PlanIt Tennessee
July 2013


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

Upcoming Events




July 9 - West Education Luncheon -  "MEMPHIS AIRPORT AUTHORITY UPDATES"


Registration for this event closes this afternoon. You can learn more about it by clicking here. Email if registration is closed and you'd still like to attend.


July 9 - East Education Luncheon - "Local & Statewide Implications for Tourism as an Economic Driver - Restructuring the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority: A Best Practice"


Registration for this event closes this afternoon. You can learn more about it by clicking

here. Email if registration is closed and you'd still like to attend. 


July 17 - Central Education Luncheon - "Business Class...Your Ticket to Success"


Please join us from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Rock Bottom Brewery for education, networking, lunch and a volunteer fair.   You can learn more about this event and register by clicking here.




Website Banner

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
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
Marilyn Johnson, CMP
 Director 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:

Marilyn Johnson at


Karen Morrissey 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! 

President's Message

Melanie Clifford BOD I LOVE MPI and I LOVE our Chapter. People ask me all the time why I love MPI so much. To tell you the truth it is because of you, the members. Just take a look at our Circle of Excellence Award Winners. What an incredible group. Congratulations to all of our winners. And thank you to our Gala and Auction Teams. We had a record number of attendees at the Gala. Thank you Music City Center and sponsors.

It is an exciting time to be part of MPI: Tennessee. We are 300 members strong. Our chapter is now ranked 5th in member satisfaction in the US and 6th globally!

The opportunities for you to get the most out your membership and be involved are incredible.....

Three active regions (East, Central and West)
Over 21 Educational Luncheon Events across the state
After Hours Networking Events
MIX Events (Central Region)
FAM Trips (East and West Regions)
The Award Winning "Let MPI Rock Your World Road Trip" -
featuring John Chen

July is full of events. We have Educational Luncheons on July 9 in both the East and West Regions and July 17 in the Central Region. And WEC (World Education Congress) is in Las Vegas July 19-24. Tennessee has over 20 people going to WEC!

To get the most of your membership....get involved. Become engaged in our chapter. We are having a Volunteer Fair at our July 17 Central Luncheon. Come and see where you might fit in. Remember that even if you can only do a few hours a month, we need you!

New for 2013-2014 we have our Buy 5 get 1 Free Program for Educational Luncheons.
The voucher booklet can be purchased at anytime for the cost of $175.00 and consists 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 current fiscal year, July 2013-June 2014. You know you are going to come so take advantage of this awesome program.

As a member, you have access to nearly 24,000 members in 74 chapters around the world. Someone is looking to do business with you!

I am looking forward to an awesome 2013-2014 year. Remember if you have a question or need assistance, please just ask. The Dream Team (Board of Directors) and I are here for you! 


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Cussick rocking it out

Gala News


The Reviews are in for The 2013 MPI TN Gala and reaffirms that it was a SMASHING SUCCESS:

Cindy Tipler from WKRN News 2 raved, "Wow! For my first MPI Gala, that was the BEST! I don't know how it will ever be topped! It was truly amazing!"...

...and Stacy Blazic from Signature Transportation gushed, "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!"

Not only was it a FUN night, thanks to "Risky Adam" to start it off right, but the goal to raise funds for the education and scholarships through Bidding For Good, the Silent Auction and the amazing Live Auction packages net almost $19,000.00, all thanks to YOU - our generous and hardworking MPI members and attendees! The sponsors outdid themselves with contributions to the events and made it a magical evening!

The award winners were all shocked and honored, and truly represented what MPI is all about: VOLUNTEERING and LEADERSHIP.

We extend our deepest, earnest THANK YOU once again to our outgoing President Caroline Platz, and offer a loud, heartfelt WELCOME to our new President Melanie Clifford! We can't wait to see what the Dream Team will be organizing for the Chapter!

We already are planning for the 2014 Gala, so keep your ears open for juicy tidbits as they come in...

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The following were the Award Winners at this year's GALA! 

Please reach out to these folks and congratulate them.




Circle of Excellence Awards




Planner of the Year ~ Katie Rogers - Emdeon


Supplier of the Year ~ Tracy Wray - Hutton Hotel


President's Award ~ Tracy Wray - Hutton Hotel


Beth Calveard Volunteer Spirit Award ~ Melody Carr - HCA Healthcare


Rising Star ~ Valerie Summers - Gary Musick Productions


Chapter Leader of the Year ~ Jamie Hulet - Grand Ole Opry Entertainment


Pillar Award East Region ~ Robin Jones - Riverstone Resort & Spa


Pillar Award Central Region ~ Schenk Photography


Pillar Award West Region ~ The Peabody Memphis


East Region Meeting of the Year :

Let MPI Rock Your World Road Trip-

Speaker:  Jeffrey Magee-  Why Most People & Organizations "SUC"

Event Sponsors ~The East Tennessee Historical Society,

Rosa's Catering, Grand Avenue, Graceful Tables and Sound Revue


Central Meeting of the Year:

Speaker: John Chen   Hands on Technology for the Meeting Professional

Event Sponsors ~Nelson Andrews Leadership Lodge,

Constant Craving Catering, Inc., Liberty Party Rental, and

Nashville Airport Marriott


West Region Meeting of the Year:

Let MPI Rock Your World Road Trip-

Speaker:  Jeffrey Magee- Why Most People & Organizations "SUC"

Event Sponsors ~Dixon Gallery Gardens

Bailey's Executive Catering, Graceful Tables and Grand Avenue


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

Check out the new Event Sponsors Page by clicking here



Money Man   




Thank you for all those members who spread the word about MPI. Since our Referral Contest began in January, 2013, we have signed up 41 new members! Our contest winners are:

3rd Place- Tie with Scarlett Coffman, CMP and April High
2nd Place- Tammy Gilbert Cardona, CMP
1st Place- Tracy Wray

Each winner will be receiving a nice cash prize for their efforts.
Congrats and thanks again for talking up our amazing organization! 

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Please welcome your NEW Board for the 2013-14 Year 
This team is responsible for continuing to lead this AWESOME Chapter forward.

Tennessee Chapter of Meeting Professionals International 
2013/2014 Board of Directors (DREAM TEAM)

Melanie Clifford 
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pigeon Forge 
865-453-4514 /865-382-2036

President Elect 
Tammy Gilbert-Cardona, CMP 
Nashville Convention and Visitor's Corporation 

Immediate Past President 
Caroline Platz, CHSE 
Loews Vanderbilt 

Vice President Membership 
Tracy Wray 
Hutton Hotel 

Vice President Education 
Valerie Summers 
Gary Musick Productions, Inc. 

Vice President Communications 
Scarlett Coffman, CMP 
Dave & Buster's 

Vice President Finance 
Adam Spivey 
CSI Meetings 

Vice President of East Region 
Erica Biddix, CMP 
MAC Meetings and Events 

Vice President of West Region 
Bridget DiCello, MBA, NHA 
Speaker, Executive Coach, Author 

Director of Communications 
Jamie Hulet 
Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group 

Director of Monthly Meetings 
Holly Stevenson, CMP 
Cross Country Education 

Director of Leadership & Professional Development 
Jessica Pfranger 
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum 

Director of Special Projects 
April High 
Hotel Indigo 

Director of Strategic Alliances 
Scott Wright 
Nashville Convention and Visitor's Corporation 

Director of Member Care 
Katie Rogers, CMP 

Director of Administration 
Debbie Garcia 
Infinity Restaurant Group 

Executive Director 
Brian Calvert, CMP 
AEC Management 



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, August 27
Domain A Strategic Planning
Domain B Project Management
Domain C Risk Management
Domain F Stakeholder Management

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:
Monday, July 29
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




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




Members Celebrating July MPI Anniversaries:


20 years

Judy Allen, CMP, CME, Ingram Content Group

18 years

Jean Woods, Woods & Associates 
13 years 

Elizabeth Harmon, Graceful Tables, Inc   

12 years 

Sheena De Giorgio, CMP, Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs

11 years

Sharon Hill, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 

10 years

Tracey Henninger, CMP, Residence Inn Marriott
Karen Gwaltney, Frist Center for the Visual Arts 

8 years

Darcy North, Belmont University
7 years 
Scarlett Coffman, CMP, Dave and Buster's Grand Sports Cafe
Tracy Schenk, Schenk Photography

6 years 
Carol Jones, Salem Publishing
5 years
Tracy Wray, Hutton Hotel
Laura Schimmel, BBJ
Dian Stanfill, Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau
4 years
Therese Byrne, Tennessee Bar Association
Kelly Mixon, Maggiano's Little Italy
Tammy Gilbert Cardona, CMP, Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mike Brown, M&M Productions USA
3 years
Sandi Windorfer, Union Station - Autograph Collection
Susan Raque, French Lick Resort Casino
2 years
Jessica Pfranger, Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Valerie Summers, Gary Musick Productions, Inc.
1 year
Carolyn Lipp, Women Rock for Charity
Micki Stayton, Adventure Science Center
Dean Jones, CMP, Religious Conference Management Association
Bonnie McClure, SAIC
Heather Willis, Genesco, Inc. (The Journeys Group) 

New Members
Robert Barbieri, Hard Rock International
Margo Brownson, Bound'ry Restaurant
Emily Cavezza, Lilac Farms at Arrington 
Melissa Corban, Vivere Health
Angela Hammitt, East Ivy