PlanIt Tennessee
March 2014


In This Issue
Event Calendar
The Inside Scoop
MPI:TN Facebook
CMP Program
Advertisers' Index
We Need Member News
Social Media Links!
President's Message
CONNECT in April!
Coffee Club
March Community Service
Connections Campaign
Member News

Upcoming Events

MPI:TN East Region Educational Luncheon on March 18

"State of the Industry"
The Park Vista
a DoubleTree by Hilton

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

It is with great excitement that we welcome Kevin Kirby, Chairman-Elect of MPI International Board of Directors, to present at our annual State of the Industry meeting in Gatlinburg. Kevin will discuss MPI's approach to being a voice for the meetings industry, actually better defining the meetings industry.  Click here for more information and to register for the East Region Event.  

MPI:TN Central Region Educational Luncheon on March 19

"State of the Industry"
Hard Rock Cafe Nashville 

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

It is with great excitement that we welcome Kevin Kirby, Chairman-Elect of MPI International Board of Directors, to present at our annual State of the Industry meeting in Nashville. Kevin will discuss MPI's approach to being a voice for the meetings industry, actually better defining the meetings industry.  Click here for more information and to register for the Central Region Event.

MPI:TN West Region Educational Luncheon on March 20

"State of the Industry"
The Peabody Hotel Memphis 

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

It is with great excitement that we welcome Kevin Kirby, Chairman-Elect of MPI International Board of Directors, to present at our annual State of the Industry meeting in Memphis.  Kevin will discuss MPI's approach to being a voice for the meetings industry, actually better defining the meetings industry.  Click here for more information and to register for the West Region Event. 

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

The Inside Scoop

At Emdeon's recent National Sales Meeting held at the Franklin Marriott, planners Katie Rogers, CMP and Kristen Richardson used this event app to take their event to the next level. The app allows them to keep in contact with their attendees in real time via SMS, gives the attendees the ability to see/edit their personal calendars, navigate to meeting rooms, check in to sessions, exchange contact information and share on social media. The app is customizable to your theme and you can add as much or little information as you like. The setup is pretty easy and syncs with Cvent so any changes you make to your attendees or agenda on the registration site, automatically updates in the app. Post event, the planner can track metrics such as how many attendees downloaded the app, peak activity, items bookmarked, and lots more! 


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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 "Tweeted with Us" .... Twitter

Please use the links below to Follow us TODAY!



Melanie Clifford President Banner Header

Melanie Clifford


Congratulations to Katie Rogers with Emdeon and Jessica Lamb with Young Presidents' Organization for being selected as one of the 2014 COLLABORATE 40 under 40. They are our industry's top young professionals.

Make plans now to attend one our State of the Industry luncheons this month. We are honored to have Kevin Kirby, Chairman Elect of the MPI International Board join us for all luncheons in all three regions.

We will be in Gatlinburg on March 18, Nashville on March 19 and Memphis on March 20. This is your opportunity to hear the latest news on MPI and our industry and to ask Kevin questions. He wants to hear from you. You may submit questions on the Cvent when you register for the event or ask them in person. Take a moment to invite someone.

Thank you to all who completed the 2014 MPI Survey. Our Tennessee chapter had the highest number ever completed this year. We will be announcing the two winners of a ticket to the GALA at the March luncheons.

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. The database is updated every two hours.

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



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CONNECT Education & Marketplace

Are you a professional meeting planner looking to gain more continuing education hours?  Are you charged with booking meeting destination services in and around Tennessee?  Or are you a supplier who would love to have some dedicated face time with prospective planners?  Then Connect Education & Marketplace is the event for you! 


Planners: apply now for a complimentary VIP Planner Pass to attend the 2 morning educational sessions and marketplace appointments.  Note - there is a fee to attend the monthly educational luncheon with speaker Shawna Suckow, CMP, Founder of the Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN).


Click the link below to download the application that matches your member type:

CONNECT 14 VIP Planner Pass Application

CONNECT 14 Exhibitor Application 

Connect Lunch Education: Planners are from Saturn, Suppliers are from Venus: Interpreting the Strange Languages and Habits of Two Alien Species

Shawna Suckow, CMP, Founder of 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. 


Registration Opening Soon!

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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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MPI:TN Gala Announced!

The 2014 MPI Gala is NOT to be missed as we celebrate MPI achievements, raise money for the chapter, welcome the new board, and HAVE FUN! Make sure to mark your calendar for June 18th, grab some colleagues, friends and/or spouses and join your MPI Family at the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

Registration will be opening SOON!

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Spring MIX Event Date Announced!


Mark your Calendars and SAVE the Date!!!  Our Spring Mix Event will be a GULCH PUB CRAWL! 

When: April 30th from 5:30pm-8:00pm

There will be complimentary valet parking at Sambuca, where we will start off with Appetizers and cocktails, Crawl on down to Rumours for a Wine tasting and more delicious appetizers and the crawl over to The Pub, where you can our your own beer!

This event is open to both members and Non-Members, so be sure to invite your friends and potential new members.

$30 per person

Registration will be opening SOON!

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Coffee Club


For those members that cannot always attend the monthly luncheons, we will be hosting a 'Coffee Club' on Thursday morning, March 20that 7:30a.m.  Even if you are able to attend the monthly luncheons but love coffee and MPI, please join us!!  At the last coffee club we had a special guest- Keith Urban.  Starbucks on West End.  Please get with Tracy Wray if you have questions.  You can reach Tracy via email by clicking here.

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March'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.

Please bring all of your donations to the Central Region Educational Luncheon at the Hard Rock Cafe Nashville on Wednesday, March 19!

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 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.

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In COLLABORATE'S third annual roundup of the 40 Under 40 honorees, we highlight the talents and accomplishments of some of the industry's top young professionals. They were nominated by their peers, chosen by our team of editors, and interviewed by staff writers and freelancers about their early contributions and career aspirations in the corporate meetings field. This year's 40 Under 40 feature was produced by Libby Hoppe AND MPI:TN has TWO MEMBERS ON THE LIST!  Coming in at 16 and 18, respectively are Jessica Lamb, CMP and Katie Rogers, CMP!

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






Members Celebrating March MPI Anniversaries:


19 years

Kathy Naive Kirkpatrick, Drury Plaza Franklin

13 years

Laura Rutledge, Dollar General Corporation
12 years 

Robin Wallace, HelmsBriscoe

9 years 

Kathryn Collins  CMP, Kathryn Collins & Co.  
8 years

Jennifer Hansel, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Bobbi Landreth, FedEx Services

5 years

Brittany Meeker, Baker Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz
4 years 

Kimberly Bashman CHA, Hotel Indigo Corynn McMurray, Dollar General Corporation
David Schwartz, BookMyGroup Partners in Group Travel
Tricia May, Juice Plus
Karin Eggert, Cross Country Education
Sharon Rinehart, Park VIsta Resort Hotel 
3 years
Kenneth Zahn Jr., Franklin Marriott Convention Center
Amy Dixon, FedEx Services
2 years
Vanessa Wynn, Chaffins's Barn Dinner Theater
Shannen Stewart, Quest Drape 
1 year
Alice Fleenor CTTP, Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Vanderbilt
Niki Aumiller, Margarita Nashville
Jessica Townshend, Hilton Knoxville Airport
Christi Baggett, Sheraton Read House Hotel
Tammie Vogel CAP-OM, International Paper
Cindy Tipler
Christine Rice, Fee Hedrick Family Entertainment 

New Members

Dianna DeFatta, Hilton Brentwood/Nashville Suites
Kim Fry, Hilton Knoxville Airport
Lori Huffstutler CPCE, Doubletree by Hilton Memphis East
Kisha Martin
Jeanetta McCarthy, Rumours 12th & Division
Jill McCullough
Michelle Nixon, UT Health Science Center
Jon Pirtle, E|SPACES
Hilari Schaefer, E|SPACES