President's Message
I can't believe it's already September! Fall is right around the corner!

August was a great month full of education in the central and west regions. In the central region, Kayla Barrett spoke about the DiSC Assessment and how we differ in communication styles. It was fun to see the differing profiles of our friends and peers. If you haven't personally taken the assessment, I encourage you to do so. You can learn a lot about the way you communicate and others. It may help you not only with you prospects and clients but also your friends and family. You may visit for more information. 

September is busy, busy for MPI Tennessee. I want to apologize now for the number of emails you may receive from us this month. Email is the best form of communication and we don't want you to miss out on the important announcements. We certainly want to respect your inboxes so just hang with us this month.

We are starting off the month with something different, a breakfast MIX event. We usually hold evening social events and then of course of educational luncheons but we're going to try a breakfast. You early birds should love this! And you night owls, well, take one for the team and join us! :) This will be held at the Aquarium and Madame Tussauds at Opry Mills.
For all of our new members that have joined within the last few months, welcome to the family! We'd like to invite you to the New Member Orientation where you'll learn more about our chapter, volunteer opportunities, meet board members and also fellow new members. This is a great introduction for you and we hope you'll join us. Watch your email for more information. 

As a Board of Directors, we are constantly thinking about the years ahead and our succession plan. On September 15th, we're hosting a Leadership Academy for those of you looking for the next step in leadership. If you have served on a committee or held a Committee Chair position and have interest in serving on the Board of Directors then we hope you'll attend. You'll hear experiences from past MPI Tennessee Presidents, learn more about how our chapter is ran and the volunteer opportunities available. Serving on our board is a great opportunity both personally and professionally and we hope you'll consider a leadership role. 

Lastly, we've already started planning our Annual Gala and Silent Auction which happens in May. This is our chapter's biggest fundraiser and awards ceremony and we want to continue making it better. So we're hosting a Gala Focus Group, Coulda Woulda Shoulda, and we'd like to hear your feedback. If you've been an attendee or even served on the gala or auction committees we value your feedback and hope you'll share it with us. Watch our Facebook page for details. 
And don't forget about our educational luncheons scheduled both west and central regions this month! Whew, I think that's it y'all! Again, you'll be receiving email communications on most of these events but I also encourage you to check Facebook for updates. Be sure to like our page so it will show up in your feed. 

Have a great month and I look forward to seeing 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
MIX Event Seas the Day!
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
7:45am - 9:30am
Aquarium Restaurant & Madame Tussauds at Opry Mills

Rise and shine, it's networking time! Join us for our first breakfast mix event. We will "seas" the morning at the Aquarium Restaurant for breakfast and coffee. Afterwards, we'll have a V.I.P. tour of Madame Tussauds. Bonus: Convincing your boss should be easy since you won't miss too much time out of the office!
New Member Orientation
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Location TBD

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.
Leadership Academy
Friday, September 15, 2017
8:30am - 3:00pm
Maple Ridge Events

Are you interested in getting more involved with MPI Tennessee? Do you see yourself serving on our Board of Directors? 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. Space is limited, so register early!
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Monday, September 25, 2017
8:00am - 9:30am
Go West Creative

Please join us for breakfast to meet the 2018 Gala Co-Chairs and help them plan a successful event for our MPI Chapter in 2018! Come ready to share with the team all your "woulda, coulda, shoulda" for the Gala - you know each of you have a good story or two to share! Please RSVP to Shannen Stewart at PS - There will be coffee!
September Educational Luncheon - Central
STR Forecast Report
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
11:00am - 1:00pm
Embassy Suites Cool Springs

Hot off the research press! Join us for our September meeting where Veronica Andrews from STR will share highly sought-after research. Veronica will discuss corporate and leisure travel with the most recent intel on our National and Nashville pipeline. She'll also explain the all-important key performance indicators and RevPar. This information isn't just for hoteliers and venues; planners and suppliers will want to arm themselves with this information, too! Finish off 2017 with a bang and prepare plans, budgets, and reports for 2018.
August Educational Luncheon -  West 
Trends and the Future of Medical Meetings
Thursday, September 28, 2017
11:00am - 1:00pm
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Memphis East
Do you devote a major portion of your time to working in the healthcare industry either as a planner or supplier?  If so, you won't want to miss this opportunity to learn more about the ever-evolving compliance issues in the healthcare industry. Meeting professionals must be prepared for change. The future of medical meetings will be re-defined by many factors including technology, reporting transparency by country and the effects of manufacturer mergers and acquisitions. Understand the trends affecting medical meetings, and gain tips on where the industry is headed, and how we all must stay alert to rules of engagement for meetings and trade shows. 
A Note from Your Education Team...
You asked for it, we got it! We have a great program set for October!  Detective Kevin Coffey is an internationally recognized speaker and training consultant in the area of crime avoidance, as well as risk reduction and safety awareness in the travel, meeting, and event industries. His background in this subject is unique, as he was employed by the Los Angeles Police Department for 35-years where he recently retired as a Detective /Sergeant.  Save the date for Wednesday, October 18th. You won't want to miss this event! 
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
Have you ever wondered why you just couldn't get through to a colleague or employer? Do your different communication styles make it difficult to get on the same page? During the August Educational Luncheon, speaker Kayla Barrett helped us differentiate between four communication styles, better known as DiSC. 

Take a look at the chart below to see which communication style you are and how to communicate with personalities that are different from you.

MPI Tennessee members have the chance to purchase and complete the online DiSC assessment for $65. Upon completion of the assessment, the results will be outlined in a 20-page customized report which becomes the foundational document reviewed and utilized during the session.  Click here   to contact Kayla Barrett, CEO of Organization Impact, to purchase the online assessment.

Meeting Survey Score: 9.08 out of 10

"Best event I've attended all year! Kudos to everyone involved."
Meeting & Event Planning Certificate - Fall 2017
MPI Tennessee has partnered with Belmont University to bring you a Meeting & Event Planning program for CMP credit! This is a five-week program that meets at Belmont every Friday from 7:30am - 3:30pm. Each class is taught by a member of MPI Tennessee who is a subject matter expert.

The cost for the full course is $975 (non-MPI members) and $877.50 (MPI members). Each class can be taken as a stand-alone class and is $250/person/class. This course is introductory to event planning and intended for individuals new to the industry or interested in learning more about it for current or future job knowledge. However, it is open to anyone and qualifies for the classroom requirements of CMP certification.

This fall schedule is as follows:
  • September 8th - Meeting Planning Basics
  • September 15th - Site Selection
  • September 22nd - Food & Beverage Planning
  • September 29th - Event Budgeting & Return on Investment / Contracting Audio, Video & Lighting
  • October 6th - Introduction to Special Events
You will receive 35 hours of industry education and earn 1 CEU for every 10 hours of class time. You must attend all five classes your MEP Certificate. For more information, please reach out to
How to Get the Most Out of a MPI Educational Luncheon
By Erika Biddix, President-Elect
If you're attending one of our chapter educational luncheons, you are already taking advantage of one of the greatest perks our group has to offer - great content, and great networking. But, there are a few things you can do to make the most of it.

Arrive Early  - We typically have 30-45 minutes of networking time before guests are seated for the program and lunch. Arrive at the beginning of this time. After you  say hi to existing friends, make some new ones around the room. We know introducing yourself to someone you've never met isn't easy - but trust us, they (and you) will be glad you did!

Pack Business Cards - You should bring 20 or more, and have a goal to get rid of all of them!

Get Your Elevator Pitch Ready - When someone asks where you work, or what you do, be prepared with an answer.

Sit with New Friends - Lunch is a great time to sit and have longer conversations with other members. Grab a table spot with some strangers, and come armed with a question - like "Any vacation plans this summer?" or "How long have you been in MPI?"

Get Involved - The absolute best way to get something out of MPI is to put something into it. Join a committee, or volunteer for a one-time need. Volunteering alone will widen your circle of friends in MPI, and deepen your engagement with the program.

Make a Donation - Bring a door prize. This is an awesome way to get your company recognized in front of all of the attendees at the program.
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.
WEC 2017...Literally a HOT Time in Sin City

This year's World Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas brought out an amazing group of planners and suppliers along with scorching temperatures. Having the opportunity to network and meet other MPI members from across the world is always the best part of attending the WEC conference each year. Some of the highlights from WEC included the Chapter Leaders Forum, dinner out with the MPI Tennessee group and the educational sessions. 
The Chapter Leader Forum is a place where current board members get to meet and brainstorm about how to improve their chapters. I learned a lot hearing other chapters' ideas!

Our MPI Tennessee dinner was held at a restaurant in the New York, New York hotel, and it was great to visit with friends and meet new members. The conversation flowed, and we really enjoyed being with each other and celebrating our chapter.

Finally, WEC always has excellent educational sessions, and this year was no different. From hearing Michael Dominguez from MGM speak on leadership (with free drinks, too) to Michael Cerbelli's Hotlist - There was something for everyone. So despite the fact that temperatures were more than 110 degrees, it was still an excellent conference for getting away, learning from others, networking and showing our Tennessee pride!
Member Recognition: Movers & Shakers

Tammie Vogel, CMP, has been named Project Leader for meetings and events at International Paper.  In this new role, Tammie will continue to work with staff and business leaders developing successful meetings and events and will provide day-to-day supervision for new staff.  Tammie joined International Paper in 2009, when she worked for leaders in the former Container the Americas business (now NAC), and has been a meeting planner since early 2013.  She holds a B.S. in organizational management from Union University and earned CMP last year.

Antwone Stigall, CMP, DES, has been named a Memphis Top 40 Under 40 Urban Elite Professionals. Top 40 Under 40 Urban Elite Professionals Awards honors African-American rising Memphians who offer unique and innovative solutions to social problems, as well as those who shine in their respective professions. Antwone is the Chief Events Officer of Antwone Stigall & Co. and Event Management & Production Company. Congratulations! 

Congratulations to Melanie Clifford who recently received the Sevier County Hospitality 2017 Stars of the Industry "Women in Tourism and Hospitality Leader of the Year."  We are so proud of you!
New Members in August
Angelica Clark
The Valentine
Tim Farrell
Boot Barn
Abby Gerwe
Nashville Business Journal
Meg Gourd
Baker Donelson
Ashley Hendel
Tivity Health
Dani Hubert
Eastman Chemical Company
Jessica Jarve
Jennifer Jones
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center
Sara Moggio
Lori Ramsey
Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
Ashley Siskey
Baker Donelson
Trish Styles
Catering and Events by Suzette
Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members celebrating an MPI anniversary in September!

Brenda Moritz - 17 years
Carrie Turner - 15 years
Doris Lewis - 13 years
Rusty Chester - 8 years
Kate Shattuck - 6 years
Mindy Powell-Hardy - 5 years
Dannah Scott - 4 years
Kristi Sowards - 4 years
Susan Zoesch - 4 years
Brittany Baugh - 3 years
Sandy Harris - 3 years
Melanie Blanche - 2 years
Virginia Hemby-Grubb - 2 years
Bailey Belcher - 1 year
Daniel Camp - 1 year
Krystal De La Rosa - 1 year
Vanessa DeLaire - 1 year
Jonathan Jenkins - 1 year
Courtney Justice - 1 year
Brad McAlister - 1 year
Chelsea Ott - 1 year
Dylan Roberts - 1 year
Vivian Rucker - 1 year
Travis Wolfe - 1 year
New Member Spotlight
Ashley Siskey  

Current Employer and Position:
Baker Donelson, Events Manager


How long have you been in this position?
A little over a year

Why did you join MPI?
I was a member in the mid-2000's when I worked in Nashville and valued the networking and resources MPI provided both professionally and personally. Now that I'm back in Tennessee, I'm back for more!

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
Networking, professional development, staying abreast of industry trends, learning more about Nashville vendors (the city changes so quickly these days).

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?
Macy's 4th of July Fireworks (NYC): For many events, planners plan but do not get to sit back and enjoy the show - there is always work to do while everyone else is enjoying the fruits of your labor. The fireworks were a unique occasion where after months of preparation and sweat, I could sit back for 30 minutes and be in awe of the cascade of lights along with millions of others. Best feeling in the world.

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I've been collecting Peeps merchandise since 2001. I easily have over 1000 items. My bathroom at home is decorated in Peeps, as well as my office. How can one not smile when you see a Peep? Otherwise, I enjoy kayaking and anything adventurous. Favorite adventure thus far? I took a solo, five-week road trip in 2015. Over my 36-day trip, I visited 35 states, two countries, 65 friends and covered 9,982 miles.
Trish Stiles

Current Employer and Position:
Catering and Events by Suzette, Sales Executive 


How long have you been in this position?
1 year

Why did you join MPI?
In catering, we often talk to the planners, whether it's a business setting or a venue. I thought this would be a great way to meet all the professional planners and learn more about who they represent and their catering needs.

What do you hope to get from your MPI membership?
Meet awesome people!! Seriously, I just want to get to know the fabulous planners and their companies AND make sure they have our award-winning food.

What is your favorite meeting or event you have been involved with? Why?
I've only been to one on August 16th at c3 consulting. I really enjoyed it!! Everyone was super friendly!

What would you like the chapter to know about you?
I'm a Nani (grandmother)! I enjoy being with family and friends. I love going to the beach, lake or pool! I was born and raised in Franklin,TN. I was in the movie and entertainment business for almost 20 years. I'm so happy to be with Catering and Events by Suzette and the whole event world.