect is April 16 at The Cannery in Nashville, TN.

Please take less than a minute to complete the survey by clicking here!


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






Members Celebrating February MPI Anniversaries:


22 years

Elizabeth Wagster, ETW Meeting Management

20 years

Carol Norfleet, CMP, DMCP, Destination Nashville
19 years 

Barbara Campbell, CMP, CGMP, University of Tennessee - College of Veterinary Medicine

13 years 

Karen Morris, Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort 
12 years

Cindy Brewer, DMP, DMCP, LEO Events
Julie Pero-Davis, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Nancy Deal, Marriott International, Inc.

11 years

Mary Hammet, Lowes Vanderbilt Hotel
Lauren Sefton, Rhodes College

10 years 
Kevin Brewer, DMCP, LEO Events 
8 years
Nikki Taylor, CTC, CSE, Doubletree Hotel Memphis Downtown
7 years
Melanie Clifford, Springhill Suites by Marriott Pigeon Forge 
6 years
Nicolette Thomas, CMP, ALSAC/St. Jude 
5 years
Lori Hulet, CMP, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. 
4 years
Haley Davis, M.B.A., Lipscomb University
Nancy Foy, CMP, International Paper Company
Janette Sherley, Music City Tents and Events
3 years
Jaylyn McCoy, Meadowview Marriott Conference Resort & Conference Center
2 years
Patricia Roux
Becky Reece
Christine Booker, CCTE, LP Building Products
Holly Stevenson, CMP, Cross Country Education
Judith Adkins, CMP HealthTrust Purchasing Group
Kristen Richardson, Emdeon
1 year
Patrick Brown, PSAV, Presentation Services
Mark Musser, Fontanel Mansion at Farm
Bethany Carlson
Jennifer Plisco
Jessica Lamb, CMP, TIMI Study Group - Brigham & Women's Hospital
Richard Love, Mountain States Health
Dottie Baskin, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
Meredith Schakel, Holiday Inn West End
Molly Munden, Marriott International
Ronni Anderson, Hotel Indigo Nashville
Carol Cochran, Excelle Marketing & Meetings
Jill Rucker, Embassy Suites Nashville Airport
Craig Smith, Embassy Suites Chagganooga

New Members

Brandon Terpstra, Stewart Transportation
Lorena Williams, Hotels of Court Square Downtown
Desiree Woolridge, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation