President's Message  
Hey MPI TN Peeps!
Well another month gone and we find ourselves in October. Last month was another great month for our chapter. We have hit another record for membership and we are currently at 336!!! Mind blown! Thank you to all of you for this and for your continued support and loyalty to our chapter. 

This week we gathered for the central education lunch to learn new insights on the topic of Human Resources. This fabulous session was presented by Lori Kleiman. November is going to be packed with activities including an education lunch in the west region presented by our very own MPI Member of the year Carol Norfleet, CMP, CMM, DCMP, and a lunch event in the central region with a presentation entitled "Infusing a Sense of Place to Create Greater Meeting Value". These events are going to be awesome! 

Keep an eye out for your invitation to the Annual Holiday Party on December 8 which is hosted by the beautiful and historic Hermitage Hotel. This year, we are making it very easy to find the perfect gift for your loved ones - you can simply shop our Silent Auction! Speaking of the spirit of giving, have you thought about making a donation to the silent auction? It is a great way to showcase your company and brand. Check out the information below.  

To our new members, thank you for taking the plunge and joining our crazy family. If you haven't already please volunteer and join a committee. It is the best way to get the most out of your membership.

Once again thanks for all you do!!

See y'all 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....
Leadership Academy
For Future Board Members
Friday, November 4, 2016 
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Maple Ridge Events
529 Myatt Drive, Madison, Tennessee 37115

Leadership Academy is a leadership training program offered to our top active members. Our goal is to share essential elements of serving as a chapter leader of MPI, and to provide each participant with the tools needed to be a productive and strong leader for our chapter.

This session is open to all members interested in serving on the board.
Central Region
Infusing a Sense of Place to
Create Greater Meeting Value
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
The Factory at Franklin
230 Franklin Rd, Franklin, TN 37064

Are you tired of another meeting in another city in another ballroom? Industry research shows that today's meeting attendees want not only great learning and networking but also to experience a sense of place. Attendees expect events to incorporate the locale, and they want to depart feeling that they not only connected with business partners but that they truly experienced the destination. "Out" are windowless conference rooms and standard F&B; "In" are innovative spaces that cultivate expression while providing a sense of place, and partnerships with local food and beverage outlets. This session is presented by Bree Brostko.
West Region
Food: A User's Guide 
Thursday, November 17, 2016
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
White Door Events
4116 B F Goodrich Blvd, Memphis, TN 38118

Vegetarian...Vegan...Lactose Intolerant...Gluten Free... Raw...Sustainable... Allergic...Diet...what does it all mean?

Food has moved out of just the kitchen and into the dictionary requiring meeting professionals to have a whole new arsenal of words and food tools. Join food junkie Carol Norfleet, CMP, DMCP to explore what it all means as she breaks down the terms and inserts them into the industry vocabulary.
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) 
September Central Education Luncheon

Hot Topic Roundtables was a new meeting format featured in the September Educational Luncheon. The topics ranged from Emergency Preparedness, Contract Negotiations, Health and Wellness in Events, Participant Engagement, Time Management, Event Design, F&B Tips and Trends, Branding and Marketing, Basic Networking Skills, Best Practices to Communicate & Negotiate with Planners. Participants had the opportunity to choose topics that were relevant to them, brainstorm ideas with colleagues, and learn from the experiences of their peers. After the event, the facilitators compiled all of the ideas, and the event participants had access to all of the ideas and best practices that came out of the sessions. 

Thank you to our sponsors for this event: 
George Jones Museum, CORT, Sprinkles, ON Services, Schenk Photography, and
Over the Top Linens

In case you missed it, some ideas from the Communicating & Negotiating with Planners roundtable included:
  • Email communication is preferred over phone calls
  • Include bullet points, pictures, videos, 360s for easy access to your information
  • The follow up email is key- reach out to see if the planner received the email.
  • Reply in the same medium that the person reaches out to you in
  • Be specific with your proposal. What did you include and why is it needed.
  • Never drop in for an introductory meeting- make an appointment
  • Find out how each planner wants to receive proposals from the start
  • It's all about building the relationship
Session Survey Score: 9.26 out of 10

"I loved the format and how engaged everyone was at each topic area! The food was yummy, the venue great, the energy high, and as usual, MPI TN rocked it!"

"This meeting was well done!! I loved the concept and the fun seating that was used to create great conversation spaces. I enjoyed networking at the table and then having the opportunity to network with so many more people as we moved between conversations. I like the idea of receiving the notes from all of the sessions as a follow up. I had at least one take-away from each conversation!"

2016 Holiday Party Save the Date!  

Join MPI Tennessee Chapter for a "Mix and Jingle" with industry professionals at this year's annual Holiday Celebration! The historic Hermitage Hotel will host to this year's festivities on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Network with colleagues and friends while celebrating the end of a great year and a merry holiday season! Enjoy fabulous food and cocktails courtesy of our host, the Hermitage Hotel.

This year, we are making it so easy to find the perfect gift for that special someone. You can shop our Silent Auction which will be loaded with fantastic items including hotel stays, restaurant certificates, and unique gifts. Shop enthusiastically because it is going right back to our chapter.
Silent Auction Donations Requested
We are looking for donations for the Holiday Party Silent Auction. The proceeds from the Silent Auction support our chapter programs and member benefits which include: member scholarships, monthly education programs, networking events, and other opportunities that bring the best industry resources to our members and partners. By donating you will receive promotional exposure not only in Tennessee but nationally and internationally via our online auction website,
To learn more about this great marketing opportunity, visit

To receive the maximum marketing benefit for your donation, please complete the donation form as soon as possible.
CONNECT 2017 - Mark Your Calendar
MPI Tennessee CONNECT Education and Marketplace
A Day of Networking and Education

Thursday, February 9, 2017 
Planner/Supplier Mixer

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hosted by the Westin Nashville
CMP Study Group
Are you working towards earning your CMP?  Join Carol Norfleet's Fall Study Session on Saturday, October 22nd from 9am-3pm.  Study sessions count for CEUs if you have not yet applied to take the test. You must register to attend.  Email Shannon Yeater at for more details and to register.
Member Recognition
Kudos to our September Rock Star Award Winner, Vanessa Shake with Hard Rock Cafe Nashville for her leadership and commitment in the Education Committee.

Congratulations to MPI Tennessee member Kiara Jones for winning the September 2016 Harriet R. Montgomery Customer Service Excellence Award with the University of Memphis - Conference & Event Services. Great job!

Job Changes: Tara Moore, CMP has moved from her position at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and has accepted the role of event manager at c3/consulting managing the engine event space. Join us in congratulating Tara!
New Members in September

Vanessa DeLaire
Hotel Preston

Chelsea Ott

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dylan Roberts

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Bailey Belcher

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Savannah Camp

Vivian Rucker
Ashworth College
Brad McAlister
Hilton Nashville Downtown

Travis Wolfe


Daniel Camp
Marriott International

Jonathan Jenkins

Big Cypress Lodge

Courtney Justice


Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members who celebrated an MPI anniversary in September!

Melody Carr Snow, 22 years
Michael Owen, 20 years
Bill Canter, 14 years
Angela Layton, 11 years
Jennifer Hewson, 11 years
Caroline Platz, 10 years
Dena Tidwell, 9 years
Meg Caldwell, 7 years
Carrie Steinbeck, 7 years
Courtney Shelton, 6 years
Vicki Esponge, 6 years
Charlotte Coffer, 5 years
David Simms, 3 years
Angela Smith, 3 years
Dusky Norsworthy, 3 years
Maria Proia, 2 years
Allison McEachen, 2 years
Renny Burdick, 2 years
Elizabeth Brock, 2 years
Katherine Page, 2 years
Michelle McCracken, 2 years
Bradley Ford, 1 year
Mandi Naylor, 1 year
Lynne Garrison, 1 year
Lindsey Stewart, 1 year
Tara Tenorio, 1 year
Cheryl Akey, 1 year
Shannon Worley, 1 year
Katie Goyette, 1 year
Rob Clifton, 1 year

New Member Spotlight
Name:  Michelle Davis 

Current Employer and Position:  Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, Group Sales Manager - Mid-West Territory


How long have you been in this position?   2 months 

Why did you join MPI? 
To network with other meeting professionals and suppliers.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
To make lasting business and personal connections. 

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with?  Why?
I have not been involved in an association since collage, so I am excited about attending and being part of MPI Meetings and Events. 

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I love to take road trips, stay in hotels, and discover new places. After work, I enjoy coming home and spending time with my husband, our golden retriever rescue dog, Remy and sweet rescue cat, Anna Belle. I enjoy watching the Food Network Channel, and am obsessed with "The Profit", "Hotel Impossible" & "Billion Dollar Buyer"! My Bucket List includes: Skating in Rockefeller Center at Christmas Time, Riding in a Hot Air Balloon, and meeting Marcus Lamonis, and Anthony Melchiorri! 
Name:  Brad McAlister  

Current Employer and Position:  Hilton Nashville Downtown, Sales Manager


How long have you been in this position?   Three years 

Why did you join MPI? 
To connect, learn, and improve our industry..

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
Gain relationships, keep up with industry trends, and share new ideas. 

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with?  Why?
I was one of the lead managers on the Sherwin-Williams Conference each year at Opryland. Being a part of something so complex and with thousands of workers involved is still the most rewarding experience for me to date.

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
Spending time with family and friends, going to the gym, playing rec sports, and I'm a huge college football fan.