President's Message 
March is here! Surely that means Spring is right around the corner, which I'm so ready for! Tulips are my favorite, I can't wait to see them popping up!

Congratulations and thank you to the Education committee, sponsors and everyone who helped make our Connect event last month successful. It was a great day full of education and connections. We're sure to make it even better with your feedback and as we start planning for next year's event.

This month we are so excited to welcome back to Tennessee Michael Dominguez, Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts International, for our luncheon in Nashville. Please note the date and day change to Thursday, March 16th at the Tennessee Bankers Association. Michael is such a dynamic speaker and holds a wealth of knowledge around our industry. Mark your calendars and register today! There is also a luncheon in the West this month, which will be held on March 21st.

In April, we will celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) to demonstrate the impact meetings have on business and the community. This event is scheduled for April 6th. MPI Tennessee will partner with other organizations across the state for this celebration. The event will be free to the public and we encourage everyone to attend as we all know how important meetings are to our city and state.

Another exciting event coming up for our chapter is our annual Gala and Silent Auction. This event is scheduled for May 18th at the Country Music Hall of Fame. This is an exciting night to celebrate our industry, our chapter, our members and have lots of fun! This event is the chapter's biggest fundraiser which provides resources for our chapter to produce events, education, scholarships and other opportunities for our members. Auction items and award nominations are being accepted now! We could really use your help with these two items.

You can find more information about these events and much more below.

See you soon! 

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 Jill Kopecky, 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 and events....
Central Region
Driving Forces in Meetings and Events
Thursday, March 16, 2017
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Tennessee Bankers Association
211 Athens Way #100, Nashville, TN 37228

Our industry has become more complex with issues like room piracy, cyber security, and meetings advocacy. It is critical to understand economic concerns and forecasts that will dictate behavior in the meetings environment. Industry veteran Michael Dominguez shares the latest trends and how they affect your meetings.

CMP Domain A: Strategic Planning
West Region
Hot Topic Roundtables
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Peabody Hotel
149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

Have you considered what your colleagues in the industry are doing differently?

If you have questions and want to learn from meeting professionals who face the same challenges you do, then "Hot Topic Roundtables is for you! The Roundtable Discussion is a popular meeting design where participants can ask questions and share feedback and experiences with their colleagues. During this hour-long roundtable session, participants will choose from six meeting and event industry hot topics to discuss. Share, learn, and meet new people in this fun and engaging meeting format.
MIX Event
Network Nashville-Style
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Wildhorse Saloon
120 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201

Mix it up with MPI! Our friends at Wildhorse Saloon are generously hosting an MPI Tennessee Chapter Meetings Industry Exchange (MIX) networking event on Tuesday, April 18. Join us for a night of mingling, fabulous fare, and a lesson on how to boogie Nashville-style.
Registration Opens Soon
2017  Circle of Excellence 
Awards Gala  & Silent Auction
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Networking and Auction, Nominees Reception 5:30 PM
Dinner and Awards 7:00 PM
Drinks and Dancing 8:30 PM

Every year, MPI: Tennessee comes together to celebrate the accomplishments of its members and to raise funds so we can continue to support our chapter programs and benefits that bring the best industry resources to our members and partners. Make plans now to attend this fabulous event.
Registration Opens Soon
Global Meetings Industry Day 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017 
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 
George Jones Museum
128 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201

On April 6, 2017, leaders from across the meetings and events industry will come together to support the second annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). This day of advocacy showcases the positive impact of business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, tradeshows and exhibitions on the global economy.

Join MPI Tennessee Chapter in conjunction with ILEA, TNSAE, SGMP, and TBTA to celebrate GMID 2017 and all of the ways the Meetings and Events industry has an economic impact in Tennessee.

More details and invitation to follow soon.
Start connecting with #GMID17
Deadline for Nominating Planner and Supplier of the Year - March 20
The Planner and Supplier of the Year awards are distinguished awards given at the MPI Tennessee Chapter Circle of Excellence Awards Gala each year. These awards are given to an exceptional member in each category who represents leadership and excellence in the meeting planning profession along with a commitment to the local meeting community and an exemplary record of customer service in the industry. Nominations for these awards are received from our membership and all members are eligible for the award in their respective category.

To nominate someone for each of these awards, please complete the NOMINATION FORM or email Kimberly Bean by Monday, March 20.
Call for Silent Auction Donations
MPI Tennessee Chapter is requesting a donation to be used as a Silent Auction Item for our Annual Circle of Excellence Awards Gala & Silent Auction taking place on Thursday, May 18 at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, we recognize industry achievements, individual excellence, and raise money for our chapter's development.

We are asking for your assistance to ensure another successful event.

Learn more about our Silent Auction
MPI Tennessee Chapter Silent Auction Donation Letter

Ready to submit an item?
MPI Tennessee Chapter Silent Auction Donation Form

If you have questions, please email Lauren Stout, Director of Special Projects at
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

February's Connect Meeting was another great event for MPI Tennessee. The event began with a reception hosted by Union Station Hotel and featured an incredible menu including a Ramen station, a Latin American buffet, and a raw bar. Attendees raved about the food, bar, and excellent networking.

Friday's sessions at the Westin began with an excellent presentation on "The Attendee Experience" from Michael Owen. This session asked us to think outside of traditional meeting environments and formats, and instead engage participants by doing the unexpected.

The roundtable discussions were a great opportunity for planners and suppliers to meet, exchange information, and qualify leads quickly and efficiently. This event continues to be a highlight of Connect.

During the lunch time presentation, Carol Norfleet took a late night talk show format to the next level by featuring a panel of experts on the millennial generation - Millennials themselves. While multi-generational audiences is a commonly discussed topic, Carol challenged perceptions on the stereotypes we give Millennials.

In Case You Missed our afternoon presentation, J Tripp Mitchell spoke on Emerging Trends in Event Security. Participants who attended this session got a crash course in managing event security, identifying threats, reducing risks, and diminishing vulnerabilities. They walked away with a new understanding of what to include in a security plan and most got a reality check in active shooter training.

One participant said, "Tripp did an impressive and entertaining job of communicating the importance of contingency plans and potential "worst case" scenarios. It is the world we all live in and those situations can and do arise, his topic was timely and presented in a lively and easy to understand format. Excellent speaker!"

Thank you to the planning team, presenters and participants who helped make the 2017 Connect a success!
New Member Promotion
Help a colleague, friend, or young professional experience the benefits of an MPI membership. Refer them to MPI at and use code MPISMMAR17 to save 10% when they join as a new member before March 31st. 
Chapter Scholarships - How to Apply?
As an international organization, and as a chapter, MPI and MPI Tennessee are committed to giving back to their members. This includes educationally, professionally and personally. One of the best ways we do this is through scholarships, which you, as a member, can apply for! In fact, the chapter often has leftover funds in the scholarship budget - so what are you waiting for? There are two ways you can apply for scholarships.

The MPI Tennessee chapter provides scholarships in varying amounts throughout the year. You can visit for information and the appropriate forms. Scholarships are awarded quarterly, with deadlines on March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1.
  • Conference Scholarships - These can be used to cover registration and/or travel to WEC.
  • Membership - Scholarships are available for renewal for planners and suppliers that cover the cost of one year of membership.
  • Professional Development - These scholarships can be used to cover the registration, program fees and travel costs for obtaining the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) or Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM)
  • College Education Funding - Scholarships are available towards towards undergraduate or graduate degrees and requires acceptance in a program of study. 
The MPI Foundation offers scholarships to any member of MPI for the above, as well as conference scholarships for IMEX and EMEC, and also for the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC), and the Experiential Event Series. Information and deadlines can be found at the following link -
Member Recognition: Movers & Shakers
Congratulations to MPI Tennessee Chapter Executive Director Lindsay Buchanan, CMP who was selected for the Connect Corporate Magazine's 40 Under 40 list. This is a great honor and we are so proud of her!

Earned your CMP, CMM, or other industry accreditation this month? Were you recently promoted or changed jobs? This section of the newsletter is where we recognize our membership movers and shakers. Submit your announcement by emailing Desiree Wooldridge, VP of Communications, at

New Members 

Carol Cochran
Millennium Maxwell House Nashville

Ashleigh Cote
Macro Productions

Kristina Dorough
LEO Events

Leigh Heath
STR (Smith Travel Research, Inc.)

Johnathan Jones
Studio 615

Eric Mannino

Robert McMahon
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center

Stephanie Schultz
SMS Meetings & Events

Stacey Wilson
Morph Hospitality Group
Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members celebrating an MPI anniversary in March!

Kathy Naive Kirkpatrick 22 years
Robin Wallace 15 years
Jennifer Hansel 11 years
Karin Eggert 7 years
Tricia May 7 years
Sharon Rinehart 7 years
Amy Dixon 6 years
Shannen Stewart 5 years
Cindy Tipler 4 years
Tammie Vogel 4 years
Shane Fortner 2 years
Courtney Gleaves 2 years
Francesca Green 2 years
Courtney Hudson 2 years
Jill Rucker 2 years
Elizabeth Bowdre 1 year
Scotty Glasgow 1 year
Bret Hoffman 1 year
Robin Jordan 1 year
Kim Lockard 1 year
Derrick Peppers Jr. 1 year
Lauren Roese 1 year
Rod Thurley 1 year
Anthony Troxel 1 year
Elise Twesten 1 year
Matthew Wassmer 1 year
Tiffani Wilson 1 year

New Member Spotlight
Name:  Joselyn Smotherman

Current Employer and Position:  CRAVE, Chief Managing Officer


How long have you been in this position?   4 years 

Why did you join MPI? 
To have the chance to connect and work with the Industries leading professionals.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
The ability to grow as a professional and as an individual. 

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?
I am currently involved in the planning process of a 5K/10K run/walk that the Blackman High JROTC Booster Club, which I am the secretary of, is hosting. This is the first annual 5K/10K and will be raising money for a multi-use building that the JROTC students can use along with other students. This by far has been a favorite because I enjoy being a part of group dedicated to creating something better for our children/students. 

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I am an avid reader & movie buff. Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons and l love the ocean.