Professional Development - Meeting Professionals International ...

Professional Development - Meeting Professionals International ...



news & views

january-february 2008 . volume 29 . issue 1

Meeting of the


Setting the Stage for the

Chapter Educational

Conference... Page 11

Strategic Thinking

An Urban Legend or a

Legend To Live By?….Page 12

CMP, CMM or a

Bachelor’s Degree

Why They All Have a Place in

the Industry…..Page 13-15

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A message from

Joyce Paschall,





The Importance

of Strategic



Hot or Not? Check out

what’s hot and what’s

not in the meeting




& Views

Chair Beth Ciampi

looks at the definition

of Professional



The Value of

Becoming a CMP


Student Affairs


Gets High Grades



of the Trade

Alisa Peters wants

you to Grow Your





Sally Magallanes

keeps you up to date

on what’s happening

with your colleagues



Committee Focus

Meet Mari Heavey,

CMM, Co-Chair of

the Educational



Setting the Stage

for the Chapter





White Hot Holiday photos courtesy of Edward Fox Photography

Elevate Yourself

with Global


Is a Bachelor’s

Degree the Wave

of the Future?



It Was a White Hot

Holiday Celebration!

Industry Calendar of

important upcoming



Sponsorship Heroes

highlights the people

and organizations

that support the

MPI Chicago Area


An Evening at Underground Bar photo courtesy of Jeff Brown; All Events Photos

Joyce Paschall, CAE, CMP

The Center for

Association Growth

From the President

OCommit to Lifelong Learning...

Our theme with this issue is professional development, which encompasses a wide continuum

of possibilities. An excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to a particular

line of work is to pursue a certification such as CMP and CMM. I know I gained as

much from my participation in the study groups as from the exams themselves or the

material I crammed, I mean, thoughtfully read, when working toward the designations

of CMP and CAE (Certified Association Executive). I heartily encourage this credibilityadding


By now we all realize that each of us owns our own career, that no employer can be expected

to care as much about it as we do. It’s our individual responsibility to ensure that

our knowledge and skills are state-of-the-art. Our first loyalty is to ourselves; only then

can we perform at the highest level for our employer. So dig into your own pocket if you

need to. Invest in yourself!

I think we too easily overlook how lucky we are to have such a vast array of professional

development activities in our industry and particularly locally in our area. While I encourage

all of us to take advantage of every educational opportunity we can, within MPI,

within the greater meetings industry community and outside our traditional industry

box, it’s really basic that we make the most of the choices offered by our own chapter.

I’m sure we all occasionally see the description for a particular event and think, “That

just doesn’t apply to me” or “I already know all I need to about that.” Sometimes a particular

program just doesn’t speak to our current interests. There are always reasons

not to attend something even when the schedule allows it. So consider that perhaps your

role in a particular session could be as a teacher rather than a student. We know we

learn from each other as readily as from the formal program. And realize that this could

be an area you think you’re not interested in, but it could pry open a window of curiosity

to pursue something intriguing or spark a valuable conversation that couldn’t have been

anticipated. These are the golden moments of connection we all seek as human beings.

Need yet another reason to participate in our chapter events? Think about all the conversations

you’ve had with those outside our industry about what you do for a living. I

know for a fact that my parents never understood how I could be getting paid to, in their

mind, fly around to fancy hotels in different cities all the time. Now revel in how great it

feels to be with a group of people who GET IT, who understand what you do and either do

it too or provide crucial support to your efforts. What a reaffirming experience.

In words attributed to the incomparable Woody Allen, “Eighty percent of success is showing

up.” I look forward to seeing you show up!

P. S. As I write this, we have just held our second Women’s Leadership Conference. If

you were there you know what positive energy and uplifting knowledge was shared at

this stellar event, and how many intangible factors blended into a truly memorable experience.

We heard from women leaders of all kinds, each with her own story, her own

plan, her own priorities. The opening panel discussion featured the current and three

former chairwomen of our parent organization, MPI. Among the very individual aspirations

and pathways, one common theme was that their involvement in MPI gave them

so much benefit – beyond what they could have foreseen – toward specific jobs skills,

general professional development, leadership positions and by vastly enriching their network

and personal lives through wonderful connections and friendships. What an amazing

ROI that is!

4 news & views | january-february 2008

PFrom the Committee Chair

Happy New Year

Question: Why a brief definition of professional development?


Professional Development: Often refers to skills required for maintaining a specific

career path. (Wikipedia).

Not only is it important, it is required. With that being said, the News &

Views team takes great pride in presenting you with this issue’s theme of professional


Professional development comes in all shapes and sizes presenting an option for every

taste and preference. One shape of Professional Development is the Certified

Meeting Professional and Certified Meeting Management Exams. In this issue we

will be discussing the importance of each of these exams and get some excellent advice

from CMP and CMM recipients when taking these exams. We will also take a

closer look at why obtaining a Bachelors degree with a concentration in convention

meeting management is beneficial for today’s students who want to pursue such a


Beth Ciampi

Program Coordinators

Another excellent tool for professional development can be found at MPI Professional

Pathways on the website ( This is a great tool to boost and track

your career growth. Educational conferences, which most of you may be familiar

with, have professional development written all over them; in fact it may even be part

of their definition! This is one type of professional development that should be utilized

at every opportunity. With as many educational events as MPI conducts throughout

the year, the options are endless. Such events include the chapter’s Women’s Leadership

Conference which was a huge success in November, the Chapter Educational

Conference which is being held on February 22nd, and the MPI Professional Education

Conference also in February...just to name a few! With all this talk about education

and professional development, we will be focusing on the MPI-CAC Educational

Conference Committee with a little Q & A on what makes their committee tick.

Wtih people’s continued focus on global growth, one aspect of professional development

to keep in mind is being able to understand those who are from a different

culture. Through an interview with one of our chapter members who is originally

from Germany, you will see just one example of a different country’s way of doing

business. Another big picture concept we examine is strategic thinking, and what it

really means in our day to day lives.

With the New Year comes new goals and new resolutions. But let’s face it; New Year’s

resolutions are not always easy to keep, so we’ve decided to provide you with some

tricks to achieve your goals for this year. With that being said, I challenge you to add

one new type of professional development to your life this year, making it not only

your goal, but a priority. Attend a conference, write an article, go for that certification

you have been putting off all these years. Whatever type of professional development

concepts you choose, I promise you it will be worth it both professionally and


If you want to be a writer or have an article idea for News & Views just email me at Happy New Year!! news & views | january-february 2008


Grow Your Community

By Alisa

Peters, CMP

Chicago Indoor Racing

It’s a small world after all kids! This “Clicks” is dedicated to helping you grow your own tightknit global community,

professionally and personally. As one smart person in the airline industry advised first, “Put your own oxygen

mask on before you help other people” (stop throwing things at me, I know it’s kind of trite). There is a reason why

popular sayings become popular sayings… generally if they stick around for a while, there is more than an ounce

of truth in them.

Meet Different- PEC 2008 in Houston

This year Dallas has really ripped apart the Professional Educational Conference that we

all know and love (and only some of us have made time for in the past) to revamp it and

turn things upside down. 96% of the sessions and 40% of the speakers are brand new

to the conference this year… the expo marketplace has intriguing formats (forget that

bland pipe and drape kids! Wait till you see what they have cooked up!) to encourage attendees

to come and stay a while. There will be podcasting, wiki’s and blogs (if you don’t

know what those three things are… book your ticket and register NOW, hence you find

yourself the victim of electronic Darwinism) and cutting edge meeting tools designed for

the 21st century. Keep yourself relevant!

Expand your professional resources and community through the best online network

of over 16 million experienced professionals around the world… representing 150 industries!

Many in ours! You can find potential clients, service providers, subject matter

experts and business opportunities. Looking for a new opportunity? LinkedIn is a great

way to find the perfect position or to get noticed for the one you want. You can find

common connections with business partners and get quick introductions as well. The

average Harvard Business School graduate has 58 connections… I am up to 91. Be careful

that you only welcome those you know well into your network, as the tool is useless if


If you haven’t heard this new “buzzword” yet, you are going to soon. Corporate Social

Responsibility is a major driving force in the business world going into 2008 (the Christmas

tree at Rockefeller Center in New York will be lit up with LED’s to save energy). CSR

wire allows you to submit your company initiatives in the form of News Alerts as well! Use

the search function on the site to see the level of social and environmental responsibility

of partners and clients. Begin making a difference now!

The Meetings Community

This site is a non commercial site that works through Google Groups and is dedicated

to providing a forum for planners and suppliers to discuss issues around the meetings

industry. While provides something like this already, another resource is

never a bad thing (and you can believe that we are doing everything we can to add these

knowledgeable folks to our membership rosters!).

Ok, be warned… this site is super rudimentary from a branding and presentation standpoint.

No bells and whistles to be seen for MILES… but it is unbelievably FULL of content.

From meetings & hospitality industry and financial news, to market reports, to columns,

association updates, job and marketplace opportunities, links to hotel schools through

to Industry links, events, documents, books and polls… this site gives some of the best in

our industry a run for their money as it isn’t as laden with advertising as the rest, and it’s

basic design is almost appealing (soon to be retro).

6 news & views | january-february 2008

Attendees Find Women’s

Leadership Conference Invaluable

By Jennifer


American College of

Healthcare Executives

Enthusiasm ran high at the Women’s Leadership

Conference, where more then 170 men and women

attendees came together on Tuesday, November 13,

2007. The conference began with a panel of past and

present MPI Chairs, to talk about leadership and how

to become better leaders in our industry and our personal

lives. Panelist Anna Lee Chabot stated, “As a

panelist at the conference, I learned as much from

my colleagues as I may have contributed! We are all

so different, and each of us has achieved success in

our professional lives by following unique pathways.”

The mid-morning breakout sessions enabled attendees

to focus on a wide variety of important issues: professional,

financial, personal, and community leadership.

The breakout sessions were “very inspiring” to Peggy

Pissarreck, CMP, from the American Bar Association.

She enjoyed “hearing and learning about the driving

forces behind vision and balance.” Courtney Metzler,

with the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, commented

how the “specialized breakout sessions were

very beneficial to her learning and rowth.”

The Connection Place was where the meeting of exhibitors

and attendees took place. The interaction

and the relationships made during this time was

valuable to everyone. The Connection Place was also

host to the silent auction which raised close to $4,500

for the chapter and MPI Foundation.

Chapter President Joyce Paschall, CAE, CMP, with Bob Higa promoting

upcoming awards recognition event on June 3 at Alhambra Palace.

During the reception many participants reflected on the

knowledge they had gained, and discussed how they would

implement key essentials they learned at the conference.

Robin Barnes with the Peoria Civic Center thought the

Conference provided intriguing ideas and timely refreshers

of concepts she had learned but forgotten. She

gleaned new tips and learned how to execute them effectively,

empowering her to be a stronger leader.

Left to Right: Current Chairwoman of MPI Angie Pfeifer, CMM, and Past

Chairwomen Evelyn Laxgang, Beverly Winner Kinkade and Anna Lee Chabot

The energy continued as Sara Laschever, co-author

of Women Don’t Ask, provided the keynote luncheon

presentation. Sara did a wonderful job of bringing to

light the small simple changes we can make in our

lives to teach and develop better leadership not only

in our careers, but our personal lives as well. The message

to not devalue your talent as a woman brought to

attention how women tend to be more humbling than

men. Jamie Shamhart with Four Seasons Hotels and

Resorts commented that Sara had a “very humorous

way of talking through sobering materials. (She even

spoke about) lessons not only for women, but lessons

I can teach my son”.

The value of the conference was priceless and the knowledge

was tremendously valuable to attendees. Pissarreck,

for example, was so dedicated to the purpose of

the meeting that she paid for the conference out of her

own pocket because she felt it was a “valuable experience.”

We look forward to increased participation in

the Women’s Leadership Conference in future years.

Attendees enjoy the conference!

WLC photos courtesy of Elan Photography news & views | january-february 2008


Here’s the latest changes and updates on people

we know, or should get to know, in the meetings industry!

By Sally

Magallanes, CMP

Happy New Year! Where did 2007

go? Many changes occurred in people’s

lives and now here’s even more

to learn about. Read on…

People on the Move…

HBrenda Dobbert has moved “back

home” and confesses she now has

her dream job! She is the new Associate

Director of Sales for The

Grand Geneva Resort, handling

the Illinois Corporate Market. Prior

to joining the Grand Geneva,

Brenda worked for the Clock Tower

Resort in Rockford, Schaumburgbased

Hostmark Management

Group, Oak Brook Hills Resort and

Indian Lakes Resort. Those interested

in bringing a program to The

Grand Geneva Resort can contact

or call (262) 248-8811. The Resort is

located at Highways 50 East and 12

in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

A familiar chapter member has

made a change! Rick Hud is Director,

National Accounts, at El Conquistador

Golf Resort & Casino and

Las Casitas Village & Golden Door

Spa. Rick was most recently with

the Lisle Convention and Visitors

Bureau and also spent a number

of years with the Puerto Rico Convention

Bureau. He can be reached

at (630) 541-5388, or email Rhud@ For more information

on these magnificent

properties, go to


Give Rick a call and he’ll be happy

to share more information, including

the e-brochures!

Erin Seal

Erin Seal has

made her career

working in hotels

(The Talbott

Hotel), Chicago

cruise ships

(Odyssey & Mystic

Blue Cruises)

and has now

moved to restaurants!

She is an Event Sales Manager

at the new ZED451 Restaurant.

You can find her at the ZED451 in

Downers Grove, 3008 Finley Road.

This exciting new venue can accommodate

groups of 200-300. To contact

Erin, please call (630) 810-9403,

send a fax to (630) 810-0483 or email Website is Congratulations

and best wishes, Erin!

After a short hiatus from a full-time

hospitality career, MPI-CAC Board

Member Sonal Sullivan, CMP has

rejoined the ranks! She is now Manager,

Meeting Services at Healthcare

Information Management

Systems Society (HIMSS). Sonal

can be reached at (312) 915-9568 or

send email to

The company

is located at

230 East Ohio

Street, Suite

500 in Chicago.

We know she

will be a great

addition to

Sonal Sullivan HIMSS!

Organizations in

Change and New...

The Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors

Bureau was rebranded as

Tampa Bay & Company in late September

2007. The bureau also gave

itself a new tagline: “Economic Development

through Tourism.” This

is of special note to Chicago chapter

members, as Jeff Gassaway, Board

Liaison to News & Views, is the regional

representative for this CVB.

He can be reached at jgassaway@

Chicagoans have been driving

by the site at 401 North Wabash

(formerly the Chicago Sun Times

headquarters) and seeing a beautiful,

shiny building rise…to over 90

stories! The Trump International

Hotel and Tower Chicago officially

opened last month (December

2007). This is the first development

by the Trump Organization in Chicago,

a city that Donald J. Trump

loves (the Chatter author heard

him say it)! The hotel portion is located

on floors 14-27, with 339 luxurious

guestrooms and suites. There

is 20,000 square feet of meeting

space that includes beautiful ballrooms

and boardrooms. Special

winter 2008 group rates are available

from January – March 2008.

For more information, please contact

Robert Prohaska, Director of

Sales & Marketing, at (312) 924-7610

or email rprohaska@trumphotels.

com. Visit www.trumpchicagohotel.

com for a complete description of

the property.

8 news & views | january-february 2008

Special Honors...

Concierge Unlimited International

recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.



also coincides

with the

silver anniversary

of the corporate


industry. Company


Olga Pierson Olga Pierce, has

been the driving

force behind the private, high-end

concierge concept. Concierge Unlimited

International has received

many awards and was the first recipient

of the Trump International

Hotel & Tower Chicago’s Negotiated

Rate Award. MPI-CAC member

Vicki Flahaven is a Corporate Concierge

with the company. She can

be reached at (847) 232-5525, via fax

at (847) 232-5686 or vicki.flahaven@ Please

visit the website at

Best wishes for

many more years of success!

CORT Event Furnishings recently

had cause for celebration! It received

the “2007 Spotlight Award

for Rental Company of the Year” by

Event Solutions Magazine. Some of

the factors considered in choosing

CORT were its excellence in performance

consistency, creativity

and design, customer service, presentation,

uniqueness and range

of products offered and quality

control. Please take a moment to

check out the company’s website Congratulations

to Jack Scafide and the entire

CORT team!

Sue Tinnish

Sue Tinnish, past

MPI-CAC President

and Principal

at SEAL Inc.,

has recently accepted

a teaching

position at

Roosevelt University.

She will

be teaching a

graduate level

course, Training and Development

in the Hospitality Industry, beginning

in the summer 2008 semester.

The course will help leaders in the

hospitality industry better manage

their own teams in addition to

supporting others interested in a

training and development career.

Sue also hopes that all meeting and

event students will take the course

to help them improve the learning

environment found in all hospitality

industry programs. Roosevelt

is the only university in Illinois that

offers both bachelors and masters

degrees in hospitality. Sue also has

a new email address:

If you haven’t connected

with her lately, she encourages you

to call (847) 394-9857, send an email

or go to Way

to go, Professor Tinnish!

Total Event Resources is in the

news again! The company recently

received national certification as

a Women’s Business Enterprise by

the Women’s Business Development

Center, a regional certifying

partner of the Women’s Business

Enterprise National Council

(WBENC). This national certification

is achieved after an in-depth review

of the business and confirms that it

is at least 51% owned, operated and

controlled by a woman (or women).

Send your note of congratulations

to and visit

Keep the chatter coming! Send your

news to


Photos are always welcome in jpg

or bmp format.

Volunteers Make a Difference!

MPI-CAC’s Board of Directors would like to acknowledge and thank the following volunteers for their outstanding work:

This Program

Sponsored by:


Out-of-this-World Events


Jena Cherry

Rockit Ranch Productions

Special Events Committee


Erin Stahowiak


Diversity Committee




Deborah Borsum, CSEP,


Out-of-this-World Events

The Meetinghouse Companies

Awards and Golf Committee

Marcia Buchs, CMP

American Express

Corporate Meeting Solutions

Holiday Party Committee

Melinda Stell

Park View Hotel


Committee news & views | january-february 2008


Committee Focus

Educational Programs Committee

It’s a brand new year and with our focus on professional development this issue, we decided it was only appropriate to

talk with Mari Heavey, CMM, co-chair of our Educational Programs committee.

Although Mari lived for several months in Italy and for a year in Minneapolis, this Southside native proudly still calls Chicago

home. Mari considers herself fortunate to have seen a good part of the world in her travels –for business and pleasure,

naturally. A meetings industry veteran, Mari has been in our business for just over twenty years and involved with MPI a

good portion of this time. Besides her involvement with the Educational Program committee, she has also served on the

Community Outreach committee. A great example for professional development, Mari earned her CMM five years ago.

N&V: What educational opportunities

does 2008 have in store for the

CAC membership?

Mari: As a committee we always try

to bring new and exciting topics and

speakers to our members. We rely

on surveys and input from our members

to best determine where their

interests lie. As a tenured member

of MPI I am keen to find educational

opportunities that will be of value to

our more seasoned members.

N&V: Name one fact that most people

do not know about you.

Mari: I am a volunteer pregnancy crisis

counselor at Aid for Women.

N&V: It’s a new year. What are some

of your resolutions for 2008 you’d like

to share – either personal or professional.

Mari: I haven’t started on last year’s

resolutions yet……….!

N&V: What or who inspires you?

Mari: I am inspired by people who

have a dream and pursue it; people

who are not easily deterred and optimistic

about the outcome. My father

was an eternal optimist and always

hoped that his children would

find jobs that we loved as he had. He

was made an offer of a lifetime later

in his career and turned it down – it


Melissa M.


Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa

was never about the money. He was

proud of his reputation and still in demand

at 78! I hope to still have that

drive at that age.

N&V: What would we find in your

fridge right now? On your coffee table?

Mari: I generally have milk, orange

juice and “fat” cokes in my fridge

along with a couple bottles of wine. I

always have a steak in the freezer. I

subscribe to a variety of magazines –

Health, National Geographic, Forbes,

Fortune, Crain’s, WWII, History,

American History, Chicago, Travel &

Leisure, Traveler and Wine Spectator.

Sometimes I even read them!

10 news & views | january-february 2008

MPI-CAC Takes Center Stage...

Educational Conference

By Nathan


Holiday Inn Select


The historic Drake Hotel sets the stage for the MPI-CAC

Educational Conference on February 22, 2008. The

educational committee is hard at work designing an

event not to be missed, featuring highly acclaimed

meeting industry speakers.

This one day program will begin sharply at 7:00am

with a continental breakfast and networking opportunities.

Keynote speaker Michael Cerbelli, President

of Special Events for Total Entertainment, joins

us with his energetic program, Hot Event & Entertainment

Ideas 2008. He has made this presentation in

over four-dozen cities as he visits corporations, MPI,

NACE and ISES chapters. Michael also just celebrated

an unprecedented fourth year on the Event Solutions

Idea Factory Stage as a featured speaker.

During lunch, Judith Wright, called “one of the most

sought-after self-help gurus” by The San Francisco

Chronicle, discusses The Myth of Balance: Having It

All. Her bestselling book, One Decision, is an overarching

choice about the quality of your life, introducing

a simple but powerful concept to implement in

your life. Judith Wright is a sought-after media guest

on more than 50 television programs across the country

including Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America,

the Today Show, Fox & Friends, and the Montel Show.

Her work has been featured on over 400 radio programs

and in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers.

Throughout the day, this year’s breakout sessions will

cover a broad range of hospitality topics that will interest

everyone from students to seasoned meeting


Breakout options include:

James Spellos: Wikiville & Googleicious, Hot Technology

and Excel Basic and Advanced.

James Spellos, CMP is the President of Meeting U., a

company specializing in training on the topics of technology

applications and meeting planning. Four different

technology breakouts will be offered throughout

the day, ranging in topics and levels, certainly

with something for every attendee.

Joan Eisenstodt: Meetings Beyond Logistics and

Meetings & Logistics.

Joan Eisenstodt brings 30+ years of experience to her

work. She founded Eisenstodt Associates, a Wa s h -

ington, DC-based conference and hospitality consulting,

facilitation and training company in 1981.

From participation in Meetings Beyond Logistics, you


• Develop a greater awareness of your own and others’

learning styles

• Advance your ability to create different learning

environments and delivery formats

• Create steps to move meetings you plan or host

to a new level of inventiveness

From participation in Meetings & Logistics, you will:

• Expand your knowledge of the impact of logistics

on meeting outcomes

• Enhance your consultative capacity to help internal

and external clients create smarter meetings.

• Establish parameters in which to select sites and

guide logistics for better programs

Jonathan Howe: Contract Negotiations A to Z and

The Lawyer Is In.

Jonathan is the president/senior partner of Howe &

Hutton Ltd., a law firm with offices in Chicago, St.

Louis and Washington, D.C. He has written hundreds

of articles, papers and books, and has spoken to organizations

worldwide on all manner of legal issues.

He serves as general counsel for Meeting Professionals

International, the International Special Events Society

and the prestigious Association Committee of

100 sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

He is a founder, president and board member of the

Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He is also

the recipient of MPI’s prestigious Industry Award

and past recipient of the HSMAI Foundation PaceSetters


Bill Kubiak: Lights! Camera! Action! AV!

Bill Kubiak is Director of National Accounts for Swank

Audio Visuals, a nationwide AV service provider.

Prior to joining Swank, Bill was Vice President of

Technical Operations for an Event Production company.

continued on page 20 news & views | january-february 2008


Professional Development

Strategic Thinking...An Urban

Legend or a Legend To Live By?

By Ben

Von Bruenchenhein

Renaissance Hotels

Everyone knows what “strategic thinking” is. It can’t

be an urban legend. I mean, we have all heard this

term. Most of us have participated in a brainstorming

session regarding it. You know the one -- there’s a

flip chart, a transparency and sometimes, the meeting

is planned in some exotic place like the Catskills.

You think, “Wow. The Catskills.” Then, before you

know it, you are trapped in a boardroom discussing

the next five years of your life.

Strategic Thinking (def.): Of, or relating to, strategy.

A simple enough definition, yet it describes strategic

thinking perfectly. How can it not? It has “strategy”

right in it. Is it really that simple? Often explained

and taught by individuals that are at the top of their

game, or so we are told, strategic thinking can be

a set of long-term goals, which can be forgotten or

feared, depending on the prevailing market.

If things are going well, we never look

at our strategic plan. It’s in the heat

of disappointment or failure when we

truly look back and think, “What went

wrong with our strategies?” So we go

back and page through our plans and

see what we thought about years ago

and wonder why we aren’t doing them.

We look into ideas that we developed

in the past and what future markets

hold. Many times we overanalyze our

past strategies and the fact that the

current strategies aren’t working.

What we must remember is that these

plans are “living documents,” and

need tending to now and again. It is

okay, and even necessary, to change

as business climates fluctuate.

We use strategic planning all the

time, whether it is to save for a child’s

education, a new home, or even for

the next video system. Imagine not

planning for an overseas meeting?

So, you are going to Barbados with

a group in July of 2011 – do you have

your microchip passports ordered? What type of

transportation will you be taking? Are they going to

be magically transported? Will the meeting be conducted

by virtual reality? When buying a car, we look

at what’s best for our future as an investment: Will it

be practical in five years? Does it serve my current

purposes, as well? I am sure you thought about all of

those questions when you purchased your first car.

Developed in the 1920s, strategic thinking was a way

major companies were able to forecast and develop

future plans in a clear, concise way. Sports teams do

it all the time – they attack an area of weakness and

bring it up to the higher-producing areas. Look at

the 100-year plan the Cubs are on. And if they are not

an urban legend in the playoffs, who is? I remember

thinking as a kid, “This is their year!” And then thinking,

“They better have a strategic plan for next year!”

Or is it “wait until next year?” Oh, it is next year…

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Host an event by July 31, 2008 valued at $10,000 at

either property and receive one hour

complimentary welcome reception or an event

valued over $20,000 and receive a welcome

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North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018

HHonors membership, earning of Points and Miles and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

©2007 Hilton Hospitality, Inc.

12 news & views | january-february 2008

ABecoming a CMP

As a very proud and brand new CMP, I would like to

share some thoughts to those contemplating the process

and those who have obtained their CMP. I had

started the process to obtain my CMP designation a

number of times over approximately 15 years but never

saw this to completion. Either there wasn’t enough time

or enough money.

As the years have gone by, I had begun to notice a trend.

More and more employers were requiring the CMP designation

in their potential candidates. Those without

this designation were not viewed as serious contenders

for positions as their knowledge was not as comprehensive

or complete as one with the CMP. This in itself is

a wonderful motivator to go through the CMP process.

Clients view those with the CMP designation in a far

more professional light.

In January of this year my director of sales asked if anyone

in the department was interested in obtaining their

CMP and, if so, the hotel would assist with the costs involved.

Before I knew what I was

doing, I stood up and said yes. I was

familiar with “the booklet” and began

the process of completing the

application. I waited nervously to

see if I would even qualify to sit for

the exam and as it happened, I did.

I purchased the books and when

they arrived, a bit of panic set in as

not only hadn’t I studied to this degree

in many years – those books

are intimidating. I began to read

some of the materials and registered

to participate in the Study


Upon arriving at the Bootcamp, I

found that almost every participant

was as nervous as I (regardless of

their age). I don’t think any of us

realized the body of material we

were expected to learn and how on

earth we would be able to remember

“Those Da _ _ Formulas”. The

Bootcamp gave us direction and

we gave each other support. We

developed study groups and hoped

it would all fall into place. Somewhere

in this process, I realized

They come for

the event.

They come back

for the experience.

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• 34,000 sq. ft. of

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Start your tradition at

Professional Development

By Kathy

O’Leary, CMP

Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza

that I had begun to incorporate this new knowledge into

my daily business practices and how fluently I was conversing

on various areas of the industry. The knowledge

I realized was being applied daily and at that moment I

knew that this was the best professional decision I had

made in a long while.

We prepared for “test day” diligently and walked into

the classroom hoping and praying we would pass. The

test was taken, and win, lose or draw – it was over. As

we conducted our post-test discussions we all came to

know that there would be a bond forever connecting our

group. After seven weeks, the letters arrived and contained

the news we were waiting for. I have glanced up

at my CMP Certificate as I write this with such pride. I

worked very hard and I did sacrifice through this process,

but I am now part of an elite group of hospitality

industry professionals. The feeling is priceless. Those

with the CMP designation are the movers and shakers

of the industry – who wouldn’t want to be part of the

core group that shapes the direction of the industry?

NBH16591 MPI Chicago Ad 10/5/07 5:09 PM Page 1

Make us

your tradition. news & views | january-february 2008


Professional Development

Elevate Yourself Personally and

Professionally with the Global

Certification in Meeting Management

I often hear “I would love to be a meeting planner -- I

think it would be fun!” This statement always makes me

cringe! Not because I don’t agree that meeting planning

is indeed enjoyable, but for two other reasons. First,

meeting planning is a profession requiring a wealth of

knowledge and a specific skill set that takes years to attain.

I’ve been a meeting professional for a while now

and realize I will never stop learning. There is so much

to learn about the meetings industry, and it is always

evolving. When was the last time you heard “I would

love to be an accountant -- I think it would be fun!”?

The second reason I cringe at the notion this is just a

fun job is that I have come to realize that I can offer

so much more than just tactical meeting planning (the

implied “fun part” of my role). I can help at a strategic

level, as well. This applies to anyone in the meetings

industry -- not just planners.

I acquired my CMM (Global Certification

in Meeting Management) through

a series of activities, including prereading,

a one-week residency, a test,

and finally a business plan. The series

of classes and activities during

my residency focused on “the bigger

picture” and propelled not only my

knowledge of both the meetings industry

and business in general, but it

bolstered my confidence as a qualified

businessperson and a strategist

in my acumen. I learned that meeting

professionals and others in this industry

can and should be more than

just order takers and logistics people.

We can contribute to how meetings

fit into the organization’s business

mix and enable it to more effectively

reach an organization’s goals and objectives.

By Victoria

Johnson, CMP, CMM

Underwriters Laboratories

Our industry has so much growth potential

and needs to be recognized by

other business roles as an equally vital

part to achieving an organization’s

goals and objectives. Yes, the tactical,

planning part is critical to my role, but it is only half

of the equation. The CMM is one way our industry is

proving its worth to the business world. When I signed

up to obtain my CMM, I was told, the CMP (Certified

Meeting Professional) accreditation I have will help

me learn how to SET the table, but the CMM will help

to get a SEAT at the (C-level) table.

If you have 10 or more years in the meetings industry, attain

your CMM and change your whole attitude and outlook

on what you do and how you think. If you are not there

yet, put it on your “to do” list with all of those other “fun

things” you do! The CMP (Certified Meeting Professional)

accreditation is administered by the Convention Industry

Council (CIC). The CMM (Global Certification in Meeting

Management) is administered by Meeting Professionals

International (MPI). For details, visit their websites at and

Two great properties, one great location

Doubletree O’Hare Rosemont

and Embassy Suites have it all.

Over 28,000 square feet of flexible meeting

space minutes from O’Hare and Downtown

Chicago. The location you need and all the

amenities your attendees are looking for.

Host an event by July 31, 2008 valued at $10,000 at

either property and receive one hour

complimentary welcome reception or an event

valued over $20,000 and receive a welcome

reception plus complimentary HSI for your general

session room.

847-292-9100 847-678-4000

North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018

HHonors membership, earning of Points and Miles and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

©2007 Hilton Hospitality, Inc.

14 news & views | january-february 2008

Why A Bachelor’s Degree?

Why should you consider hiring a Bachelor’s Degree

holder coming out of a hospitality management school

with a major or concentration in convention and meeting

management? Many of today’s senior managers in

the domain never formally studied meeting or event

planning and have forged highly successful careers.

Many younger planners speed up the process of learning

their craft through very effective certification.

Why do we even need to develop Bachelor’s Degree

programs in meeting management? And if you are a

young person thinking of a future career, why would

you want to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree with a meeting

planning focus?

The answer can be found in looking at what happens

to industries over time and the resulting need for increasingly

sophisticated professional education.

Almost all industries follow an industry life cycle

marked by an embryonic phase, a growth phase, a

shakeout phase, and finally maturity. In the embryonic

phase, resourceful entrepreneurs pioneer new

offerings. During the growth phase, many newcomers

enter the marketplace, and because demand still

outstrips supply, quality, clear strategic planning and

careful cost controls are not essential. As supply

matches demand during the shakeout phase, however,

the fully informed professionals emerge, and it is

the true professionals who will survive and flourish into

industry maturity. Every industry matures at a different

rate, but industries in general are maturing much

more rapidly now than in the past.

The need for professional education in an industry

mirrors this cycle of development. What is begun by

an inventive naïf eventually becomes the material for

technical diplomas. As the industry becomes more sophisticated,

there is more to know. Many industries

then become the subject of Associate’s Degrees. Finally,

as these industries become highly competitive

and increasingly sophisticated as businesses, fouryear

Bachelor’s Degree programs emerge that give

sufficient time to treat the growing array of industryspecific

elements as well as the time to put these elements

into a general business and social context.

In the banking industry within our lifetimes, we have

witnessed the movement from highly technical twoyear

book-keeping diplomas to full-blown Bachelor’s

Degree and MBA qualifications. Hotel education has

gone from vocational training through the Associate’s

Professional Development

By Jeffrey


Kendall College

level to the Bachelor’s level and beyond. Today’s hotel

and hospitality education not only imparts the basic

skills and culture of hotel-keeping but increasingly

places this industry-specific training within the context

of sophisticated business management education.

A generation ago, many of us stumbled into hotels and

worked our way to the top. But years ago, we didn’t

live in complex e-marketing environments, or monitor

energy use through building management systems, or

incorporate regression or linear programming models

into sophisticated revenue management approaches.

Today, it is increasingly unlikely that a hotel will

be managed by someone who has not had formalized

business education, and today’s corporate offices are

populated almost exclusively by professionals with

post-graduate qualifications.

Just two decades ago, chefs more often than not developed

their art simply by training on the job under

the guidance of experienced executive chefs. Today,

very few chefs will succeed without the intense training

that leads to the Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts.

In just the last few years, the leading culinary schools

have developed Bachelor’s Degree programs to equip

chefs with the business acumen they now if they wish

to succeed. In a recent conversation with a Vice President

for Food and Beverage of a major international

hotel company, he made it clear the he would no longer

consider hiring a chef who was not fully familiar with

accounting, budgeting, and marketing and who could

not understand the strategic role that foodservice

played within his company.

The meeting planning industry, as a formalized pursuit,

is quite new. Only in the last two decades has

meeting planning come into its own as a distinct activity

distinguished from the marketing or banqueting

functions. The first generation of planners, like all

pioneers, developed rules and procedures from experience

of what worked and what did not. That knowledge,

today, is collated into increasingly sophisticated

certification packages, and certification is clearly becoming

the sine qua non qualification of the planner.

While certification tests may evolve into the bar exams

or medical boards of the industry in the near future,

degree programs are already being organized in a

number of colleges and universities.

continued on page 24 news & views | january-february 2008


what’s hot what’s not

Here Today...and Gone Tomorrow...

A Guide to Good Tradeshow Etiquette

By Alisa

Peters, CMP

Chicago Indoor Racing

Think outside the norm… Explore, and broaden

the horizons of your next meeting or event.

Make a commitment to visit a new supplier!

Tradeshows are designed for exploration. Stick with what

you have always done and get the same results you have

always gotten. Consider visiting one new potential supplier

for every two tried and true. Many times a delightful gem of

an idea or resource can be hidden in the booth you least suspect.

If something effectively drew you to the booth, let the

supplier know… they can pass on the kudos to their company

to show a good return on investment..

Sign your contracts on the Tradeshow Floor

Especially when dealing with smaller suppliers.

With so much money tied up exhibiting, suppliers, particularly

smaller ones, are eternally grateful for signed contracts or

RFP’s that are submitted on the tradeshow floor. Many smaller

venues look at their exhibiting commitment as one of their biggest

single marketing expenses of the year. Take advantage of

your time away from the office and make an appointment to

see your favorite supplier on the floor to build on, maintain or

grow existing conversations.


Make your spaces inviting and unique.

Tourism Toronto did an amazing job at the WEC in Montreal of

creating a serene and inviting oasis in the middle of the tradeshow

madness that was exceptionally well done. The key to

their success was the design of a space that encouraged attendees

to come in and stay a while, with visually intimate spaces

that kept guests from being otherwise distracted by other

tradeshow activty. Spaces were designed to encourage conversation

and relaxation. Consider a nontraditional investment!

As this year’s PEC will feature the first “pipe-and-drape-free”

spaces, I am sure there will be an opportunity to test a scaled

down version of Toronto’s success this year in Houston!

Collecting giveaways from exhibiting Suppliers

that they cannot or will not ever purchase from.

It’s just bad manners. Exhibiting suppliers spend tens of

thousands of dollars to exhibit. If you have no intention of ever

using a supplier it is unethical and bad manners to take their

giveaways unless you are offered one as you pass by (something

that happens largely when someone doesn’t want to lug

their stuff home). If you are enticed to go to a booth that you

wouldn’t normally consider but it grabs your attention and is a

possibility… go for it! It is why suppliers go to the show and do

what they do!


Don’t discount or overlook other suppliers.

A gentle reminder to my favorite suppliers… while it is bad

manners for non-exhibiting supplier to walk around the tradeshow

floor collecting goodies… it is shortsighted to assume

that all non-exhibiting suppliers on the tradeshow floor are

there for freebies… many are there with planner friends who

have requested their company (I am in this position frequently).

Look at every face on the floor as an opportunity and you

just may find that new relationships are formed in a way you

least suspected they would!

Not attending

If you get a chance to go to annual conferences, make sure

that whatever your categorization, that you make time to visit

the tradeshow floor. It is the lifeblood of our business. The

WEC and PEC have hosted lunches on the floor. At a bare

minimum, just walk around and observe. The meetings &

convention industry is a 120 billion dollar industry and the

hum of the floor can be magnificent. Suppliers can find their

own suppliers on the floor (I love PC Nametag and have found

great merchandise companies and technology partners on

my trips…. In Montreal I found a provider who has boxed an

organic line of snacks that we are about to pick up for our


16 news & views | january-february 2008

Meetings that


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11/19/07 12:50:24 PM

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07WARU088-MPI_Chicago.indd 1

11/21/07 12:24:48 PM

Report Card: A Progress Report

from the Student Affairs Committee

By Karen


Landmark Incentive Marketing

As a first year committee, the Student Affairs committee is both very excited

and very overwhelmed, but we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce

ourselves to the chapter and briefly explain the role of our committee.

In brief, we are split into two subcommittees: Student Education and University

Partnership. The Student Education subcommittee is responsible for

partnering with other committees to create a student-focused initiative at

each event. Whether it is a raffle for a free membership, pairing the students

with a professional escort, or most recently, adding an icon to promotional

materials indicating student recommended breakout sessions.

The University Partnership subcommittee is focused on the campus initiative

and establishing our association on campus and in the classroom. MPI

membership brochures and applications are now proudly displayed in

classrooms, career centers, and faculty offices at area universities. In addition,

our faculty contacts are advised of upcoming events and provided

with promotional brochures and flyers to be distributed to their students

and posted around campus. We are also making strides towards getting

professionals on campus via guest speaking engagements, networking receptions

and career fairs.

We are very excited about the work we’ve been doing in our first few

months as a committee. There are currently 40 Chicago area chapter student

members, and we continue to grow.

We’d like to thank the Board of Directors for giving us this amazing opportunity.

We’d also like to invite everyone who sees a potential in our

committee to reach out to us with your suggestions, partnership ideas or

event to volunteer your time to help.

Karen Gravlin . Landmark Incentive Marketing

Chair, Student Affairs Committee

Erin Shirley . Chicago Indoor Racing

Student Education

Katie Cavarretta . BCD Meetings & Incentives

University Partnership

18 news & views | january-february 2008

MPI-CAC “White Hot Holiday”

Another Great Success

By Alisa

Peters, CMP

Chicago Indoor Racing

The MPI Chicago Area Chapter Holiday Party at Fulton’s

on the River was a smashing success thanks to a

sell-out crowd full of both local Chapter Members and

out of town attendees in for Holiday Showcase, a hard

working committee, a huge team of very generous

sponsors, great entertainment and a beautiful room.

Every step in a new direction led a guest to one of six

delicious stations hosted by Levy Restaurants, an array

of silent auction packages, or a giving tree featuring

deals that were absolute steals. A portion of the

funds from this year’s giving tree, silent

auction and raffle will go to HELP (Help

Ease Local Poverty). HELP is a consortium

of business, residential, religious,

social service, institutional and volunteer

leaders striving to promote an atmosphere

of dignity and compassion

towards those in need by providing access

to food, health services, shelter and

employment. The balance of the funds

raised will be allocated to support the

MPI Foundation, which provides educational

and financial aid to MPI, as well as

MPI-CAC programs such as the Professional

Education Grant Program.

Photos courtesy of Edward Fox Photography

The entire chapter and its membership

would like to extend a special thanks to

all of the sponsors of this event, as without

you we wouldn’t be able to host the

many wonderful Chapter programs

that we do…

• Fulton’s on the River and Levy


• Aries Charter Transportation

• BBJ Linen

• Edward Fox Photography

• Fig Media

• Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI

• The Meetinghouse Companies


• Swank Audio Visual

A big thank you to the enthusiastic members

of the Holiday Party Committee who

worked so diligently all year long to ensure

the success of the event. We loved it! news & views | january-february 2008


Ed Conference.. continued from page 11

From participation in this session, you will:

• Learn terminology that will allow you to “talk the

tech talk”

• Learn how technical elements relate to the overall


• Learn basic AV formulas and how to use them

Bill O’Donnell & Keith Weil: Marketing Solutions/Relevance

Marketing Campaigns

Have you ever received a dumb marketing

piece? Have you ever sent one?

Do you know if your clients/members

and prospects are reading your emails

or direct mail pieces? See how direct

mail, direct email and web page technologies

can be combined with intelligent

content to increase the effectiveness

of marketing campaigns and get

greater return on your investment.

The final act will be a keynote on Innovation, performed

by Chicago’s own Second City.

Meeting Professionals International continues to be a

driving force to get people to connect and build business

relationships, and there is no better way to do this

than over a day long Educational Conference. Mark

your calendars for February 22, 2008, at The Drake

Hotel in Chicago.

See you there!!!

The Art of Living: How to Keep your

Smile Amidst the Chaos of Professional


The Art of Living Foundation is an international

non-profit, non-governmental,

educational and humanitarian

organization which works in consultative

status with the United Nations’

Economic & Social Councils and has

centers in over 150 countries. Its mission

is to serve society by strengthening

the individual. They do this by

teaching experiential programs including

breathing techniques and

knowledge of how to manage the mind

and emotions. Made up almost entirely

of volunteers, The Art of Living has

brought service programs, trauma relief,

and peace initiatives to thousands

of people in places of raging conflict,

inner cities, prisons, and to areas devastated

by trauma, war and natural

disaster, including Virginia Tech, Iraq,

Afghanistan, Kosovo, Pakistan, India,

Indonesia, Europe, New Orleans, and

New York 9/11. The programs have

had a dramatic effect: over 300 million

people from all backgrounds and traditions

have benefited from The Art of

Living programs all over the world.



Whether it’s an intimate board meeting, or an extraordinary location for your next

annual convention, Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Resort, is the

perfect Caribbean venue.

As one of Wyndham’s new, elite Grand Collection of hotels and resorts, Rio Mar

Beach Resort offers:

The Caribbean’s largest oceanfront

conference center

600 elegantly appointed guest

rooms with private balconies

Eleven restaurants and lounges

Two championship golf courses

Proud member of the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts family

Exotic Mandara Spa

New Rio Mar Casino

Only 19 miles from San Juan

International Airport

Endless beachside recreation,

exciting island tours and more!

Make your next meeting or event one to remember at

Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa.

1.800.4.RIO MAR

20 news & views | january-february 2008

Diversity Diversions Corner

By Catherine

Ryan, CMP


i v




i v










o n



Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 17)


Black History Month


Women’s History Month


Celebrate Diversity Month


Asian Pacific American

Heritage Month

World Day for Cultural

Diversity for Dialogue and

Development (May 21)

Although 2008 is already in full swing, there are many opportunities throughout

the year for us to create diversity in our everyday lives. Almost every month

there are observances to build awareness of our diverse surroundings. Take time

this year to learn more about each of these celebrations to better understand our

peers, coworkers, family and friends. Here are a few observances to be aware of

throughout 2008:


National GLBT Month


(As a nation we must take off from

our culturally inclined national observances

as the only ones I could

find were National Baked Beans,

Ice Cream, Lasagna, Culinary Arts,

Hot Dog, Picnic and Pickle Month!)


Women’s Equality Day (August 26)


Women of Achievement Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month

(September 15 to October 15)


National Disability

Employment Awareness Month

National AIDS Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month


National Native American Indian

Heritage Month

Latin American Month


Universal Human Rights Month,

Human Rights Day

(December 10)



Pheasant Run Resort now offers a 22,000

square foot IACC-Certified Advanced

Center for Training for all your training

and education needs. And with two golf

courses, indulgent spa and fine dining,

business is truly mixed with pleasure on

the 300 acre Pheasant Run Resort campus.



800-4-PHEASANT (474-3272)

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*Restrictions apply. Based on availability. Call for details. news & views | january-february 2008


A Global Look at The Meeting

Industry with André Valk, CMP

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time

with André Valk, CMP, Director of Sales for hinton

+grusich. Being a native of Germany, Andre brings

a true global perspective. I asked him about some of

the differences or challenges of working in the U.S. as

compared to Germany.

The conversation was really an eye opener for me. Although

I grew up in a home with both sets of grandparents

from Italy, I now recognize the great challenges

they must have faced. They not only had to confront

cultural challenges, but they had to learn the

laws of their new country.

André moved to the U.S. from Germany in 1988

and has worked in the hospitality industry his entire

career. Andre’s experience at the beginning

of his career was very different from those of us

who grew up and went to school in the United

States. In Germany when you go to college you

choose your profession before you start school

and that is the career you will enter into when you


André started his career in the hospitality industry

at a small boutique hotel in Germany that

had a total of 70 rooms. Before becoming a sales

and marketing manager for the hotel, André

was required to train in several departments

within the hotel. He spent six months in food

and beverage, six months in the kitchen, and six

months in housekeeping.

By Sharon

Palmatier, CMP

Leahy Machine Expo

• In Germany, according to André, “Punctuality is

next to Godliness”.

• Whether being terminated from a job or voluntarily

leaving, an employee must give, or be given, six to

eight weeks notice.

As much as we talk about a global economy, the fact

of matter is that there are still significant cultural and

regulatory differences that we all need to be aware of

when we work with international clients.

In comparing the two countries, André noted

several other differences:

• In Germany the work week is 30 to 35 hours;

you don’t have to work overtime to get your

job done. The government and the unions

mandate the working hours in an effort to

keep the family structure strong.

• When you are finished with your scheduled

work hours on any given day, you leave.

• Someone with many years of experience is

viewed as someone with wisdom and knowledge,

• People in Germany rarely change professions;

if they do decide to change, they must

be trained in the new profession before they

can work in that field.

• Everyone in Germany must begin their career

with an apprenticeship.

22 news & views | january-february 2008

TEXT_8inWorld_MPI.CAC.indd 1

7/12/06 11:27:46 AM

Welcome to a new beginning.

A new Westin means a new you. Join us at The Westin

Alexandria, and feel what it’s like to start fresh.

• A 319-room luxury hotel in our newest community,

The Carlyle at King Street Metro

• An inspiring environment with more than 20,000

square feet of function space

• Old Town Alexandria’s largest ballroom

For more information or to make a reservation,

visit or call 703-253-8600.

©2007 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


11/29/07 1:31:29 PM

Meet outside the box.

New ideas flourish in new surroundings. Book your

next event at The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort,

where transformation is always on the agenda. Opening

summer 2008.

• Bury your toes into the white sand of Punta Cana

• Navigate each heart-pounding hole on our

magnificent Nick Faldo-designed course

• Relax in our exclusive Jungle Luxe® guestrooms

For more information or to make a reservation,

please call 800.723.5680 or visit

©2007 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

07WRO055-MPI_CHICAGO.indd 1

9/26/07 10:23:02 AM

Bachelor’s .. continued from page 15

Consider the advantages of the Bachelor’s Degree


- Accredited Bachelor’s Degrees, by definition, must

have at least a third of their curricula dedicated to

liberal arts education.

- Bachelor’s Degree education is based on formally

researched and organized literatures of knowledge

and delivered through structured approaches.

- The four year college curriculum allows time to prepare

the student to master general business practices

that can be applied to the industry.

- The college arena gives students the opportunity to

start practicing the skills that they are developing

before graduation.

- Within the college or university setting, students

have a wide array of elective options and can incorporate

what they have learned by taking classes in

culinary arts, design, theatre, or art into what they

bring to the meeting planning stage.

- College and university programs – especially hospitality

programs – tend to attract a culturally very diverse

student body. Graduates of programs involving

international students or year abroad options

bring a wealth of insight into alternative ways of delivering


As the industry matures and higher and higher degrees

of professionalism and business acumen are demanded,

those entering the profession with a degree

will certainly help elevate the meetings industry as a


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 (847) 457-2040 or e-mail

2007-2008 Board of Directors


Joyce Paschall, CMP, CAE . The Center for Association



Laurel Rhoads McCarthy, CMP . Krisam Group

Vice President-Communications

Jane Matteson Mundell, CMP

Vice President-Education

Char Shada, CMP . Experient, Inc.

Vice President-Finance

Chrissy Ward, CAE . Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

Vice President-Leadership Development

Peggy Pissarreck, CMP . American Bar Association.

Vice President-Membership

Alisa Peters, CMP . Chicago Indoor Racing

Immediate Past President

Kevin Hinton . hinton+grusich


Kevin Boland . The Westin Michigan Avenue

Jeff Gassaway . Tampa Bay & Co / Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

Jon Hixon, CMP . Tourism Toronto

Cherai Lewis . Projection Presentation Technology

Frances Maxwell . BI, The Business Improvement Company

Barb Quigley, CMP . The CVB Source, Inc.

Jamie Shamhart . Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Sonal Sullivan, CMP . HIMSS

Tanya Tarnoff, CMP . Minding Your Business, Inc.

MPI-CAC Headquarters

Mollie Mercado, CMP . Executive Director

2007-08 News & Views Committee


Beth Ciampi . Program Coordinators

Board Liaison:

Jeff Gassaway . Tampa Bay & Co / Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

Managing Editor:

Michele Snyder . Raceworks

Portrait Photography:

Edward Fox Photography

Layout and Design:

Misty Lichter . Chicago Indoor Racing


Sally Magallanes, CMP

24 news & views | january-february 2008

Industry Calendar


January 11-13, 2008

Association for Convention

Operations Management

Annual Meeting

Location: Seattle, WA

Contact: Association for

Convention Operations


(609) 799-3712

February 5-8, 2008

RCMA Annual Conference

Location: Rosen Shingle Creek

Resort, Orlando, FL

Contact: Religious Conference

Management Association

(317) 632-1888


March 11, 2008

MPI-CAC Educational Program

Green Meetings

Location: TBD

Contact: MPI-CAC

(847) 457-2040

January 12-15, 2008

ISES Leadership Meetings

Location: Atlanta, GA

Contact: International Special

Events Society

(312) 321-6853

February 7, 2008

MPI-CAC - Golf Clinic for Beginners

Location: Highland Park

Country Club, Highland Park, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC

(847) 457-2040

March 19, 2008


Spring All Committee Meeting

Location: TBD

Contact: MPI-CAC

(847) 457-2040

January 13-16, 2008

PCMA Annual Meeting

Location: Seattle, WA

Contact: Professional Convention

Management Association

(312) 423 -7262


February 14-17, 2008

National Speakers Association

Winter Meeting

Location: San Francisco Airport

Marriott, San Francisco, CA

Contact: National Speakers


(480) 968-2552

March 27-30, 2008

International Association of

Conference Centers Annual


Location: Zermatt Resort and Spa,

Midway, UT

Contact: International Association

of Conference Centers

(314) 993-8575


February 2-5, 2008

PEC-NA 2008

Location: George K. Brown

Convention Center, Houston, TX

Contact: Meeting Professionals


(972) 702-3000

February 22, 2008

MPI-CAC Annual Educational


Location: The Drake Hotel

Chicago, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC

(847) 457-2040

April 3, 2008

Springtime Expo

Location: Washington, DC

Contact: American Society of

Association Executives

(202) 371-8315 news & views | january-february 2008



The generosity of industry suppliers through sponsorship is a vital component of MPI -CAC being able

to provide timely, cost-effective professional development, educational and networking programs.

The chapter recognizes and appreciates the following companies that have supported chapter programs

and activities in October and November 2007. Remember – Buy MPI! Thank you to…

Platinum Partner


Hyatt O’Hare

Andrea Honan . (847) 633-4470

Diamond Partner



John Paul Jones . (847) 823-1177

Gold Partner


Rockit Ranch Productions,

The Underground

Jena Cherry, CMP . (312) 943-7600

LA INC. The Los Angeles

Convention & Visitors Bureau

Jim LaBadie . (616) 866-6335

Silver Partners


BBJ Linen

Lanie Hartman . (847) 933-4635

Chicago Convention &

Tourism Bureau

Barbara Balaguras

(312) 567-8500

Chicago Indoor Racing

Alisa Peters . (847) 941-9412

Disney Resort Destinations

Jodie Rapparlie . (312) 595-7745

Francine Marketing, Inc.

Francine Pepitone, CMM, MAS

(312) 419-0123

Source4 Marketing Solutions

Bill O’Donnell . (773) 843-5204

Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater

Jill Brown, CMP . (727) 464-7236

Bronze Partner


Carmel Music & Entertainment LLC

Melanie Kallal . (847) 864-5969

Chicagoland Transportation

Solutions Inc.

Brian Whitaker . (847) 781-8811

Floral Exhibits

Jeanine Huml . (773) 277-1888

Greater Hartford Convention &

Visitors Bureau

Sue Koczka . (866) 728-6789


Paul Wehking . (800) 828-0305

Pritzker Military Library

Andrew Edeker

(312) 587-0234 x330

Regency Exposition Services

Mary Liz Davis . (312) 701-0405

The Meetinghouse Companies, Inc.

Siiri Lobe . (630) 941-0600

Tourism Toronto

Jon Hixon, CMP . (847) 236-0114

Visit Minneapolis North

Brooke Stoeckel . (763) 566-7722

Friends of the Chapter

(Under $1,000)

Embassy Suites O’Hare Rosemont

Dawn Trandel . (847) 928-7625

Elan Photography

Bill Buchelt . (630) 960-3400

Summit Executive Centre

John Potterton, CMP

(312) 938-2000

The Glen Club

Larissa Magajne . (847) 832-6441

Westin Lombard

Brian Ciemnicki . (630) 719-8004

Wyndham Lisle-Chicago

Hotel & Executive

Meeting Center

Susan Palomo . (630) 577-6063

Want to see your name on this list? Consider the Partnership Development 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 or contact the headquarters office at or (847) 457-2040.

Membership Directory


There are several updates to member

information printed in the recent

membership directory.

Please refer to the insert in this issue for

current information on our members

and update your directory.

The IRS issued the 2008 optional standard

mileage rates used to calculate the deductible

costs of driving for business, charitable,

medical or moving purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates

will be 50.5 cents per mile for business travel,

up from 48.5 cents per mile for 2007. The new rate

for driving for charitable purposes is 14 cents per mile.

26 news & views | january-february 2008

Burr Ridge...

Also Known as Bull’s Eye!

Somewhere between downtown Chicago’s congested

thoroughfares and the suburban neighborhoods is the ideal

place to gather around for your next business meeting.

It’s called the Village of Burr Ridge. Enjoy the wide-open

spaces, a cozy community and plenty of restaurants

and shopping, too. Meeting planners…you’ve hit the mark!

Located just off I-55 at County Line Road

(½ mile south of I-294). 5 miles south of Oak Brook,

11 miles from Midway and O’Hare Airports, just 18 miles

southwest of downtown Chicago.

Call our member hotels below or visit

W e l c o m e t o

The Great Southwest of Chicago

630-323-6630 630-986-4100 630-325-2900


4717_BURR_AdRep7.25x4.75.indd 1

9/13/07 11:11:17 AM

736 N. Western Avenue #389 . Lake Forest, Illnois 60045-1820

28 news & views | january-february 2008

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