President's Message 

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
CONNECT Education & Marketplace
Thursday, February 8 & Friday, February 9, 2018
Cambria Hotel & Hilton Nashville Airport

Are you a professional meeting planner with primary responsibility for planning and booking meeting destinations and services in and around the Southeast? Are you interested in meeting numerous vendors in a quick and fun atmosphere? If so, CONNECT is the event for you. This year's CONNECT will kick off with a planner/supplier mixer on Thursday night at the new Cambria Hotel, and the all-day education and networking will be on Friday at the Hilton Nashville Airport. You won't want to miss this great event! 
Spring MIX Event
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Downtown Nashville

Mix it up with MPI during our Downtown Progressive Bar Crawl.  Our friends at Hard Rock CafĂ©, Tin Roof, AJ's, and Goo Goo are generously hosting an MPI Tennessee Chapter Meetings Industry Exchange (MIX) networking event on Thursday, March 22nd. Join us for a night of mingling, drinks, and delicious samplings from each venue.
MPI Tennessee Circle of Excellence Awards & Gala
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Grand Ole Opry

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. Registration coming soon!
2017-2018 Awards and Recognition 
A major part of our gala is recognizing those top performers and key contributors in our industry. Please be thinking about who you would like to nominate for the various award categories. You can find a list of those categories here. The submission process and deadlines will be shared soon.  
A Note from Your Education Team...
The Education Team has exciting news for MPI Tennessee CONNECT 2018. If you have registered for CONNECT  by 5pm CST on Friday, February 2nd, you will be entered into a drawing to receive a complimentary admission to a future MPI Tennessee luncheon meeting. We will draw the winner and announce them at the CONNECT luncheon!

Want a sneak peek at this year's CONNECT education?
  • Our morning general session will be "Broken Contracts Can and Do Go to Trial," presented by Bob Pederson & Naomi Angel. Learn how to maximize your contract negotiation skills, and we'll conclude with a mock trial.
  • AV will be "Dismantled and Demystified" by Nathan Honeycutt of Macro Productions, who does our great AV for our monthly meetings. With plenty of laughs, and templates you can take back to the office, this interactive session will be extremely useful to meeting planners.
  • Our own Sharon Winter and her partner Donna Bayless tackle "When Networking is Not Working" in their breakout session. Networking will move your career forward if done with a purpose and a goal each time you enter that "networking doorway." You'll have fun and they promise not to make you sweat.
  •  Next is a breakout session on Cyber Security, which is a topic on all of our minds. Retired FBI agent Scott Augenbaum will scare you and make you laugh at the same time while providing you with a number of no-cost quick fixes to prevent you and your organization from becoming victims.
There will be plenty of networking time after the general sessions, and Schenk Photography is offering free headshots to all participants. It's a new year, so be sure to update your professional headshot, too!

And finally, we will conclude with the roundtable session for planners and suppliers. At your request, this time has been extended so that everyone will have a chance to meet everyone. After that, we can all network in the bar area to toast another great CONNECT!
We have an exciting year of educational programs ahead, including...
  • "Truth of the Matter" with Angela Gaffney - Originally snowed out from January
  • Sales success tactics with John Boyens
  • Risk management at the GMID program
  • "Fear is My Homeboy" with Judi Holler
  • "Raising the Level of Meetings" with Shawna Suckow
  • The newest trends and room sets with Carol Norfleet
  • Marketing training with Dawn Rasmussen
Call for Silent Auction Donations!
Would you like to donate an item to the Circle of Excellence Awards Gala and Silent Auction? Do you want the opportunity to showcase your products and services while helping raise money for our chapter? Do you have a connection with a vendor or retailer you would like to reach out to for a great donation? If so, please fill out the donation form now!

To receive the maximum marketing benefit for your donation, please complete and return the donation form by March 1st.
Refer a Friend!

Give and you shall receive! Refer a friend to MPI and help them waive the $50 application fee while YOU save $25 off your next membership renewal. Share an MPI Membership Voucher today!
2018 MPI Membership and Chapter Satisfaction Survey
MPI is committed to ensuring the best possible experience for every member, which is the primary reason we conduct the annual Membership and Chapter Survey. This survey is the most important tool we have for capturing the thoughts of our members. Participation not only guarantees each member's voice is heard, but also shapes the future of our community as a whole.

You will receive your unique survey link on February 20th, and the survey will be open for two weeks. Please take the time to complete the survey so that MPI Tennessee Chapter can hear your feedback. All members who participate in the survey will be put into a drawing for a $100 gift card!
CONNECT from a Planner's Perspective
As a corporate meeting planner, I believe that CONNECT is one of the most important and beneficial events that MPI Tennessee puts on every year for their members. I look forward to attending this event for many reasons. Every year, the education that is brought in for the sessions is top notch. I find great value in continuing to learn the hot topics of what challenges our industry, things that challenge me in my day to day job, and new trends that I can watch out for that will make me better at producing quality meetings and events for my company.

I believe that networking and getting to know your fellow planners and potential and current suppliers is incredibly beneficial to me growing in my career, and CONNECT is the optimal time and place to make these connections. If you attend all of this conference's activities, you will spend 9 hours with the other participants. I have often left this conference having strong relationships with people I didn't know before I arrived at the Thursday night reception. I have made connections with fellow planners and gained knowledge and business relationships with suppliers that have been some of my greatest partners in the business.

Lastly, if you are looking to gain more CLE credits towards your CMP, CONNECT will provide 4.5 credits this year and is well-worth attending. I believe that attending CONNECT is beneficial for everyone, and I look forward to seeing all of you at this year's great event!
CONNECT from a Supplier's Perspective
As a supplier member of MPI Tennessee, CONNECT is my favorite event that the chapter puts on each year. The networking, education and planner/supplier roundtables really make this event worth the investment.

We kick off CONNECT with a mixer on Thursday night. The mixer is a great way to break the ice and casually meet some of the people who you will be pitching to the next day. Be sure to bring lots of business cards, and don't just hang out with the people that you already know. There are always people who come from out of town, so take the time to get to know them, too. The mixer really sets the tone for the rest of the conference.

The all-day networking and education day is an excellent way to get to know the other members of MPI. I always enjoy the education and breakout sessions, but as a supplier, I get really excited about the networking and planner/supplier roundtables. As a supplier member, you'll receive a list of planners who will be attending the roundtables. Do your homework, and make your pitches intentional. I would also suggest leaving something behind with each planner (other than your business card). Make the most of this face-to-face time, and give them something that will make them remember you long after CONNECT is over.

Don't forget to follow up with the contacts that you meet! The follow-up is just as important as the initial meeting, so if you take the time to invest in yourself and the contacts that you meet, the ROI will follow.
Member Recognition: Movers & Shakers

We have some new CMP's in the house - Anita White and Michael Elizabeth McQuillen! Congratulations on your huge accomplishment!

Congratulations to Angela Layton who was appointed chairwoman of the MPI Global Professional Development Task Force. In this role, Angela will participate in the identification of new educational opportunities for the MPI community, including certificate opportunities, JV partnership programs, curriculum development and the review of course materials. She will also evaluate and develop opportunities for higher education partnerships and advise management on the professional development strategy and roadmap. Congratulations, Angela. Way to represent our chapter!

Congratulations to Dena Tidwell, who just announced that she's taking on the role of Director of Sales at Maple Ridge Events. You rock!
New Members in January
Roger Brenner
The Art of the Event
Jennie McNier
DoubleTree D owntown Nashville
Cheryl Coleman
Medtronic, Inc.
RJ Monds
Party Animals
Brenda Fox
Cyndi Wiseman
Redneck Riviera Nashville
Tresa Halbrooks
Legacy PR
Vicki Sanders
Branching Out Floral
Harmony Heard
Westin Huntsville
Kaylee Colon
Texas Land Title Association
Shannon Hight
South Central AV
Nick Hope
Belterra Casino Resort & Spa
Adriane Long
Barnsley Resort
Julie Phelps
Amplify Meetings
Trey McCloud
MTSU Student / Embassy 
Suites Cool Springs
Nicolette Thomas
Alsac/St. Jude Children's
Research Hospital
Lisa Wright
Tennessee Hospital Association

Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members celebrating an MPI anniversary in February!

Elizabeth Wagster - 26 years
Carol Norfleet - 24 years
Barbara Campbell - 23 years
Cindy Brewer - 16 years
Kevin Brewer - 14 years
Nikki Taylor - 12 years
Melanie Clifford - 11 years
Lori Hulet - 9 years
Nancy Foy - 8 years
Holly Stevenson - 6 years
Veronica Anderson - 5 years
Meredith Schakel - 5 years
Dottie Baskin - 5 years
Debby Gilliatt - 3 years
Chelsea Williams - 3 years
David Bruce II - 2 years
Kayce Kiningham - 2 years
Charles Satterwhite - 2 years
Carol Cochran - 1 year
Ashleigh Cote - 1 year
Kristina Dorough - 1 year
Leigh Heath - 1 year
Eric Mannino - 1 year
Stephanie Shultz - 1 year
Stacey Wilson - 1 year