PlanIt Tennessee
President's Message  
What's up October!

Fall is officially here!!!  TN's busiest hospitality month is upon us and football is back!!!    I want to say thank you for my birthday wishes.  I loved the video!  Sorry I missed the killer central educational luncheon at Union Station and thanks to the fabulous Katie Rogers, your PE, for filling in during my absence.  We have great events scheduled for this month in all regions (West, Central and East) so please make sure you register!  Also, we have some exciting news coming for what's happening in November, be on the lookout for it.  I will keep saying it but if you aren't on a committee, get yo butt on one and make the most of your membership!!  That's it for now and see y'all soon!  Oh yea Happy Halloween!!

In This Issue
Our Sponsors

Platinum Partners


Gold Partners

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!

Special Announcement: New Renewal Information for CMPs
The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has changed the policy for lapsed CMPs. Renewals are every five years, but those who have not recertified by December 31st will go into lapsed status and will only have three additional months until March 31, 2016 to submit renewal information. After that time period the certification will expire.
Click here for more information.  
URGENT: Volunteers Needed
Is there something you absolutely love doing like developing educational content or sharing your passion for MPI?  There are committees that need your help.  Is there a skill you need to learn or improve upon such as social media marketing or fundraising?  There are committees that can help.  Learn more about volunteering for MPI:TN at

Volunteer Opportunity of the Month:  The MPI:TN Board is looking for someone to volunteer an hour or two of their time to help cross reference the TN CMP list against our member list.  Interested?  Contact Holly Stevenson, CMP for more information.
MPI:TN Members Receive Honors and Accolades
We know MPI:TN members ROCK and it shows.  Congratulations to two Nashville companies for being recognized for their outstanding contributions to the business community.

Destination Nashville was recently named one of the top women owned businesses by the Nashville Business Journal. 

Maple Ridge Events was named Overall DMC of the Year by Hosts Global Alliance,  a worldwide consortium of select Destination Management Companies, servicing over 190 destinations globally.

*Have you or your company recently won an award?  If so, let us know so we can share the news.  Send the details to Jamie Hulet at
Learn What It Takes to be a Chapter Leader with MPI:TN
Leadership Academy is a leadership training program offered to our active members.  The goal is to share essential elements of serving as a chapter leader for MPI:TN, and to provide each attendee with the tools needed to be a productive and strong future leader for our chapter.   This year's academy will take place Wednesday, October 21, from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.  Please contact Holly Stevenson, CMP for more information about this opportunity. 
Upcoming Meetings and Events
West Region Mixer
Breakfast at Bass Pro 
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 
8:30 am - 10:00 am 
Bass Pro - Memphis 
1 Bass Pro Dr., Memphis, Tennessee 38105
Central Region Education Meeting
How to Sell a Service:  It All Starts with the C Word

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN  37203
CONNECT 2016 will be Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Details coming soon!

Planner Question Corner
Q.    I enjoy attending the monthly meetings but don't see how this month's Central Region subject applies to me as a planner.  I'm not a sales person.  Why should I attend?  Anonymous Corporate Planner

A.    Good question!  I can see how the topic of sales wouldn't be something you would be interested in.   However, you are in sales.  You sell every day even though it isn't part of your job description.   When you are explaining the ROI of the annual convention to your boss you are selling.  When you pitch the exotic locale of the next incentive trip you are selling.  When you are marketing your event to attendees you are selling.  When you send an RFP to a hotel you are in a way selling...selling the hotel that they need your business.   Or, think about the many times in your personal life you are in "sales."  Have you ever called your credit card company to ask them to lower your interest rate or the cable company to get a better rate?  That is sales.  You have to sell them on the reason they should lower your rate.    Come to the October meeting.  I'm pretty sure you will learn something you may use either in your job or personal life.   If not, at least you will get to network and catch up with friends!
A message from MPI:TN WEC Scholarship Recipient Susan Raque
I was so happy to receive a scholarship to attend WEC held in San Francisco this past August. I am the current MPI:TN Director of Member Care. I had previously served in this role filling in for someone that resigned. This conference experience helped me to know exactly what was expected of me in my position and how important member care is for a healthy growing chapter.

The conference allowed me to attend the Membership Boot Camp, which supplied me with an incredible amount of best practice information which our committee is making our own. It also allowed me to meet others, in the same Member Care role from other chapters. We stay in touch to help and support each other.  
I am honored to be a part of one of the greatest and progressive chapters in MPI. We are exceptional in everything we do and have a great reputation of working hard, being creative and having fun! Most chapters look up to us!
Another benefit was being able to bond with my colleagues and also meet many new clients that are eager to visit Nashville!!

Nashville is definitely the IT city and MPI Tennessee is the IT MPI Chapter!!

I can't wait for next year!!

Upcoming Community Service Projects

Central Region fourth quarter community service project will support Nashville Rescue Mission Women's Center.  Please bring unused, travel size toiletries to the October 21 meeting.

East Region will be collecting coats for "Coats for the Cold" at the November meeting.  Please start gathering gently used coats of all sizes to donate

To learn more about these organizations go t o  

Thank you to everyone who donated to Happy Tales Humane at the September Central Region meeting.  We raised $175!

"New Member Spotlight"
Name:  K. Virginia Hemby, Ph.D. 

Current Employer and Position:  Middle Tennessee State University, Professor, Department of Marketing, Jones College of Business

How long have you been in this position?   11 years    

How long in the industry? 3 years

Why did you join MPI:TN?
I have been a member of numerous professional organizations throughout my 20+ years in higher education. I have been National President of two organizations, served on the Executive Board of another; and I have been the Conference Coordinator for the Business Education Research Conference for the past three (3) years, first as a representative of the Association for Research in Business Education and now as a member of the Executive Board for the National Association for Business Teacher Education. I was taught in my undergraduate program that I should become an active participant in any organization related to my field, and that a true professional serves his or her organizations. My hope is that by demonstrating my commitment to professional organizations that I will instill in my students the belief that they, too, should be active members of their organization.

Since I am teaching in the area of Meeting, Event, Exhibition, and Convention (MEEC) Management, I need to become part of an organization affiliated with that industry. I also want my students to become involved in an organization where they can network with professionals who are part of the Meeting industry.

What do you hope to get from your MPI:TN membership?
A colleague and I have created courses for a proposed minor in Meeting, Event, Exhibition, and Convention Management to be offered at MTSU. I wanted to become a member of the organization most closely aligned with the goals and objectives of our proposed minor-AND an organization that had a student member component. I am a firm believer in contextual learning-that students learn best and acquire the most knowledge and skills from actually completing work that is part of their chosen career. So, I would like to bring the workplace to them while they are in my classroom through the use of guest speakers/guest lecturers, and by having my students engage with other members of MPI:TN to learn what the average work day/work week is like, what skills they need to develop to be the "best" at what they do, and to acquire and develop a network of like-minded individuals who can serve as a resource for them while completing classes, when seeking a practicum placement, and when needing advice or the name of a vendor who is the best at what he/she does. The members of MPI:TN offer a plethora of experience that can be of great benefit to my students (and to me).

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with?  Why?
Since 2013, I have been the Conference Coordinator for the Business Education Research Conference [BERC] (a national research-based conference affiliated with the National Business Education Association Annual Convention). I enjoy planning and directing the BERC because I learn something new each time. These conferences have taken place in Cincinnati, OH; Los Angeles, CA; and Chicago, IL. For 2016, we will be in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan!

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.
I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi in August 1995 and began my teaching career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA. I taught there from 1995 through May 2004. I joined the faculty at MTSU in August 2004. I teach in the Department of Marketing in the Jones College of Business.

I am a traumatic brain injury survivor (actually a 1 "percenter"-97% of the people suffering the same injury would die but only 1% recover enough to be able to return to work full time). I was crossing the street on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus early on the morning of December 1, 1999, when I was struck by a full-size pick-up truck traveling at approximately 35 to 40 mph. I landed on my head. I had a closed skull fracture above my left ear and a subdural hematoma. I have permanent damage to both frontal lobes of my brain with resulting executive function issues. I also live with PTSD because of the trauma of the accident. I lost the ability to smell (anosmia) so my sense of taste is also impacted-I can taste only what the tongue gets-salty, sweet, bitter, and spicy-nothing else. In the big picture, I am lucky to be alive and THANKFUL every day-even when taking on a new project such as the minor in Meeting, Event, Exhibition, and Convention Management!

My husband and I also adopt Dachshunds. We currently have three:  Gracie, Lucy, and Tinkerbelle. Gracie came to us from Proverbs 12:10; Lucy was adopted from Chapman's Dachshund Rescue in York, SC; and Tinkerbelle was adopted from All-American Dachshund Rescue. They make our lives a little crazier but filled with lots of love!

I am GiGi (grandmother) to two wonderful little boys, a 4 year old and a 2 year old. They make my heart happy!
Member News
Congratulations to our chapter Rock Star for September,  Chelsea  Harris Williams of Imagination Branding.  Chelsea was selected as Rock Star for her outstanding contribution to the chapter as a volunteer on the communications committee.   You ROCK, Chelsea!  
Amy Kelly, Business and Legal Resources, and her husband  welcomed their first child, Barrett Carson Kelly, on May 22.  He weighed 8.6 pounds and was 18.5 inches long.  Mom and baby are doing well, and Amy looks forward to getting back to an MPI meeting  soon.