PlanIt Tennessee

President's Message  


What an amazing Gala & Auction back in May and congrats to all the award winners, well deserved!  Tammy Gilbert Cardona, you made it through the year!! Thanks for your passion, leadership, encouragement but most importantly your friendship.  

Is it time already???  The start of a new year for MPI:TN!  Let me say I am very honored to be your President for the 2015-2016 year.  I will not take this duty lightly and I am grateful that you entrust me with the responsibility of leading our chapter onward and upward.  There are some big shoes to fill with all of our Past Presidents and the foundation that they have built for our chapter.  I hope myself and the 2015-2016 Board of Directors make you proud.  Speaking of our Board we have an amazingly talented motley crew of peeps that will be elevating this chapter to the next level.  I am very excited about the upcoming year and hope you are too as it is going to be a kick ass year!!

I strongly encourage you to get involved in any way you can and if you need a refresher here are a few.  Get on a committee and get your hands dirty!!  Spotlight your company by becoming a strategic partner/sponsor of our chapter.  Attend all of our educational and special events across the state.  Fork over the money to attend WEC in August in beautiful San Francisco.  It is a great investment not only for your company but for you professionally and personally.  You have heard me say this many times and you will continue to hear me preach it from the pulpit.  "The more you get involved and engaged the more you will get out of your membership."   It is because of you (our members) that the chapter exists  and is one of the best in the MPI Global Community so thank you for your continued loyalty and support!!  Y'all ROCK!!!!!!!

If you ever need anything or have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out to any one of our Board Members we are here for you.

Thanks and look forward to seeing and meeting all of you in the upcoming year!

In This Issue
Our Sponsors
Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

The Peabody Memphis


Silver Partners
Chef's Market
Country Music Hall of Fame ® and Museum
DG International
Drury Plaza Franklin
Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs
Gary Musick Production
Hard Rock Café/Nashville
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville
Holiday Inn/Fogelman Executive Conference Center
Knoxville Airport Hilton
Knoxville Convention Center
Liberty Party Rental
Park Vista a DoubleTree by Hilton Gatlinburg
Schenk Photography
Schermerhorn Center
Embassy Suites Knoxville West
Holiday Inn Knoxville West at Cedar Bluff
Titanic Pigeon Forge

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!

MPI:TN 2015-2016 Board of Directors
President - Adam Spivey, Hutton Hotel
615-712-2303 |

President Elect - Katie Rogers, CMP, Emdeon
615-932-3222 |

Immediate Past President - Tammy Gilbert-Cardona, CMP, Nashville Convention and Visitor's Corporation
615-259-4725 |

Vice President of Communications - Jamie Hulet, Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group
615-882-5440 |

Vice President of Education - Shannon Yeater, Westhaven Golf Club

Vice President of Finance  - Erika Biddix, CMP, CMM,
MAC Meetings and Events
865-362-5273 |

Vice President of Membership - Valerie Summers, Gary Musick Productions
615-324-5549 |

Vice President of East Region - Angie Campbell, Holiday Inn Cedar Bluff
865-342-3420 |

Vice President of West Region - Antwone Stigall, CMP, New Memphis Institute
901-827-4825 |

Director of Administration - Debbie Garcia
Chef's Market
615-851-2433 |

Director of Communications - Brandon Terpstra, Stewart Transportation
615-292-6040 |

Director of Leadership and Professional Development - Holly Stephenson, CMP
Cross Country Education
615-564-4010 |

Director of Member Care - Susan Raque, Destination Musick City
615-866-7937 |

Director of Monthly Meetings - Mindy Powell-Hardy, Hard Rock Café
615-742-9900, x 106 |

Director of Special Projects - Desiree Wooldridge, CMP, Caterpillar Financial
615-341-1000 |

Director of Strategic Alliances - Colleen Cussick
Brantley Sound and Production
615-256-6260 |

Executive Director - Lindsay Buchanan, CMP
Travelink, American Express Travel
615-373-8002 |

Chapter Business Manager - Holly L. Dotson, CMP
Meeting Professionals International 
Educational Message - Central
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 11:00 AM  - 1:00 PM
Rodizio Grill

What prevents people from thinking? How do you get others to think? How do you work effectively with co-workers at the opposite end of the thinking spectrum?  

Most people seem to be better at doing or directing than thinking or leading. Yet high level thinking is a critical component for success in today's world. This session is based on research from Tim's Putnam published book Transformation Thinking and will teach leaders how to think innovatively and creatively.   
When you leave this luncheon, your way of THINKing will be forever changed!!
Save Money. Buy Meeting Vouchers!
MPI:TN is offering prepaid vouchers for our monthly educational luncheon meetings.  This program allows you to pre-pay for six future registrations for monthly meetings and save money at the same time.  The cost is $175 for 6 meetings or buy five get one free.   Vouchers are good for meetings from July 2015 through June 2016 and are valid in all three regions.  Vouchers are not redeemable for the Gala, Connect, or any After Hours/ MIX Events.  Vouchers expire June 30 2016 and are valid for MPI:TN Members Only.  For more information or to purchase vouchers, please contact  the chapter at or 615-373-8002.
MPI:TN Needs You!
Member feedback shows that the more involved you are, the more you'll benefit personally and professionally from your membership.  We need your skills and unique abilities to make our chapter great!  Fill out the Volunteer Interest Form in order to get involved. 

Questions?  Contact Holly Stevenson, CMP, your new Director of Leadership & Professional Development.

*MPI Chapters rely on members to be involved and help with education programs, obtaining sponsorships, planning special events and many other responsibilities. Your contribution at this level allows you to work closely with peers in your region and gain insight on the inner workings of your chapter.
Carol Norfleet Nominated for #CMP30 Influencer    
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program and the Convention Industry Council (CIC) is celebrating with the first peer-selected recognition program, driven primarily on social media.

"This awards program is different," said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP and CEO of the Convention Industry Council. "This isn't about a successful career, it's about the people who got you there. Which mentor, colleague or leadership figure has dramatically influenced or inspired your professional journey? It's time we thank those individuals and celebrate the people, not just the program."

Carol told us "When I received my CMP in 2000, I decided then and there that my industry passion would be the CMP. Back then and still today, my passion is to help as many peers as I can achieve their certification.  Nothing makes me happier than to see a candidate pass and add CMP to their name.  I say "wear those letters with pride."  To be nominated as a CMP Influencer humbles me and is so exciting.  A special Thank You to my nominator and all those who vote/voted!"  
Don't forget...MPI:TN Now a CMP Preferred Provider!  
We have great news for all of our CMPs and aspiring CMPs.  MPI:TN is now a CMP Preferred Provider. The education program(s) identified with the CMP Preferred Provider logo meet the requirements to receive continuing education (CE) credit for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential. All qualifying activities also indicate how many CE credits attendees will receive for participating.   Start watching for this logo on the meeting calendar and invitations.

For more information about the CMP credential or CMP Preferred Provider Program, please visit

Note: This program is not endorsed, accredited, or affiliated with the Convention Industry Council or the CMP Program. Applicants may receive CE credit for attending any program that meets eligibility requirements of the CMP Program. There are no specific individual courses required as part of the applications -selection of eligible education is up to the applicant based on his/her needs.
There is still time to register for MPI's World Education Congress (WEC), August 1 - 4

MPI Global has issued a challenge to be the chapter with the most paid attendees at WEC 2015!  Right now MPI:TN has 17 members attending or a little over 5% of the chapter.  We can do better than that!  If your boss needs some convincing check out the  justification tool kit is available at

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is committed to providing industry-leading professional development, networking and marketplace opportunities for our members. The annual World Education Congress (WEC) is the signature event through which MPI delivers top-rated education, networking and business opportunities to the meeting and event community. For 3 ½ days, WEC attendees are immersed in a variety of learning experiences designed to give you the competitive edge when planning meetings.

WEC features programming and people that will allow attendees to think and grow in new ways. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore a variety of topics that will not only impact their individual performance, but also understand the impact to the industry as a whole. WEC educational sessions give attendees the best tools, exposure to sound business practices and the latest business trends.

WEC provides attendees with outstanding networking and marketplace opportunities for conducting business. With both formal and informal scheduled face-to-face activities, WEC attendees can connect to industry peers and partners that will allow them to expand their business network.

WEC is fun, too!  Check out these photos from past conferences.

CMP Study Groups
The next round of Nashville area CMP Study Groups are forming for 2015.
CMP Intensive Study:
Saturday, September 19               9:00am - 3:00pm
Domain A
Strategic Planning
Domain B
Project Management
Domain C
Risk Management
Domain D
Financial Management
Domain E
Human Resources
Domain F
Stakeholder Management

Saturday, October 17                     9:00am - 3:00pm
Domain G
Meeting or Event Design
Domain H
Site Management
Domain I
Domain J
All sessions will be held at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown.  Exact room locations will be noted on the reader boards at the venue when you arrive.  Thank you Sheraton Nashville Downtown for your support of the CMP Study Sessions!

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.
Pre-Registration is required for any/all of the study sessions.  If you are interested in attending please e-mail me back with the date(s) you plan to attend.
Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Carol Norfleet,
MPI Membership Rate Increase Effective July 1 
Membership rates for new members will increase $4.00, $349 for planners and $469 for suppliers, effective July 1 .   The increase will take affect for renewals September 2015.
Membership Renewal Incentive for July  
Renew your MPI membership before July 31 and you will be entered into a drawing for one of TWO great prizes. The winner will pick one! Renew today!
  • 6 month extended membership
  • Receive 6 complimentary tickets to any chapter event (up to $300). Can be used for six tickets to one event, one ticket to six separate events or any combination. Must be used by August 2016.
New Member Spotlight - Deb Kosmicki
Name: Deb Kosmicki    

Current Position: Director of Weddings, Events & Tours

How long have you been in the industry? 1 year

Why did you join MPI? I have been referred by many people who belong to MPI. And after a bit of research found it to be a great resource for meeting new people in Nashville which in turn can only benefit me professionally.

What would you like to gain from MPI membership? Meeting new people and learning from them both personally and professionally.

What would you like the chapter to know about you? I relocated to Nashville a year ago; I lived 19 years in Denver raising my only daughter. She will be a junior at Denver University downtown this coming year. When considering a new city Nashville was the obvious choice for me, my lifelong friends live here. We were college roommates and now all live together here in Nashville in our 50's! We have been dubbed the New Age Golden Girls.