August 2020
(Turn and face the strange)
(Just gonna have to be a different man)"
-David Bowie
Welcome to August everyone! Usually this time of year means all of us in Tennessee are ready for a little relief from the heat and humidity, and those of us that have school-aged children are counting the days until they go back to the classroom. However this year, nothing is normal, and the late, great David Bowie was right in saying that we all need to, “Turn and face the strange”.

I want to start off by thanking Alyssa Pruitt from B & B Beverage Management, Cayce Brasel and Ashleigh Cote for putting together the fun and engaging MIXology & Networking event July 22. The drinks and the one-on-one conversations were a big hit!

This month, we have our Educational Luncheon on the 19th, so please be sure to look out for the email invitation. Our Education team and Gary Musick Productions have put together an engaging and valuable session on finding success in chaos.

Times are tough right now, and I wish everyone patience and perseverance as we try to work through the crazy and strange world that is our reality. I’ll be honest. This week has been very hard for me, and it is only Wednesday. I find myself relying on my family, faith, my MPI friends, and tequila to help me get over this hump because hiding in my bed reading trashy romance novels isn’t going to help. Make sure that you have your own support system in place. You can always call me if you need someone to listen.
Until we meet again,

We hope everyone in our MPI family is staying safe and healthy as we continue to battle COVID-19 and the affect it is having on our industry and our membership. Our board is here for you if you need anything. We hope the information below is helpful to you as we all navigate the near future. Please reach out to any of us directly if you are struggling, have questions, or just need to chat.
  • MPI Tennessee Financial AssistanceIf you have lost your job,suffering financial hardship during this time and are unable to attend our events, please take a moment to fill out the Financial Hardship Form. We value you and would love to continue seeing you at our membership events! Click below to fill out a form!

  • MPI Member Resume Support – Did you know that MPI members have access to complimentary resume critique through our career centre? Members will need their MPI username/password to access this service. Click on the following link and follow the path listed to have your resume critiqued: > Resources > Career Center > Sign In > go to My Account (top left corner) > go to Resume > check mark “Send me my free professional resume critique from TopResume” > click on Upload Resume to, you guessed, upload your resume.

  • MPI Global Member Assistance Program: We do not want to lose any of you as members. For those whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19, MPI Global has several options to help if you are up for renewal, and they will be reaching out to you. You can also contact MPI Global directly at, call 972-702-3053, or fill out and follow the instructions in this form.

  • Update Membership Profile: If you or someone you know has new contact information, be sure to reach out to us at or 615-373-8002 so we can update that information with our chapter and MPI Global. Remember, your membership belongs to you and follows you even when your employer changes.

  • MPI Tennessee Private Facebook: Join our private Facebook page to learn more about these events and to connect with the fun and informative things going on with our MPI Family.
40th Anniversary Sponsor
Platinum Sponsors
Do you want to become an MPI Tennessee Chapter
sponsor and partner with the state's largest,
most vibrant community of meeting and event professionals?
For more information, contact MPI Tennessee's Director of Strategic Alliances, Ashleigh Cote!
Our incredible Membership team is ready to help YOU make the most out of your MPI membership. Please reach out to us for questions regarding:

  • Renewing your membership,
  • Helping someone join the MPI Tennessee family,
  • Volunteer opportunities within the chapter, and
  • Financial assistance with your membership. 
Vice President, Membership
Director of Member Recruitment
Director of Member Retention
Director of Leadership and Professional Development
Stephanie Harmon
Membership 101 - Date and Location TBD
Come join MPI Tennessee for Membership 101 (previously New Member Orientation). This event will act as an orientation for new members as well as a networking and benefits refresher for current members. We will cover scholarships, award nominations, using the membership directory as a resource, how to showcase yourself and your company to the global MPI community, and more!
August 19 Luncheon - Virtual Education Event!

Are you STILL furloughed? Are you working on site or remotely from home? Bob Anderson, President and CEO of Star Performance, will give us resources and tools to try and find success in the middle of chaos. No matter what your situation may be, Bob will teach us how to THINK, PLAN, and ACT differently by staying positive and build your personal brand to get ready for recovery!

Leadership Academy - October TBA
Are you an industry leader looking for an opportunity to showcase your skills and contribute to the success of the MPI Tennessee Chapter? If so, consider attending our annual Leadership Academy.

Leadership Academy is a leadership training program designed for active MPI Tennessee Chapter Members who are interested in future leadership roles within the chapter.

This one-day session will help you learn about the chapter structure and organization, as well as sharpen your skills as an emerging leader and volunteer.

Learning Objectives include:

·  Provide you with an overview of MPI Tennessee chapter operations
·  Help you understand the commitment and duties of serving on the Board of Directors
·  Encourage you to remain engaged and continue your leadership journey with MPI

This complimentary event is offered in October to all MPI Tennessee Chapter members. More information to come soon!
WEC Grapevine - November 3-6, 2020
COVID-19 has challenged our profession. But we have been tested many times before. Each time, we’ve proved our resiliency, bouncing back more quickly than expected and serving as the guiding light for growth and stability. Because when people get together, things get done.

Our aim at WEC Grapevine will be the same as before—we’ll show you how to create authentic experiences— with a new focus and renewed sense of purpose in light of all we’ve just been through. It will be a different WEC compared to past years, but one that’s right for you and all you work for.

Join us, where we’ll reunite to recover, reconnect to restore, and return our profession back to the center of economic growth.

The importance of equality, diversity and inclusion cannot be understated. MPI Tennessee is developing a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to focus attention on the needs of individuals in our industry and membership who feel they are discriminated against, without regard to age, color, disability, family responsibility, gender, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion or sexual orientation. If you are interested in joining this committee, please contact Sarah Kelly Freeman, VP of Education at
If you did not know, 2020 is MPI Tennessee's 40th Anniversary!! For the remainder of 2020, we will be highlighting long-term members and celebrating the history of our chapter through storytelling. Thank you to the 40th Anniversary committee for all of your hard work on this project!
I have so many great memories of my tenure in MPI to list or narrow down to just one. My testimony has been the same for years, and I will continue to say it over and over. I am so grateful to have been voluntold 9 years ago 'you are going become a member and be on the board'. I did not know how my life was about to change with Caroline Platz saying that to me. I was about to start an incredible journey, not only in my professional career, but personally.

Being a part of the MPI family has helped me grow my career in ways I would have never imagined, and has gotten me to the place I am in my career now. It has also helped me personally by helping me discover qualities about myself I never knew existed. I have formed lifetime friendships and built a worldwide network of industry peers. I am asked often, is MPI worth it?, and I respond with "are you kidding me, heck yea it is, but you get out of it what you put in it!"

I am so honored to be a past board member and part of the elite group of Past Presidents that have built this chapter and made it one of the most successful chapters ever! I am so excited to see what the future holds for our kick a$$ chapter!
Congratulations to our July Rockstar!
Cayce Brasel

Cayce was the mastermind behind our July MIXology & Speed Mixing Virtual Event! She put together a fun, interactive event for our members where we made cocktails (thanks to Alyssa at B&B Beverage Management!) and enjoyed speed networking with each other. She was so impressive; she was voted to be our new Director of Member Recruitment!

We want to know more about you! Our membership is diverse, and we have grown so much over the last few years. We want to recognize each of you and help all of us feel more connected by learning more about each other.

Click on the link below to fill out our Member Spotlight form. We will include your responses in newsletters, social media posts, and other MPI Tennessee communications. Don't forget to include your picture!

As we start to reopen business after the COVID-19 "Safe At Home" orders, we know businesses will start to re-hire their employees. However, some businesses will need new candidates to join their team. If your organization is looking for a new team member, click this link to fill out the online job submission form, and we will make sure to
include it in our next MPI Tennessee Newsletter and on social media.
New to the family in July
Gayle Hibbert
Farm Bureau Exposition Center

Ruthie Rudnick
LEO Events

Trish Stallone

Congratulations to our members celebrating
an MPI anniversary in August!
Kathleen Metts,CMM,APR - 19 years
Sandy Walker, CMP - 18 years
Jennye Williams - 16 years
Beth McDaniels, CMP - 14 years
Lisa Lawry, CMP - 11 years
Tara Moore, CMP - 8 years
Michael Cochran - 7 years
Shannon Jones, CMP - 7 years
Pattie Kempka - 7 years
Cory Brooks, CMP - 7 years
Jill Kopecky - 6 years
Breanna Ruhlman - 6 years
Donette Moore - 4 years
Jessica Jarve - 3 years
Dani Hubert - 3 years
Ashley Siskey - 3 years
Meg Taylor - 3 years
Lori Ramey - 3 years
Meg Taylor - 3 years
Lori Ramey - 3 years
Tammy Ivey - 2 years
Sarah Vickery - 2 years
Brent Long - 2 years
Carol Greenwood - 2 years
Jennifer Webster - 2 years
Angela Campbell - 2 years
Brad Lehman - 2 years
Reiko Tate, CMP,CGMP - 2 years
Lori Griffin - 1 year
Vicki Allen - 1 year
Leah Allison - 1 year
Shannon McGee - 1 year
Catherine Spivey - 1year
Lee Blankenship - 1 year
Margot Lynn Irwin - 1 year
Nicole Whitt - 1 year
*Note: If you notice that your designation or years of membership are wrong, or you don't see your name, your profile on MPI Global's website may need to be updated! Log in to your profile on to make changes, or contact us at 615-373-8002 if you have any questions.