NENY EVENT PAGE HEADER-Spring 2018_770x175_
President's Message
June 2018

As I write my final President’s Message, I reflect on what a pleasure it has been to serve all of you this year. I’m grateful for all that you have done for our chapter; the Office of the President, Board Members, Committee Chairs and volunteers have been absolutely incredible. But we could have not have gotten through this eventful year without everyone’s support!

 Steven Preston_headshot

Some of our successes/achievements/changes for the year include:

  • Adding new Board Members:  Nancy Jess, VP of Finance; Kayla Kreis, Director of Leadership Development; Kimberly Williams, CMP, Member-at-Large; Caitlin Gaborow, CMP, Director of Communications; Laura Vecchio, CMP, Director of Sponsorships; Jessica Joralemon, CMP, Director of Special Events; and Jennifer Kearney, CMP, Director of Monthly Meetings.
  • Operating a large portion of the year without a Chapter Business Manager assigned from MPI Global since they too were going through staff changes.
  • Working through a staff transition with Paragon Events mid-way through the year and being assigned Julee Cooke as our Chapter Administrator during the second half of the year. THANK YOU JULEE for everything you did to make our chapter run smoothly.
  • Interviewing and hiring a new Chapter Administrator who starts officially on July 1, 2018 while stepping away from our existing Paragon contract. Nancy Wengert will serve as our new Chapter Administrator for 2018-19 year. She comes with a wealth of marketing and communication expertise along with an association management background. Our board is thrilled to be working with Nancy this coming year.
  • Holding another successful Fall Focus event with over 100 people in attendance while also producing four additional education events with great speakers and discussion groups. Kudos to our VP of Education Carla Rosenbaum, CMP and Director of Monthly Programs Jennifer Kearney, CMP and their education team for their hard work and dedication to make these events happen.
  • Replacing our Annual Golf Tournament with an amazing Inaugural Global Meetings Industry Day Gala this past April 12, 2018. This spectacular fundraising event at the Albany Capital Center hosted 145 attendees and raised over $10,000! Congratulations to our new Director of Special Events Jessica Joralemon and her team of volunteers who really “hit one of out of the park.” On top of the Gala, the Special Events team also held four Cocktails and Connections with high attendance numbers.
  • Creating another successful online Gala Silent Auction with bids totaling $8,505 and 54 items valued at $21,872 available. The action hosted 78 bidders and 286 bids, netting approximately $6,400 for our chapter after auction expenses.

  • Participating in the MPI Chairman’s Challenge for the first time in years and donating $367 to the MPI Foundation.
  • Organizing a fabulous membership event in January with National Speaker Judi Holler followed by a successful committee and membership drive. We could not have done that without the hard work of our membership team led by VP of Membership Melissa Carter and Director of Membership Colleen Whitaker, CMP.
  • Finalizing the merger of the Eastern Great Lakes Chapter into the Northeastern NY chapter to provide new opportunities for networking and education while increasing membership by 50 individual members. With this change, we added two members from the Western Region to our Board structure.
  • Creating an investment account with Edward Jones so that our reserves are managed to produce higher returns.
  • Transitioning to a new website that now truly reflects the brand and quality of our chapter. Thanks to VP of Communications Theresa Wutzer Moore, CMP and her team of volunteers who made this happen with Global. We also thank our communications team for keeping us connected and supporting all areas of our chapter through program eblasts, newsletters, social media posts and announcements throughout the year.
  • And managing an annual budget of just over $65,000 for a volunteer-based organization with the expertise of our amazing VP of Finance Nancy Jess.
As you can see, our chapter went through some major changes this year! Along with the changes in my business and my personal life, I am very grateful to Kristina Catrambone, President Elect and Caitlin Gaborow, Incoming President Elect for jumping in and tackling many tasks; particularly during the last few months of the year.

Our chapter always strives to reach the highest goals presented by Global. We share the  survey results below  as a testament to you that we will continue to work to achieve our goals. I hope you will agree with me that this was a spectacular year and the 2018-19 year has even more in store for you!  

I look forward to seeing you on June 20th at the June Cocktails and Connections at The Mill on Round Lake where we will induct our new Board Members and celebrate the year.

Truly grateful to all of you,

Steven Preston, CMP



Risk Management Best Practices Roundtable Discussions Proved Useful to Attendees

Risk management is not sexy, but we can agree it is an area we truly need to understand to hold successful meetings and events. At a breakfast meeting at the Hampton Inn Albany Western Avenue University Area on May 17, twenty-two event professionals participated in an informative and thought-provoking series of round table discussions.
 justice scales
Our table moderators were: Trina Avalos, CMP, Owner, Classé Meetings and Events; Mame Noonan, CMP, Global Account Executive, Conference Direct; and Theresa Wutzer Moore, CMP, Associate Director & Jacinda H. Conboy, Esq., General Counsel, both from the NYS Council of School Superintendents. 

Our moderators led discussions at three tables. One table discussed communicating to attendees during an event and highlighted how important communication is in keeping a crisis under control and everyone calm. 

Strategies included: 

  • Using your conference app in case of an emergency or even using it as a backup during presentations should the power go out. Typically, speakers and attendees can find the presentation on the app.
  • Putting emergency contact information on the back of name badges in case someone is incapacitated during a health crisis and cannot assist.
A second table discussed how to turn a potential hotel cancellation into a positive experience or creative ways to mitigate liquidated damages vs. attrition in hotel contracts. This table also discussed the importance of reviewing a situation before reacting, because you could affect the outcome in a negative rather than a positive way. 
The third table discussed planning for the emergency, crisis or disaster in advance by identifying potential risks, having a plan to mitigate risks and monitoring the impact after the event. It was also stressed that determining risk for a meeting/event requires understanding attendee habits, contract requirements, current laws, permits etc. 

One discussion point addressed what a planner can do in the speaker contract to mitigate the impact of an upcoming speaker’s controversial social media posts. Suggestions included putting specific language related to posts in speaker contracts. This was also considered important because some posts could create a media firestorm that spills over onto the organization; cancelling the speaker contract may be the only option in this situation. 

Another discussion addressed how this year’s NYS budget included dramatic changes to the sexual harassment law relating to non-employees. A portion of the law states that “it shall be unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to permit sexual harassment of non-employees in its workplace. An employer may be held liable to a non-employee who is a contractor, subcontractor, vendor, consultant or other person providing services . . .etc.”

Meeting professionals will now need to consider how this unwanted behavior could occur in their exhibit halls, presentations or social events and whether or not they will be held liable. Placing language in your contracts and registration materials highlighting a non-discriminatory environment will be necessary. There are additional changes to this law that may impact meeting planning professionals so make sure to read Executive Law Section 296-d for more detailed information.

 hampton albany Thanks to the MPI NENY Educational Team for planning such an excellent discussion around such an important topic. And thanks to the Hampton Inn Albany for hosting! 

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Eat, drink, and
get connected

at our
June Annual Meeting
Cocktails and Connections!
Stop by and enjoy a cocktail and appetizers. Stay for 15 minutes or the full 2 hours!

This after-hours event is designed to encourage attendees to connect with others and learn more about the opportunities available through our chapter. We will also induct the new Board Members and bid farewell to retiring
Board members.

Have a friend, colleague, or peer who is not a member, but is interested in learning more?
Bring them too!

This is a unique opportunity to connect with other members in a casual setting. Catch up with old friends, share successes, gain feedback from your peers or make new connections at this event.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
5:00 - 7:00 pm
The Mill on Round Lake
Round Lake, NY
Click here to register.

If you’re in town for Cocktails and Connections, stick around for:

ESSAE’s 39th Annual Conference & Trade Show  
Saratoga City Center & Saratoga Hilton
Saratoga Springs, NY
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Click here for more information.


Welcome to our
New Members

Jemma Bogue
Director of Sales
Hampton by Hilton

Aurelia Lazzari
The Desmond Hotel

Rosette Press
Director of Sales
The Whiteface Lodge

New MPI Board to be Inducted at Annual Meeting in June


The 2018/2019 MPI Board will be inducted at the Annual Awards Reception on June 20th at The Mill on Round Lake.

The Board, led by new President
Kristina Catrambone, CMP
(Site Solutions Worldwide), includes:

 President Elect
Caitlin Gaborow,

Meetings & Events
Immediate Past President
Steven Preston, CMP
Vice President, Membership
Colleen Whitaker,

Courtyard by Marriott
Saratoga Springs

Vice President, Education
Carla Rosenbaum,

Center for
Internet Security

Vice President, Communications
Theresa W. Moore,
New York State
Council of School Superintendents

Vice President,Finance
 Nancy Jess
Saratoga Convention
& Tourism Bureau

Vice President, Special Events
Jessica Joralemon,

Shannon Perry
Lucky Strike Social
Director, Monthly Programs

Jennifer Kearney,

New York State
School Boards Association

Director, Special Events
 Susan Baker
 Saratoga Springs
City Center

Director, Sponsorship
Laura Vecchio, CMP
University of Albany
Director, Leadership Development
Kayla Kreis
Saratoga Convention
& Tourism Bureau

Director, Communications
 Vreneli Banks
New York State Council of School Superintendents
Director, At Large
Melissa Carter
Springhill Suites
New York, LaGuardia
Director, At Large
Lori Alstrom
San Diego
Tourism Authority

 Director , At Large
Dana Pierce
Constellation Brands, Inc
Chapter Administrator
Nancy Wengert

The new team is excited for a great year and looking forward to seeing everyone on June 20th!

If you would like to be involved on one of the Chapter committees, please contact Kayla Kreis at and she will
hook you up!

Name Our Chapter!
We Need Your Creativity!

MPI NENY and MPI EGL need your creativity! The official merger of our New York State MPI chapter will begin on July 1, 2018 and we need a new name that will truly represent our new, larger region.

Can you complete this statement:  I think the new chapter name should be
MPI ________? and submit your answers to

Multiple submissions are
encouraged. Keep in mind that the new name will also be used in our chapter logo – so short and sweet is helpful. Our MPI Board of Directors will review possible name ideas this summer and then invite members to vote on their top choice!

Our goal is to announce our new name at our premier Fall Focus Event. A special gift will be provided to that individual whose name is selected.

 Industry Trends to Explore
Local organizations, including the Empire State Society of Association Executives and the NYS Council of School Superintendents are partnering with an
 rock and wrap logo
organization called Rock and Wrap It Up to collect prepared-not-served food from events and deliver it to those in need.

The organization partners with conferences to capture food headed for the trash and with hotels to capture hotel assets headed for the trash, like toilet paper, tissue boxes, shampoo, conditioner and unopened soaps.

To learn more,
check out their website or read this case study about “Hotel Wrap.”

Save The Date
MPI NENY’s 2019 Gala will take place on April 4, 2019. 
 Gala Pic 2
 The 2018 Inaugural Gala was an amazing success
 Gala Award Winners_200px
Stay tuned for all the exciting details of what we have in store to raise the bar for the 2019 in the coming months.


Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions