President's Message 

Happy Spring! 

This month we celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). Events are held across the globe to demonstrate the measurable impact that meetings have on businesses, economies and communities. This year we'll celebrate with two breakfast events on April 12th! The Central Region will celebrate at Hutton Hotel, and the West Region will celebrate at Courtyard Downtown Memphis. More information and the links to register can be found below. 
Thank you to all members who completed the Membership Satisfaction Survey that MPI Global conducted last month. We placed third against other chapters with 300+ members for having the most members take the survey. Way to go MPI Tennessee! We can't wait to see the results (we should have those in April)! The results will help our Board of Directors plan networking, education and other events to meet the needs of our members. From those that took the survey we did a raffle for $100 Visa gift card, and the winner is Kelly Kaplan with Nashville Underground. Congratulations, Kelly! 

Next month is our Annual Circle of Excellence Awards Gala and Silent Auction. It's going to be an awesome behind-the-scenes, red carpet event at the Grand Ole Opry on May 18th. Eeeeek, we are so excited, we're actually going to be ON the Opry stage!! It's going to be a night to remember. This is such an exciting night to recognize our leadership and accomplishments of our members in the industry, and we encourage everyone to attend and feel free to bring a guest, spouse, friend, co-worker or boss. The auction is also live with so many great items. The funds raised from the auction help run our chapter with scholarships, educational events, offering CIC approved content and much more. Bid high and bid often!

Welcome new members! We're glad to have you part of our family. We are at an all-time high of 388 members for MPI Tennessee. This is outstanding, and our chapter is very proud. Thank you to our membership team, Shannon Yeater and Marissa McWilliams, and all of our membership for sharing the good news about the greatest chapter in the industry!!

In This Issue
Our Sponsors
Platinum Partners

Gold Partners 

Do you want to become an MPI Tennessee Chapter sponsor and partner with the state's largest and most vibrant community of meeting and event professionals?

For more information, contact  
Katherine Page Saldana
Director of Strategic Alliances for MPI:TN!

Looking to make a job change or know someone is?  Check out the positions available at
Upcoming Meetings & Events
GMID Celebration - Central Region
Managing Active Security Threats
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Hutton Hotel
8:00am - 12:00pm

Join MPI Tennessee as we kick off GMID with a two-part breakfast session on managing active security threats. The keynote session, "Save Your Six," focuses on the individual response to an active security threat. Its purpose is to teach  participants situational awareness and how to make a lifesaving decision in a crisis. The second session, "Managing Active Security Threats," features an overview of topics such as response to active shooters, proactive emergency planning and risk management as well as mitigation strategies will be discussed.
GMID Celebration - West Region
Emergency Preparedness... What's Your Plan as a Meeting Planner?
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Courtyard Downtown Memphis
8:30am - 10:30am

Join MPI Tennessee in the West Region for our GMID celebration breakfast! As a meeting professional in today's hospitality climate, meeting preparedness has greatly evolved from the normal standards of detailing your events and programs. Attendee accountability and quick-thinking action steps are also very important to ensure that you remain in control of your event and have a direction to provide everyone in case of an emergency.
MPI Tennessee Circle of Excellence Awards Gala & Silent Auction
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Grand Ole Opry
5:30pm - 10:00pm

Walk in the footsteps of the stars and join us on May 17th for an experience normally reserved for the artists at the Grand Ole Opry House! As an attendee of the 2018 Gala, you will have an all-access pass to be treated like country music royalty. Have drinks in the former home of Hee-Haw, stroll through the 18-themed dressing rooms, and step into the iconic circle before settling in for dinner and awards on the world-famous stage! You will not to miss this experience at the Grand Ole Opry House as we celebrate a tremendous year for MPI Tennessee.
ICYMI - In Case You Missed It
" Do You Speak Millennial?" - West Region

The West Region had a great turnout for the March Educational Luncheon, "Do You Speak Millennial?" Speaker (and MPI Tennessee member) Carol Norfleet shared insight into the generational differences and impact that millennial's have in the workplace. We also picked up great tips on how to integrate millennial's into a multi-generational workplace!

"Sales Successes" - Central Region

Over in the Central Region, John Boyer shared sales tips and tricks to help us close deals. First, he challenged our sales process and encouraged us to review our sales and marketing plans. We were also introduced to new ways to respond to sales objections (reminder - don't have a "tone" during your response). Finally, we were reminded to make our value proposition unique to stand out from our competition.

Call for Donations
Calling all silent auction items! Are you able to donate to our Circle of Excellence Awards & Silent Auction? If so, please fill out our donation request form or reach out to our Silent Auction Chair, Michael Elizabeth McQuillen at . Remember - Proceeds from our Silent Auction go back to the chapter in the form of scholarships, educational sessions and more!

We already have a great selection of items up for bid on Bidding for Good including weekend getaways, themed gift baskets, gift certificates to the hottest restaurants and more! Click here to browse and bid.

Y'all Dine & Donate

The MPI Foundation is a non-profit organization that fuels the advancement of MPI members by providing them professional development and career opportunities through grants and scholarships. The MPI Foundation also propels the meeting and event industry forward by funding innovative research and pan-industry initiatives that support the strategic plan of MPI. President Elect, Erika Biddix, received a scholarship from the Foundation last year, and you can too!
MPI Tennessee is asking restaurants to participate in our "One Night of Giving" campaign to help benefit the MPI Foundation. On Thursday, May 31, 2018, participating restaurants would give 10% of their proceeds to the MPI Foundation.
In return, each generous restaurant will receive:
  • Mention and hyperlink in the MPI Tennessee May newsletter
  • Logo and link on the MPI Tennessee website for month of May
  • Logo and link on social media posts promoting the event
  • Mention in one (1) email blast about the event
We'd love to have your restaurant participate! If interested, please send you contract information, logo and website link to Cortney Novak at by April 15th.
GMID Membership Discount
In honor of Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), MPI is offering $100 off NEW Premier and Preferred levels of membership. Use promo code MPIGMID18 between April 10th and April 25th to receive $100 off your new membership!
Volunteer Opportunity

Do you enjoy attending our mix events?
 Our team is growing, and we would love your help! 
J oin the Special Events Committee by contacting 
Shannen Stewart, .
Event Registration Tips
Are you noticing your registration for MPI Tennessee events is not allowing you to register as a member? There could be a few easy fixes to get you the discounted member rate:
1. Make sure you are registering with the email address MPI Tennessee has on file for you. This is how we are able to determine our members vs. non-members. If you are unsure what that is or would like to change it, please contact .
2. If you are registering multiple people from your company, be sure to start with the member's registration, then add those who are non-members. All guests added in the registration process will be registered as a non-member.
3. If you are registering for yourself and another member, make sure to select "Add a Person." You will then be able to select member or non-member during this registration process.
Please see the screenshot below for examples on following the process of adding more than one attendee:

If you run into other problems, please contact to help with the registration process.
WEC Scholarship Recipient - Kimberly Fuller
Attending WEC 2017 was my first step into the world of MPI, and little did I know how many doors it would open!
At WEC, I:
  • Greatly expanded the vision for my career
  • Attended many classes with both real-time knowledge and fun motivation
  • Met my local chapter, giving me an entire network of people to rely on for advice, knowledge, networking, and friendship
The momentum from WEC has lasted all year, and I can't wait to get back! If you need a career and personal boost, you can't beat this awesome conference - WEC dares you to dream big!
Membership Recognition: Movers and Shakers

Welcome Kristina Johnson with Leo Events, our new West Region Committee Chair of Education. Kristina will work with the VP of Education, Cory Brooks, to continue to provide CEU accredited educational opportunities for our members here in the West Region.
New Members in March
Josh Michaelson
Daniel Spires
Cherokee Dock
Patrick Owings
Maple Ridge Events
Alyssa Hagman
Visit Franklin/ Williamson County CVB
Heather Smith
Topgolf Nashville
Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members celebrating an MPI anniversary in April!

Sheryl Baker - 22 years
Rebecca Ashley - 19 years
Vicky Ballard - 18 years
Aaron Mayo - 13 years
Kimberly Bean - 7 years
Hilda Pope - 6 years
Benjamin Prom - 6 years
Selena Miller - 5 years
Paige Bacon - 5 years
Amanda Klint - 4 years
Christopher Johnson - 3 years
Traci Franzone - 2 years
Kelli Myers - 2 years
AndrewNelson - 2 years
Marisa McWilliams - 2 years
Kristen Robillard - 2 years
Anita Akers - 2 years
Felisha Cook - 2 years
Liza Leatherman - 1 year
Ryan Weaver - 1 year
Beth Wamsley - 1 year
Lisa Roberts - 1 year
Debbie Whiten - 1 year
Brigid O'Connell - 1 year

New Member Spotlights
Name: Nick Hope

Current Employer and Position:
Belterra Casino Resort - Business Development Manager


How long have you been in this position?
3 years in April

Why did you join MPI? 
I was looking for innovative and relevant education, amazing networking opportunities and the best business exchanges in the industry. MPI delivers on all fronts and has an inordinate amount of fun while doing so!

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership? 
I hope to further expand my individual and professional network by meeting, collaborating and consistently engaging with some amazing people ultimately creating the opportunity to earn their business!

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why? 
MPI CONNECT in February was a GREAT event! Outside of MPI I would say my favorite events to be involved with were the Ryder Cup and World Equestrian Games at the start of my career.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc. 
I have worked in the hospitality industry for over 10 years and sincerely enjoy all of the people and places I have been privileged enough to experience along the way. I am a husband and father whose hobbies currently include anything outdoors or on the water, a good read every once in a while, and pretty much everything Disney right now.
Name: Holly Grathoff

Current Employer and Position:
Nelson Andrews Leadership Center - Business Development


How long have you been in this position?
Three months

Why did you join MPI? 
Networking and developing relationships

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership? 
Strong relationships with other business professionals

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why? 
MPI CONNECT was a fabulous event that allowed me to connect with other professionals who might be seeking my services or be able to connect me with clients seeking my services.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc. 
I am a mother of a 6-year-old, reformed California hippie, musician, and avid reader.
Name:Taylor Moss

Current Employer and Position:
LP Building Products - Sales Coordinator


How long have you been in this position?
One year in this position and three years with the company.

Why did you join MPI? 
To meet new people in the same industry as me and build relationships within the community.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?   
Our International Sales and Marketing Meeting in Miami Beach this year. It's the one time of year we get everyone in the same place. The location was beautiful, and we planned a Havana Nights themed dinner party!

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc. 
I'm originally from Texas, but I've lived in Nashville for three years now. I love music, going to concerts, trying new restaurants, Longhorn football, traveling and spending as much time as I can outside!
Name: Lindsay Snyder

Current Employer and Position:
Parthenon Management Group - Senior Project Leader


How long have you been in this position?
I have been with Parthenon Management Group for 2.5 years. I have been in my current position for 6 months.  

Why did you join MPI? 
When I attended the MPI Tennessee October 2018 Education Luncheon on Managing Risk; I enjoyed how timely and translational the message was presented to both suppliers and planners. It is apparent that MPI Tennessee is dedicated to its mission of making its members successful personally and professionally by the amount of educational opportunities available and the acknowledgment of any accomplishments of its members at every event.

What do you hope to get from your MPI Tennessee membership?      
As a senior leader at PMG, it will provide me with continuing education that I can use both professionally in my daily work scope, and as a training tool to mentor PMG staff on best practices, current trends, and industry resources. I also look forward to further developing my professional relationships that I built as both a previous supplier and in my current role as a planner.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?   
I coordinated the Grand Reopening of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center after the May 2010 floods in Nashville. It was so special to see everyone: employees, vendors, customers, celebrities, and the local community; come together to celebrate Nashville and recognize the loss, love, and growth of our city.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc. 
In my free time, you'll find me at Bridgestone Arena, rooting on the Nashville Predators! When I'm not in Smashville, I am either outside at Shelby Bottoms or Radnor Lake, cooking, in my (very small) garden, or trying a new restaurant/pub - preferably on a patio!
Name: Hailey Duke

Current Employer and Position:
Dream Events and Catering - Event Specialist


How long have you been in this position?
Almost two years!

Why did you join MPI? 
I feel that MPI has a great mix of members from planners, to suppliers and wonderful vendors. From my first meeting, I felt immersed in a group that was happy to be networking and learning from one another. I also enjoy the opportunity to attend events that range in concentration from social to educational and many topics in-between!

What do you hope to get from your MPI Tennessee membership?      
I hope to develop and nurture meaningful relationships within the network that will allow me to grow both personally and professionally. It is also my intention to utilize the training tools and materials available to me via membership to expand my professional portfolio.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?   
The MPI New Year, New Membership and The Valentine was my first event, so it definitely has sentimental value. I immediately felt welcomed in a sea of new faces. Family atmospheres register with the utmost importance to me.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc. 
I enjoy learning in most every capacity. I have an affinity for learning and teaching about alcohol production and how regionality affects the characteristics of spirits. I also enjoy being in the mountains kayaking, hiking, rafting, etc. A little-known fact about me is that I blush ALL. THE. TIME. I even blush when other people have an embarrassing moment!
Name:  Adriane Long                                                                                    
Current Employer and Position: 
Barnsley Resort - Regional Sales Manager


How long have you been in this position?
Less than a year at Barnsley Resort, but over 20 years in hospitality. I actually started when I was just a kid. My Grandmother was a F&B Director. She gave me the job of washing potatoes by hand. I ran them through the dishwasher. This was also the first and only job I was fired from. Later in life, I worked at the same hotel as a guest services representative during my first year of college.

Why did you join MPI? 
I met Shannon Yeater.  After talking with her - How could I not join?

What do you hope to get from your MPI Tennessee membership?      
I hope to develop and nurture meaningful relationships within the network that will allow me to grow both personally and professionally. It is also my intention to utilize the training tools and materials available to me via membership to expand my professional portfolio.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?   
My favorite meeting was my very first day of work at Barnsley Resort. We enjoyed a long lunch that made the meeting. I went on a team safari ride through the hunting preserve where we stopped for an incredible picnic prepared by our Chef located on a hill above a peaceful pond. Then, I learned how to shoot clays with a Syren Shotgun, designed intentionally for the needs of the female shooter. This was the very first time I had ever shot a gun. Our National Sporting Clays Association certified shooting instructor, Skip, made me feel so comfortable that he eventually had to take the gun away from me. It only takes 3 BB's to break a clay. I did not even know that there was a National Sporting Clays Association certified instructor. It was invigorating, and I really learned a lot. Then, we went for a tour through the history of the resort with our author and historian Clent Coker before returning back to the meeting room. It was such a great meeting experience. It was in those moments away from the meeting rooms where the engagement happened, and I got to bond with all of my new colleagues. Best meeting ever!