S p ring 11 - Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area ...


S p ring 11 - Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area ...

Spring 11

volume 32 . issue 2

Giving Back

News&Views is

Look inside for more details

Giving Back. Our Corporate

Responsibility...Page 12

Local Charities with

Lasting Impressions...Page 14

MPI Foundation.

Funding the Future...Page 16

volume 32 . issue 2

Building a Rich Global Meeting Industry Community www.mpicac.org







A Message from

the President

Alisa Peters,


Committee Chair &

Vice Chair Letters

Kathleen Sullivan

Nelson & Sally

Magallanes, CMP

Clicks of the Trade

Giving Back

Book Review


Chicago Chatter

Sally Magallanes, CMP

keeps you up to date

on what’s happening

with your colleagues

11 Resumes

That Work


Giving Back:

Our Corporate


Educational Technology Conference committee

members at the 2011 TechCon

Photo courtesy of Edward Fox Photography

Get a Regular Dose of News&Views in

News Bytes at www.mpicac.org

MPI-CAC members on stage with The Second City cast

at the February Networking Event

Photo courtesy of All Events Photography




Local Charities with

Lasting Impacts

MPI Foundation

Funding the Future

The ABCs of

the CMP

20 FreeSource:

Your Resource for

Free Education



Sponsorship Heroes

Highlights the people

and organizations that

support the MPI

Chicago Area Chapter

Industry Calendar

of important

upcoming events

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 3

Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM

Experient, Inc.

From the President


“I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance” - Pablo Casals

Spring is in the air, and as I write this, I feel as if I cannot wait another day for it. With spring

comes renewal, refocus, re-energizing and re-arranging everything. Projects that seemed too

insurmountable to tackle suddenly become a bit more possible with the extra energy that the sun

and its companion, optimism, bring. As green begins to reappear in our day-to-day existence,

and the hours of sunlight grow longer, we begin to re-experience gratitude and abundance.

It seems that the winter holidays are when we tend to focus most heavily on giving our time and

resources, annually. Organizations reach out at a time that should be filled with generosity, asking

for a small piece from people to create the very big “pie” they need to support their organizations.

With the renewal that the spring season brings, I challenge each of us to commit to giving one

to two hours each month to an organization that you feel passionately about. Each member of

this chapter brings a tremendous amount of professional skills, talents and resources. We give

those resources to our employers, clients and colleagues, and in exchange (at times), receive

compensation that helps sustain us. Donating just one-hour per month to a local charitable

organization can offer unmatched benefits to both you and your community.

Imagine if we could each commit two hours per month to give our professional services to a

group in need. Here is the math:



The organizations and associations that are near and dear to your hearts need your skills and

expertise, but many times cannot afford to pay for it. Consider your talent and the initiatives

your organization has underway that could leverage them. Silent auctions and other charitable

fundraisers need planners and experienced suppliers to make them successful. Experience

in food and beverage and serving large groups can come in handy for big soup kitchens and

shelters that serve meals. Feel like escaping your 8am to 6pm job? Consider planting and

grounds’ upkeep at local parks and schools. Volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters or learn

a new skill within an organization—one that can help you beyond your volunteer experience.

Until I see you next, take care of yourselves and each other…and think about the one-hourper-month

commitment to you and your community.

All my best!

Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM

President MPI-CAC

2 Volunteer


per Month

2,282 Hours

per Month

in Volunteer


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 | spring 2011 www.mpicac.org

From the Committee Chair and Vice Chair

Giving Back


Since joining Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area Chapter three years

ago, I have been impressed by the close sense of community among members. Longtime

members eagerly donate their time to mentor newer members, both existing and novice

members dedicate their energy and talents to various committees to help elevate MPI-CAC’s

programming—never settling for the standard. MPI-CAC is a large contingent within the

Chicago community; consider ways that you, as MPI-CAC members, can collaborate with

local charitable organizations to give back to the community! Continue to volunteer within the

chapter and strive to enhance our community spirit, both within the chapter and beyond.

After two years of acting as your chair of News&Views, it is my pleasure to announce that

the very talented and dedicated Lauren Banks, PRA Destination Management, will be taking

over my role as chair of News&Views. Lauren has been an outstanding, active member of the

News&Views Committee since she joined, and she will carry on the spirit of volunteerism

and giving back to the chapter, as she continues to raise News&Views to new heights.

Congratulations, Lauren!

As a writer, I rarely have a hard time putting words on a page, or editing those that are there.

My dear, late father, Walt, had the gift of writing—letters, poetry, op-ed, articles, newsletters,

press releases, his four daughters’ birth announcements—the list goes on. March 31 marked

the 10th anniversary of his passing from this life, yet he remains close in many ways. I

inherited his trusty Smith Corona MANUAL typewriter, where many pieces were born and

honed until they were “just right.” There is no doubt that my writing and editing abilities

came through the genes. Take a little time to reflect on how you can use your talents to give

back—no matter how “small” it might seem. With the right choices, you will continue to grow

and make a difference!

2010-2011 Board of Directors


Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM • Experient, Inc.


Char Shada, CMP • Experient, Inc

Vice President - Finance

Mary Friel

Vice President - Communications

Dahlia El Gazzar, CMP • onPeak

Vice President - Membership

Cherai Lewis, CTS • Projection Presentation Technology

Vice President - Education

Katherine Horky, CMP • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Vice President – Strategic Alliances & Events

Bill Kubiak, CSEP • Freeman

Immediate Past President

Chrissy Ward, CAE • Society of Gynecologic Oncologists


Director of Marketing & Public Relations

Jiwon McCartney • ALLURE Event & Meeting Production

Director of Education Programs & CMP Study Group

Lisa Meredith, CMP • San Diego Convention

and Visitors Bureau

Director of Educational Conference

Cathy Bordelon • Mayer Brown LLP

Director of Leadership Conference & Awards Recognition

Pamela Patsavas, CSEP • Freeman

Director of Sponsorship

Joe Hirsch • PSAV Presentation Services

Director of Leadership Development & Awards Selection

Karen Gravlin • BCD Meetings & Incentives

Director of Membership Retention & Diversity

Laura Stoll • The Riot Act

Director of Membership Recruitment & Student Affairs

Will Renken, CMP

Director of Special Events

Frances Maxwell • Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces

Director of Holiday Party & Golf Classic

Margie McCartney • PRA Destination Management, Inc.

Kathleen Sullivan Nelson

District Experience

Sally Magallanes, CMP

Independent Meeting

& Marketing Manager

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.

MPI-CAC Headquarters

Beth Chitnis • Executive Director

Nikki Augsburger • Association Manager

2010-2011 News & Views Committee


Kathleen Sullivan Nelson • District Experience

Vice Chair:

Sally Magallanes, CMP

Independent Meeting & Marketing Manager

Board Liaison:

Jiwon McCartney • ALLURE Event & Meeting Production

Managing Editor:

Beth Chitnis • MPI Chicago Area Chapter

Portrait Photography:

Edward Fox Photography

All Events Photography

Layout and Design:

Dimitri Papadimitriou • Meeting Expectations, Inc.

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 5

Giving Back

By Alisa

Peters, CMP, CMM

Experient, Inc.

With spring… sprouts hope and renewal. The holidays aren’t the only time for giving. Be generous in spirit and action,

my friends. Here are a few electronic ways to give back.

The Charity Navigator

This site evaluates the financial health of America’s 5,500 largest charities and provides a full “background

check” on any prospective organization readers are considering giving time or financial resources. It

offers ratings, full financials, historical data, news, contact details and leadership information. People

can donate directly from the Charity Navigator site or link to it from this website.


Causeworld – The App!

Finding yourself strangely addicted to FourSquare or Gowalla? Try CauseWorld, a free app for iPhones

and Android devices allowing users to “check in for charity.” Earn “karma points” for checking into

various locations. Points are stored up until the user has enough to donate to a charity of one’s choosing;

after the donation has been made, the user receives a badge. The Red Cross, Humane Association,

Feeding America, Heroes at Home, LiveStrong, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Prevent Child

Abuse America and Room to Read are just a few of the chairities that benefit from this app.


Taproot Foundation – Do It Pro Bono

Taproot created a pool of individuals that sign up to volunteer their professional expertise in marketing,

human resources, technology, strategy or design to strengthen their communities. People with these

skills can apply online allowing charitable organizations to connect and use their services. Create a

win-win outcome!



This site allows users to search for volunteer opportunities and events to get involved, provides

options and resource centers and allows them to connect with organizations they support to keep

up with current activities. It has a social-networking connection that allows users to interact with

likeminded people around the world, providing a platform to start one’s own organization for giving.

Already involved with a group? Post your events and resources to connect with other members. There

is an extensive job and internship board for those interested in entering the nonprofit world. These

connections allow people to get their names out to organizations they want to get paid to support!



KIVA empowers an individual to lend to an entrepreneur globally. This platform, a fabulous mix of

microfinance and the power of the World Wide Web, has allowed KIVA to create a global community

of people connected through lending. It was built on the concept that people are by nature generous,

and will help others if given the opportunity in a transparent and accountable manner. It also shows

that those with fewer resources are highly motivated and can be very successful when given the

opportunity. KIVA believes that by connecting people, relationships can be created that are beyond

financial transactions, building a global community that expresses support and encouragement of one

another. Sound familiar?


6 news & views | spring 2011 www.mpicac.org

Book Review Corner

Delivering Happiness

Author: Tony Hseih

Reviewed by: Dahlia El Gazzar, CMP, onPeak

Zappos.com is all about shoes and more shoes, and some

wonderful other apparel. What made this company so

successful that it became Amazon’s largest acquisition

ever? According to their charismatic leader, Tony Hseih,

author of Delivering Happiness, a Path to Profits, Passion

and Purpose, it’s about concentrating on the happiness of

those around you. He worked with employees to help build

a unique lifestyle and culture—one that gives everyone that

“higher purpose” to get up each morning and come to work.

Tony made his company culture

the number one priority, with

customer service being the

responsibility of every employee.

He describes that by creating

a very different culture, it

translates into outstanding

customer service, a successful

business, and ultimately

happiness. By taking care of

his staff’s needs, they became

even more inspired to take care

of their customers and began

feeling happy about themselves,

their jobs, workplace and coworkers.

Tony shares not only his journey on how he became

one of the youngest entrepreneurs in business, but the inner

workings of creating the best culture and core values. He

believes they can be applied to any workplace with a true

transformation. Giving happiness only breeds more.

Delivering Happiness hit the New York Times Bestseller List

and remained there for over 20 weeks! A must read, with

excellent takeaways, and in the end, inspires readers to go

shopping for more shoes.


Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration

Changes Everything

Authors: Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

Reviewed by: Maura Dominguez, EPIC, A Kimpton Hotel in

Miami, FL

The online social network has

revolutionized the world. Facebook,

MySpace, YouTube, Google, Twitter

and other online communities are

a major part of people’s personal

lives and provide a means for the

masses to be involved in giving their

input. They have also completely

influenced business models by

allowing people and communities to

help design, invent and share ideas

for many causes and companies.

Due to significant changes in the

economy, technology and business in general, a mass

collaboration and participation has surfaced in the way

companies create, produce and sell their products and

services. Businesses are now forming online communities to

ask questions and find solutions. It is like a massive think

tank and brainstorming session—not only with co-workers,

but the entire world! Companies are finding that by creating

these communities of volunteer experts and consumers,

they essentially have an extended R&D (research and

development) team, with results being mutually beneficial to

them and their customers. Consumers become “prosumers,”

with active involvement in many aspects of the merchandise

and services they use. The good news is both large and small

firms can benefit from the mass collaboration process that

results in growth and success!

The basics of Wikinomics are Openness, Peering, Sharing

and Acting Globally. This book is a great guide on how to get

started and maximize the concepts and customize them to

one’s business. By using examples of well-known companies,

such as Eli Lilly and Procter &Gamble, Wikinomics comes to

life and illustrates its relativity across all industries.


www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 7

Here’s the latest changes and updates on people

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


It’s spring! Well, not yet, but now the

snow is melting and sun is out, so I’ll

believe it’s on its way! This Chatter

begins with a farewell to a long-time

MPI member and industry colleague.

Several of our own board members

have recently made changes, so be

sure to see where they have landed! It’s

another season of life…

Important Newsletter


Did you “opt-in” to receive the hard

copy of News&Views? If not, please

note that as of this issue, you will

automatically receive the newsletter

only in its electronic format. If you want

to receive a hard copy, you must visit

www.mpicac.org/opt-in and indicate

the “opt-in” choice.

In Memoriam…

Charmagne A. Loveless lived a full life.

She was a member of MPI for almost 30

years (1981-2010), as well as numerous

other industry

organizations. Many

in the entertainment

business perhaps

knew her best.

Charmagne battled

cancer and finally

left this earthly life

on February 10,

2011. She will be dearly missed by her

husband, Robert, other close family,

friends and many colleagues. While

many grieve her death, her family is

at peace that she is not suffering any

more. Charmagne was known as a true

professional, continuing to be involved

in committees, such as MPI-CAC’s

Annual Awards Recognition Gala for

a number of years. Memorial services

were held in Wisconsin (where she

lived) and Florida, where most of her

family resided. So much more should

be said about someone that lived her

life to the fullest. Let us treasure each

other, especially close family and

friends, and not forget each unique


People on the Move…

Wendy Berg is pleased to announce her

position as national account director

with the newly-formed On The Scene

America! In this role she will focus

on mid-to-large

size corporate

conventions and

events across

the country.

Wendy brings

over ten years of



experience to the company, formerly

working with The BusBank as national

account manager. On The Scene

America is the newest venture of the

well-known destination management

company On The Scene Chicago.

Please contact Wendy to send

congratulations and find out how she

can help you!

(312) 661-1440 ext 201

(312) 656-5427 (cell)



Karen Dee Gravlin is happy to

call BCD M&I her new home,

where she is dedicated to the

PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC,

account. She notes that the correct

way to publish her role is “Planning

Manager for PwC Meeting & Event

Services at BCD Meetings & Incentives,

LLC.” Prior to joining BCD M&I, Karen

By Sally

Magallanes, CMP

Independent Meeting

& Marketing Manager

was the director of

industry partner

sales at the former

hinton+grusich for

two years. She has a

strong background

in account

management, so we

are confident she will be a success in

her new position. Karen founded the

MPI-CAC Student Affairs Committee

in 2007, a group that continues to grow

in numbers and enthusiasm! Kudos to

you, Karen!

(312) 369-2026, (312) 662-2540 (cell)



One of Chicago Travel Consultants

(CTC) has been on the move… with

her promotion in early January.

Barb Harris became senior account

executive after just three years with

the destination


company. Barb’s

hard work,

creativity and

leadership paid

off! During her

relatively short

time at CTC, she acquired and retained

numerous key accounts. Barb is a new

member of MPI-CAC and looks forward

to getting more involved! Say hello to

her at a future chapter event.



Kathy Horky, CMP recently made a

move to become the managing director,

conference services,

in the Education

and Administrative

Services area of

Blue Cross and Blue

Shield Association.

Her responsibilities

8 news & views | spring 2011 www.mpicac.org

are managing the conference services

department, which handles the

Association’s education program and

major annual conference. Kathy works

with many staff and volunteer leaders

to help implement these important

educational offerings. Prior to joining

Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kathy was

senior manager of global event

marketing at Accenture. We know she

will be successful in her new role!

(312) 297-6094, (312) 953-1990 (cell)



Kate Nelson has news to share! She

is proud to announce that she is the

new District Director of District

Experience, Washington’s boutique

Destination Management Company

(DMC). District Experience offers

premier customized services for

special events, tour programs,

transportation and meeting support

for corporate and

association groups

in Washington,

DC, Virginia and

Maryland. Their

talented and

creative team

boasts over 20

years of experience

planning events and meetings in the

DC area. Prior to her move back to her

hometown of Washington, DC, Kate

was an account manager with Chicago

Is… She looks forward to seeing you in

The District!

(202) 624-1772, (202) 679-3875 (cell)



Members may have noticed that our

Chapter President, Alisa Peters,

CMP, CMM, is now a national account

manager at

Experient, Inc.

In this role, Alisa

specializes in hotel

research, site

selection, contract

negotiations and

improving the

buying power of

her client’s existing Strategic Meetings

Management Programs (SMMP).

Alisa assists clients with all aspects

of meeting management services,

including housing and registration, to

cutting-edge lead retrieval products.

Prior to Experient, Alisa was managing

partner and vice president of Chicago

Indoor Racing. Congratulations and

best wishes to you!

(847) 829-4630, (847) 878-7043 (cell)



Companies in Change…

At the beginning of this year, owners

of Chicago-based hinton+grusich, a

national hotel management company,

sold it to Associated Luxury Hotels

International, or ALHI. While ALHI

is headquartered in Washington, DC,

it has had a local presence here for

a number of years. Both companies

began in 1986, serving as the national

sales office for many high-end,

independent resorts and hotels. Four

well-known industry leaders from

hinton+grusich have joined the ALHI

team. Hinton+grusich was founded by

Bill Grusich, CMP and the late

David Hinton.

Rather than compete for business, the

merged group will work together to

represent its properties and valuable

clients. We’re happy to share the new

contact information for Bill Grusich,

CMP, Kevin Hinton, Kathy Kozminske

and André Valk, CMP. The entire ALHI

team has moved into new offices at

233 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2345,

Chicago, IL 60601 (3 Illinois Center).

Main phone number for this office is

(312) 670-2203; titles and emails are

listed below. We wish this ALHI team

much success!

Bill Grusich, CMP

Senior Vice President


Kevin M. Hinton

Executive Vice



Kathy Kozminske

Vice President

of Sales


André Valk, CMP

Director of Sales


Joined Together…


to Michelle

Kapusta, CMP,

who celebrated

her marriage to

Marcus Williams

on January 15,

2011 in Chicago.

Michelle is a

meeting planner for the Blue Cross

and Blue Shield Association and

Marcus serves as the assistant vice

president of systems for JP Morgan

Chase. We wish the new couple

much happiness!

Keep the

Chatter Coming!

Send your news to

Sally Magallanes, CMP at


Photos are welcome in jpg

format; The higher the

resolution, the better!

Please note that content

for this column is limited to

members of

MPI-CAC. Thank you!

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 9


Volunteers Make a Difference!

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

volunteers for their outstanding work:

December 2010

Kristy Mendenhall

Hard Rock Cafe Chicago

Marketing &


Committee Member

January 2011

Roz Suttley

Field Museum


Technology Conference

Committee Member

February 2011

Tina Reedy



Technology Conference

Committee Member

Volunteer Testimonials

Kristy Mendenhall

I am beyond honored to be recognized by MPI-CAC this month. Working with the entire MARCOMM team has been

the greatest learning experience. I must give a BIG thanks to Jiwon, Dahlia, Nicole and Ryan with the Marketing

Committee, who have given me the opportunity to really hit the ground running and become really involved with two

(and now three!) awesome committees. Both the Awards & TechCon Committees have given me a chance to build

and grow both new and old relationships, which I am extremely grateful for! Needless to say, MPI-CAC rocks!

Lindsay Kotas

It’s an honor to receive this award; but truly I would not be here if it weren’t for the TechCon Committee and

the guidance of Jim Grillo, CMP and Kelly Williams. Committee work continues to be the reason why I am a

member of MPI; the relationships and friendships that have bloomed over the years are priceless.

Roz Stuttley

It is an honor to receive this recognition. The education committee is a vibrant, dynamic force when it comes to

planning and execution. I appreciate and value the opportunity to develop new skills through this MPI committee.

Jill Brown Smith

I originally joined the new TechCon Committee because of my interest in event technology, especially online

registration, and planned to hang back and give input where I could. I got so much more back from being on

this committee than originally expected. I walked away benefiting from great committee networking, new

technology ideas to benefit my business and potential partners and clients. And now I am the co-chair for next

year, so I guess I’ve enjoyed it!

Tina Reedy

I am thrilled to have been acknowledged for my participation on the TechCon 2011 Committee. As co-chair of the TechCon 2012 Committee, my

aspiration is to bridge the gap of AV and technical knowledge for the MPI-CAC attendees. My 10 years as a meeting planner, and approaching 15 years

as a principal of an audio visual company, helped contribute to the overall success of the TechCon programming.

Katherine Hull

The most valuable aspect of my experience in volunteering is knowing I have tried my hardest to help MPI-CAC meet, and hopefully exceed, members’

expectations, and that I have reached the goals set for the event by taking on a leadership role.

news & views | spring 2011

December 2010

Lindsay Kotas

Associated Luxury Hotels


Technology Conference

Committee Member

January 2011

Jill Brown Smith

JBS Registration



Technology Conference

Committee Member

February 2011

Katherine Hull

Eved Services

Special Events &


Committee Member

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!

December 2010

Lauren Banks

Beth Becker

Mary Chomas

Meghan Keelean, CMP

Martha Keyes, CMP

Lindsay Kotas

Kristy Mendenhall

Mike Tarr, CMP

Jill VanderVeen

Brooke Weidman

January 2011

Lauren Banks

Valerie Braun

Jill Brown Smith

Bethany Johnson

Meghan Keelean, CMP

Martha Keyes, CMP

Sean Lynch

Roz Stuttley

Jill VanderVeen

February 2011

Lauren Banks

Mary Chomas

Darcea Gamble

Martha Keyes, CMP

Katherine Hull

Tina Reedy

Travis Reedy

Jill VanderVeen

This Program Sponsored by:


Resumes That Work

“Backpacks to Briefcases”


We are excited to bring back the MPI-CAC Student Advisory

Committee’s “Backpacks to Briefcases” (B2B), an exclusive

program for all hospitality students on Wednesday, April

27 at Kendall College. It features continuing education and

countless opportunities to network.

The committee’s commitment

has always been to focus on the

learners—those who expect to enter

the meeting planning industry.

The round table discussions with

various industry professionals

will address many topics that are

on the cusp of meeting-planning

trends. Students will once again

have an opportunity to learn about

meeting-planning tools, services

and networking strategies in an

enjoyable environment.

So, what’s the hot buzz in 2011?

More than ever, students are asking

questions about how to land an

interview, launch their internships

or make their resume stand out

from the others. Here is a short

preview of some key points on writing a

resume that works:

1) Intrigue the Reader. Listing your

responsibilities will no longer suffice.

Instead, expand this area by citing

particular examples of how you

helped the company with cost savings

or profitability. Convey how your

particular skills can contribute to the

company. Create multiple versions

that will appeal to different employers,

emphasizing the particular skills that

meet their needs.

2) Keep It Real. It is important to

be truthful on your resume and

not publish information that can be

misrepresented. Background checks

are more thorough these days, and can

include reviews of social networks.

3) Be a Stickler and Proof Read! It is

crucial to make sure spelling and

grammar are correct. Use only one to

two fonts, such as Times New Roman

or Verdana, to make it easy to read. If

you are mailing or personally presenting your resume, print

it on high-quality paper; make sure the envelopes and thank

you cards are also the same high grade. When submitting

your resume online, create a simple format, use key words

and save a text version. Many resumes are

scanned by computers—fancy fonts and

formatting will be lost in this process.

4) Keep It Organized. Most recent and relevant

information is presented first. Knowing what

information to cut out or combine will help keep

the resume organized and fit on one page.

5) Key Words. Research similar job postings

and use the frequent phrases or words to aid in

getting your resume to the interviewer’s desk.

For more details please visit www.mpicac.org.

Make plans to attend “B2B” on Wednesday,

April 27 and learn more about the latest trends

in the meeting planning industry. We look

forward to seeing you at this year’s event!

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 11


Svetlana Kramarova


American Bar Association


By Nicole


American Bar Association

Giving Back

Giving Back

Our Corporate Responsibility


As companies recover from hard economic times, they

begin to rebuild, rehire and reestablish themselves. During

this recovery, we should be reminded of those that are less

fortunate than us and look for ways to give back. Whether

through volunteerism, monetary donations or procurement

of clothing and food, now more than ever, companies are

realizing the importance of implementing corporate

responsibility programs. The hospitality industry appears

to be on the cutting edge of these programs, combining

outreach with innovative meeting planning.

Anne Dignan has been a meeting planner at The Million

Dollar Round Table (MDRT) for the past eight years. Long

known as a company with a social conscience, Anne describes

MDRT’s philosophy on giving back: “MDRT embraces the

Whole Person concept, which encourages seven life parts

– health, family, spiritual, education, financial, community

service and career.” This Whole Person idea was created in

1927 by the organization’s founders as a way to keep balance

12 news & views | spring 2011

in one’s life. MDRT strives to provide its members with the

opportunity to participate in community service.

The MDRT Foundation—an arm of the organization—is

extremely active in community outreach. They have been

executing playground builds around the world for several

years. Recently, a team (comprised of members and staff)

traveled to Chile to build a playground at the House of Hope

Girls Orphanage.

This year, the MDRT Foundation is coordinating a “Clean

the World” soap collection, which will take place at the

organization’s annual meeting. Members will be asked to

leave their unused hotel soap and shampoo behind, and

in cooperation with the hotel, the items will be donated to

those in need. Studies have shown that this soap makes

a significant impact in the lives of impoverished people

around the world. Although it may seem like a small

donation, simple hand washing reduces the spread of


espiratory infection and diarrheal disease – illnesses that

take the lives of more than five million people each year.

In 2010, the MDRT Foundation worked with the annual

meeting to coordinate the “Million Meal Challenge.”

Members attending the conference were asked to give two

hours of their time to assemble food bags. Approximately

2,300 members participated in shipping over one million

meals around the country, exceeding the goal by 14%.

10pin Bowling Lounge, an upscale venue in Chicago’s River

North neighborhood, also does its fair share of outreach

in the local community. Randy Hajduk, director of sales

and marketing, believes that this is one of the best ways

for a company to contribute, or give back. In October

2011 10pin will host the fourth annual “Brent Seabrook’s

Celebrity ICE Bowl.” Heralded by Chicago Blackhawks’

player, Brent Seabrook, ICE, or the Inner City Education

program, is a non-profit organization that provides

academic scholarships to low-income Chicago-area youth

who participate in organized hockey. To make the event

a success, Randy secures donations from local food and

beverage companies. He also provides the venue rental at

a deeply discounted rate, helping the organization to offset

costs. All proceeds go to ICE, helping to further its mission

of impacting the lives of Chicago’s youth.

Tara Hippensteel, regional sales manager of the Western

division for Hard Rock Cafe, asserts that philanthropy is

critical to the company’s mission. “It is key to be able to

give back beyond personal reward,” Tara says. “Employees

garner so much reward from social responsibility

programs. Companies need to have a philanthropic soul.”

Since 1971, Hard Rock has been committed to a wide range

of philanthropic causes and activities around the world.

“Pinktober,” a Hard Rock initiative launched each

October, helps raise awareness and funding for breast

cancer. Grammy-award winning artist Melissa Etheridge

executed a global media launch in Los Angeles to help

kick it off. In addition, proceeds from the sale of special

limited-edition “Pinktober” merchandise is sold in all

Hard Rock Cafes, including T-shirts, bracelets and pins

that benefit breast cancer research. Donations from a

special “Pink for a Cure” cocktail were also donated to

this cause. Hard Rock Hotels participated by donating a

percentage of room revenue for “Pink Rooms” (complete

with pink sheets and bed coverings), which went to the

Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Giving Back

By Lauren


PRA Destination

Management Chicago

Hard Rock also developed “Imagine There’s No Hunger,” a

global program to help fight hunger and poverty through

support of sustainable agriculture education and feeding

programs for children in need. Hard Rock guests are

invited to purchase bracelets, pins and T-shirts, with a

portion of the proceeds going to the program. Employees

are also encouraged to sell the bracelets – with the incentive

of winning a mission trip accompanied by Hard Rock’s

CEO. “A server in our Chicago café won the mission trip

for 2011 and will be traveling with our CEO in August.” Tara

mentions. “Employees are so empowered by this program

because its reward is still philanthropic, allowing them to

actually see the faces of those their efforts benefit.”

If you can verbalize how your outreach

initiatives will not only impact the

community, but also your organization,

employers will be much more likely to

adopt these practices.

For those of us who work for companies that do not have

established corporate social responsibility programs,

Randy Hajduk (10pin Bowling), offers this advice: “Sit down

with your owners or supervisors, making sure you have a

clear vision of how these programs will get exposure in the

community and advance business opportunities. If you can

verbalize how your outreach initiatives will not only impact

the community but also your organization, employers will

be much more likely to adopt these practices.” Anne Dignan

(MDRT) leaves us with these thoughts: “Many individuals

are now making greater efforts to support a company that

is socially conscious and affects its bottom line. Whether

a company decides to act top down in a more globallyresponsible

manner for purely altruistic reasons, or bottom

up, motivated by sales, the result is positive.”

These three companies have created unique initiatives to

give back to those in need. They involve members and staff,

providing many opportunities for people to be involved. Let

it challenge individuals and companies to reach out and

make a difference. Give back.

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 13

Giving Back

Local Charities

with Lasting Impacts


“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

When planning a meeting or event in the Chicago area,

consider collaborating with a local charity to give back to

the community. Chicago is home to numerous wonderful

organizations that strive to help others. Working with a local

charity can add depth and meaning to a meeting or event,

making a lasting impression on attendees.

Highlighted below are two prominent local charities that

help individuals and groups in need. They offer many

opportunities in which the meeting and events community

can participate. Although these organizations are based in

the Chicagoland area, their scope goes far beyond. Reach out

to them, do your part and contribute to your local charities!

Imerman Angels

Interview with Jonny Imerman,


Interview by Polly Pancoe, CMP, Hotel Reservation

Management, Inc.

News&Views: What is the primary mission of your


Jonny Imerman: It’s all about awareness. Imerman Angels

matches cancer survivors with cancer patients to provide

one-on-one support. We match those who battle the same

disease and are in the same age group. We offer a program

for caregivers, as well. I started the organization when I

was diagnosed at a young age with testicular cancer. At

the time, I did not have the guidance that Imerman Angels

provides patients today.

N&V: How can the meeting and events community get


JI: Monetary donations and time are always welcome. One

hundred percent of anything donated goes directly back to

Imerman Angels to help advance our goals. Participate in

a run or walk that will benefit Imerman Angels. Purchase

a t-shirt and wear it everywhere! Tell your story—it is all

about awareness.

14 news & views | spring 2011

I am also happy to speak at any engagement to tell my

story and that of Imerman Angels on a pro bono basis.

For more information, contact:

Imerman Angels

400 W. Erie St. Suite 405

Chicago, IL 60654

312-274-5529 or 877-274-5529


Kids Fight Cancer

Interview with Jim Pesoli,


Interview by Kate Nelson,

District Experience

News&Views: What is the primary mission of your


Jim Pesoli: We create entertaining and educational

environments to improve the spirits of pediatric cancer

patients while they are undergoing treatment. We work

to create a friendlier in-hospital environment by offering

child-friendly educational programs for the patients, family

and friends, so that we can help them better understand

the illnesses and side effects of treatments. Essentially, we

take a “non-medicine” approach to treatment, using art

therapy, music and social interaction to help the patients

and their families cope with how cancer and the regimen

affects them.

N&V: How can the meeting and events community get


JP: On a local level, it is amazing how many people have

already been touched by Kids Fight Cancer. Chances are

that within a large meeting group, many individuals may

already be familiar with the organization. By aligning

your company with our organization, it would improve its


If a planner would like to engage guests in active

involvement with Kids Fight Cancer, we would welcome

small groups to donate time for in-hospital visits,

storytelling, toy give-aways, art projects, etc. We are

always looking for additional funding and manpower to do

the work to accomplish our goals.


Kids Fight Cancer also hosts a local annual event to help

raise funding and awareness for its cause. This year, it will be

held on October 15, 2011 at the Rosemont Convention Center.

Please consider the positive impact that this organization

has on the community and participate to give back!

For more information, contact:

Jim Pesoli

Kids Fight Cancer

1508 East Algonquin Road

Arlington Hts, IL 60005-4718

(847) 640-8515



If your company is planning a meeting outside the

Chicagoland area and wants to give back to a charity,

look into DonorsChoose.org. This organization helps


Giving Back

By Kate


District Experience

classrooms in need all over the U.S. How does it work?

DonorsChoose.org receives requests for classroom

project supplies from teachers in every corner of America.

A donor can browse the requests and select the one

that inspires him/her, then contribute a selected dollar

amount. The organization then purchases the supplies,

delivers them to the classrooms and provides reports to

donors on how every dollar was spent.

For a meeting or event, a group could contribute to the cost

of a class trip, or another large project, making a lasting

impact on a group of students on behalf of your organization.

Raise awareness for these organizations and additional

charities by posting information on your social media

profiles on different ways to contribute, and spread the

spirit of giving!

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 15

Giving Back

MPI Foundation

Funding the Future

FThe mission continues.

For more than 25 years, the MPI Foundation has invested in

the programs and in the people who’ve helped shape the $263*

billion of U.S. spending in the meeting and event industry.

We are dedicated to developing results-oriented initiatives

that provide solutions and drive success. We raise more

funds than any other industry foundation. Those funds are

immediately reinvested back in support of our community.

Individual chapters like MPI Chicago benefit in numerous

ways. The MPI Foundation funds research studies and

surveys for the advancement of our members and their

businesses. Through our grant program, we provide financial

support for those chapters seeking to fund educational

content related to projects such as webinars, books and

white papers.In fact, each year the MPI Foundation allocates

up to $5,000 to each chapter in support of its individual

goals. MPI Foundation provides various scholarships for

college, leadership education, executive development, as

well as industry management courses and scholarships for

programs developed by MPI itself. These scholarships are

designed to enhance the standing of currentmembers and

develop the industry’s talent for the future.

Giving back also speaks to the commitment of the MPI

Foundation Global Board of Trustees who is here to support

your chapter in all ways possible. In doing so, we are

ensuring the vibrancy of our entire global community. Our

future is at hand. Tomorrow starts here.

*2011 US Economic Impact Study

16 news & views | spring 2011

By Didier


MPI Foundation

MPI Foundation awards its chapters grants of

$5,000 annually for educational programs that

help members advance their careers.

“The MPI Foundation is one of my

single most important contributions

of the year. The Foundation supports

the dreams of so many with individual

grants that help our members find,

build and transition their careers. I

view my check as an investment in the

future of our industry and in my future

as a global meeting professional.”

—Alisa D. Peters, CMP, CMM

President, MPI Chicago Area Chapter

National Account Manager, Experient


Giving Back to the Environment

and its Creatures


When most people go to work, they end up unintentionally

hurting the environment and its creatures. It is probably not

on purpose, but it just happens. Although, on the weekend

they may participate in a breast cancer walk and buy some

art to give back…

The truth is more people can enjoy what they do: make

money, have happy customers, and at the same time, help

regenerate the environment and heal or support their

communities. These areas can take many forms, depending

on one’s profession.

If you are a planner putting together a menu for an

upcoming event, why not serve a vegetarian meal? Teach

your guests how much water is used to ‘raise’ beef, chicken

or pork; let them know how many chemicals they saved

from being poured into the crops, which ends up in the

water that is consumed by neighbors who are downstream

from the animals and corn farms. (Most animals are raised

in confined pens and eat corn all day.) If your group learns

how they helped the environment and community at this

meeting, they will all go home and share with family how

“through my meal I helped the world a little bit.”

Giving Back

By Greg


Greg Christian Consulting

What people may not see is a lot of ‘little bits’ bring people

everywhere towards the ‘tipping point’ of healing our world.

As you make small changes and measure the results, others

will be inspired through your work.

Another example of giving back to the earth is to refrain from

using cut flowers in your events. Over 65% of cut flowers

travel from Central America and are sprayed with harmful

chemicals. The flowers then travel a

few thousand miles to arrive at your

destination. Try using foraged flowers

and twigs from a local area for floral

centerpieces. Then add up the miles

and chemicals you saved on not having

the flowers brought in from far away.

Tell your attendees and others involved

what really goes on—wherever

pesticides are sprayed the chemicals

end up in the drinking water—and

thus the bodies— of those in the area.

Years later, people could become ill.

Children are more prone to illness, so

you really are helping the community

(far away) by not using these flowers.

Some areas will be harder to figure

out than others, so work on the easy

ones first. Seek to push ‘down’ your

supply chain to help solve these

critical, but resolvable, issues. In all

you do, give back!

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 17

The ABCs of the CMP:

What’s in it for Me?


You are a five-year+ meeting professional, have planned

more meetings, coordinated more site inspections, and

reviewed more request for proposals than one can shake

a stick at! Now what? According to industry research

conducted by Meeting Professionals International, Certified

Meeting Professionals (CMPs) average four percent

higher compensation than someone with similar skills and

experience. In addition to receiving industry and peer

recognition, the CMP designation shows a sense of goaldriven

commitment to the profession. By becoming a CMP

you join over 14,000 professionals worldwide, comprised of

65% planners and 35% suppliers.

Is the process too laborious? Interested candidates can

download a current application from the Convention Industry

Council (CIC) website to review the requirements, deadlines

and costs. The CMP exam is offered twice a year: summer

(July/August) and winter (January/February). If one’s current

demands make it difficult to sit for the exam shortly after

applying, the CIC allows up to two years to do so once the

application is approved. Are you ready to find out more?

The Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area

Chapter (MPI-CAC) CMP Program Committee, along

with the Convention Industry Council, has created a prerecorded

webinar [link to come] explaining the application

process and key study tips to help you pass the exam.

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

The Convention Industry Council announced that 441 meeting professionals passed the January 8, 2011

examination. Congratulations to Illinois’ newest CMPs!

Tonya Almond, CMP


Deborah L. Brisson, CMP

Erin M. Brown, CMP

Power Transmission

Distributors Association

Patricia Coen, CMP

Great Chicago Events

Cortney L. Davis, CMP

Hilton Chicago

Kathryn S. Davis, CMP


Rita Christine Dionne, CMP

American Society of


Kelli A. Giglio, CMP

The Drake Hotel

18 news & views | spring 2011

Cynthia Gonzales-Galvan, CMP

American Bar Association

Natalie A. Guerrero, CMP

DePaul University

Aleta D. Harris, CMP


Allison Elizabeth Hill, CMP


Martha N. Itulya-Omollo, CMP

Hilton Chicago

Carol A. Kotlarz, CMP

Zurich Services Corp.

Amy C. Lillibridge, CMP

Western Golf Association

Melissa C. Matarrese, CMP


Susan A. Medina, CMP


Tracey Elizabeth Morrissey, CMP


Keith A. Murphy, CMP

McCormick Place

Colleen Richter, CMP

Urgent Care Association of


Elizabeth A. Robelet, CMP

American Institute of Steel


Sylvia Frances Rollins, CMP

Chicago Hotel Concierge


Anne K. Rozek, CMP

Kuoni Destination

Management, Inc.

By Lisa

Meredith, CMP

San Diego Convention and

Visitors Bureau

To fit the demands of your work schedule, MPI-CAC is

offering two programs this year:

• An 8-week study group that meets once a week on

Wednesdays, May 11 – June 29, 2011.

• An intensive weekend review on Saturday, July 9 –

Sunday, July 10, 2011.

• Register for both programs and SAVE!

Our chapter’s comprehensive review programs cover all

topic areas in the CMP Blueprint, providing future CMPs

with invaluable content assessment, test-taking and study

tips from peers. For current CMPs, it is never too late

to start thinking about recertification. Volunteering to

present at the upcoming study review program will help

chapter colleagues achieve their CMP designations and

earn points towards recertification. To become a CMP

Program Leader, contact Julie Lehnis, CMP at 847-213-7810

or jlehnis@forsythe.com.

Becoming a Certified Meeting Professional is an investment

in one’s career. Eligible MPI-CAC members can apply for a

$225 chapter education grant that will be applied towards

the exam’s registration fee. Visit www.mpicac.org and find

complete details under the “Community” tab. Don’t miss

out on these exciting opportunities!

Sarah J. Shenaut, CMP

Crowne Plaza Springfield

Jill Tomalavage, CMP

Katharine Lynn Unger, CMP

Conrad Chicago

Catherine Brown Vijeh, CMP


Norah Webster, CMP

Rotary International

Amy Wicks Badalamenti, CMP

Underground Contractors

Association of Illinois

Eva Wilczek, CMP

American Association of



Great News Regarding the Annual

Awards Recognition Gala!


This year, the Leadership Education and Awards Program

(L.E.A.P) and the Annual Awards Recognition Gala will

be held as two distinct events. The Leadership Education

Conference will take place in fall 2011, while the Awards

Gala will be held this spring.

At this exciting event, the chapter will recognize the winners of

the annual Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area

Chapter (MPI-CAC) awards, as well as highlight all of the work

that our chapter’s volunteers contribute throughout the year.

Annual Awards


OUR TREASURES: Recognition Gala


Register today at www.mpicac.org!

By Polly

Pancoe, CMP

Hotel Reservation Management, Inc.

Annual Awards Recognition Gala

Celebrate Our Treasures: MPI-CAC Volunteers

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Chicago History Museum

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Registration and Networking

6:30 pm - 7:45 pm Awards Ceremony

7:45 pm - 9:30 pm Dinner and Networking

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 19

Stay Informed: Revised Americans

with Disabilities Act


The rules instituted by the Americans with Disabilities Act,

which went into effect in 1990, are now being updated. In most

instances, building owners and conference organizers have

known their basic responsibilities and relied on each other to

remain compliant. As these new refinements of the standards

become effective in 2012, there is one important piece of advice

you must always remember: “Know your group.”

Registration materials for an event should always provide a

space to identify specific needs for a prospective attendee.

For instance, it could include a phrase that asks, “Do

you require special accommodations?” If someone has

a specific need, he or she will be required to advise the

planner about the degree of accommodation required.

Make a point to be proactive with such individuals; speak

to them on the phone. Discuss the event, the venue where

it will be held and how the individual plans to arrive there.

Flag the registration information so that someone can

personally escort the person to the designated seating area

and make sure it meets the individual’s needs. This extra

step can help eliminate accommodation issues.

Many hospitality professionals may have taken for granted

an issue that is now elevated in the revised regulations, that

is, the accessible guest room. Previously, it was generally

thought that hotels sold these rooms at the end of the

booking period, since they were generally not “desirable”

areas (for example, the bathrooms are configured

differently). The revised requirements, however, instruct

hotels to hold accessible rooms for guests who require this


Your Source for Free Education


Going green is not just a trend. With companies using

green policies to make environmentally responsible

decisions, it’s become big business. Here are some ways

to become educated on creating sustainable events.

The City of Denver has published a Sustainable Event

Planning Guide based on lessons learned from the 2008

Democratic National Convention. From venue selection

to energy consumption, this guide covers it all.



Did you know the average conference participant

produces greenhouse gasses equivalent to driving a car

20 news & views | spring 2011


Ted Miller, CHME,


Starwood Hotels and Resorts

type of accommodation. The planner and hotel partner

must clearly understand and agree that when attendees

who require special accommodations are identified, the

meeting coordinator must direct the hotel to hold the

accessible rooms for those guests. Both parties must be

aware of the number of accessible rooms available and the

number of potential attendees requiring them.

On the other hand, the new rules grant relief for planners

and hotels when a housing company or convention bureau is

utilized to book attendees’ guest rooms. In this case, since

a third party is involved, the hotel and planner are not held

to quite the same standard. Nonetheless, one should be

proactive in dealing with this potential need. Make sure to

add accessible accommodations to the housing materials to

show they are available. The planner and supplier partner

should be aware of the number of available accessible

rooms per hotel, and keep a running inventory of them until

the arrival date.

In certain instances, a planner may need to revise the

transportation options so that individuals who require

accommodation can fully participate in the event. This

reflects a common point in our industry— planners must

know their groups and members.

If there are further questions concerning these new

regulations, please contact the U.S. Department of Justice

at www.justice.gov.

for a month? This free webinar from Renewable Choice

Energy, an environmental consulting firm, explains how

to reduce the event’s environmental impact.


Ready to plan a green event? MPI offers a free Sustainable

Event Measurement Tool that allows one to measure

and report on an event’s water and energy usage, waste

creation and community impacts. The site also offers a

basic option so beginners can get comfortable with the

tool before switching over to the advanced-user level.


By Megan


Peerless Industries, Inc.


–Jeremy Gutsche

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 21

Tips for a Successful In-House

Audio-Visual Experience


With the current economic challenges and recent budget

cuts across the industry, many of us are being asked to do

more with less. In some cases, this means making more use

of in-house audio-visual resources for upcoming meetings

and events.

In-house A/V providers can serve as valuable resources for

supporting the basic staging and labor needs of an event. It

is important to ask the right questions of the A/V partner,

however, to ensure that the most appropriate level of service

is given. Obtaining the right information from the start is

very important. There are some key questions to ask of the

in-house partner to ensure success.

1. Is the in-house A/V provider exclusive or preferred?

If a planner is going to use an in-house provider, and the

hotel has an exclusive arrangement with a company, then

that is the required A/V source. If the in-house provider is

“preferred,” the company is only a recommended resource.

In the event that the A/V provider is preferred, it may be

worthwhile to shop around

and consider bringing in an

outside vendor to best suit one’s

program needs.

2. Is the provider’s equipment

stored on or off property?

If a piece of equipment needs to

be replaced or is added at the

last minute, it is crucial to know

if back-up equipment is coming

from a warehouse 10 miles

away or a storage closet nearby.

Additionally, if all equipment is

stored at an off-property facility,

planners may be required

to fund extra labor hours to

transport the equipment to the

event location.

3. Who will be the main contact

during the planning phase?

Will it be the same person who

manages the project during the


The sales person addressing

A/V needs and making

promises up front should be the same individual who will

deliver those promises on-site. It is important that this

contact has the technical knowledge and expertise to best

address one’s concerns and provide the top solution.

22 news & views | spring 2011

By Gary


One Smooth Stone

4. Who will be setting up the A/V equipment and operating

it? Will these be the same individuals? What are their

experience levels?

The experience level of an operator running equipment is

typically higher than the set-up crew bringing it into the

room. Make sure the show crew is ready for the task by

qualifying their experience and skill level beforehand.

5. Is the experience and skill level of the show crew at the

level expected or necessitated by the complexity of the


If an organization or its leaders are accustomed to a

particular quality level for the event’s production, be sure

that the technicians’ skills will meet the expectations.

6. Is the show crew dedicated to this event? Has an

appropriate number of floating techs been reserved to

support the sessions?

If one’s technical crew is simultaneously handling multiple

programs at the property, they may get pulled away for

emergencies. Be sure to

ask and think critically

about the number of

floating technicians that

are available and dedicated

to address spontaneous

concerns or challenges.

7. What are the costs and

regulations for standard,

overtime and double-time

labor hours?

Understanding the costs

and implications of labor

hours for the set-up and

operation of one’s event will

help to manage costs and

make the best scheduling

and budgeting decisions.

8. Is the gear and equipment

ordered appropriate for the

needs of the event?

Review the proposed

equipment in detail and

ask about the quality and

performance level of the

gear being provided to ensure it will meet all needs. For

example, is the projector’s brightness level (quantity of

lumens) in line with how screen images will look?


9. Does the in-house A/V proposal include all possible

costs? What is not included?

Costs such as power requirements, rigging and security are

often overlooked when budgeting for in-house A/V services.

Be sure to ask what expenses may be incurred that are not

included in the proposal and budget accordingly.

10. What in-room A/V technology could be utilized to

reduce costs? Will it be sufficient to meet the event’s needs?

The use of pre-installed screens, projectors and in-house

audio systems can reduce the final bill, while still meeting

one’s needs. Be sure to ask if any of these items can be used

and clarify the performance level of each.

11. Is the in-house A/V provider willing to integrate a client’s


If an organization wants to integrate its own laptops,

projectors or other equipment into the in-house production,

ask if the provider is able to set it up and if any additional

fees will be incurred or insurance needed.

12. What is the cost and availability of back-up gear, should

a piece of equipment break down?

If back-up gear will not be readily available, consider paying

extra to have this piece of equipment in the room. Be sure

to clarify the estimated time it would take to replace the

equipment, so that expectations can be set with executives

or presenters.

13. How will gear and equipment be secured overnight and

who is responsible for that cost?

A planner may be required to secure and fund security

personnel to ensure the safety of audio-visual equipment.

14. What recourse is there if the gear and labor do not

perform to the stated or expected quality level?

If technicians don’t show up on show day or equipment

severely underperforms, find out in advance if the contracts

allow for post-event negotiations of rates and payment.

15. Is a program at a level of complexity that warrants

hiring an outside producer or experienced resource to

manage the in-house A/V provider?

If a planner senses the A/V and staging needs are fairly

complex, and the budget allows for additional resources,

it may be wise to bring in an outside producer to consult

on the project or manage the provider. This expertise

will help ensure the right equipment and technicians to

manage the A/V on site, so the planner can focus on the

rest of the program.

www.mpicac.org news & views | spring 2011 23


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 our success.

Success is 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 held during the 2010 program year.

Remember – BUY MPI! Thank you to…

Diamond Partner


Second City

Communications, Inc.

Abby Mager . 312.799.2692



Claire Fitzpatrick . 312.268.8220


The Metropolitan Club

Jillian Dodge . 312.876.3200



Tina Reedy . 847.843.1313


Platinum Partner


Flower Firm

Kelly Wood . 312.455.2800


Fulton’s on the River

Devin Robnick . 312.527.1417


Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Taryn Miracle . 231.534.6165


Hilton Rosemont Chicago O’Hare

Marian Fuller . 847.678.4488


Trump International

Hotel & Tower

Beatrice Dowell . 312.588.8148


Gold Partner


Brookfield Zoo

Diane Wehrmeister



Edward Fox Photography

Charlene Martin . 773.794.5140


24 news & views | spring 2011

Harrah’s Entertainment

Patrick Espinoza, CMP



MGM Resorts International

Jacqueline Goldy . 312.787.4500


The Drake Hotel

Kevin Boland . 312.932.4306


The Motivation Show

Pete Erickson . 630.434.7779


Silver Partner


All Events Photography

Jeff Brown . 773.777.0011


Chicago History Museum

Barbara Siska . 312.799.2250


Connect Communications, Inc.

Lauren Russ, CMP . 773.972.7060


CORT Event Furnishings

Laura Jolcover . 630.333.2952


Hyatt Regency O’Hare

Jessica Shelby . 847.663.4470


Irish American Heritage Center

Kevin O’Kennedy . 773.282.7035


Minding Your Business

Carolyn Clark . 312.870.7100


Palmer House Hilton

Kelly Lohan . 312.917.3407


Puerto Rico Convention Bureau

Rosa Luke . 773.654.1758


Sugarplum Catering

Shannon Sherwood



Top Golf

Nanette Oganovich, CMP

630.595.4653 x1043


Bronze Partner


ALLURE Event &

Meeting Productions

Jiwon McCartney . 224.544.5238


Audio Visual One, Ltd

Brian Kuntz . 847.928.9200


Chicago Indoor Racing

Misty Lichter . 630.433.3707


Classic Party Rentals

Sandra Sobczak . 708.514.2039


Esprit Productions

Ron Springer . 847.549.6200


Fairmont Raffles

Hotels International

Joanne Trudeau . 773.935.1603


Lettuce Entertain You

Maureen Larson

312.527.9222 x101


PSAV Presentation Services

Adam Hud . 847.759.8337


Skydeck Chicago

Ryan Stancik . 312.875.0066



Sheree Figler . 312.733.9700


Wynn Las Vegas

Alexa Comstock . 702.770.4726


Zhou B Art Center

Donna Bliss . 847.853.0140


Friends of the Chapter


Absolutely Chicago

Segway Tours

Timmie McGuire Cortina



AlphaGraphics of Schaumburg

Kathy Cifuentes . 847.490.3660


Aries Charter Transportation

Antoinette Gonzalez



Casino Party Planners

Alan Brown . 630.628.8150


Cattleya Bridal & Floral Design

Juliet Tan . 773.712.1523


Chicago Convention

& Tourism Bureau

Stacey Geyer . 312.567.8549


Coach USA / Chicago Trolley

& Double Decker

Lori O’Grady . 773.890.2036


Destination Bloomington

Julie Giorgio . 952.278.8510


Directions AV

Doug Sanford . 847.278.5270


DJ Harsh

Harsh Singh . 312.953.0226




Dominican Republic Tourism

Office in Chicago

Patricia Perez . 773.529.1336


Expressive Structures

Ben Palmer . 773.895.5985


Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort

Brooke Weidman . 630.671.5022


Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Brynn Schulz . 612.596.4661


Jewell Events Catering

Cindi Webber . 312.829.3663


Kimpton Hotels of Chicago

Marc Foster . 312.325.7184



Christy Higgins . 248.722.8071


Meet Minneapolis

Katie Smith, CMP . 612.335.6333


Michael Fox Associates, Ltd.

Michael Fox . 312.643.0334


Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort

Trent Felver . 630.432.3890


Palm Springs Desert

Resort Communities CVA

Amber Brooksbank Brown . 760.969.1311


Phillip’s Flowers

Steve Bauer . 630.719.5153


Pulse Beat Music

John Knecht . 773.580.9337


San Francisco Travel Association

Rick Hud . 630.541.5388



Aine O’Brien . 312.943.0281


SmartSource Computer & AV Rentals

John Cuthbertson . 630.588.0200


Sol Melia Hotels

Tina Chambers . 309.963.2015


Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Ted Miller, CHME, CHSP, CGTP



Swan Lake Resort

Andrew Mears . 269.491.4653


Swank Audio Visusals

Adam Buzecky . 847.928.6916


The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Peter Schmidt . 702.755.2686


Tourism Quebec

Annemarie Heidbuechel . 312.573.1849


Travel Alberta

Jan Tolle MacDonald, CMP, CMM



Unforgettable Edibles Catering

Mary O’Connor . 773.774.4001


Visit St. Paul

Margot Zweber . 651.265.4910

Westin Chicago North Shore

Ethan Hughes . 847.777.6545


Windy City Linen

Julie Ratowitz . 800.553.9948


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 | spring 2011 25

Spring Calendar

April 26, 2011

Concierge Preferred Convention & Trade Show

Location: Navy Pier; Chicago, IL

Contact: Concierge Preferred;

(312) 360-1770


May 3, 2011

MPI-CAC Annual Awards Recognition Gala

Location: Chicago History Museum; Chicago, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC;

(888) 721-8908


May 16, 2011

MPI-CAC Education Program & Networking Event

Location: Fulton’s on the River; Chicago, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC;

(888) 721-8908


June 6, 2011

Destinations Showcase

Location: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center;

Rosemont, IL

Contact: Destination Marketing

Association International;

(202) 296-7888


June 20-23, 2011

HITEC 2011

Location: Austin Convention Center; Austin, TX

Contact: Hospitality Financial

& Technology Professionals;

(512) 249-5333


26 news & views | spring 2011

April 2011

April 28, 2011

ASAE 2011 Springtime Expo Location:

Walter E. Washington

Convention Center; Washington, DC

Contact: The Center for Association Leadership;

(888) 950-2723


May 2011

May 9-11, 2011

CIC 2011 CMP Conclave

Location: Hilton Cancun; Cancun, Mexico

Contact: Convention Industry Council;

(571) 527-3116


May 21-25, 2011

Discover America International Pow Wow

Location: Moscone Center; San Francisco, CA

Contact: United States Travel Association;

(202) 408-8422


June 2011

June 13, 2011

MPI-CAC Golf Classic

Location: Ruffled Feathers Golf Club; Lemont, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC;

(888) 721-8908


April 28-May 1, 2011

IASB 2011 Annual Convetion

Location: The Westin San Diego;

San Diego, CA

Contact: International Association

of Speakers Bureaus;

(480) 839-1423


May 11-June 29, 2011

MPI-CAC Weekly CMP Study Group

Locations: Palmer House Hilton; Chicago, IL

& Hyatt Regency O’Hare; Rosemont, IL

Contact: MPI-CAC;

(888) 721-8908


May 24-26, 2011

IMEX 2011

Location: Hall 8, Messe Frankfurt;

Frankfurt, Germany

Contact: IMEX;

+44 1273 224958


June 20-23, 2011

PCMA 2011 Annual Education Conference

Location: Baltimore Convention Center;

Baltimore, MD

Contact: Professional Convention

Management Association;

(312) 423-7262


please visit


for more

upcoming events


www.mpicac.org news & views | winter 2011 27

One Westbrook Corporate Center, Suite 300

Westchester, Illinois 60154

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