MPI Tennessee!! I cannot believe the time has come for my last official “President’s Message”. As I thought over what I wanted to say about this year, I realize I already did... at our amazing gala. So, here is a [slightly edited] version for you. If I can leave you with one thing it’s this: MPI is here for YOU! Let us know what we can do to make YOUR life better, and we’ll try our darndest. Thank you all for the honor of an #eventprofs life and getting to serve as your President.


It seems strange to think that almost a year ago, I was preparing to take the stage. I was crazy nervous – what would inspire the room and set a vision for the upcoming year?

In the end, I leaned on what I really believe is the purpose of MPI and our chapter specifically... to make the lives of our members better. If you think about it, each of you have chosen to be here on a random Wednesday night, instead of at home in your pjs, recovering from the Draft or Game of Thrones.

I’d like to review some of the astounding accomplishments our members have seen this year. We have members who have:

  • Received significant promotions
  • Made big job changes
  • Started new businesses
  • Started and grown their families
  • Transplanted to Tennessee and thrived
  • Fought and battled through adversity
  • Merged businesses and grown stronger
  • Won international industry honors
  • Been named as movers and shakers in the industry
  • Been featured in profiles, speaking engagements, and websites for their knowledge
  • Supported each other in new endeavors
  • Grown stronger personally and professionally

My first encounter with MPI Tennessee was at a membership drive in Knoxville 7 years ago. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember the educational content. But, I do remember watching the leadership team that had ridden a bus together from one side of Tennessee to the other – and I saw something special. And I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Looking back now, from the “inside”, I know what was so special. What the lightning in a bottle is. It’s the camaraderie, friendship, and support that forms between our members; it’s so much more than just an industry organization in Tennessee.

The joy I get out of making a recommendation for a fellow MPI member or seeing their success... that’s a feeling you don’t get often in the business world. There is just something so special about this group, and THAT’s how we make our members’ lives better.

A friend said as much to me earlier this week as she knew I was prepping my Gala speech. “I’m part of a community that I always want to be a part of,” she said. “It’s an investment that yields such high returns. It’s part of my identity; it’s part of me – it’s not something I do once a month.”

I’d like to share a story of my own experience this year. My father became sick in October, and I found out when I was onsite in Las Vegas. As the only planner, I was a one woman show. Within minutes of getting the call, I had booked a flight out of town, leaving my clients without a planner onsite.

Did I panic about the program? Nope, not a bit. With no regard for the early morning hour, I messaged some of my MPI network and told them I needed help, pronto. As I packed and boarded my flight, they worked the phones reaching out to their contacts around Vegas to get my program covered. My flight was spent messaging with my family.

In the end, a member of the management team at the hotel we were at, an MPI member himself, had organized a member of his staff to cover the remaining days of the show. I landed in Indiana without having to be concerned about my clients, my business, or my well-being. And that, friends, is the power of MPI and the relationships formed. They made my life better, and the life of my family easier.

In the end, I think what I’d encourage you to remember is that we all have the ability to make each others’ lives better. Thank you to each of you for doing that for me.

So here’s a toast – to each of you, to our chapter, and to an amazing future for MPI Tennessee!