Having difficulty reading this email? Click here to view February 2021 Newsletter 
In This Issue
  • ARTICLE: CIC Health & Red Sox Partner to Launch Mass Vaccination Site at Fenway Park
  • ARTICLE: Immunity Passport
  • ARTICLE: Missed the Meeting
    Destination Q+A: Greater Fort Lauderdale Launches Virtual Site Tours
    • Meet the Committee:  Educational Institute
    • Member Spotlight:   Sheryl White Vincent
Serving on the Board of Directors for MPI New England has been a truly transformative experience for me.  I have had the ability to learn so much about myself and how to be a better leader, but have also made lifelong friendships which make all the work that much more fun! 
Two of the largest responsibilities bestowed upon me this year as the Immediate Past President are leading a committee to build the Board Slate for 2021-2022 as well as the Spring Awards that will be awarded at our June Annual Event.  Both of these are such wonderful opportunities to connect with members who are possibly just starting their board or MPI journey, as well as getting to hear about how members recognize their two really positive things that make this challenging time a little easier.  
The Board Slate was presented to the membership in late January, and I am really excited about the future for MPI New England!  It’s a group of volunteers who are excited about what we can do as we transition into a world of more hybrid events and how to build upon the community we have created.  I acknowledge it was bittersweet to not see my name included but it’s time to pass the torch and allow the next team to lead the charge!  
So now I am moving onto my one final task and I have to say it’s the one I am most excited about.  In June each year we recognize a group of individuals from within our community who have demonstrated great leadership and partnership over the past year.
Kristy Burns, CMP
Immediate Past President
I’m sad and disappointed that the awards were not given last year, but that isn’t going to stop us from handing them out this year!  We will be including the past nominees in the process, but I also want you to start thinking about other members you want to nominate. Please know that you can nominate yourself! 
There are a total of five awards that will be given out; you can click here to view the descriptions of each award.  The applications will be open in April and will be open for 45 days to give everyone ample time to participate. So please start to think about your fellow volunteers and who you would like to spotlight! 
If you have any questions please email me at
Operation at MLB’s oldest ballpark will increase State’s vaccine distribution capacity by thousands per week
Boston, Mass. – January 25, 2021—Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced last Tuesday that the Commonwealth will open its second mass vaccination site on February 1 at Fenway Park under the operation of Cambridge-based health tech company CIC Health. On the heels of its launch of the State’s first large-scale vaccination site at Gillette Stadium on January 18, CIC Health will manage vaccine administration at the home of the Boston Red Sox to priority groups in the State’s phased timeline.
“Mass vaccination sites like Fenway Park are critical to our state’s vaccine distribution process — providing convenient, safe, and efficient access for thousands of residents,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Joining Gillette Stadium, our administration is hugely grateful to our hometown sports teams for stepping up to support the Commonwealth during the pandemic. We thank the Red Sox and CIC Health for their partnership and look forward to opening more mass vaccinations sites soon.”
Get all the details here or Share on Twitter
With the recent news that Denmark will require COVID Immunity Passports in the coming months (with other Scandinavian countries not far behind), we all must ask if digital passports will be required for international travel, domestic travel, or even for entry to large conferences or live events? 
So far, major tourism-related organizations such as the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are undecided on the issue if not leaning towards not endorsing Immunity Passports at this time.  Their hesitancy is due to concerns over the uneven rollout and lack of access to vaccines in poorer countries.
However, in its recent Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel, the Biden Administration has directed federal agencies to assess the feasibility of linking COVID-19 Vaccine to existing International Certification of Vaccines or Prophylactics (ICVP) and creating an electronic version of this ICVP to be used widely for travel.
At this time, many large multinational corporations and non-profit organizations are pouring major investment into digital proof of vaccine platforms.  Although it remains to be seen which (if any) immunity passport might be coming to a digital wallet near you, here is a wrap of options to keep an eye on.
  • Common Pass – Created by a non-profit, Commons Project, and the World Economic Forum, Common Pass has been in trial use with Cathay Pacific between NY, London, Singapore, and Hong Kong.  This platform uses a QR code to show vaccine documentation. JetBlue, Lufthansa, United, and Virgin are also working in cooperation with Common Pass.
  • IATA Travel Pass – This app-based platform being developed by the International Air Transport Association (which represents over 290 airlines) and is estimated to be widely available next month.  IATA Travel Pass is currently being used on a trial basis with Singapore Air.
Contributed by:

Susanna Flores
Committee Chair, MarComm
  • IBM Digital Health Pass - Created by IBM Watson Health to “bring people back to a physical location, such a workplace, school, stadium or airline flight.”  The National Institutes of Health and Salesforce are signed on to trial this pass.
  • Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI) - Created by a coalition including Microsoft, Oracle and The Commons Project.  The VCI creates digital encrypted copies of vaccination records which clients can store in their digital wallets and share via QR code to verify as needed.
  • There has been some preliminary reporting on Ticketmaster venues requiring  proof of immunity.  However, many legal and privacy concerns have been voiced around this proposal.  Ticketmaster has made a statement that they might make this available but leave it up to individual show organizers to require this verification from individual attendees.
Individual Event Organizers probably have the legal authority to require a vaccine passport to gain entry to an event, but they would have to be mindful of adhering to GDPR guidelines to protect attendee personal data.
As with all things COVID, we will patiently stand by to see how things play out in the arena of vaccine passports and the role they play in bringing back in-person gatherings.
The January educational event was, “Beyond the Badge: Social Identifiers beyond Name, Gender, Sexual Orientation and Race.” The goal was to help us learn how to leverage interactions with fellow professionals without inadvertently defaulting to our existing biases.
A panel of three presenters from CADAZO Consulting Group led the discussion — Carolyn Santos, Strategic Experience Creator and Chief Executive Officer; Dawn Bennett, Equity Builder, Consultant and Chief Financial Officer; and Zoe Moore, Inclusive Event Strategist, Consultant and Chief Marketing Officer.
Carolyn set the stage for the 90-minute conversation by sharing an overview and encouraging attendees to share personal examples and make suggestions based on events they have attended or planned.
Zoe explained the importance of empathy and the evolution from emotional empathy (I share your feelings) to cognitive empathy (I understand and acknowledge your feelings) to applied empathy (I am driven to strategically act). It requires effort to move through this continuum.
Once a company is ready to take action, CADAZO employs a four-step method to help break down barriers: learn, discuss, discover and gain.
First, CADAZO helps clients learn how operational biases cause a ripple effect across the partner ecosystem. Areas to review in this step include workplace culture, hiring practices and representation in leadership, as well as executional considerations like food and beverage offerings that are compatible with different cultures and dietary needs.
The next step is to use Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in discussions to strengthen workplace culture. Aspects of SEL include self-awareness, social awareness and relationship skills, and can be manifested in many ways, such as using inclusive language. The panelists pointed out that SEL skills are particularly helpful in navigating conflict and call on us to listen fully without preparing a comeback in our minds.
Then, organizations can discover how to expand their diverse portfolios. Clients will find new methods to collaborate, implement innovative practices and contribute to supplier diversity across the business ecosystem.
 Panelists provided helpful resources such as National Minority Supplier Diversity Council, Out & Equal and happily.
Finally, an organization will benefit from implementation strategies and tools to assess what it has gained through these efforts. Examples include demographic surveys, team-building activities and ROI methodology.
 The educational session drew to a close, Dawn reminded us, “The goal with the hospitality industry is to be hospitable. Remember to make space for everyone by planning an inclusive event.” Zoe echoed this by calling us to be “people-centric” and seeing each person’s unique identity beyond the credentials outlined on their name badge.
Destination Q&A | Greater Fort Lauderdale Launches Virtual Site Tours
By Codi Bott
While it’s no secret that the tourism industry has been dramatically impacted by the events of 2020, the meetings and events space has particularly struggled to adapt to COVID-19. Through this pressure though, we’ve seen a number of creative solutions from organizations around the world. One such organization is the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor Bureau, which launched a series of live virtual site tours for meeting and event planners.  To learn more about the initiative, we reached out to Agnieszka (Agnes) Zaranski, Senior Regional Sales Executive at the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB.
An interview with
Agnieszka (Agnes) Zaranski
Senior Regional Sales Executive
Greater Fort Lauderdale
Convention & Visitors Bureau.
How did you get the idea for your virtual site tours
During the pandemic, I was tasked with staying engaged with clients while our world turned completely virtual. I knew I needed to come up with a creative way to stay “top of mind” with my clients during these unprecedented times.
After completing a live virtual site tour in June of 2020 with the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach, for a potential client, I thought to myself: why aren’t we doing live virtual site tours for all meeting planners? I realized that many meeting and event planners would not have active RFPs or current programs in mind for our hotels and due to state and company restrictions would be unable to travel. So I wanted planners to experience Greater Fort Lauderdale from the comfort of their homes. As a destination expert, I knew I wanted to be a resource to meeting and event planners and be able to provide them with updated information about the destination to keep them informed about what is happening in real time in Greater Fort Lauderdale. The idea of live virtual site tours was born.
How do the tours work?
The live bi-monthly virtual site tour series brings the beauty of South Florida to all. We have completed eight successful live virtual site tours, which are held on a bi-weekly schedule from 11:00am – noon EST.  This series began in July of 2020 and features hotels throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale to help promote their properties to meeting planners, globally. This affords stakeholders the opportunity to showcase their hotels to potential new organizations and companies, while also uncovering new group business for the destination. Our hotel partners are excited to be a part of this complimentary initiative that the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB is offering, and we have hotel site tours booked through March of 2021.
With the help of my team, we created a library of the recorded sessions that are now housed on our Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor Bureau’s website as well as our GFLCVB YouTube Channel. This electronic library is a resource that is easily accessible by everyone, and these videos have received up to 1,110 views already!
What advice do you have for other destinations trying to market themselves for meetings and events during this time?  
My advice to other destinations trying to market themselves for meetings and events is to think outside the box. Be creative. Take risks. Promote things that are unique to your destination. Continue to share updates about your specific destination on a consistent basis, while utilizing social media channels. Creating a social media presence is key because, more than ever, people are connecting with others virtually to stay engaged. The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB has embraced the mobile experience and is creating a new culture that wasn’t tapped into as much as it is today.
Click here to view the entire Interview.

Each week, Agnieszka “Agnes” Zaranski, Senior Regional Sales Executive from Visit Lauderdale, will feature all-new highlights of her sunny destination of Greater Fort Lauderdale…
Professional Hospitality Consultant and Coach, David Salcfas, will provide insightful steps on how to ….
 Topics will include the following: 
  1. Tues, 3/9 – Pivot your business focus post-COVID to follow your passion and be inspired.
  2. Tues, 3/23 – Mastering the art of the interview to get the job YOU deserve.
  3. Tues, 3/30 – Immersing yourself into the new post-COVID environment to operate successfully.
Be sure to register for a chance to win a 2-night stay in Ft. Lauderdale at one of these beautiful hotels
The Conrad
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Marriott Harbor
Beach and Spa
Fort Lauderdale Marina
2021 Educational Institute Committee
The Educational Institute Committee collaborates, strategizes, and implements every component required to create and execute a successful EI event program. 
This event is MPI New England’s annual multi-session education meeting and it takes place over the course of a day and a half. It includes several accredited meeting-related educational sessions, a supplier Partner Pavilion, and our After Dark networking event. 
There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to organize this multifaceted effort—from researching speakers and venues to contacting interested suppliers and helping to coordinate and oversee the program.
Hollie Herrick
Vice President, Educational Institute
 Our volunteers even build and manage our Crowd Compass app.   We are looking forward to planning our first hybrid event this year!  We hope you consider getting involved with the Educational Institute team.
If you’re interested in joining or learning more about the committee,
please contact us at
Sheryl White Vincent
Sheryl White Vincent
Senior Director of Event and Conference Services
Boston Museum of Science
MPI:  Can you tell us about your role at the Museum of Science? 
My position encompasses directing a sales team, operations team, day-of coordinators and strategic planning as it pertains to Board and Advancement events. I am also responsible for the Museum’s contract with Wolfgang Puck catering as well as vending.
MPI: How did you become interested in the events industry?
It came about by accident, honestly. I was working at Genzyme as an Administrative Assistant in the Clinical Affairs department. I was fortunate enough to report to a woman who was able to see my strengths as it pertained to event operations. We were hosting a daytime meeting at a local hotel, and she urged me to apply for the open Catering Sales position. With no catering or sales experience and no degree in Hospitality, I figured it was a long shot. I am forever thankful for that position at the hotel and for my mentor at Genzyme – they saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself and thus launched me into the last 29 years being in the Hospitality industry.
MPI:  What was the catalyst for you to join MPI at this time?
When I joined the sales department at the Museum of Science, I knew nothing of MPI. The Department Manager, however, was very involved in MPI, and I joined under her guidance 25 years ago. I was heavily involved at that time, pre-child, and I’m looking forward to getting involved again as said child will be turning 21 soon.
MPI: What do you expect to gain/learn from your participation in MPI?
I am excited about getting more involved in the industry and re-connecting with colleagues and meeting new ones.
MPI: Will you be volunteering on a committee and if so, why?
I do hope so. When I first joined MPI I was involved in volunteering. If the right opportunity presents itself, I would be open.
MPI: Can you tell us some of your personal interests outside of the industry?
I can’t put aside the creativity I get from running a successful events department. I enjoy trying new things, such as glassblowing, painting and traveling. Sadly, due to COVID my last trip to Morocco was cancelled, but I hope to resume this year! My best friend from college deemed the term a few years back, the “year of yes.” Well, that was three years ago, and I just signed up to ride the PMC 50 mile in August because I can’t turn down the ask. Still doing the “year of yes!”
Chad Gagne
Kayleigh Fortuna
Marketing Coordinator
Crown Castle Intl
Michele Shannon  CMP, VEIP
Meeting & Event Professional
Rachel Sagiroglu  CMP
Founder and CEO
Experience Maine, LLC
Eric Zimmerman
Christine Sullivan, 31 years
LeAnne Grillo, 30 years
Chelsie Horne, CMP, 25 years
Julie Nack Locke, CMP, CMM,
20 years
Danielle Klette, 20 years
Sean Reardon, 19 years
Susan Prue, CMP, 12 years
Taylor Grinnell, 9 years
Elizabeth Quinlan, 8 years
Robert Rebholz, MBA, 7 years
Kim Anastasiou, CMP, CMM, HMC,
6 years
Aaron Missner, CMP, 6 years
Michael Goldstein, 5 years
Rachel Mazzola, CMP, 4 years
Anna Noonan, 4 years
Caitlin Holmes, 3 years
Kathryn Griffiths, 3 years
AnnMarie Griffiths, 3 years
Lara McInerney, 2 years
Mario Gonzalez, 2 years
Jassamy Broznan, 1 year
Courtney Kershaw, 1 year
Kylie Queisner, 1 year
Carol Relph, 1 year
Dave Lightbody, 1 year
MaryJane O'Toole, 1 year
Catherine McNamara, 1 year
Paula Lawrence, 1 year
Roy Singleton, 1 year

CONTACT BOX  visit our social sites
Gayle Gilberto
Vice President, Marketing Communications
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