June 2017

Upcoming Events

2017 MPI NENY Golf Outing
Saratoga Spa Golf/Catherine's
in the Park

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
11 am - 8 pm

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lunch & Practice Range:
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Shotgun Start: 1:15 p.m.
(Scramble Format)
Awards Reception & Dinner:
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Bring a meeting planner to our golf event and we will enter you to win complimentary registration to the Fall Focus.

Registration Link
Not a golfer? Register for the Awards Reception & Dinner to join friends and colleagues for an evening of fun and networking.

MPI-NENY CMP Education Event
“Meetings and Events Intensive Class”

Friday July 21 &
Saturday July 22, 2017
The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center

Friday July 21, 2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday July 22, 2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Registration Information/Link
MPI Members (Preferred & Premier): $150.00
Non-Members & Essential Level Members: $300.00

 The Desmond

Dear MPI NENY Members:
As we approach the end of our MPI year, it seems like a good time to reflect on all we’ve accomplished together during the past 12 months.

Our chapter’s education programs continue to remain on top. Our Education Team does a fantastic job of planning programs with content that is relevant and that keeps current with the interests and educational needs of our members. Their five programs this year brought together close to 300 MPI members, non-members, colleagues, and friends. Our signature event, Fall Focus, continued as our largest event, bringing in 120 attendees!

Our Membership Team continues to play an essential role in the current and future success of our chapter. They have a hard job of planning not only how to get new members to join our chapter, but also how to retain current members. As I write this letter, they have done a phenomenal job at both this year! Our member growth percentage is currently a 6.33% and our retention rate is 72.44%!

The Special Events Team has done a great job with our chapter’s special events this year. We kicked off in September with a unique and fun Taste of Albany Event. In December we held another successful Coffee & Connections. This type of event makes it very easy to network in a casual environment. April 6 was our GMID Networking Event at Mazzone’s Headquarters to celebrate our industry and each other. Our fourth and largest special event for our chapter, our Golf Outing and Awards Reception, is the last event for this year. There is still time to register and join us for this event!

Our Marketing/Communications Team has done an incredible job with streamlining the chapter communications this year. The team continues to produce timely and quality communications for our members. In addition, our social media presence has increased as they continue to promote our chapter and members on a daily basis.

I cannot say enough about the talented board members I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside this past year. As you can see from the “Team” successes above – we can do great work together! I’m excited about the future of this chapter and look forward to serving as your Immediate Past President in the coming year. Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to be the chapter president.
Christine King

 WEC Logo

NENY Chapter Members Receive WEC 2017 Scholarships

The MPI Foundation announced that the following MPI NENY Chapter Members received a WEC 2017 scholarship. Congratulations to the winners:

● Kimberly Williams - Associate Professor in the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism, Schenectady County Community College, incoming MPI NENY Board Member at Large

● Steve Preston, CMP - Global Account Executive, Conference Direct, incoming MPI NENY Board President

● Atul Rai - Food & Beverage Shift Manager, Rivers Casino & Resort

● Kayla Christopher - Student

Scholarships are available to all MPI members in good standing towards attendance at industry-related educational conferences such as MPI’s World Education Conference (WEC), European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC),
and IMEX America and Frankfurt. Scholarships of up to $3,000 for registration fees, airfare and/or accommodations are awarded. The amount varies based on applicant’s stated need, sponsor restrictions, program fees, and committee approvals.

2017 Chapter Awards

2017 Most Enthusiastic New Member Award
Atul Rai, Food & Beverage Shift Manager, Rivers Casino & Resort
For your dedication and commitment to advancing the chapter’s goals.

2017 Most Valued Partner Award
BBL Hospitality: Award Accepted by Carrie Hillenbrandt, VP of Sales and Marketing
For going above and beyond your partnership commitment.
 bbl hospitality logo

2017 Volunteer of the Year Award
Jessica Williams, Senior Program Specialist, Center for Internet Security
For your dedication to the growth and development of the chapter.

May Education Event Recap: "Is What I'm Doing Normal?"

 May Event 1
 May Event 2
 May Event 3
Thirty-three planners and suppliers connected in Lake George, New York on a beautiful day in May for some very informative, lively roundtable discussions. Topics included:

● Emerging trends in the hospitality industry,
● Creative trade show ideas,
● The Request for Proposal (RFP) process, and
● Building your personal brand.

Attendees also learned about all that the Lake George area offers during a lunch presentation by the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. Mazzone Hospitality showcased their catering talents, providing a delicious lunch and cocktail reception. Suppliers from the area exhibited in the Lake George Meetings Market Place and an informational session on earning your Certified Meeting Professional designation was offered to all participants. Thanks to Cindy Sullivan, Sales Manager, The Saratoga Hilton, for organizing the CMP discussion and to Cassandra Gibson of Mazzone Hospitality for the fantastic reception.

Thanks also to our four roundtable leaders: Mame Noonan, CMP, Global Account Executive, ConferenceDirect; Heidi Longton, CMP, CMM Meeting & Events Manager, NYS School Boards Association; Dory Fisk, Education/Conference Planner, NYS Veterinary Medical Society; and Linda Natoli, Senior Sales Manager, The Oncenter Syracuse.

Finally special thanks to Jennifer Kearney from NYS School Boards Association, who is our incoming Director of Monthly Programs, for organizing an information-packed, successful event with Ashley Andrews, Senior Account Clerk, Essex County. We also want to thank Melissa Carter, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Courtyard Lake George, for hosting the event.

 Mazzone Logo  Marriot Lake George

Golf your way to Success with MPI! 2017 MPI NENY Golf Outing

Chances are if you’ve ever picked up a golf club, you know just how addicting the sport can become. But as a meeting or hospitality professional you probably find little time to enjoy the game, and would love the opportunity to blend it into your business. Have you ever tried using the power of golf to create a memorable client appreciation event and prospecting opportunity? Past MPI NENY Open participants have said it’s a great way to differentiate themselves from competition, while creating a lasting impression on their clients.

Here is just one testimonial from a past attendee: "I get to spend five hours with fellow industry professionals facing challenges, celebrating wins and talking about a wide variety of interests. Typically, I gain long-standing relationships, business opportunities and partnerships."

It's not just our industry that benefits from fostering business relationships on the links. Check out these two articles (here and for women here) showcasing more reasons you should join us on June 27th. Use these tips to get more out of golf networking events:

1. Don't be afraid to go alone to golf outings!
2. Play for the 19th hole (don't discuss business that day).
3. Use the game to build on existing business relationships.
4. How someone handles themselves on the golf course is typically how they handle themselves in life and in business.
5. Read your golf partners and have fun!

Suppliers make sure to register your foursome before space is sold out. You can identify client player names at a later date. This annual event for MPI NENY is a major chapter fundraiser and we need your help to make it a successful, fun-filled day with new faces and places to discuss. Whether you join us on the 9th hole or the 19th we want as many chapter members to participate as possible. Our annual awards reception is a time to honor your colleagues and meet all the new members who've joined us this year. Register Today!

Don't forget to register and start bidding on Silent Auction items. Check out our Bidding For Good Online Auction.  Click HERE to see all the great items up for bid.

Saratoga Spa Golf/Catherine’s in the Park
Tuesday June 27, 2017
Awards Reception & Dinner Sponsor
bbl hospitality logo

At the Turn Sponsor
Saratoga CTB
Golf Cart Sponsor
Visit Rochester 

11 am - 8 pm

Registration: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lunch & Practice Range: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Shotgun Start: 1:15 pm
(Scramble Format)
Awards Reception & Dinner: 5:30 - 8:00 pm

Not a golfer? Register for the Awards Reception & Dinner and join friends and colleagues for an evening of fun and networking.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors To Date!

Tee Sponsors:
Albany Marriott
Center for Internet Security
Crowne Plaza Suffern
Hyatt Regency Rochester
MPI Club at SCCC
Renaissance Hotel Albany
Saratoga Racino
School of Hotel, Culinary & Tourism at SCCC
The Gideon Putnam
The Sagamore Resort
Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

CMP Strategy

Earning Your CMP
Joanne Dennison small   black and purple (002)
Are you thinking of earning your Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) sometime in the next five years? Even vaguely thinking of it? Here is a step that will save you an amazing amount of time—a true strategic move!

Go to the Events Industry Council (EIC) website HERE  and set up your CMP account. In the upper right hand corner, it will say “Log In.” Go to that page and if you do not have an account the instructions are there to create one.

If you think you have made an account anytime in the past, log into that one and update if necessary. If you are creating a new one make sure you know which email you used---that is how your Continuing Education clock hours “find you.” This will take you less than five minutes and save you potentially hours when you apply.

Why does this matter? As you attend pre-approved education sessions such as monthly meetings, WEC, IMEX, and many webinars, the provider will supply your email address to EIC as having attended. EIC uploads the information directly into your account file---if you have one. Education hours are good for up to 5 years before you apply. You can track them on a regular basis to see where you stand with accumulating the 25 you need to apply. If you do not have your
account set up, when you go to apply you must track down a description of the course, tie it to a Domain, and upload that information with proof that you attended. I can tell you from experience of doing all of this for three recertifications, that it can be tough to find everything you did.


This applies to anyone recertifying also. To those who have not recertified since everything went online, setup your account now. I recertified for my fourth time this year and it took me less than 15 minutes since I had set up my account a couple of years ago.

Joanne Dennison MSEd, CMP has taught classes for the CMP for 17 years from the East Coast of the US to Beijing, China and Bangkok, Thailand.

The Desmond 
If you like this article, plan to join Joanne for the MPI NENY CMP Education Event that she is teaching in July.  Here are the details:

“Meetings and Events Intensive Class”
Friday July 21 & Saturday July 22, 2017
The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center

This two-day event will give you 16 credit hours. It includes breakfast, lunch and snack/beverage breaks for both days.

Friday July 21, 2017 - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday July 22, 2017 - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Registration Information/Link

 CMP Corner

Theresa Wutzer Moore, CMP, Associate Director, NYS Council of School Superintendents

 Theresa Jan 2016 - web 2[2]
Theresa has 30 years of experience in marketing and communication strategy, 12 of them as a meeting planning professional. As the Associate Director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (The Council), a professional association serving K12 superintendents, Theresa is responsible for creating some of the largest educational conferences held in the Capital District each year.

Theresa decided to pursue the CMP credential to broaden her knowledge of all of the areas covered in the Event Industry Council’s materials and to formally confirm her expertise in meeting planning. She greatly enjoyed her participation in a chapter study group, particularly the chance to get to know the other meeting professionals preparing for the exam, and highly recommends this very important part of the CMP process to anyone considering it.

Theresa is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication. She worked for a not-for-profit organization and a Fortune 500 company after completing her degree. Prior to joining The Council, Theresa was a Senior Associate in the architectural and engineering industry, leading the K12 market for a large firm.

In July, Theresa will begin her term as the Vice President of Communications for the MPI NENY Chapter.

Steve Preston, CMP is a Global Account Executive with Conference Direct

Back in 2004, when it was not as easy to conference call as it is today, a group of CMP “wannabees” gathered in Albany to prepare for the exam. Steve, who was in Lake Placid, prepared for the exam as best he could and passed it for the first time in 2004. In 2009 Steve left the industry and decided not to recertify, thinking he was all done in the meetings industry.

When he returned to the industry, on the hotel side, in 2012, Steve tried to re-certify right away and learned that he had to take the exam again.

In the Summer of 2016, wh
en Steve made one more career change, this time from the hotel side to the meeting planner side, he decided this was the time to get his certification again, as the preparation process would help to broaden his perspective and skills as he took on his new challenge. As he began connecting with new clients, Steve also hit the books. He even spent his spring vacation by the pool in Florida studying his CMP books.

His efforts paid off when he sat for and passed the CMP exam a second time, in May 2017.

Steve will begin his term as MPI NENY Chapter President in July 2017. He has been in the industry for over 23 years. He plans to re-certify his CMP Accreditation for the remainder of his life!

Spotlight: Heidi Longton, CMP, CMM; MPI Accredited Trainer

As she prepares to embark on her next adventure, Heidi Longton took some time to share her perspective on her approach to meeting planning, career, and life. The result is the following must-read for MPI NENY Members!

What steps have you taken to evolve your career in the meetings industry?
I have evolved my career through continuing education and volunteer leadership roles in our local chapter. Since colleges in the late ‘80s didn’t offer degrees specific to the meetings industry, I went for the closest degree I could get, a B.S. in Food & Business Administration. In 1996, with the help of a tuition reimbursement program through my very first planning position, I earned my graduate degree. In 2002 I earned my first designation, Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), through Convention Industry Council, now the Events Industry Council. I next set my sights on the Certificate in Meeting
Management (CMM) through MPI for the strategic aspect of this designation. That became a reality in 2009. In 2010 I earned my MPI Accredited Trainer designation, participating in an intensive program in Cancun.

I served MPI NENY for many years, first as the CMP Chair and then the Professional Development Chair, before taking a board seat in 2013. At the mandatory board retreats, I discovered yet another avenue to evolve: board facilitator. I completed MPI Global's training to become a Certified Chapter Facilitator this past February and had the honor of successfully facilitating my first chapter retreat in early March.

The acknowledgements I have been fortunate enough to receive have served as a catalyst to define what was next. In 2006, my current employer established a scholarship in my name for MPI NENY members in pursuit of their CMP designation without employer assistance. In 2010 and in 2014 I received our chapter’s President’s Award for contributions to the industry - an honor bestowed by then-presidents Jack Roddy and Deb Goedeke.

So, is there a next? There will always be a next on the journey to master one's craft in this industry. We planning professionals have been hearing for a few years now that we must move from planning meetings to creating experiences. Event Model Generation with the support of San Diego State University and MPI offer a certification in event design. As a veteran association meeting professional charged with creating value for stakeholders, this is the next logical step for me.

What is your favorite hobby or pastime and how have you incorporated that into your career
The last two decades of my life haven't leant themselves to hobby time. As a single mom and meeting professional I became defined in two roles: mother and employee. Given the passion with which I approached both, I guess you could say they were my hobbies. I understand from many I talk to that their hobbies are things they do for enjoyment because they don't find that in their jobs. This is not my experience. I can't imagine any other career than meeting professional nor raising my daughter any other way than I did.

What would our readers be surprised to learn about you?

Three things:
● No makeup is applied or hair done on the weekends.

● I am an avid UFC fan.
● My Type A is transitioning to a Type B.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about entering the meetings industry?
Don't get caught up in the glitz and glamour side of things. The flip side of that coin is hard work, long hours and sacrifice. There are also traits (or genetic mutations) that lend themselves to success in this profession: attention to detail, follow through, contingency planning, and laser focus. And, if you are in a member service organization, you need to enjoy more than event planning. You are a value builder, as membership and engagement is optional. You are a marketer, as your audience is not captive. In effect, you are a concierge because in associations bend-over-backwards-and-inside-out customer excellence is required.

Finally, you will not excel if you identify your time spent in this industry as a job. It needs to be a career and it requires you to be passionate about it. Going to "work" everyday would be absolutely and positively exhausting. If that's how you feel, find another place to go 40+ hours per week.

What is your favorite reading spot, favorite destination, or favorite pastime?
 Mountain House 2016[6]
Heidi and her daughter Cierra the last time they visited the site of the Catskill Mountain House. "You can see who got the more comfortable position."

My mother, who passed in 1999, was my pillar of strength and number one cheerleader. One of her dying wishes was to have her ashes spread at the site of the Catskill Mountain House. The Mountain House was a place she visited during her childhood and always served as a happy memory for her. Once a year, my daughter and I visit that rock from which her ashes caught the wind on that perfect Columbus Day in 2008 and rode out over the autumn palette for as far as our eyes could see. This is our reset time - no cell phones, very little conversation - just reflection.

What else do you want your fellow MPI Chapter Members to know?

I would like them to know that their MPI Chapter is a volunteer run organization. It requires their engagement to continue and do so successfully. It deserves their time, whether that be event attendance, committee participation or a board seat. It is their responsibility, as a part of the meetings industry family in the greater Cap Region, to continue the stewardship of those that have gone before them to serve as a volunteer and/or in a leadership role. In the times when I tired, particularly during my presidency, I thought of Julie Ann Price (and others) who had the forethought to start this chapter in 2004. Very quickly I found the energy to continue what she and others started so we all could have local industry education and a forum for networking and relationship building/maintenance.

 Mame Noonan, CMP Receives Hilton WowMaker Award

Conference Direct Global Account Executive Mame Noonan, CMP received the Hilton WowMaker Award in April at the 2017 ConferenceDirect Annual Partner Meeting. The event was held at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore MD.

Linda Hilton, Senior Director of Intermediary Group Sales for Hilton Hotels & Resorts, presented the award, saying in part: “This Conference Direct Associate is a true partner to both her clients and hotels. We faced a very challenging situation with one of her groups. She was able to partner with them and her hotel partners to negotiate a successful outcome. Mame is dedicated and responsive and takes the time to really understand both sides while being an outstanding listener. She takes the time to explain all positions which results in the best outcome for all.”

 Melissa Carter Receives Master’s Degree from Marist College
 Mcarter - grad

Caps off to Melissa Carter on earning her Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Marist College!

Melissa is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Courtyard Lake George, as well as, incoming MPI NENY Vice President of Membership. Way to go, Melissa

 Welcome to Our New Members
Samantha Ambrose
RaeAnn Fursman
Maureen Baringer
Caitlin Harris
Sarah Benedict
Kim Lawlor
James Brechbiel
Victoria Palasieski
Lisa Christie
Kimberly Simpson
Gabriela Crisorio

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