PlanIt Tennessee
January 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

Tuesday, January 14 - West Educational Luncheon

Please join us for a Planner Forum in the West Region at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center on the campus of the University of Memphis.  Listen to our panel of industry experts wrap up this past year's experiences and share with you their professional opinions on current trends and capturing business in 2014 and beyond. This is a great opportunity to network with your peers and understand more about what makes a meeting exceptional.
Click here for more information and to register for the event.

Wednesday, January 29 - Central Educational Educational Luncheon

Please join us at the Hutton Hotel for a fantastic presentation by Rick Weaver, "Is There a Difference Between a Great Manager and a Great Leader?"

Click here for more information and to register. 

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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
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


Hello 2014!

Happy New Year!  It is going to be an exciting year for MPI: Tennessee.  We are going to start off the year with fabulous education programs.

The West Region Education Luncheon will be January 14 at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center.  They are presenting a Meeting Planner Forum.  Check what planners are saying about the meeting trends for 2014.

The Central Education Luncheon will be January 29th at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville.  The program entitled "Is There a Difference Between a Great Manager and a Great Leader?" will be presented by Rick Weaver who is a former member of our chapter.  Rick is also our board facilitator for 2013-2014.  You will leave truly inspired and motivated.  There is still time to register for both.

In the spring we have FAM trips in the West Region to the Casinos in Tunica and to Biltmore in the East Region.  Our Connect event will be in April.  There are so many exciting events that you will not want to miss.  Check out our event calendar at for the latest information.  Plan now to attend as many events as possible. Network, build relationships and get the most out of your membership.

Congratulations to Katie Rogers with Emdeon and our Director of Member Care.  She and her husband Mark are expecting a little boy in May.

We hope that you have an incredible 2014!

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



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The steps to securing the future of the meeting and event industry are being taken today by the MPI Foundation.
The MPI Foundation fuels the growth and advancement of MPI members by providing them professional development and career opportunities through grants and scholarships. The MPI Foundation propels the meeting and event industry forward by funding research initiatives that support the strategic plan of MPI.

The mission of the MPI Foundation is to fund education and pan-industry research that drive the success of meeting professionals.

Click here for more information about the Foundation.

"The RISE Awards-Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence-features seven annual awards in three categories: organizational achievement, individual achievement and community achievement. Recipients are recognized for innovation, global transfer-ability, impact and influence. Individual winners join the MPI Community of Honorees, a group composed of past award winners and distinguished MPI leaders.  Visit the MPI RISE Awards website to nominate a deserving leader today!"
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Meetings Move Us Forward

When people get together, things get done. Every day groups gather to learn, to be inspired, to solve problems and to build relationships. We design those gatherings; we, the meeting and event professionals. We understand the transformative value that meetings provide.

Effective meetings are what we do, and it's time to tell our story to the world. That's why MPI is providing you with these resources that tell the tale of what you do and why you do it. Start telling your story today!  Just follow this link for more information about this exciting grass roots program:


 Three Meeting Professional International Membership Scholarships To Be Awarded Monthly

Disney Destinations, in support of the MPI Foundation, has made it possible for MPI to sponsor memberships for a select number of meeting professionals. Through its generous donation to the Foundation, Disney Destinations is committed to elevating the stature and successful future of the meetings industry.

Award recipients will gain full membership privileges to MPI, as well as the opportunity to join their local chapters. They will have access to national events and local chapter monthly meetings, leadership and committee involvement, industry tools, and peer-to-peer networking with professional colleagues who share similar challenges.

This one year sponsorship through Disney Destinations will open doors and experiences that will undoubtedly enrich meetings professionals' careers and help recipients deliver strategic value and quantifiable impact to their organizations. To apply for the Disney Destinations scholarship, you must be a meetings professional joining MPI for the first time. Applications are available now and can be found on the MPI website by clicking here.  


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Just a quick reminder: If you are interested in serving on the board and have not completed the Leadership Commitment Form & the Board Interest Form (pages 48 & 49), please do so & submit it to Caroline Platz as soon as possible.  The full application isn't due until January 17th, so you've got a little time.  You can forward your completed form to Caroline by clicking here.  





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Important Information for Current and Future CMPs!

The educational programs for the first half of the 2013 - 2014 year have been submitted to the Convention & Industry Council and approved.  Please click here for the Summer/Fall Educational Content CEU Credits.  

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Save the Date! Connect Education & Tradeshow Event ~ April 16, 2013

Lunch Presentation Topic - "Planners are from Saturn, Suppliers are from Venus: Interpreting the Strange Languages and Habits of Two Alien Species" Presented by Shawna Suckow, CMP, Founder of the Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN)

Planners and suppliers often think they speak the same language, but three years of research has proven quite the opposite to Shawna Suckow, CMP, author of the book Planner Pet Peeves and the follow-up book, Supplier Pet Peeves (published in 2013). Planners are people-pleasers by nature, and may not always be forthcoming if relationships can be damaged. Suppliers want to put their best products and services forward, but they most often are left to guess at what the market really wants and expects from them. Then there's the trend of planners not answering the phone, not responding to emails, and generally making it harder for suppliers to build relationships. Join Shawna as she pulls back the curtain and shares what each side is doing-and how it is interpreted by the other-in a funny but impactful look at how we all can do better and drive each other a little less crazy.

We want your input! Help us determine the session topics for the morning education. Click here to take the survey 

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  Save the Date for an upcoming MIX Event!

Mark your new calendar and save the date for the next MIX event on April 30th.  Stay tuned for more information soon!

The MPI:TN Gala is just around the corner.  Your special events team is starting to pull together items for the Gala Silent Auction.  Donations can be made by contacting Karin Eggert at or Vanessa Wynn at  We need lots of items and members of the special events team will be contacting you soon for auction donations.   


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






Members Celebrating January MPI Anniversaries:


15 years

Shannon Kasakevics, CMP, Leave Them Speechless Events

12 years

Janice McCallen, CMP, Wright Medical Technology
Sarrie Pasch, Chattanooga Riverboat Company 
10 years 

Eva Goodson Eagen, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

7 years 

Janet Kurtz, Hermitage Hotel 
5 years

Nicole McNamee, POP Solutions Group

3 years

Deborah Cohen, CMP, Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce CVB
Norma Cardwell, Norma Cardwell & Associates, LLC

2 years 
Amy Grow, International Paper Bonnie Hall, CHSP, Holiday Inn Knoxville West 
Adam Spivey, CGMP, Hutton Hotel 
Terri Ogden, CMP, Zaner-Bloser Publishers 
1 year
Jeff Johnston, American Contract Bridge Association
Wendy Sullivan, American Contract Bridge Association
Lauren Hammond, Associated Luxury Hotels International
Jennifer Yemm, Heritage Exposition Services, Inc.  
Marc Fragos, The Production Solutions Group
Melissa Bowers, Scarritt Bennett Center
Brittany Baldwin, STR (Smith Travel Research, Inc.)
Stephanie Lund

New Members
Shellye Sharpton, BBJ Linen
E. Antowne Stigall, Events with EAS