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New Member Welcome Kit

New Member Welcome Kit

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President’s Welcome

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Mission and Vision

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Education Programs

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Strategic Events

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Awards & Recognition

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Board of Directors

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Getting Started

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Congratulations on your recent decision to join Meeting Professionals International Georgia Chapter (GaMPI), the largest event planner organization in the Southeast. You are now among almost 800 of your peers who are seeking the best education and resources to support their professional growth and connections within the industry. There is so much to see, learn and do within GaMPI! In fact, many new members can find it a little overwhelming to discover where to begin, or how to stay current on all the powerful educational and networking programming GaMPI provides every year. This Membership Kit is designed as a ready-reference guide to help you quickly and easily understand when educational and networking opportunities are available, how updates and information are shared, where resources are located, and who to contact in various committees, if and when you are ready to get involved. Experience has shown that the best way to make the most of your new membership is to become involved. GaMPI is a professionally managed, volunteer organization, and our volunteers — professionals just like you — are the lifeblood of our continued success, making us Chapter of the Year twice over the past few years. Although our nearly 200 volunteers are of vital importance, it is your participation as a member, making the most of what GaMPI has to offer, that is our primary mission. We invite you to explore the following pages, and get to know this incredible organization. This is your association. It is your membership. On behalf of the GaMPI Board and all your fellow members, we are here to help you get the most out of GaMPI. Sincerely,

Candice Crossfield 2013 - 2014 GaMPI President Georgia Economic Developers Association

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MISSION and VISION Our Mission: Meet: Meetings and events are our business. We believe in the power of live and virtual events to inspire and transform, and practice our belief through every engagement we create for our members. Educate: Knowledge is professional power, therefore GaMPI seeks to constantly provide seniorlevel education designed to empower planners and elevate the industry. Innovate: If we are not growing then we are standing still. The constant search for the newest, most effective and forward-thinking approaches to every aspect of event and meeting management is how GaMPI provides the highest value to planners and suppliers.

Our Vision: At GaMPI, our vision is to be the most highly regarded meeting industry association in the Southeast -- in the eyes of planners, suppliers and the community at large, by providing innovative education, networking and professional development that increases the professional value for all involved.

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EDUCATION GaMPI is dedicated to providing a wide variety of innovative, content-rich learning opportunities for its members, from monthly educational programs and informational newsletters, to webinars, networking events, and even the largest educational conference in the Southeast for planners and suppliers. We invite you to explore upcoming events that fit your goals, interests and schedule.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS & WORKSHOPS On the third Tuesday of most months, GaMPI hosts an educational program or workshop featuring senior planner level content. These programs are either an interactive, hands-on workshop or lecture format. In almost every case, these programs are worth continuing education credits (CEUs) which apply towards CMP, CMM and other professional certifications. To find out what programs and workshops are coming up, either visit our website,, or keep an eye out for the education update email, sent to all our members. WEBINARS Because GaMPI understands the intensive and often unpredictable schedules planners must keep, we are increasing the accessibility of our monthly educational programs with the latest webcast technology, scheduled to launch in 2013. Soon GaMPI members who are are unable to participate at the time of the programs can still benefit from the powerful content on-demand. While there is no substitute for the interactive experience of live participation, GaMPI is thoroughly committed to making top-level professional education available to the largest population of our members as possible. To access current webinar programs, visit MEETINGS EXPLORATION CONFERENCE (MEC) Each year GaMPI hosts this two-day educational event in Atlanta. The conference boasts at least 20 educational sessions, in addition to an extensive exhibit hall and industry-focused general sessions. To read about the Meetings Exploration Conference (MEC) in detail, go to Strategic Events, page 7.

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EDUCATION SUMMER EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE (SEA) Annually, GaMPI partners with several sister organizations, which have included the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the Southeast Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), among others, to host a 3-day educational program in an off-shore, family-friendly destination. To read about this program in more detail, go to Strategic Events, page 8. CMP STUDY GROUP Industry certification is one of the best ways to grow professionally. GaMPI has a stellar track record of over a 95% pass rate for industry certification exams by members of its CMP study groups. Study groups form on a regular basis. To find out when the next group is forming, go to the website, at, Membership page, and follow the Quick Links to Certification Programs. INDUSTRY EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES As a member of GaMPI, you are also now a member of the global MPI community. This provides access to its national and international educational events, such as the World Educational Congress (WEC) as well as a number of white papers and ground-breaking industry studies, all available on the MPI website, at

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STRATEGIC EVENTS GaMPI provides a series of events we call ‘strategic’ because they are specifically designed to strategically elevate the leadership potential and professional growth of our members, and to position the entire organization as the leader for education, innovation and networking in the Southeast.

MEETINGS EXPLORATION CONFERENCE (MEC) GaMPI kicks off each year in the spring with the Meetings Exploration Conference (MEC). MEC is currently the largest Southeast regional educational conference designed specifically for meeting professionals. This extensive, two-day event consists of at least 20 quality educational sessions, a 30,000 square-foot trade show typically featuring more than 100 suppliers, a networking reception, and a high-level, industry-focused general session. Hundreds of the most prestigious and respected meeting professionals – many representing Fortune 1000 companies – converge each year during this multi-day conference and exposition. To read more details, visit, under Events.

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THE GATHERING Every year, GaMPI is proud to give back to the community. Hosted in conjunction with MEC, The Gathering is a breathtaking special event, which donates a portion of its profit to Atlanta’s Table, a project of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. MEC attendees can select to participate in The Gathering when they register for MEC. Besides being an elegant evening affair, and a great opportunity to do good in the community, The Gathering provides a rich networking environment with fellow GaMPI members and a fabulous silent auction. To read more, visit, under Events.

THE PHOENIX AWARDS Each June GaMPI acknowledges its members who have given the most to the organization and who are the top performers in the industry locally. The awards are presented before 400 attendees at an evening gala that has become known for its spectacular decor, food and sensational experience. To find out more about the award categories, and how to be nominated for professional excellence, go to, under Events. Page | 7

STRATEGIC EVENTS SUMMER EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE (SEA) SEA is the newest strategic event GaMPI hosts annually in partnership with several sister organizations, which have included the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the Southeast Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). This 3-day educational program is usually held at an off-shore, family-friendly destination. Each strategic event GaMPI hosts is representative of a common meeting format, and is designed to create the most innovative and exemplary delivery of that format. SEA is GaMPI’s destination meeting offering, and as such, is the only GaMPI event not held locally. While destination meetings are not for every GaMPI member, those who are able to attend the very affordable SEA will find the same senior planner content, along with a junior planner track, and a focus on a high level of interactivity and hands-

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on learning. FALL CLASSIC GOLF TOURNAMENT The GaMPI Fall Classic provides members with an opportunity to play many Georgia golf courses they might otherwise never have the opportunity to see. This premier networking event provides much more than simply a round of golf. Each year there are a variety of activities and prizes for both golfers and nongolfers alike, including evening awards, auction and networking aplenty during one of the most delightful seasons to enjoy the great outdoors.

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GaMPI endeavors to keep the ratio of planner to supplier memberships in approximately a 50:50 ratio. This ensures that planners can confidently expect to find true peer-to-peer networking at events, as well as receive access to top suppliers in the area. Conversely, it also ensures that suppliers who are looking for the most effective association to participate in and to support, know that they are in front of hundreds of planners when they are a part of GaMPI. The opportunities for networking, sponsoring and advertising are as diverse as GaMPI’s membership, and can be tailored to the individual’s needs. NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES: •

Prior to and during educational programs


The Gathering

Phoenix Awards


Fall Classic Golf Tournament

Through GaMPI’s LinkedIn Group

Through GaMPI’s Facebook Page

Through GaMPI’s Twitter Feed

By involvement as a committee volunteer

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Educational programs/workshops

Annual Member Resource Guide

Webinars (coming soon)

Monthly e-Newsletters (Re:Vu and Re:Connect)


MEC Program

The Gathering

Phoenix Awards Program

Phoenix Awards


Fall Classic Golf Tournament

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GaMPI recognizes the incredible caliber of expertise and commitment to the meetings industry among our members. Each year we make an effort to recognize those among us, not only who have achieved the highest standards of excellence in the performance of their jobs, but also who have gone above and beyond to continue to raise the bar within GaMPI. MONTHLY AWARDS: SHINING STAR: Awarded on a monthly basis for GaMPI volunteer activities. Nominations are submitted by GaMPI members and selected by the Shining Star Committee. ANNUAL GAMPI INVOLVEMENT AWARDS: GaMPI’s awards program is currently undergoing some rejuvenation. However, some of the past awards

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given out include: Planner Member of the Year Supplier Member of the Year Student Member of the Year Chapter Leader of the Year Shining Star of the Year Committee of the Year Rising Star of the Year Hall of Fame To find out how to qualify for the annual awards and to see the current list of award criteria, visit the GaMPI website, at, under Events, Phoenix Awards.

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Information, ideas, resources, fresh approaches and valuable insights are all easily within reach in one place through GaMPI. In fact, most of these can be accessed through the GaMPI website as well as MPI’s website. To make navigation easier for our members, GaMPI has provided quick links to some of the more popular MPI resources through our own Resources page. While many more resources are available, here are the most popular ones among our members: E-NEWSLETTERS GaMPI regularly publishes two content-rich e-newsletters: Re:Connect, which focuses on what’s happening in GaMPI, helping members stay informed; and Re:Vu, which compiles top industry news stories in a concise format. To check out back issues of either of these publications, please visit www.gampi. org under Resources. MEMBER RESOURCE GUIDE Annually GaMPI provides its members with a handy printed desktop reference guide to all current, active members and their companies. Networking and locating reputable new resources has never been easier. GaMPI JOB BOARD Whether you are looking to change jobs or to locate the right person for your team, GaMPI membership gives you access to GaMPI’s local Job Board and MPI’s powerful nationwide job board. Just visit, under Resources. INDUSTRY RESEARCH AND WHITEPAPERS MPI has invested in a series of research studies, and created a series of whitepapers that are shaping the industry. By visiting our website at, under Resources, you will navigate directly to groundbreaking research and studies that are shaping our industry. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT From webinars to CMP and CMM certification programs, MPI and GaMPI offer many opportunites to grow your professional worth. Certifications and professional designations have never been more accessible. All of these opportunites can be explored further at, under Resources.

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COMMITTEES Although GaMPI is professionally managed, it still relies on hundreds of volunteers to build curriculum, to deliver clear and timely communications, to focus on innovative, relevant education, and to deliver events worthy of a meeting professionals’ organization. Regardless of your skill set, there is a committee that can use your support. Involvement at the committee level is a sure way to build the relationships with your peers that will support your own professional development. Here is a brief list and description of some of the current committees behind GaMPI’s success:

COMMUNICATIONS The Communications Committee is responsible for marketing, messaging, and content for GaMPI. This includes managing content found on the website, editing the two e-newsletters delivered monthly, monitoring and facilitating the social media discussions on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and ensuring the MPI and local GaMPI branding is kept to standards. EDUCATION The Education Committee identifies the most timely and desirable content for educational programming at the luncheons, webcasts, and each educational event held throughout the year. Not only does this committee handle the content, it is also responsible for the meeting planning execution onsite for each educational program/workshop. STRATEGIC EVENTS The Strategic Events Committee has a sub-committee responsible for each of the five strategic events GaMPI manages throughout the year: Meetings Exploration Conference (MEC), The Gathering, Phoenix Awards, Summer Educational Alliance (SEA), and the Fall Classic Golf Tournament. Each sub-committee has numerous roles and opportunities for our members at all levels of expertise, from the novice to senior planners. MEMBERSHIP From recruitment to retention, the Membership Committee focuses on engaging members from the time they join, to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to get the most out of their involvement. Subcommittees of Membership help identify good fits with particular committees, while others manage grants and recognition.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Candice Crossfield Georgia Economic Developers Association 404-962-4110

Vice President - Education Felicia Newberry The MAGNUM Companies Ltd. 404-872-0553

President-Elect Mike Michel Inline Meeting & Site Selections 770-622-7767

Director - Education (Curriculum) Kit Reames McClung, CMP Callaway Gardens 706-663-5128

Immediate Past President Larry Greene Greene Classic Limousines 404-875-3866

Director - Education (Programs) Sara Justice DeBerry Starwood Hotels 404-832-8847

Vice President - Finance Kelly Smink Amusement Masters 770-451-9111

Vice-President - Administration Annie Mullins, CMP, CCMEP Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 404-785-7951

Vice President - Membership Ginny Izydore The Ridges Resort & Marina 770-546-7698

Vice President - Strategic Events Monica Compton, CMP Pinnacle Productions 770-819-0770

GaMPI Executive Director Natalie Nardone, CMP, CAE Nardone Consulting Group, Inc. 770-916-1225

Director - Membership Kim Maling, CMP, DMCP InLine Meeting & Site Selections 678-404-5597

Director - Strategic Events Tara Brashear Freeman 404-253-6452

GaMPI Association Manager Amy Hokkanen Nardone Consulting Group, Inc. 770-916-1225

Director - Member (Recruitment) Karla Yeck The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island 904-491-6773

Director - Strategic Events Alan Souza Carole Parks Catering 404-872-1999

Vice-President - Communications Stephanie Henriksen Proforma Irvine Group 678-765-0011

Advisor to Leadership Development Leigh Ann Waters Interstate Hotels & Resorts 678-662-7106

Director - Communications Laura Guerin, CMP Southern Economic Development Council 404-523-3030

Director - Strategic Partnerships Open Position

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GETTING STARTED Now that you are familiar with many of the incredible opportunities available to you as a part of your membership in GaMPI, we invite you to take the next steps that will ensure you are getting the most out of your involvement. First, go to the GaMPI website,, and login with your member ID that was provided to you with this kit. If you cannot locate your ID number, or password, email us at, or call our offices at 770-916-1225. Once you have logged in, visit the online Membership Directory, and set up your member profile. The Directory is a private, members-only listing to help you easily locate the best local resources, and connect with your peers. It provides the options of including your company logo or a photo, and even categorizing your business for optimum accessibility to those GaMPI members who are looking for the resources you provide.

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Second, find the next educational program featuring a Membership Orientation Session, where you can meet other members and ask questions about how to access exactly the resources you are looking for from GaMPI. Third, watch your email for the monthly communications about what’s going on in GaMPI and in the industry, so you can stay up-to-date and informed.

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Fourth, find a committee position that fits your skills and available commitment level. Committees are always looking for enthusiastic new members to help share the roles and responsibilities that are entirely voluntary. Through this level of involvement our members quickly get to know each other, and also understand how the organization functions. GaMPI has developed both a Member Activation Committee (MAC) to help connect you with exactly the committee position that best suits your skills, availability, and goals, as well as the Ambassador Program, specifically for new members, to help you and your organization get the most out of your GaMPI membership during your entire first year. Within the next few weeks, a member of the Ambassador Committee will be contacting you. Please take a moment to speak with them when they call or email. Then last, but not least, if you are entirely new to GaMPI, or haven’t been a member for a while, visit our new website often for frequent updates, explore our many innovative resources, as well as those available through MPI, try our enhanced educational opportunities, and join the conversation going on all the time through popular social media channels. There is plenty for everyone here at GaMPI, and we’re glad you have decided to join us.

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GaMPI New Member Welcome kit  

There is so much to see, learn and do within Meeting Professionals International Georgia Chapter (GaMPI)! In fact, many new members can find...

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