President's Message
Happy Fall Y'all!! Whew, September was super busy for MPI! 

We held our first breakfast MIX event at the Aquarium Restaurant and Madame Tussauds. We had such an overwhelming response, great attendance and such special treatment by both hosts. We'll certainly try to plan another breakfast event soon! 

Educational lunches in both the Central and West regions were both successful. Our meetings were all about industry trends! Veronica Andrews with STR shared the hotel trends and forecasts for the U.S. as well as Nashville. The data was very interesting, and you can find her presentation here. In the West, we learned about the trends and future of medical meetings. Pat Schaumann educated us in the compliance standards and how to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 

Leadership Academy was also a highlight of September. This is a best practice for our chapter in succession planning. You are sure to see this group of future leaders shine bright in our chapter very soon! Thank you to our attendees, instructors and host.
October will not disappoint either. Be sure to check out the calendar of events on our website. 

New Members, welcome to the family! Existing Members, thank you for your dedication to our chapter. You are why we are such a strong chapter. Without you, we wouldn't exist. Thank you!

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
October Educational Luncheon - Central
Managing Risk at your Meeting or Event: 
A Guide for Meeting and Event 
Planners and Suppliers
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
11:00am - 1:00pm
Union Station Hotel

The majority of meetings and events take place without incident, but it just takes one time for something to occur that you did not consider, which can turn a meeting/event upside down. Being able to anticipate meeting and event risk issues before they occur is the mark of a professional planner and supplier. This interactive presentation is designed for meeting and event planning professionals to help them better understand meeting and event risk considerations, as well as the importance of having a crisis management plan in place prior to a meeting and event. Immediately following the meeting, we will have a deep dive facilitated by Kevin Coffey to find out YOUR risk management needs for topics to cover in future meetings.
October Educational Luncheon - West
Advance Your Meeting Planner Certification with Lean Six Sigma
Thursday, October 26, 2017
11:00am - 1:00pm
Opera Memphis

As a meeting planner in today's meeting's industry, MPI Tennessee recognizes that taking your planning skills to the next level is what drives your motivation and determination for every successful meeting that you execute. Earning a higher-level certification an accomplishment that will do just that! The LSSMP certification provides a recognizable certification - Lean Six Sigma - that has value beyond the meetings industry. Speaker Robert Wilson will teach you how this certification will demonstrate your knowledge in dozens of different methods to reduce costs, increase revenue, streamline business processes and improve employee buy-in, all of which leads to a better bottom line.
Fall MIX Event
Get Ready to Par-Tee!
Tuesday, November 2, 2017
4:00pm - 7:00pm

Join us for an MPI Tennessee Chapter Meetings Industry Exchange (MIX) event at the brand new Topgolf! Tickets include small bites and two drinks per person.
MPI Tennessee Holiday Party
Thursday, December 7, 2017
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!
A Note from Your Education Team...
Your Education Team is hard at work planning the rest of this MPI year. We are excited to bring Detective Kevin Coffey to the October 18th meeting at Union Station. He'll present an interactive program about safety and security - something we all are talking about!

In November, we'll hear from our own Sharon Winter and Donna Bayless from Rightlane. Their topic, "Distraction-Free Focus Can Lead to Extraordinary Results," will help us in our everyday lives. We are finalizing plans for the January program which will focus on food and beverage issues including menu planning, food allergies and serving up a well-rounded meal that won't bog down your participants.

Please be sure to save the date for CONNECT on Friday, February 9th! This full day of accredited education and networking program will be one you won't want to miss! More details to come very soon, so be sure to mark your calendars and adjust your budget to join us for this very important meeting.

Our awesome committee is hard at work putting these and many more programs together for the benefit of the membership. If you would like to learn more about how you can join us, please feel free to reach out to either Cory Brooks, CMP, VP of Education at or Kayce Kiningham, CMP, Director of Monthly Meetings at
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
Leadership Academy
Leadership Academy: Our chapter holds this event annually for members who are interested in being future leaders of MPI Tennessee. During this time, they review the business side of how our chapter operates and discuss the opportunities available. We are so fortunate to have Past Presidents Robyn Bass and Caroline Platz facilitate this program. They are great industry leaders who share their time, experience and knowledge. And a huge shout out to Maple Ridge Events for hosting our group this year!
Central Educational Luncheon
At our last central MPI Tennessee meeting, Veronica Andrews from STR gave us a great overview of hotel trends in the United States and then boiled it down to examine the growth in Nashville. After joking that Nashville's growth is attributed to bachelorette parties, we dug deeper into the details. Some fun facts to note:
  • Nashville ranked as the second largest ADR % change in the country at 5.3% increase, just slightly below Washington, DC- MD- VA with a 5.5% change.
  • In Nashville, we are turning a new page, and supply growth is beginning to outpace demand growth.
  • Country wide, we continue to see growth in new construction with 590 hotels either in planning, final planning or under construction. This is a 9% growth from 542 in 2016. 
  • 65% of the construction makes up the Upscale to Upper Midscale classification
  • 5,389 rooms are scheduled to open in Nashville by the end of 2018
  • Nashville is experiencing an evening out of group and transient business- 49.5% group and 48% transient.
Click here to review these details and learn more about STR report.  
Scoobie's Photographic Images was so gracious to take professional headshots for our members at the September luncheon held in Nashville. If you've not yet downloaded your images, please click here and use the password mpitn. Thanks for your generosity, Scoobie and team!
Interested in Partnering with MPI Tennessee?
MPI Tennessee is offering the opportunity for our members to get their venues and services showcased through in-kind sponsorships. Even if your company can only participate one or two times, every single bit helps. We are looking for the following, depending on our needs for each month:
  • Three hotel rooms for MPI use for monthly meetings
  • Photographers for MIX events
  • Venues for educational luncheons
  • Caterers
  • Decor
  • Rentals

In return, MPI Tennessee will give your company:
  • Logo placement during the event
  • Logo placement on the Cvent invitation and promotional materials
  • Social media shout-out prior to the meeting or event
  • Recognition and thank you from the Chapter President at the meeting or event

If you're interested in this partnership opportunity, please reach out to the contact below to check availability:

Central Region - Cory Brooks -
West Region - Tiffani Wilson -

Check Out Our New LinkedIn Page!
MPI Tennessee has launched our new LinkedIn page! We are transitioning our closed group to a public page, so be sure to follow our new page, Meeting Professionals International Tennessee Chapter, and share with your friends! Here, you'll be able to find upcoming meetings, industry-related articles and more!
Refer a Friend. Get Rewarded.
Would you like to receive $25 off your membership renewal?  Help us grow our membership and refer a friend!  Provide the promo code "MyFriendMPI" along with your member number to prospective members to waive their $50 application fee and receive $25 off of your renewal.  Don't know your member number?  No problem!  Contact Shannon Yeater at for assistance.
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
Fall CMP Intensive Study Sessions
Calling all future CMP's! The fall session of CMP Study Groups has just begun! If you are interested in attending but have not yet registered, please email Carol Norfleet at  to complete the process. The October schedule is as follows:

Saturday, October 21 
9:00am - 3:00pm

Domain G - Meeting or Event Design
Domain H - Site Management 

All sessions will be held at the Travelink, American Express Travel office in Nashville, and there is free on-site parking.

404 BNA Drive  Suite 650
Building #20 0
Nashville, TN 37217

Hours spent in the study groups DO count as classroom hours for the CMP application. If you have not completed your application and need hours to fulfill the minimum of 25 industry related classroom hours, the study groups are a great way to gain hours!
WEC 2017 Scholarship Recipient
While flying back on the plane from MPI's WEC 2017, I was  thinking  about how  honored I  felt to be a part of an awe-inspiring, top-of-the line, on-the- forefront convention. I had a few hesitations on my way to Vegas, primarily because I had
never been before, so I didn't know what to expect or if I would even fit in. Not that fitting in has ever been a problem - it's just that uneasiness of the unknown that had me a little worried. Unfounded worry was what it was though, because I left that conference feeling connected and very excited about the ideas that I gained! Imagination overload - that's what WEC stirred in me! The WEC app was also instrumental in keeping me informed.

See, at the end of the day, I believe it's about the relationships that we have that make life exciting and worth living. I made great strides in developing long-lasting friendships with other MPI members as well as reuniting with some industry contacts I've known for a long time. How crazy it is that I get to do a job that I love, interact with super-creative people on the same path, and produce one fabulous event after the other?! It's crazy good stuff!

I wanted to make my company proud because even with my MPI scholarship (which I'm very thankful for), it was an unexpected expenditure for my company. So how did do I do that, you might ask? Well, I got up early, hit as many workshops as I could manage, took as many potential clients as I could to lunch and attended almost every evening event I could find. It was magical, and I just drank it in like leading a thirsty horse to water! I'm so eternally grateful for the chance to go to WEC, which was made possible by the scholarship from our chapter (and the generous hearts of the owners of White Door Events). I'm looking forward to Indy in 2018 and am already super excited about it!
Member Recognition: Movers & Shakers

Congratulations to Melanie Clifford who was awarded the 2017 Isaac Love Legacy Award from the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce. Keep up the great work in East Tennessee!
Congratulations to Tara Moore, CMP, who is now the Director of Operations for Evolution Event Solutions. With more than 15 years of event and meeting planning experience, Moore has extensive experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors, managing events both domestically and internationally.
New Members in September
Jamie Armistead
Amy Dixon
FedEx Services
Emma Everett
Macro Productions
Cathy Gilbert
The Guest House at Graceland
Carson Irvin
Cavier & Bananas Catering
Suzanne Lindsey
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Sarah Stewart
Destination Musick City
Amy Stuart
Courtyard Nashville Green Hills
April Jones
Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members celebrating an MPI anniversary in October!

Melody Carr - 23 years
Jo Dermid - 21 years
Michael Owen - 21 years
Bill Canter - 15 years
Jennifer Hewson - 12 years
Angela Layton - 12 years
Caroline Platz - 11 years
Dena Tidwell - 10 years
Courtney Shelton - 7 years
Charlotte Coffer - 6 years
Angie Smith - 4 years
Elizabeth Brock - 3 years
Renny Burdick - 3 years
Michelle McCracken - 3 years
Katherine Page - 3 years
Cheryl Akey - 2 years
Rob Clifton - 2 years
Bradley Ford - 2 years
Katie Goyette - 2 years
Mandi Naylor - 2 years
Shannon Worley - 2 years
Kimberly Alexander - 1 year
Sarah Brown - 1 year
Jonathan Ealy - 1 year
Becca Kennamer - 1 year
Tia Lee - 1 year
Steve Nider - 1 year
New Member Spotlight
Carson Irvin

Current Employer and Position:
Cavier & Bananas, Catering Sales Manager


How long have you been in this position?
Four months

Why did you join MPI?
I joined MPI so I could connect, grow and learn from some of the best in the industry.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
I hope to gain tons of knowledge, see personal, professional growth and build strong business relationships and friendships.

Tell us more about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc.
I am a lover of animals, music and great wine. I love to cook and pretty darn good at it. My family is everything to me so I try to spend as much time as possible with them and when I am not with friends of family you will find me relaxing in the country on my patio with a great book and good jazz.