Spring Cleaning - Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area ...


Spring Cleaning - Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area ...

May - June 09

Spring Cleaning

Eight Tips for

Spring Cleaning

Your Career...Page 14

Another Man’s Treasure

Spring Cleaning is a

Chance to Donate and

Recycle...Page 18

volume 30 . issue 3

Building a Rich Global Meeting Industry Community







Message from

Laurel Rhoads

McCarthy, CMP



& Views


Beth Ciampi

discusses Spring


12 Congratulations

to the 2009

July CMP Class


Eight Tips for

Spring Cleaning

Your Career



Spring Clean

Your Life

Another Man’s


Spring cleaning is a

chance to donate

and recycle

6 2=1

Two Iconic

Hotels = One

Legendary Event



of the Trade

Escaping the

Day to Day




14th Annual

Golf Classic

New MPI student members at the Student Mocktail Reception

Photo courtesy of All Events Photography


Chicago Chatter

Sally Magallanes

keeps you up to date

on what’s happening

with your colleagues


Get Energy


In Offices a la

Feng Shui!


Members in

Transition Receive

Support from MPI

25 Project



Prize winners at the Schmooze Cruise Networking Event

Photo courtesy of All Events Photography



Ahoy! The

Schmooze Cruise

was a Smashing


Sponsorship Heroes

Highlights the people

and organizations that

support the MPI

Chicago Area Chapter

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 3


Laurel Rhoads McCarthy,

Laurel Rhoads McCarthy,


Krisam Group

From the President

What Does Spring Mean to You?

Why is it that the winter season in Chicago seems longer than all of the rest? Growing up in

Buffalo, NY certainly prepared me for cold long winters, however, I have never grown to embrace

the cold temperatures and snow. Now don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said

to live in a climate that provides a little something different all four seasons of the year, but that

doesn’t mean Winter has to be my favorite!

Chicago certainly comes alive once the thermometer starts to rise. One of the things I love

best about the longer days of sunlight is my evening stroll after work. Between beautiful homes

and historical churches, Ukrainian Village is a wonderful neighborhood for walking, and you

don’t have to manage straddling the potholes when you are on foot. Sure we all see cranes in

our skyway everyday, but how many of you have taken advantage of walking in some of the

most beautiful neighborhoods in our city? I am amazed how many times I can walk the same

route yet see something different every time.

There is a certain energy that we all draw from as the days become longer and the air becomes

warmer. Is it that we are coming out of our winter hibernation? I for one am happy to see we

are on our way to warmer days and sunshine.

It’s no surprise that we are all probably feeling a bit overwhelmed and perhaps apprehensive

as we forge ahead in these uncharted waters of our American history. However, I hope that

you will continue to take a positive outlook on our industry and help spread the word on how

important our industry is to all of our members. Both planners and suppliers need each other

now more than ever!

Spring into action and take advantage of your MPI-CAC membership by networking, learning

and sharing with your peers. What do you have to lose? Our new year is right around the

corner, so please keep in mind that we are still looking for volunteers to take on a committee

leadership role, and we are always looking for great committee members to help support

our mission.

In the spirit of personal and professional growth,

Laurel Rhoads McCarthy, CMP

President MPI-CAC

VISION - Build a rich global meeting industry community.

MISSION - Make our members successful by building human connections to:

Knowledge/Ideas • Relationships • Marketplaces

4 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

WFrom the Committee Co-Chair

Spring Cleaning

to think, to enjoy, to love.” –Marcus Aurelius

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe,

I would like to add “and not the depressing economy!” to the end of this quote. For me it would

be refreshing to read, hear and talk about something other than our troubling financial situation.

I am not saying to forget about it or that it’s not important, but just for today we are going

to focus on something else, which bring us to the theme of this issue, “SPRING CLEANING!”

I know, you’re thinking sarcastically, “yeah...cleaning”. Re-organizing and cleaning out that closet

you throw stuff in all year long will not only save you time later but will make you feel better! A

recent study conducted by David Tolin, founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Centre at Hartford

Hospital’s Institute in Connecticut says that clutter is not only bad for our physical health as

mold and bacteria can begin to grow; it also brings chaos to our mental health. Basically, clutter

can bring on stress, so what better way to DESTRESS yourself than to DECLUTTER! Being a

pack rat can not only stress you out, but also cause undue stress to the people around you.

Beth Ciampi

Program Coordinators

As an example, my Great Aunt and Uncle lived in their house for almost fifty years. It was time

for them to move to a smaller place, which meant it was time to clean out the house. I was in

charge of packing up the items stored in their huge attic including four broken blow dryers, five

sets of dinner plates, 20 pairs of unworn slacks and so on. Each time I tried to bag things up to

give away, my aunt would get upset that I was getting rid of all this stuff. She ultimately made me

put most of it all back in the “keep” pile. If she would have kept up with her spring cleaning over

the years, it probably wouldn’t have been so difficult for her (and for me) to clean out her house.

I hope you enjoy this issue of News & Views and that it helps to bring you some peace and relaxation

for just a little while. As this is my final co-chair letter, I would like to thank you all for

your comments and submissions that have helped make this magazine so successful. These

past two years have been a great learning experience for me both professionally and personally.

Thanks for reading!

Misty Lichter

Chicago Indoor Racing

News & Views is the official publication of Meeting Professionals International, Chicago Area Chapter, a professional association of meeting planners and

suppliers to the meetings industry. To reach MPI-CAC headquarters or for advertising rates, call (888) 721-8908 or e-mail info@mpicac.org.

2008-2009 Board of Directors


Laurel Rhoads McCarthy, CMP • Krisam Group


Chrissy Ward, CAE • Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

Vice President-Communications

Peggy Pissarreck, CMP • American Bar Association

Vice President-Education

Jane Matteson Mundell, CMP

Association of Legal Administrators

Vice President-Finance

Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM • Chicago Indoor Racing

Vice President-Leadership Development

Jamie Shamhart • Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts

Vice President-Membership

Char Shada, CMP • Experient, Inc.

Immediate Past President

Joyce Paschall, CMP, CAE • Association Elements


Gayle Bonforte, CMP • Baker & McKenzie Global Services, LLC

Pamela Formento, CMP • American Society

of Plumbing Engineers

Mary Friel • Four Points Sheraton O’Hare

Jeff Gassaway • Tampa Bay / St. Petersburg Clearwater CVB

Katherine Horky, CMP • Accenture

Maureen Larson • Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

Cherai Lewis • Projection Presentation Technology

Sean Lynch • NHS

Frances Maxwell • BI, The Business

Improvement Company

Barb Quigley, CMP • The CVB Source, Inc.

MPI-CAC Headquarters

Beth Whitman Chitnis • Executive Director

Gabrielle Nicolini • Association Manager

2008-09 News & Views Committee


Beth Ciampi • Program Coordinators

Misty Lichter • Chicago Indoor Racing

Board Liaison:

Jeff Gassaway • Tampa Bay / St. Petersburg Clearwater CVB

Managing Editor:

Beth Whitman Chitnis • MPI Chicago Area Chapter

Portrait Photography:

Edward Fox Photography

Layout and Design:

Dimitri Papadimitriou • Meeting Expectations, Inc.

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 5

2 = 1

Two Iconic Hotels = One Legendary Event


In these times of uncertainty, relationships are more important than ever. We must remain committed to ourselves, to each

other and to our Industry. We invite you to share that commitment by attending the Annual Awards Recognition Gala and

helping us to recognize outstanding members of the MPI Chicago Area Chapter.

These unprecedented conditions require knowledge, experience and remarkable people. What better reason to come together?

What better reason to embrace our professional community? What better reason to discover what the best in class

are doing and to celebrate their accomplishments?


By Brian


7th WAVE Communications


Annual Awards

Recognition Gala

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

As a volunteer organization, the most significant thing we have to offer to those who make major investments on our behalf

is our time, our recognition and our heartfelt appreciation. On Tuesday, June 2nd, at the Millennium Knickerbocker AND

the Drake Hotel, we will gather for a most important and well-deserved evening.

The committee and our amazing partners are doing everything possible to make it a night to connect, to honor, and to

celebrate our membership. Mark your calendar, make it a priority and join your industry leaders for the 2009 MPI-CAC

Annual Awards Recognition Gala.

MPI-CAC Annual Awards Recognition Gala

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel and The Drake Hotel

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Optional Sneak Peak Educational Event - Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel

5:00pm - 6:30pm

Cocktails & Networking Reception in the Millennium Knickerbocker’s

Grand Ballroom

6:30pm - 7:00pm

Transition from the Millennium Knickerbocker to the Drake Hotel

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Awards Celebration and Dinner in the Drake Hotel Gold Coast Room

9:00pm - 11:00pm

Afterglow Party - Desserts, Cocktails and Networking in the newly

restored Palm Court at the Drake Hotel

For all the details and to register, visit www.mpicac.org.

6 news & views | may-june 2009


“Clicks of the Trade”-

Escaping the Day to Day

By Alisa

Peters, CMP, CMM

Chicago Indoor Racing

Considering the horrible state of the economy, the Clicks this month are dedicated to helping

you uncover deals to provide you an escape at great rates. Personally, I would prefer to escape

from all of this than consider spring cleaning. So join me and treat yourself to something fabulous,

for pennies on the dollar!

Goldstar.com - My personal #1 favorite for show & theatre tickets

Love theatre but dread the price tag? How about theatre tickets at half price (or less)? Goldstar.com

works with more than 3,200 venues and producers across the country and offers the

largest selection of half price tickets. Unlike so many online ticket sellers, they are not brokers.

They work directly with their venue partners to connect them to the huge and growing Goldstar

audience. Not every show sells out, so instead of letting seats go empty, venues list tickets

with Goldstar.com. You can choose your seat locations like on a traditional site but for $.50 on

the dollar! There are also great deals for salon & spa, shopping and entertainment destination

discounts. www.goldstar.com


Welcome to the website that has everyone in my office addicted. This site uses collective buying

power to negotiate discounts for name brand places and bargain basement prices. Sign up for

daily e-mail alerts that tell you the “Groupon” for the day. Buy if you want; or pass if you want.

The discount becomes valid when a certain number of people “buy-in” to the discount and that

is when your purchase is processed. www.groupon.thepoint.com

Have Fun for Less… Courtesy of Bonneville Chicago Stations

Want to buy great restaurant and entertainment options for 50% of their retail value? Radio

stations, including The Mixx, are approaching popular restaurants and entertainment venues

with interesting propositions. Provide the stations with gift certificates at no charge, and they

will sell them at 50% of their value to listeners as a form of “trade” for advertising. Restaurants

vary in location and price point, but they are all great and at a fraction of the price! Sign up for

e-mail alerts to remind you when new offers are posted as the gift cards are awarded on a first

come, first served basis.

The Mixx’s Dining Guide: www.wtmx.com/diningguide.php

Bonneville’s: microsite.bonnevillechicago.com/dod_content.php?pageid=funforless

100.3’s Online Outlet: www.wilv.com/onlineoutlet.php

The Drive’s Dine for Less: www.wdrv.com/supperSaver.php

Half Price Chicago

This is WGN’s version of “Fun for Less” with more great options for restaurants and local entertainment.

You receive gift certificates which are perfect for gift giving! No catches or minimum

purchases like Restaurant.com! Check out their clearance section for selections at 70%

off! www.wgnradio.com

8 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

Tee Time!


The MPI-CAC Golf Clinic held at TopGolf USA on March

5, 2009, was a resounding success! Friends and business

colleagues alike received insider tips from seasoned golf

professionals, enjoyed cocktails and savored delicious appetizers

from our hosts at TopGolf USA.

This is a “must attend” networking event

for all members. Be sure to pencil it into

next year’s calendar!

The stage has been set for the best Golf

Classic in MPI history! The greens are

trimmed, tees are manicured and the

fairways are groomed. The only slices will

be of the dessert kind. Tee-off date is set

for Monday, June 22, 2009 at Hilton Chicago

Indian Lakes Resort. If you haven’t already

reserved your seat on the golf cart,

you can register today by visiting www.

mpicac.org and selecting the Golf Classic.

Don’t delay! Registration is now open.

New this year, the MPI Golf Committee

is pleased to announce that the Evening Reception has

received a makeover! Held within Hilton Chicago Indian

By Scott


Absolute Production Services

Lakes Resort, this year’s event will feature a swinging new

Chicago Speakeasy theme. Go back to the days of Moonshine

and Flappers while visiting “Al Capone’s Hideout” as

you meet new contacts in the meeting and event industry.

We look forward to jazzing it up with you!

We are also excited to announce that there will

be a charitable component to this year’s Golf

Classic. MPI-CAC, in conjunction with St. Vincent

of DePaul, will be hosting a food drive at

the event. Please bring non-perishable items

to donate.

MPI has two options to attend the festivities

that will accommodate everyone’s schedule!

1. Full Day Golf Outing – Includes 18 holes of

golf and the evening reception

2. Evening Reception Only – Join your friends

and colleagues after the golf outing for dinner,

drinks and the silent auction

Select the option that works best for you and we will see you


We will again be offering our Sponsored

Golfer’s list. We are aware that

some of our members would like to

play in the outing but are unable to

participate for various reasons. If

you are a planner and would like to

be sponsored for golf by a supplier

member, e-mail Erin Hubbard at

ehubbard@affinia.com to be added

to the list. Please note that sponsorship

is on a first come – first served

basis and supplier sponsorship cannot

be guaranteed.

There are several great sponsorship

opportunities still available for the

2009 event including your own scene

at the evening Speakeasy Reception.

You can customize your own vignette,

whether it is “The Still” or “The Jazz

Lounge.” For additional information

on sponsorships, contact Lindsay Kotas

at lkotas@alhi.com.

So come join us on June 22, 2009 at

one of the Chicago Area Chapter’s

most exciting networking events and

demonstrate your support for the

meeting and event industry!

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 9

Here’s the latest changes and updates on people

we know, or should get to know, in the meeting industry


Sandy Joyce, CMP made a career move

in becoming an Event Manager in the

Branding and



of Discover

Network. In her

role, she and her

team work on the

Spring has sprung, daylight savings

time is well on its way and we

are almost at the end of the MPI-

CAC 2008-2009 year! Just when I

think “there’s not much going on

with our chapter members,” new

initiatives, businesses and changes

of all kinds are revealed. While the

economy and general news is not

uplifting, MPI-CAC members give

us inspiration!

People on the Move…

Jim Grillo, CMP, Internet Marketing &

SEO Specialist and Founder of Hereschicago.com,

has announced that Here’s

Chicago is supporting the efforts of the

United States Travel Association’s (TIA)

“Keep America

Meeting” project

to combat

negative press

and government

impressions affecting

the entire

travel and meetings

industry. He

states “It is our


today to communicate

the positive messages from our

industry and how we all directly contribute

to the future growth of our economy.”

Jim is doing his part locally to reach out

to the travel industry through e-mail,

his blog at Hereschicago.com and social

networking sites such as LinkedIn

and Facebook to stress the importance

of face-to-face meetings. Excellent work


(630) 916-8000 ext. 3



marketing strategies


to conventions

and tradeshows.

Sandy finds the

new areas of her position very rewarding!

She most recently served at Sidley

Austin LLP in Chicago. Congratulations

to you, Sandy!

(224) 405-4170


It’s never too late to finish that degree!

Ted Miller, CHME, CHSP recently became

a college graduate, receiving a

Bachelors Degree in Business from California

Coast University. It took Ted just

over three years, working every weekend,

to complete

all the required

courses. He comments

that “While

he did not yet

pledge a fraternity,

he has not

ruled it out!” Ted

is a Global Account

Director for

Starwood Hotels

& Resorts Worldwide,

Inc. Way to go, Ted!

(312) 970-2912



A recent Past President of MPI-CAC

has news to share. Joyce Paschall, CAE,

CMP is the new Director of Education

and Meeting Services at the American

College of Occupational



Medicine (ACO-

EM) in Elk Grove

Village. Of course

a talented, dedicated


like Joyce cannot

“just” hold a

By Sally

Magallanes, CMP

major position!

She also teaches a meetings and events

class (part time) at Kendall College and

serves on the editorial board for Illinois

Meetings & Events Magazine. No grass

is growing under Joyce’s feet!

(224) 265-6789



Craig Raughton recently returned to the

meetings industry. He took a two-year

hiatus to start a

mortgage business

that is still

doing well and

has a team of

people that help

run it under his

name and brand.

Craig is now

one of the key

business partners

at 7th Wave

Communications, the video production

company used by One Smooth Stone,

his former employer. This is another example

of the importance of staying connected,

as Craig secured the position at

7th Wave through his relationship with

Brian Burkhart. When Brian’s partner

retired, Craig was asked to come on

board. Welcome back, Craig!

(630) 323-9100



continued on page 11

10 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

Companies in Change…

What’s new at The Summit Executive Cen-

ter? This well-known conference center

has expanded by one half floor and now

has 34,000 square feet of dedicated meeting

space. Interested parties can call to

make an appointment to view the new

space on the 9th floor and experience the

floor-to-ceiling renovation on the 10th level.

The Summit is located at 205 N Michigan

Avenue. Please contact Louise Silberman,

CMM for more information.

(312) 938-2004



Special Honors…

Long-time member Mollie Mercado,

CMP has added Certified Meeting Manager

(CMM) to her credentials! She is

very proud of this accomplishment. Mollie

also has launched a new service for

her company, Intermedia Meetings &

Events. Intermedia now offers meeting

planning training for the non-traditional

planner, such as



and suppliers,

on location

at an organization’s

office. This

“we come to you”

approach saves

staff time and the

expense of traveling

to an off-site program. All the best

to you, Mollie, on this unique service!

(847) 295-6400


Kudos to The Meetinghouse Companies,

Inc. for having one of its fabulous themed

events featured on Event Solutions magazine

(Feb. 2009). The “Haute Chocolat!”

was a complete sensory immersion

into the world of chocolate, carried out

through all elements of the event. Congratulations

to the entire team!

(630) 941-0600


Do you have news to

share? Keep the Chatter

coming! Send your news it

to Sally Magallanes, CMP

at semagallanes@hotmail.

anes@ es@ho

com. Photos are


in jpg or

bmp format; they

will be inserted based

on space availability.


The higher the resolution,


the better you will look! ok

Please note that content for

this column is limited to

members mbers of MPI-CAC.


www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 11

CCongratulations to the

July 2009 CMP Class!

Congratulations to the January 2009 CMP class! The Convention Industry Council announced that 387 meeting professionals

passed the February 2, 2009 examination. Joining over 13,000 CMPs from 35 countries and territories worldwide

are Illinois’ newest CMPs.

If you have been accepted to sit for the July 11, 2009 exam, plan to join the next MPI-CAC CMP Study Review “Boot Camp”

weekend on May 29-31, 2009. This comprehensive review class covers all topic areas in the CMP Blueprint and provides

future CMPs with a valuable content review as well as test-taking and study tips from your peers. Complete registration

details can be found on the chapter website at www.mpicac.org.

August 14, 2009 is the application deadline for the January 9, 2010 CMP exam. Complete application details, along with the

current CMP Blueprint are available on the Convention Industry Council’s website at www.conventionindustry.org.

Congratulations to the new CMPs in our chapter and in Illinois:

By Melissa

Lipton, CMP

Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa

Malikah Abdullah, American Express

Jatare A.C. Barrett, Rotary International

Daniel Blair, Walgreens

Polly Bruno, Walgreens

Christina Burke, Jones Lang LaSalle

Jacqueline Bellan, Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Jennifer Clauson, Astellas Pharma US Inc.

Jami Lynn Davis, lia sophia

Debra M. Driscoll, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Assn.

Mary Catherine Fuller, Event Architects

Melissa Hahn, HSBC

Margaret Mary Hanrahan, Avon Products, Inc.

Karen Hardy, McKinsey & Company

Lauren Herpe

Barbara J. Howe, Walgreens

Vivian Leabhart, Lions Club International

Jennifer R. Manthei,

American College of Healthcare Executives

Verna P. McQuown, The University of Chicago

Raymond Joseph Nealon, Greencastle Productions, LLC

Darcy Nendza, Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Alexander Nowak, Omron Electronics

Emily R. Olson, Event Architects

Marcie Pallante

Erica M. Romero, Elgin Community College

Lori Skuta, HFMA

Christine Slovacek, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Danielle Libonate Urbina,

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Kimberly Wright,

Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau

Stephie Young, NBMBAA

Volunteers Make a Difference!

MPI-CAC’s Board of Directors would like to acknowledge and

thank the following volunteers for their outstanding work:


Lisa Hahn

2008-2009 Chair

Awards Selection



Conor Cunneen

2008-2009 Member

Education Programs



Allison Ray, CMP

2008-2009 Member

Website Task Force


Jerin Ferrera

2008-2009 Member

Educational Conference


On behalf of the MPI-CAC Board of

Directors, our heartfelt thanks go to all

volunteers who implement the Chapter’s

initiatives. Special congratulations to the

following individuals who were nominated

as Volunteers of the Month!

February 2009

Lisa Hahn

Jiwon McCartney

Carolyn Paradowski

Alison Ray, CMP

Michele Saran

This Program

Sponsored by:

March 2009

Conor Cunneen

Marianne Dickens

Dahlia El Gazzar

Jerin Ferrera

Antoinette Gonzales

Liz Granto

Michele Saran

Marcia Swan

Andre Valk

12 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 13

AEight Tips for Spring

Cleaning Your Career

Ah, the arrival of spring: The sun is out and it’s time to get

your act together. You can pull down those holiday decorations.

Wash the layers of mud and salt off your car. Take

those running shoes – that you bought last spring – on their

first jog around the park.

This is the one time of year when everybody’s eager to improve

their lives.

Unfortunately, work life rarely gets the same attention.

While your home might be in order, you won’t feel completely

refreshed if your work situation is a mess. Whether you

have a job or you’re looking for one, here are some tips to

make the most of your spring cleaning.

Update your résumé

You know you should check your smoke alarm once a month,

but you really give it attention only when the battery’s dying

and it won’t stop beeping. Don’t treat your résumé the

same way. Even if you’re not looking to change jobs, it can’t

hurt to have an updated résumé. Keeping it current saves

you time down the road when you are job hunting. Also, you

might not remember all your impressive accomplishments

and responsibilities months or years from now, so go ahead

and write them down.

Sort through your inbox

E-mail inboxes have become the digital equivalent of the

junk drawer. You don’t want to delete the message about

the upcoming meeting (that took place four months ago) or

the memo you’ll read when you have time – so they just sit

there. Truthfully, once the message falls low enough on the

page to require scrolling, you’re not going to revisit it. Go

through each e-mail, trash the ones you don’t need and put

the important ones in an appropriate folder. You might be

surprised how less stressed you feel when you open your

inbox and don’t see hundreds of messages sitting there.

Tidy up your desk

Odds are your work space could use just as much housekeeping

as your closets. A tower of memos and wads of

Post-Its don’t scream “I’m on top of things!” to your colleagues

and boss. Aside from giving a bad impression, clutcontinued

on page 11

14 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

By Anthony



tered desks are also notorious for making important documents

disappear. Throw away what you can and file the

rest. Use the extra hour of sunlight to admire that desktop

you haven’t seen in years.

Clean your closet

While you’re at home organizing your closet like a good little

spring cleaner, take a look at your business suit. Does it

still fit you? Is it tangled up in a knot under a pile of shoes?

Is it a leisure suit? If you were to be called to an interview tomorrow,

would you be able – or even want –

to wear it? Much like your résumé, your

interview attire should be ready to go at

all times. If you need to take it to the

cleaners or buy something new, better

to do so at your convenience rather

than in a rushed panic the night before

the interview.

Get schooled

It’s not uncommon for professionals

of any industry to grow comfortable

in their positions after a few

years. However, as technology

evolves rapidly, it affects

every occupation

– whether it’s construction,

sales or medicine. To

keep up with the crowd,

see if your company offers

classes on industry

trends. Some employers

will even pay for courses

at colleges if it benefits

your work. At the

very least, pick up a

few books or industry

journals to see what’s

going on around you.

Meet your neighbors

People often become

so engrossed in their

jobs that they forget

colleagues are working

only five feet away.

Learn the names and

personalities that belong

to the faces you see

every day, or even to those you only see occasionally. It never

hurts to have contacts who can answer a question or help

with a future job hunt. Plus, it’s nice to know a little about

the people you work next to for eight hours a day.

Schedule some interviews

If you’re contemplating a job switch, one way to simplify

the decision-making process is to go on some interviews.

Although you might not be ready to quit your job just yet,

going on interviews gives you an idea of what opportunities

are available. You can use these interviews as practice

for the ones that matter most if you decide to start

a job hunt.

Evaluate your situation

You might not be the type of person who writes

out a list of goals and resolutions each year, but

you probably have an idea of where you want your

career to go. Think back to where you were last

spring: Are things going as you hoped? Are you on

a career path that will get you where you want to be

one or two years from now? Are you earning

what you deserve? Decide if you’re OK

staying where you are or if it’s time to

make a change.

Spring cleaning doesn’t just

have to be about tidying up; it

can be about starting fresh.

Copyright 2/27/2008

CareerBuilder, LLC-

Reprinted with


Anthony Balderrama

is a writer

and blogger for CareerBuilder.com.


researches and writes

about job search strategy,

career management, hiring

trends and workplace issues.

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 15

Spring Cleaning

Get New Energy Flowing in Offices a la Feng Shui!

By Sally

Magallanes , CMP

The practice and symbolism of Feng Shui (pronounced

“fung shway”) has become more popular over recent years.

The words meaning “wind” and “water” promote the concept

of living in harmony with the natural world. So how

can you find renewed energy, peace, stability, creativity,

and prosperity at work? Here are a few important tips from

Feng Shui experts that should improve your outlook and the

business world in general.

Wind or breezes represent fresh energy—the opposite is

stagnant or an absence of healthy energy. Whether one

works in a formal or home-office environment, clearing the

clutter will help that good energy flow! Years ago I bought

a book called Clearing the Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen

Langston. Clutter on a desk, floor, file cabinets, etc. stops

the ability to think, plan clearly and move on in one’s career.

Clearing this clutter on a regular basis also means cleaning

out e-mail inboxes, unnecessary computer files and answering/deleting

old voicemails.

Keep a clear entrance to the door where you work, a wall behind

you and, if possible, a view through a window. This position

represents one of maintaining maximum control (direct

view of door), stability (the wall) and staying connected with

the natural world. Additionally, try using a wooden desk (another

element from nature) that has rounded curves. If there

are no windows in your office, place a painting or photograph

of something in nature within view. Feng Shui also recommends

placing the desk diagonally to the doorway.

Soften hard corners or empty “dead” space with live plants.

Bring nature into your work area with green plants which

act as a filtering system to circulate stagnant air. Other natural

items that symbolize “building trust” are wicker baskets,

wooden paper trays, crystal paperweights and ceramic mugs

or pots. Another idea is to get a small rock-garden fountain.

The sound of the running water is soothing and is literally part

of Feng Shui’s meaning. However, it is recommended to place

water or its symbols only in the north area of your space.

Regarding light, while natural sunlight is best, try not to have

your desk directly in front of it and avoid using harsh fluorescent

light. Both will cast a glare and are hard on one’s eyes.

More physical energy will come from using the right light

source and reducing the reflection off a computer monitor.

The south area of a room represents fire and its energy. Water

puts down fire, thus, each should be in separate areas.

The southeast area of an office in Feng Shui is for prosperity

and abundance. Wood is the natural element that might

be found there, such as a wooden picture frame. Placing

items of achievements or future goals above eye level is also

inspirational and energetic.

To enhance energy and promote wealth, incorporate the

colors red and purple in your space. Other vibrant colors

are great to use if one cannot avoid facing a wall or cubicle.

Objects and images that bring joy and help relieve stress

are perfect accessories.

To help create balance between your professional and personal

life, here are a few tips for those who work at home:

• Use a separate entrance to the office or a room near

the back of the entire living space.

• Leave seven to nine inches between furniture and walls.

• Take short walks before and after the working day.

• Place your desk on the corner diagonally opposite to

the doorway.

• Minimize clutter to enhance the free flow of energy.

The energy map of Feng Shui is known as a bagua. While

traditionally octagonal, it is more often depicted in a rectangle,

as shown below. The nine sections are the key components

of this practice. This will give you an idea of how

and where to place items representing Feng Shui’s five natural

elements – Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth and Water – and

best suits your work style.

Blessings (Wealth)

Relates to your

financial situation


Relates to your

mentors and older

family members


Relates to relaxation

and meditation

Illumination (Fame)

Relates to your

reputation and position

in the world


The center of your room

and is generally kept free

of encumbrances


Relates to your destiny or

path through life

Front Door


Relates to your personal

and business



Relates to your sources

of inspiration


Relates to both mentors

and your contribution

to others

Let’s hope all of us can have increased energy, inspiration

and prosperity!







16 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

Spring Cleaning

Spring Clean Your Life!

Spring is finally here! It is that wonderful time of year

when we all have the urge to break out from winter hibernation

and begin to freshen up our lives. This includes our

homes, our workspace and our minds.

Get rid of the clutter. There is nothing that can overwhelm

or drain a person more than being bogged down with clutter

everywhere they turn. De-cluttering not only helps you

feel good about your surroundings, it also helps to

clear up your mind. Feeling organized is great for

the mind!

Home – Start with your living space. Clean out

those closets, garage and other open spaces;

get rid of all of those clothes, papers and

other items you have not touched in over a

year. Don’t forget to clean out the car as well.

Change your home or apartment a little – paint

a room and/or rearrange the furniture. It will get

rid of the same old, same old feeling and make you

feel like you have started anew!


Cindy Wood,



these simple questions will let you know when it is time to

let something go.

Clear your mind. In addition to writing down tasks,

thoughts and ideas, try squeezing in a little exercise. If you

don’t have time for a complete workout, even a 15 minute

walk in the fresh spring air can clear your mind and reinvigorate


For all of those who say they do not have the

time…make time! Write it down in your calendar

just as you would any other work or

appointment. Even taking 15 to 30 minutes

a day to go through papers or a closet can

feel so rewarding.

Start today…there is no better time

than the present. You owe it to yourself.

Break out of the winter dull-drums

and spring into action!

Work – Since most of us live in our

workspace a minimum of 8 hours a

day, it is important that your work

area is organized and comfortable.

Begin by organizing your desktop.

Put paperwork in files by topic or

due date – whatever process works

for you. As you file, keep a list of

those tasks you need to do for each

project. Once you write it down, you

no longer have to try to remember it.

The only thing you should really have

on your desktop is your task list and,

as you need them, the file and/or

related papers for a particular project.

Don’t forget to clean out your

computer as well. Delete all of those

documents that are outdated and no

longer needed.

Know when it is time to let go. Ask

yourself: 1) Is this a duplicate of

something I already have? 2) Can I

obtain this information again – especially

in this age of the internet?

3) Have I ever used this information

that I have filed away? and 4) Will I

ever need or use it again? Answering

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 17

Spring Cleaning

Another Man’s Treasure


Spring Cleaning is a Chance to Donate and Recycle

In this season of renewal, we all desire a fresh start. Spring

is a time to cast off the old and bring in the new. We replace

old, worn out cell phones with the newest, most innovative

products, we scrap last year’s tired and faded wardrobe

and go shopping for the latest trends, and we toss out old

electronics and delight in our new, top-of-the-line gadgets.

Through this ritual of Spring cleaning, when we organize or

upgrade our belongings, many of us mimic nature’s annual

rebirth and achieve our own sense of renewal. Through this

purging of the old and the excess, what most do not realize

is that many of our old items could become the new ones

that provide that same sense of renewal to someone else.

The old cliché “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

comes to mind; but in this instance, the aphorism is

flawed. It would be wrong to call our forsaken computers,

cell phones and electronics “trash,” as that would imply that

they are useless. These items could easily be refurbished

and donated to individuals in need.

There are a variety of local and national organizations that

accept donations of old electronics, furniture, clothing,

books and other common victims of compulsive cleaning.

By donating, or recycling your old belongings, you not only

provide others with affordable or free resources, but you

help the environment.

Cell Phones

If you have upgraded your

cell phone, and your old one

is still sitting in a drawer,

consider recycling it. Consumers

discard their cell

phones after an average of

only 18 months, and these

cell phones contain toxinrich

materials! Consider

the environment before

you throw your old phone

in the garbage. Instead,

donate them to a philanthropic

organization, such

as the CTIA Wireless Foundation’s

“Donate a Phone”

program, which supports

several causes, including

organizations that address domestic violence.

CTIA Wireless Foundation –


Collective Good Mobile Phone Recycling –


Recycle Wireless Phones –



We all have dealt with the frustration of having to work on a

slow, obsolete computer, but what we don’t take into account

before buying a new, state-of-the-art-computer and tossing

the old clunker to the curb is the huge amount of natural resources

and energy it takes to create new computer equipment.

Before throwing out your computer, consider that

computer waste contains hazardous materials, including arsenic,

mercury and lead. Also consider that the life of a computer

can be extended through upgrading its memory and

storage space. If you do decide to purchase a new computer,

consider donating the old one to a charity, such as Computers

for Schools (www.pcsforschools.org). This non-profit organization

in Chicago accepts private and corporate computer

donations, refurbishes the equipment, and makes it available

to schools and other nonprofits in the city and suburbs.

If you are certain that the computer is worthless and has

no hope for refurbishing, recycle it through Intercon (www.

interconrecycling.com). This local company has been certified

under stringent environmental standards (ISO 14001)

for its disassembly and recycling of computers. For modest

fees (listed on its website) computer components and a

number of other electronics can be shipped back to Intercon’s

facility in Chicago Ridge. Shipping charges, in addition

to fees, do need to be paid by customer.

Exchange/Resale Options

When redecorating your home or office, don’t leave your

old furniture at the curb. Various local and national charity

organizations, such as the Salvation Army, accept donations.

Also, old appliances, art or any other household or

office items can be exchanged or even resold. One option

for recycling is through FreeCycle (www.freecycle.org). The

Freecycle Network is a non-profit organization whose mission

includes keeping good stuff out of landfills and helping

to strengthen local charitable and recycling communities.

Freecycle Chicago is a local way to acquire items you’d like

to have or pass off items you no longer need - all for free.

The Chicago group is run by a local volunteer and membership

is free. After joining this unique network, you may

continued on page 19

18 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

Spring Cleaning

By Kathleen

Sullivan Nelson

Chicago Is…, Inc.

email a request for something you need, or post something

you would like to donate, and someone who is interested

just might want to pick it up from you.

Another option is to sell your items on Craigslist

(http://chicago.craigslist.org). Craigslist is a

website, with local Chicago ads that enables

visitors to buy, sell, or barter all types of

items. There is also a free section similar to

Freecycle where you can give away or pick

up free goods.

Additional Resources

The Chicago Recycling Coalition is a comprehensive

resource for locating local and

national charity organizations and unique

recycling opportunities for everything from

electronics to books and eyeglasses.


Illinois EPA Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collections

Schedule Chicago, in conjunction with the Illinois EPA, holds

several household hazardous waste collection days annually,

where most types of household hazardous materials are

accepted. Most (but not all) people bring in their materials

by car. There is no charge to individuals dropping

off HHW, but waste from commercial or industrial

sources is not accepted. Contact your local

center for more information on disposing

of hazardous materials.

City of Chicago 312-744-7672

Naperville 630-420-4190

Rockford 815-987-5570

Lake County 847-336-9340



www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 19

Spring Cleaning

It’s Spring – Get Outside!


Ted Miller,


Starwood Hotels and Resorts

So it feels like you have been inside since December and now the weather is finally getting warm. It is time to start on all of

those projects that you have been neglecting. Here are some fast tips on things to get moving on right away as it will save

you time and money in the long run.

Now is the time to prevent damage to your house that can be caused by the many rain storms. With a couple of easy to use

tools, we can keep you from having a leaky basement. First, check all the downspouts around your house. You may find

one that has lost its elbow, clogged with leaves and debris, or damaged. If the elbow is missing, it can be easily replaced

with two screws. Put the elbow back on the downspout, secure a screw on both sides and you are set. If the long part of the

downspout that runs on the ground is damaged, it can be fixed easily by using a board to restore the shape of the spout.

Think of it as taking a pipe cleaner and opening up a crinkled straw.

Looking for new decorating ideas for a fresh

look inside your home? Take a pad of paper

and your camera and go for a walk. It is rather

easy to copy or adapt something you see in

the neighborhood into another way to dress

up your home. Take advantage of the Open

Houses on Sunday afternoons as well where

you can get some great ideas for the interior

of your home. Remember to ask for permission

first if you decide you want an interior

picture of someone’s home!

While the thoughts of cold weather are likely

the furthest thing from your mind, now is the

easiest time to make improvements for next

winter. Do you have a room above a garage

in your home with a floor that is ice cold for

most of the winter? You can add insulation

with very little effort. First, take a look at the

garage door. Is there a time in the day when

the sun beats down on the door and allows

you to see the light coming in? If you see light

around the door, that means heat is escaping during the winter. You can get an easy to install garage door strip which you

can use to either seal the bottom, top or sides of the door. If your garage door is metal, you can easily insulate it which will

really help prevent heat loss. If you touch the door on a sunny day when the sun is directly beating down and the door feels

warm, it needs to be insulated. You can affix Styrofoam panels to the door which will make a drastic difference in how

much heat you retain during the winter.

Let’s not forget the little wonders of nature that can drive you batty. Usually in the spring you see Bees, Hornets and Wasps

looking for a new home. Many times that home can actually be in the side of your home. There are some simple solutions

to fix this problem. Usually these insects have found a spot in deteriorating mortar and they are able to burrow inside the

house. A tell-tale sign that you have this problem is if you see a lot of insect activity on the side of your home. Fortunately,

these insects have a definite sleeping cycle. Once it is dark, simply spray the opening with Wasp Spray and this should

resolve the problem. If you seem to have a few that are still hanging on, come back at night and fill the hole with chewing

gum. By morning, the gum will be hard and the entrance sealed.

If you have other home related issues, you can always give me a call. Not every problem is as big as it seems and many

times just understanding why something is happening can make the solution to the problem much easier. I can even loan

you one of my books on the topic!

20 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 21

MPI Cares:

Support for Our Members

MPI has responded to the current economic change and is

offering support for our members more than ever before. Here

are just a few of the ways MPI is assisting members impacted by

the change in business environment:

• To help our individual members impacted by career

change through job loss due do the economy, MPI is

offering a six-month extension at renewal. This allows

members to take full advantage of MPI networking

opportunities and all of its other resources during a time

when it is most needed.

• Career Connections offers our community and the industry

a marketplace for employment connections. Members

can post resumes and search available jobs in their area

or globally. Members are also encouraged to post their

open positions at a significant discount from that of


• A discussion group has been created to help members

share tips and resources for managing your career in an

economic downturn. The Career Connections GroupSpace

page on MPIWeb.org enables our members to learn, share

and support each other through online networking.

• The career movements of our global community can be

tracked through the Careers in Motion blog on MPIWeb.org.

Follow your community connections and track emerging

opportunities through the success of other members across

the globe. Have you made a move? Announce your new

position on the Careers in Motion blog.

The MPI Member Care Center offers members and nonmembers

a variety of helpful links and services to assist with

MPI membership, renewal of membership, conference registration,

career services and general questions. Stay up-to-date on

the latest industry news and information — and take advantage

of member-only career management tools. Questions? Contact

the MPI Member Care Center at (972) 702-3053.

22 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

Members in Transition

Receive Support from MPI

By Tiffany


Hard Rock Cafe

On April 3rd, MPI-CAC hosted a complimentary educational

program for those currently in job transition process at

the Four Points Sheraton Chicago O’Hare. Irishman Conor

Cunneen delivered some great stories and solid advice on

how to own the dreaded job search. The audience was filled

with a mixture of both MPI members and non-members

that came out for Cunneen’s powerful message.

Cunneen touched upon the eight building blocks to a successful

transition and preached that just a spoonful of

SHEIFGAB moves the job search right along - no leprechauns

required. The eight steps of the SHEIFGAB phenomenon

can be followed whether you’re employed or in


S: “Life without Structure is an aimless wreck”, and struc-

ture during the transition process is a MUST. Structure

your day and week by scheduling time off to do other things

(i.e. working out, volunteering, etc.). This will take your mind

off of being out of work and make the time go faster.

H: Pay it forward. Help. It will give you a sense of self worth and

an opportunity to affect someone else’s life in a positive way.

E: Change up, and clean up your at-home office. Small

changes to your environment (i.e. screensaver, the height

of your office chair or where you do your reading) will avoid

getting into ruts. Grab your grande latte at a new Starbucks;

or try networking or job hunting at the local library rather

than the corner coffee shop. Whatever you do, refresh your

environment, and do it often.

A: In any circumstance, the only thing you have 100% control

of is your attitude. In any situation, say to yourself, “What

do I want my attitude to be?”

B: Finally, your behavior and overall outlook to this transition

will make or break it. You control your own destiny.

Remember: “unemployed” is a swear word. Replace it with a

little SHEIFGAB and confidence, and you’ll be walking into

your next interview “12 feet tall and bullet proof.”

In addition to the great suggestions delivered by Cunneen,

two complimentary services were added to the program.

Jeff Brown with All Events Photography was available after

the session and offered complimentary professional headshots

for everyone who was interested. With all of the social

networking sites used for job hunting, having a professional

headshot on your personal websites is a great benefit

to make you stand out amongst the competition. Jim Pasta

with Plum Grove Printers was available to assist attendees

with resume writing and offered complimentary printing of

resumes and business cards.

Best of luck to everyone searching for something new and as

Cunneen says, “Keep Smiling and SHEIFGAB the World!”

I: Improve yourself to become a better candidate than you

were previously. Do research and prepare yourself before

every interview. Practice answering anticipated interview

questions and articulate them out loud rather than in your

head. Take time to improve your skills with new classes and

self improvement books.

F: Be conscious of your family’s routine prior to your unpaid

employment (Cunneen’s term for “in transition”) and make

sure you’re not taking up too many “parking spots”, that is,

don’t try to make lots of changes to their schedule because

you are now spending more time at home.

G: Create small goals for yourself. “SHAGS” – small, highly

achievable goals - will make you feel accomplished when

they are checked off your daily schedule. Use your outlook

calendar for everything to easily track your accomplishments!

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 23

MMexico: Business As Usual

Mexico… Mexico… every

news show we watch, every

newspaper we read, every

blog we join, they all agree

on one thing: Mexico is a very

“hot” topic. But let’s focus on

some facts that show another

perspective of what’s really

happening in Mexico.

In terms of tourism, great connectivity, proximity and the exchange

rate are excellent reasons to bring a program there.

By Teresa

Matamoros, CMP

Mexico Tourism Board

Its beaches, archeological

sites, colonial towns,

surreal cities and people

make Mexico a destination

like no other.

In 2008, arrivals of international

tourists to Mexico

increased by 5.9 percent

to 23 million compared

to the previous year. 78% of these were American citizens.

Despite the recent global economic downturn, two million

international visitors arrived to Mexico

in January of 2009 representing a 14.3

percent increase over the same month

last year.

Notwithstanding the continued slowdown

of the world’s economy, Mexico

is taking a bullish approach on tourism

development by investing in new resorts

and improving existing ones.

Just 65 miles south of Mazatlan on

Mexico’s Pacific Coast, a $500,000,000

resort town, twice the size of Cancun,

is currently under construction. With

an environmentally friendly concept,

this new resort town promises to be

a leading destination in Mexico and

around the world, offering top-notch

hotels, marinas, golf courses and services.

In Puerto Vallarta, a brand new convention

center opened its doors to host its

very first convention on March 26 and

27, 2009. Sustainably planned and built

adjacent to a natural protected mangle

area, the Puerto Vallarta Convention

Center holds up to 7,000 people.

Mexico has a well established, over

half-century old tourism industry that

throughout the decades has risen

above economic slowdowns and political

uncertainties. It is Mexico’s legendary

culture, tourism infrastructure

and high value services that continue

to hold Mexico as one of the world’s top

10 destinations.

24 news & views | march-april 2009 www.mpicac.org

Project Management


OOn Monday, March 23, approximately 100

attendees gathered at the Trump International

Hotel & Towers to learn about Project

Management Essentials. This session was

one in a series of MPI-CAC’s educational


Led by Kelly Kalmes, PMP, the informative

session provided an overview of the background

on project management as well as

the steps involved in successful project and

program management. Kalmes also explained

that there is a definite difference

between the two. Finding ways to present

the material in a non-technical manner, she

wove in entertaining stories and comparisons

such as how the five processes of project

management – Initiation, Planning, Execution/Monitoring,

Control and Closeout

– are similar to the five gears of a car, and

how the Schedule Development Step in the

planning process can be compared to the

movie Apollo 13.

By Jennifer



Speaker, Kelly Kalmes, PMP, and MPI-CAC

President, Laurel Rhoads McCarthy, CMP

Speaker, Kelly Kalmes, PMP, and Kim Repede

While not all events are suitable for the application of a

project management process, or the use of software such

as MS Project, the principles can still be applied in a meaningful

way. For example, events with fewer than 20 activities

to plan the entire project do not require the detailed process

but the overall principles of coordinating the activities

Attendees at the Project Management

Essentials Education Program

are the same. For those interested in learning more, there

is coursework available to earn either the Certified Associate

of Project Management (CAPM) or the Project Management

Professional (PMP) certifications.

Photos courtesy of All Events Photography

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 25

Ahoy! The Schmooze Cruise

was a Smashing Success


If you missed the Schmooze Cruise Networking Event on

April 1st, you missed a very well planned affair. In conjunction

with Affordable Meetings, the committee created a Networking

Event that attracted both planners and suppliers

with extra activities to facilitate the conversations.

As people checked in, everyone received a card on which

was printed the name of a movie with a nautical theme along

with a character in that movie. This gave you a chance to


Ted Miller,


Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Attendees playing the nautical themed networking game

Special Events Committee Members

you must make a point to see it. The ship is designed to have

more flat and open areas, especially on the first deck; seating

consists of mostly couches set in ways that easily encourages

conversations. Since the ship did not leave the dock, it

made it much easier for guests to arrive and depart based

on their schedules.

meet people while looking for the other cast members of

your show. It was much easier to approach someone

you did not know and ask if they were

a member of your movie than

it would have been just

coming up and saying

hello. You also

heard many people

talking about

the shows and

which characters

they enjoyed the

most. This certainly

made a lot of people

who were new to our

group feel more comfortable

at the event. If you have

not yet had the opportunity

to board the Kanan

Cruise ship at Navy Pier,

Harry Caray impersonator

Lesson Learned – When you arrange for an event with a

potentially large number of guests who have not met

before, look for a way to involve them

with the rest of the group that

creates conversation and

easier mingling. A

game as simple as

this one worked

quite well, though

sometimes you

may need a few

instigators to help

those who are a bit

shy to meet others.

Photos courtesy of All

Events Photography

26 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

MStudent Mocktail Reception

was a Tremendous Success

MPI-CAC’s Student Affairs Committee and Peer to Peer

Committee hosted the second annual Student Mocktail Reception

on Friday, April 3rd with almost triple the number

of attendees from last year. With a mix of professional members

and students, the networking activities were facilitated

by MPI-CAC Past President,

Industry Expert and College

Professor, Sue Tinnish,

SEAL, Inc. The students in attendance

are now better educated

and prepared for their

next networking opportunity

and eventually their transition

from student to professional.

The world-class Drake Hotel

set the tone for an evening of

success. This landmark hotel

served as a stunning venue for

interaction between the students

and professionals. The

evening opened with informative

site tours lead by The

Drake Hotels’ catering and

sales staff providing the students

with a behind-the-scenes view of a bustling hotel.

The first interactive

activity of

the evening was

a planned introduction.



at random a


business card

from a bowl

and were then

Students exchanging business cards

assigned the

task of seeking

out the industry

professional for a brief dialogue. After a few minutes of

conversation, Sue provided the students with many helpful

tips for effective networking, including:

• Go with a plan/ do your homework

• Call people by name

• Maintain eye contact

• Ask thought provoking questions

• Think broadly to build your network

• Dress and act professionally

Mocktail Facilitators: Sue Tinnish, SEAL, Inc.

and Kristin Cox, Elgin Community College

By Kelley


Elgin Community College

• Be a good listener and be prepared to talk

• Offer a business card

• Listen and live in the moment

• Plan an exit strategy

• Follow up, follow up, follow up

Prompt follow through after

a contact is a vital relationship

building technique. Sue

taught the students that beyond

the initial contact, they

should work to keep their

network alive and active, that

building relationships past

the initial connections is very

important. Sue also urged

the students to proactively

manage their career and

stay current on industry and

world news in order to have a

conceptual understanding of

recent trends and issues.

Delightful and energetic Sue

was well complemented by

Elgin Community College

student emcee, Kristin Cox. Their presence made the event

informative and fun. Sue commented that, “having a student

emcee offered a different perspective.’’

At the conclusion of the evening, Chrissy Ward, CAE, MPI-

CAC President Elect, announced ten winners of a complimentary

one-year MPI student membership. Student attendees

who made the most significant impression were nominated

by the professional members in attendance. Thank you to the

professional members who donated the student memberships

and congratulations to the newest Student Members:

Kamil Brady - Roosevelt University

John Clark - Elgin Community College

Lauren Dezenski - Central Michigan University

Natalie Guerrero - DePaul University

Monica Harris - Loyola University Chicago

Brittany Lambert - Loyola University Chicago

Jennifer Laurence - Lexington College

Samantha Sleva - Loyola University Chicago

Timothy Smith - Kendall College

Brittney Zuzindlak - Loyola University Chicago

Welcome to all of our new student members!

Photos courtesy of All Events Photography

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 27


From hosting a chapter board meeting to discounting food and beverage or décor at events, the numerous ways that MPI-

CAC’s sponsors provide their support is vast but the results are the same – being a vital component of MPI-CAC’s success.

Success as a financially stable organization that provides timely, cost-effective professional development, educational and

networking programs.

Thank you to the following companies that supported chapter programs since the beginning of the program year and have

committed to sponsor future events. Remember – BUY MPI! Thank you to…

Diamond Partner


Lettuce Entertain You

Maureen Larson

312.527.9222 x101


The Drake Hotel

Kevin Boland . 312.932.4306


Platinum Partner


Intelligent Lighting Creations

Bob Moisan . 847.933.9792


Kanan Cruises

Brian Felder

312.222.0088 ext. 12


Mexico Tourism Board

Teresa Matamoros, CMP




Ryan McCrum . 847.928.2896


Gold Partner


BBJ Linen

Lanie Hartman . 847.933.4635


Four Seasons

Joe LaBreche . 312.649.2314


Harry Caray’s Catering

and Events

Gabi Dorsch . 312.595.8063


Macy’s on State Street

Mayo Dikelsky . 312.781.4481


National Speakers Bureau

Brian Palmer . 847.295.1122 x574



Kevin Wielgus . 312.268.6221


The Meetinghouse

Companies, Inc.

Deborah Borsum . 630.941.0600


The Osthoff Resort

Jonanna Leopold . 920.980.0530


Silver Partner


Absolute Production Services

Scott Hichew . 877.228.4782 x222


All Events Photography

Jeff Brown . 773.777.0011


Chicago Indoor Racing

Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM



Edward Fox Photography

Charlene Martin . 773.794.5140


Estee Lauder

Evelyn Briley . 510.913.5004



Pete Erickson . 630.434.7779


Kendall College

Jeffrey Catrett . 312.752.2418


Meetings Michigan

Liz Della Croce . 616.570.0255


Millennium Knickerbocker

Derek Stockton . 312.867.7519


TopGolf USA

Bobbi Schellerer . 630.595.4653


Bronze Partner


Ala Carte Entertainment /


Lynn Albers . 312.266.3333


Arlington Park Racetrack

Geraldine Grosspietsch




Blackstone Hotel

Stephanie Erhler . 312.765.0524

stephanie.ehrler@ mercatchicago.com

Botanicals - a Branch of

HM Designs

Casey Cooper . 773.269.3142 x101


CACSBO - Chicago Area

Convention Bureau

Satellite Offices

Carolyn Aeby . 708.386.9648


Cooking Fools

Nick Faitage . 773.276.9377


Esprit Productions

Ron Springer . 847.549.6200


Fairmont Raffles

Hotels International

Joanne Trudeau . 773.935.1603


Fort Worth CVB

Heidi Edinger, CMP, CASE



Four Points Sheraton

Chicago O’Hare

Mary Friel . 847.349.5037



Conor Cunneen . 630.718.1643


Meet In Illinois

Mary Patchin . 708.895.8200



Paul Wehking . 800.828.0305


San Francisco Convention &

Visitors Bureau

Walden Agustin . 773.728.7210


Stitely Orchestra

Jeff Stitely . 847.866.8002


Swank Audio Visual

Jessica Petri . 312.588.8057


Taste America Catering

Donna Brucks . 312.644.0606


The CVB Source

Barb Quigley . 773.871.0164


The Woodlands Resort

Linda Minter . 281.364.6236


Trump International Hotel

& Tower

Calle Combes . 312.588.8054


Wolfgang Puck Catering

Jennifer Fleming . 312.464.8748


continued on page 29

28 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org



Courtney Williams . 877.824.1441


Wyndham Lisle-Chicago Hotel &

Executive Meeting Center

Susan Palomo . 630.577.6063



Rhonda Drury . 312.266.6178


Friends of the Chapter


Aries Charter

Antoinette Gonzales



AV Networks

Steve Jacobsen . 847.854.9620



Jennifer Oglesby . 312.440.4384


Bogart’s Bar & Grill

Nikki Augsburger . 847.447.1037



Wendy Berg . 312.476.6151


Carousel Linens

Erika Lohmar . 630.941.0600


Chicago Business

Travel Association

Beth Traux . 312.274.6413


Chicago Convention &

Tourism Bureau

Stacey Geyer . 312.567.8549


Chicago Marriott Downtown

Magnificent Mile

Amy James . 312.943.9800


Chicago Printing Arts /

The Digital Hub

Peter Langkamp . 773.251.4929


Chicago Restaurant Partners

Tracy Cammack . 312.567.8184


Conrad Chicago

Caryn Granzow . 312.896.7466


Disney Resort Destinations

Jodie Rapparlie . 312.595.7742


Doubletree Hotel

Chicago Arlington Heights

John Rohrbach . 847.427.4240


DuPage Convention &

Visitors Bureau

Lisa Landers . 630.575.8070 x207


Eaglewood Resort & Spa

JamieRyan . 630.694.5956


Entertainment Cruises

Tracy Lozier . 312.321.7632


eskape Entertainment

Bill Feldgreber . 847.821.9000



Randy Hajduk, CMP




Andrea North . 800.863.5719


Francine Marketing Inc.

Francine Pepitone . 312.419.0123


Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

Taryn Miracle . 231.534.6165


Greater Hartford Convention

& Visitors Bureau

Susan Koczka . 800.446.7811


Hilton Chicago Indian

Lake Resort

Bob O’Connor . 630.671.5006


Hotel Orrington

Charles Dreiske, CMP



Hotel Sax Chicago

Dennis Mezik . 312.923.2435


InterContinental Chicago O’Hare

Cherise Manno . 847.447.4202


LA Inc

Troy Karnoff . 773.293.7141


M&M The Special

Events Company

Bonnie Hansen Rybicki



Matt Young Group

Matt Young . 773.206.1618


Navy Pier

Kim Augustyn, CMP . 312.595.5053


O’Hare-Midway Limousine

Guy Parker, CMP . 847.948.8768


Omaha Convention &

Visitors Bureau

Cathy Keller . 402.444.7758


Palms Casino Resort

Susan Kashani . 702.942.7054


Pheasant Run Resort

Gene Hare . 630.584.6300 x7537


PRA Destination Management

Taylor Lamie . 760.496.0540


PS America

Harry Speros . 847.438.0093


Red Rock /Green Valley Ranch

Mari Goodwin . 702.617.7638


RG Mortgage Corporation

Rosie Garcia . 708.957.0111


Rosewood Hotels

Wendy Gillotti . 408.695.4560


Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Ted Miller . 312.970.2912


Summit Executive Center

Louise Silberman, CMM



Swissotel Chicago

Suzanne Quinley . 312.268.8215


The Meritage Resort

Pamela Dunn . 707.251.1947


The Westin Mission Hills

Resort and Spa

Gary Orfield . 760.770.2145


Tourism Quebec

Annemarie Heidbuechel



Windy City Fieldhouse

Murrel Karsh . 773.486.7300


Want to see your name on this list? Consider the Partnership Opportunities that

the chapter offers to connect with professionals from the Chicago-area meetings and

hospitality industry. To learn more, visit the Sponsorship section at www.mpicac.org or

contact the headquarters office at info@mpicac.org or (888) 721-8908.

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 29

Industry Calendar

May 2009

May 13-16, 2009

Society of Government

Meeting Professionals

National Education Conference

Location: The Galt House

Louisville, KY

Contact: SGMP

(703) 549-0892


May 15, 2009

MPI-CAC Spring

Knowledge Shares

Locations: eskape Entertainment

Buffalo Grove, IL

Pheasant Run Resort

St. Charles, IL

Gleacher Center - Chicago, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC

(888) 721-8908


May 28, 2009

2009 Meetings Technology


Location: Navy Pier

Chicago, IL


Meetings Technology Expo

(212) 956-4720


June 2009

June 2, 2009

2009 MPI-CAC

Annual Awards Gala

Location: Millennium

Knickerbocker AND

The Drake Hotel

Chicago, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC

(888) 721-8908


June 10-11, 2009

2009 Affordable Meetings West

Location: McEnery

Convention Center

San Jose, CA

Contact: HSMAI

(800) 564-4220


June 14-16, 2009

Association for Convention

Operations Management

Summer Education Conference

Location: The Westin Casuarina

Las Vegas, NV

Contact: ACOM

(609) 799-3712


June 17, 2009

GMC-PCMA Quarterly

Educational Meeting

Location: Hyatt Regency O’Hare

Rosemont, IL

Contact: GMC-PCMA

(630) 323-7413


June 21-23, 2009

Financial & Insurance

Conference Planners 2009

Education Forum

Location: The Broadmoor

Colorado Springs, CO

Contact: FICP

(312) 245-1023


June 22, 2009

2009 MPI-CAC Golf Classic

Location: Hilton Chicago

Indian Lakes Resort

Contact: MPI-CAC

(888) 721-8908


June 24, 2009

Destination Showcase – Chicago

Location: Donald E. Stephens

Convention Center

Rosemont, IL

Contact: DMAI

(202) 296-7888


July 11-14, 2009

Meeting Professionals

International – World

Education Conference

Location: Salt Palace Convention


Salt Lake City, UT

Contact: MPI

(972) 702-3000


July 20-23, 2009

Trade Show Exhibitors

Association’s TS2

Location: The Lakeside Center,

McCormick Place

Chicago, IL

Contact: TSEA

(312) 842-8732


July 2009

please visit


for more

upcoming events

30 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

www.mpicac.org news & views | may-june 2009 31

Emerging Technology in

the Meetings Industry

Technology in the meeting industry is

in constant flux, with change coming

at meeting and event professionals at

lightning pace. It isn’t always easy to

tell which of these new technologies

will have the greatest positive impact

on meeting design. Audience communication

devices, meeting management

software and state of the art audio

visual are just a few ways technology

is advancing the meeting industry.

32 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

Meeting RFPs –

5 Best Practices

Getting the Best Deal for Your Next Meeting

Today’s economy has given meeting planners the best opportunity to negotiate great meeting

prices in over 30 years. With every hotel company offering substantial promotions, planners can

book meetings at low prices both now and for future meetings. Here are some tips on making your

limited budget dollars go as far as possible:

1. Choose the best location for your meeting. Cvent offers planners

a free destination guide at www.cvent.com that provides detailed

information on planning meetings in over 100 cities worldwide.

Planners can compare meeting space, hotels, transportation options,

destination images, activities for attendees, and important

key facts about meeting costs in each destination.

2. Know where to look for great meeting space.

Your events need to evolve along with your budget,

so don’t limit yourself to the same venues you

have considered in the past. Make the most of free

online sourcing tools like the Cvent Supplier Network

at www.cvent.com, where you can search

over 75,000 meeting suppliers globally. By sending

requests for proposals (RFPs) to multiple venues,

you’ll have a better chance of finding the one that

can best suit your needs and your price point.

The Cvent Supplier Network is a free-to-use sourcing

and eRFP tool for meeting planners, available at


3. Research meeting venues online to find the best

space. Cvent lets planners search through thousands

of meeting spaces quickly with filters on key

criteria such as number of sleeping rooms needed,

chain affiliation, amount of meeting space,

proximity to the airport, and amenities offered.

By using a great tool like the one offered by Cvent,

planners can sort through thousands of meeting

venues in just minutes.

4. Take advantage of the best meeting promotions. Use the promotions search tool offered by Cvent to get a

broad view of deals being offered by meeting venues. Searching by date of your event can also help you identify

venues that have a need to fill their space, making them more than willing to offer great deals.

5. Ask the right questions to get the right price. Customize your meeting RFPs to accurately reflect your

meeting requirements. Whether by attaching documents or asking unique questions, your RFPs should clarify

what you’re trying to accomplish in order to get the most accurate price.

Visit www.cvent.com to research meeting destinations, search for venues and use Cvent’s free meeting RFP

system. Cvent guarantees the highest response rate for meeting RFPs.

34 news & views | may-june 2009 www.mpicac.org

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