President's Message
As our fiscal year comes to a close, we have so much to be proud of this year. We've had many successful events in the central and west regions, several new members, engaged and excited existing members, dedicated volunteers and board of directors and generous sponsors. Thank you for being such an awesome chapter!

Thank you to our board of directors and all our volunteers who served during the 2016-2017 year. Our chapter couldn't do it without you. We've had an amazing year and you should be very proud of yourselves. This also means there are new volunteer opportunities available for YOU. If you are not currently serving on a committee I encourage you to attend our July luncheon in Nashville to learn more about these opportunities and where you can get involved. Our new board of directors is listed below. Feel free to reach out to any of us should you need anything or have questions. We are here to serve you, our members.

Last month at the central meeting we reviewed the importance of including Corporate Social Responsibility into our meetings. The best part of our luncheon was the hands-on experience for our attendees. We assembled wagons, care packages and repurposed our centerpieces to deliver to hospitals and residences in the Nashville area. It was a great meeting and we hope to make this an annual theme so be watching for a similar event next summer.

Over 30 members from MPI Tennessee attended MPI's World Education Congress in Las Vegas last month. We had a great time with plenty of bonding, education, global networking and dancing! Hopefully you were able to follow us on social media, we represented MPI Tennessee well!

Lastly, I would like to brag about our chapter excellence. MPI Global initiates a Member Satisfaction Survey every February and we've just received the results from this year's survey. They are amazing! Our Chapter Business Manager has never seen this before - we have exceeded our goals in EVERY category. I've included the actual results below, be sure to check them out. We are among the best of the best in MPI and we will continue to keep this momentum, striving to be THE best chapter in this organization.

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 
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
Community Outreach 
Friday, July 7, 2017 
1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m .

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
Join MPI Tennessee as we give back to our community! We need your help sorting and packing food donations at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Please be sure to wear closed-toed shoes (no sandals or flip flops) and clothes appropriate to work in a warehouse environment. When you donate your time to Second Harvest, you become a partner in the fight against hunger in Middle Tennessee. 
New Member Orientation 
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 
4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m .
Gaylord Opryland

Have you joined MPI Tennessee in the last three months? Are you considering joining MPI Tennessee but want to learn more about our chapter? Join us as we host our new member/future member orientation. This is your chance to learn more about our chapter while meeting fellow members. Please RSVP to Shannon Yeater at, and you'll receive more details via email.
July Educational Luncheon - Central 
Strategic Meetings Management: Adding Value to the Participant Experience
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Nashville Palace

Your strategic meetings management programs can help enhance the experience of all of your participants and discuss strategies for capitalizing on these efforts with your peers. Betsy Bondourant presented this program to the West Region earlier this year and received rave reviews, now she is returning to Tennessee to share some impactful insight in your meetings. Betsy will also be staying after the meeting for a quick "campfire" session so that you can dig deeper into SMM.
 CMP-IS Domain A: Strategic Planning  
August Educational Luncheon - West
Plan C: What Happens When You Have to Cancel Your Event?
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
AgriCenter International

Meeting planners know that their event must have a Plan B. But what happens when you don't have a Plan C? Robert Holmes, President of Spectrum Weather & Specialty Insurance, will discuss strategic options for event cancellations. You'll walk away from this meeting with a new confidence that will give you (and your stakeholders) peace of mind.
Event Registration Coming Soon!
Volunteer Opportunities
It's a fact: You realize more benefits from your MPI membership the more time and effort you put into it! When you give your time and skills to MPI Tennessee, you're investing in your personal and professional growth. This short video gives insight into our committees and open volunteer roles. Please join us at the July meeting to learn more about each committee and how you can maximize your membership. 

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
During the June Central   Educational  Luncheon,  the 2017-2018 MPI Tennessee  Chapter Board of Directors was inducted. As part of the session, three panelists discussed the impact a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program can have on conference attendees and the host community.

We heard from Tara Tenorio from Hands On Nashville, Tina Mitchell from CrossBRIDGE Inc., and Roy Charette from Best Corporate Events, LLC. In case you missed it, Roy facilitated three CSR projects for MPI Tennessee members and future members. Members teamed up to build five Radio Flyer wagons that were later delivered to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Another team assembled care packages that were delivered to Restoration House, and a third team disassembled and rearranged the centerpieces into beautiful bouquets to share with the elderly in the Nashville community.

Thank you to The Cordelle for hosting and to all of our amazing sponsors for your support: Schenk Photography, Best Corporate Events & Team Building, Brown's Florist, White Door Events, and M&M Event Rentals.

Session Survey Score: 9.72 out of 10

"This was such a feel-good meeting. I loved the high energy and the team building that went along with it. I got to meet several new people that way. Way to go, MPI!"
What Happens in Vegas... #WEC17

MPI Tennessee had more than 30 members make the trip to MPI's World Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas. We learned so much and made new friends from across the globe. If you weren't able to attend, you can still catch all of the educational sessions at your convenience. Buy the WEC Virtual Pass  here !
International Volunteer Roles
MPI is seeking industry champions who are passionate about the meeting and event industry and wish to assist MPI in its strategic advancement toward being the first choice for professional career development and a prominent voice for the global meeting and event community. We are now accepting applications for the International Board of Directors as well as the MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees. Application due July 18, 2017
The Results are In... 
Knowing how to best meet your needs and exceed your expectations is important to the MPI Tennessee leadership team.

Your feedback to on the MPI Chapter Satisfaction Survey enables MPI Tennessee to improve programs and services to better meet your needs. We use your input to make adjustments, refine and deliver greater value to you. We thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. Our results are below. As mentioned, even though scores are high we will strive to maintain and exceed these current results this coming year. The entire chapter deserves a round of applause!

Member Recognition: Movers & Shakers
We are proud to announce that Lindsay Buchanan, CMP not only received her Cvent Advanced Certification this  month at  Cvent  CONNECT in Las Vegas, but she was also awarded  the  Cvent  Advocate of the Year Award. This award is given to the person who most contributed throughout the year to Cvent's product suite innovation through feedback, guest speaking, and  participation positively impacting all Cvent users.

Do you have an accomplishment that you'd like to share with your fellow chapter members? We want to spotlight you in our next PlanIt! Newsletter. Please share your good news with Chelsea Williams, Vice President of Communications, by emailing
2017-2018 Board Slate
The MPI Tennessee Chapter has selected the following individuals, whom we believe to have the skills, dedication and integrity to provide outstanding leadership to our chapter during their term of office. 

President - Katie Rogers, CMP, Pineapple Group 

President Elect - Erika Biddix, CMM, CMP, Biddix Meetings + Events

Immediate Past President - Adam Spivey, Hutton Hotel 

Vice President Finance - Jill Kopecky, EntertainmentBuy 

Vice President Membership - Shannon Yeater, CMP, Butler Snow LLP 

Vice President Communications - Chelsea Williams, Imagination Branding 

Vice President Education - Cory Brooks, CMP, Specialty Planners International

VP West Region - Tiffani Wilson, Marriott International 

Director Special Projects - Shannen Stewart, Quest Drape 

Director Strategic Alliances - Katherine Page Saldana 

Director Communications - Heather Dameron, CMP, Journeys 

Director Monthly Meetings - Kayce Kiningham, CMP, Tennessee School Boards Association 

Director Leadership & Professional Development - Kristen Robillard, Music City Center 

Director Member Care - Marisa McWilliams, SouthComm, Inc. 

Director Administration - Valerie Summers, DMCP, Destination Musick City
New Members in June

Kim Fuller

Leslie Henderson
Ovation, Inc.

Thomas Kenny

April Macri
The Listening Room Café

Lee Mayer
Houla Entertainment - Event Planning & Management
Kathy Olen
Atticus Brand Partners

Scott Pederson
OSA International

McKenzie Portelance
Maple Ridge Events

Kimberly Wright
AutoZone, Inc.

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

Judy Allen - 24 years
Jean Woods - 22 years
Tracey Henninger - 14 years
Karen Gwaltney - 14 years
Darcy North - 12 years
Scarlet Coffman - 11 years
Tammy Gilbert-Cardona - 10 years 
Tiffany Kennedy - 9 years
Dian Stanfill - 9 years
Kelly Kaplan - 8 years
Therese Byrne - 8 years
Valerie Summers - 6 years
Jessica Pfranger - 6 years
Micki Stayton - 5 years
Heather Dameron - 5 years
Inna Soifer - 2 years
Chelsey Shults - 2 years
Vanessa Shake - 2 years
Barry Rigby - 2 years
Jillian Farley - 2 years
Kerri Blair - 2 years
Holly Carpenter - 1 year
Jamey Campbell - 1 year
Nikki Weekly - 1 year
Ashley Martin - 1 year
New Member Spotlight
Name: Leslie Henderson  

Current Employer and Position:
 Ovation, Inc., VP of Sales


How long have you been in this position? 3 months 

Why did you join MPI?
Educational Component and Networking Benefits.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
To connect with similar individuals and network in hopes to collaborate with the other local businesses

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?
A product launch with a drug company. They created an experience for all attendees and that is what I hope to achieve for my clients!

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
Daughter, sister, wife and proud mother of a 17-year-old son named Hunter. When I am not representing Ovation, I love to spend time with my family, travel, hike, workout and husband would say this is my favorite hobby!
Name: April Macri   

Current Employer and Position:
 The Listening Room Cafe, Special Events Coordinator 


How long have you been in this position? 2 months 

Why did you join MPI?
I wanted to get more involved in the planning community here in Middle Tennessee and anyone you ask will tell you MPI is the #1 group to join!

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
The opportunity to meet and learn from other professionals in my or similar fields. Get involved in the community and do some good. And hopefully make some new friends along the way!

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?
The most unique event I have had the pleasure to be involved with in my career was during my time in Chicago. I helped to coordinate the Windy City Smokeout, a 3-day BBQ and country music festival in downtown Chicago hosting 25k+ guests. It was amazing to see what all goes into putting on an event as large as this. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people and ate a lot of awesome BBQ! (:

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I was born and raised right here in Middle Tennessee, yes I am an actual native! I lived in Chicago for 5 years, but realized that my heart will always belong in the South so I brought my husband back to my home state in 2015. I love the outdoors, gardening, dance, my beloved doggy Fulton and spending time out with friends trying as many of the awesome restaurants we have in Nashville as possible.