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
New Member Orientation
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Wildhorse Saloon

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.
November Educational Luncheon - Central
Distraction-Free Focus Can Lead to Extraordinary Results
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
11:00am - 1:00pm
Fontanel Nashville

Productivity isn't about the number of things on your to do list - It's about getting the most out of what you do because what you do is important.  It matters.  'Busy'ness is keeping us from business.  Distractions are eating up 30% of our day.  Multitasking is the only way we can get our job done, right?  Then it starts all over the next day.  We are stressed. What if multitasking is a lie?  What if our brain's design prevents us from doing two thinking tasks at one time?  What if the personal technology we have come to depend on is actually slowing us down?  In this interactive presentation, you will learn how our compulsion for connection is causing stress lowering our IQ and making us less productive.  You'll also learn how distraction-free focus can lead to extraordinary results.
MPI Tennessee Community 
Service Project - West 
Mid-South Food Bank Community Service
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
9:30am - 12:00pm
Mid-South Food Bank

Join MPI Tennessee as we give back to the community! We need your help sorting and packing food boxes at Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis. Mid-South Food bank serves 31 counties, and of that population, an estimated 400,000 people don't know where their next meal is coming from. This is a great opportunity for you to meet fellow MPI Tennessee members while giving back to the community.
MPI Tennessee Holiday Party
Thursday, December 7, 2017
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Bound'ry Events & Catering

Save the date for MPI Tennessee's annual holiday party! This year's party will be held at Bound'ry Events & Catering. More details to come!
New Year, New Member Recruitment Event
Thursday, January 25, 2018
The Valentine

Join us at The Valentine for our New Year, New Member Recruitment Event.  Bring a non-member and get in free!  This fun-filled evening will celebrate our successes in 2017 and look ahead to an exciting 2018. Plus, we'll be showing off all of the wonderful benefits that MPI Tennessee has to offer. More details coming soon!
CONNECT Education & Marketplace
Thursday, February 8 & Friday, February 9, 2018

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, and the all-day education and networking will be on Friday. You won't want to miss this great event!
And the Winner Is... 
MPI Tennessee was recently recognized at Meeting Professionals International's Merit Awards, winning the Overall Chapter Satisfaction award and the Leadership Satisfaction award. We were also recognized as one of thirteen chapters who met or exceeded 4 out of 5 of our metrics. THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the annual Chapter Satisfaction Survey, and thank you to all our chapter leaders who work so hard to keep MPI Tennessee a top-performing chapter! 
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
October Central Educational Luncheon
In the Central Region, Detective Kevin Coffey shared the importance of safety at our meetings and events. He left us with some things to consider when planning our next event.
  • Does your hotel or venue have a safety plan in place? 
  • Does your team have standard operating procedures in place for various situations? 
  • What is your risk management plan? 

If you need help assessing risk, you can use this risk matrix. Although safety is never a "fun" topic, we appreciate Detective Coffey's insight as he prepared us to evaluate the safety of our upcoming events.

October West Educational Luncheon
Over in the West Region, Rob Wilson with Meeting Evolution taught us all about Lean Six Sigma, a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste and reducing variation. Some of the benefits of LSS include:
  • Decreasing cost
  • Eliminating waste
  • Streamlining processes
At the end of the meeting, all participants were awarded their white belt certification. If you are interested in earning your LSSMP certification, click here.
Donations Needed
Our annual holiday party is quickly approaching, and we need your help gathering donations for the silent auction! This year's silent auction theme is "Winter Wino." Not a wine drinker? Not a problem! Our auction will be loaded with fantastic gifts including wine, spirits, restaurant certificates and more. Proceeds from the auction support our chapter programs and member benefits including member scholarships, monthly education programs, and networking opportunities. Shop enthusiastically because it is going right back to our chapter! 

If you have anything you can contribute, please contact Scott Pederson at

2018-2019 Board Nominations
Are you an industry leader looking for an opportunity to showcase your skills and contribute to the success of MPI Tennessee Chapter? If so, consider volunteering your time and talent to the 2018-2019 MPI Tennessee Chapter Board of Directors!

The MPI Tennessee Chapter Board of Directors is responsible for chapter operations including programming, financial oversight, and governance. By volunteering your time, you will help shape the future of our industry across the state!

Please note the following dates:
Now through December 15, 2017
Call for Nominations (required of all candidates) & Board Interest Forms completed and returned to Adam Spivey, Immediate Past President -

Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Board of Directors application due to Adam Spivey, Immediate Past President -

Nominations will be conducted in accordance with the Meeting Professionals International Tennessee Chapter By-Laws. Any planner or supplier in good standing is eligible. Your consideration should include the types of skills and talents you can contribute, your past involvement with the chapter, recognition of the time commitment involved in a leadership role and the necessity of your employer's support. 

Please contact Adam Spivey at with any questions.

MPI Tennessee Chapter 2018 - 2019 Board of Directors Job Descriptions and Board Interest Form may be found  HERE

Membership Madness!
It's official... MPI Tennessee has reached an  all-time membership high  with a whopping 350 members! We couldn't be prouder of this accomplishment, and we want to thank our members for your support. Remember that if you refer a friend and give them a referral voucher, you both save money! They will save $50 on their application, and you will save $25 on your renewal. Click here to learn more about the Refer a Friend program. 
MPI Tennessee Mentoring Program
The POWER OF 2 mentoring program will be available for MPI Tennessee members starting in 2018. Mentoring is available to members at any stage of their career seeking to develop new skills or make progress toward professional goals. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on both personal and professional development. If you're interested in being a mentor or mentee, please contact Travis Wolfe at or Van Ingram at
Network Like a Boss - Shannen Stewart - Quest Drape
1. Captivate While You Educate
When you first meet someone at a networking event, you will inevitably be asked the question "What do you do?" Instead of saying, "I work for a pipe and drape company," you can start your introduction by saying, "I transform event spaces." This will intrigue the person you are speaking with and start organic conversation about how you transform the space. It will also make you stand out if you have competitors in the same room.
2. Set a Goal
Every time you go into a networking event, make it a goal to meet "X" amount of new people before you go to the bar or find your seat. Most of us have goals at work, so why wouldn't you continue this once you leave the office? Here's a little hint if you don't already utilize this - After you register for MPI luncheons, there is a tab at the very top that lists the attendees. Go through the list and target at least five people that you don't know and look for their name tags at the event.

3. "So How About Those Titans?"
Once you have your target list of new people to meet, make sure you have topics to talk about so you don't feel awkward. You need to be able to connect with people. And please do not talk about the weather! Start off with something easy like the topic of the meeting, the venue that is hosting, an upcoming event, etc. There are many ways to network, and as society evolves, so does the need to be authentic. People will remember you if you stand out and if you are relatable.
WEC 2017 Scholarship Recipient
I had the great opportunity to receive a scholarship from our MPI Tennessee Chapter to attend MPI's World Education Conference (WEC) this past summer. I recently made that fateful jump to being self-employed as an independent planner this year, and finances are a little tight. I am so grateful that I could still go to WEC and benefit from the relationships solidified with my fellow members, networking with potential clients, and of course the education. This past WEC will always be one that I will remember because my chapter believed in me and helped make the registration possible.

I have been to WEC several times in the past, but this is the first time I went as a chapter leader representing MPI Tennessee. It was also the first time I was on the planner side. My eyes were wide open for new information and experiences, and WEC did not disappoint. Past-President Adam Spivey always talks about how his MPI journey has helped him succeed in his career, and I am convinced that my journey will boost my career, too. I made new contacts, and I learned about new programs and ideas that will serve our chapter and my company for years to come. I experienced how our meeting and events community came together and learned from each other as sometimes things didn't go exactly as planned. This year's experience solidified my commitment to MPI and our chapter!

WEC will always be on my calendar, and I am grateful that MPI Tennessee granted my scholarship to go this pivotal year. I encourage anyone that is looking to expand their knowledge, stretch their wings or dive deeper into all things MPI to consider a scholarship. Our chapter is all about supporting each other and what better way than joining your fellow Tennesseans to represent and share in this impactful conference. Next year's WEC is in Indianapolis, so be sure to mark your calendar for June 2-5, 2018... I'll be there, come on and join us!
Member Recognition: Movers & Shakers

Congratulations to Destination Nashville and Maple Ridge Events who both earned a top spot on the Nashville Business Journal's list of the top woman-owned businesses in Middle Tennessee.
New Members in October
Aina Crouch
Maggiano's Little Italy
Marissa Gillett
HealthTrust Purchasing Group
Katie Hefner
Journeys Group
Bridget McQuillan
Erica Monroe
Rick Rodriguez
Cambria Hotel & Suites
Lisa Spear
Healthtrust Purchasing Group
Bethany Tate
HealthTrust Purchasing Group
Jessica Tseng
Destination Nashville
Marianne Denault
Katy DeWinter
Austin Taylor
Makenzie Stokel
Kayla Stone
Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members celebrating an MPI anniversary in November!

Rhonda Marko - 28 years
Jo Dermid - 21 years
Randy Miller - 19 years
Karen Burnett - 15 years
Kim Terrell - 14 years
Robyn Bass - 13 years
Natalie Norris - 12 years
Angela Campbell - 4 years
Pearl Dorsey - 4 years
Mary Webb - 4 years
John Borba - 2 years
Carol Engroff - 2 years
Don Osborn - 2 years
Michael Elizabeth McQuillen - 1 year
Holly Williams - 1 year
New Member Spotlight
April Jones

Current Employer and Position:
TAPSNAP1208, Owner


How long have you been in this position?
Nine months

Why did you join MPI?
To meet other professionals in the industry, learn new ways to network and to polish my skills to be able to offer a great product with great service.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
To meet other likeminded professionals who want to grow professionally and have fun while doing it!

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.
I am a Wife, a Mom, and a Friend.  When I am not working, you will find me boating or enjoying music. A few fun facts; I worked at Disney, and I have NEVER had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Emma Everett

Current Employer and Position:
Macro Productions, Director of Business Development


How long have you been in this position?
Almost two months

Why did you join MPI?
I joined MPI to learn and meet others in my industry.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
I hope to gain the best understanding I can obtain of the MICE industry, meet high-caliber meeting professionals, network, connect, and offer value to this community via my experience and my company's services.

What is your favorite meeting or event that you've been involved with? Why?
My favorite meeting to date was this year's NAPR/NALTO Annual Convention. The reasons why are because of:
  1. Location - Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. Torrey Pines is absolutely breathtaking. The location is a peaceful respite, yet can offer fun activities on-site overlooking the ocean, which this event capitalized on. The Hilton itself was also a very nice hotel which I could not find any fault with.
  2. I personally enjoy either small events or very large events. This meeting was small-- about 200 attendees, so you got to see familiar faces and actually feel like you got to know some people.
Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.
While a tad bit new to the meeting planning industry, I have experience on the marketing side as a buyer of meeting planning services.  It's fun to go full-circle and have a 360-degree perspective.  When I'm not doing my "day job," hobbies revolve around raising my two small girls, anything outdoors, listening to podcasts with my husband and trying out new recipes.  A little-known fact about me is that I've been kangaroo hunting in the Australian outback from the open back of a pick-up truck with a taped-together rifle alongside native Aborigines.
Aina Crouch

Current Employer and Position:
Maggiano's Little Italy, Banquet Sales Manager


How long have you been in this position?
I am new in my role and have been at Maggiano's for four months. Before then, I worked for Yelp.

Why did you join MPI?
I joined MPI to both learn and connect with leaders in my industry. Not only can it be a great tool for my business, it's a great way to make connections in the field.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
I hope to establish connections and volunteer my skills to my new chapter. After reading through the discussion board, it's clear this is a community of welcoming members with great ideas.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.
In my free time, I like to write music reviews for my blog and follow new music!