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Volume 12, Issue 2 • April–June 2013

Wild West Chapter Oklahoma SGMP

From the President’s Desk EDUCATION—NETWORKING—RESOURCES As my first term as your chapter president comes to an end June 30, 2013, I reflect on the great things that have transpired thanks to our membership. Perhaps our greatest accomplishment was supporting Maggie McGowan in her successful run for the SGMP National Board of Directors in June 2011. Beginning July 1, 2013, Maggie will sit on the national board as the 1st Vice President. Thank you, Maggie, for your continued dedication and service. While SGMP celebrated its 30–year anniversary in October 2011, we followed suit in celebrating our 10–year anniversary as a Chapter in November 2011. Who can’t forget “the perfect 10”? Hosted by the Renaissance OKC Convention Center Hotel, it was truly a night to remember. Thank you, Tracy. The Wild West Chapter hosted PIE 2012 for Region V at the DoubleTree Downtown Tulsa. Joining our friends from the Texas chapters, we welcomed the Rocky Mountain group who also contributed to the success of this event. The annual PIE Conference offers SGMP members an excellent professional development opportunity equivalent to sessions offered at the NEC level. PIE 2014 will be held in Houston, March 7–9. Our chapter was the recipient for two national awards at the 2012 NEC in New Orleans: Chapter Merit Award and 2nd Place— Newsletter of the Year. Thank you, Laura, for all your work with The Spur! In February 2013, the chapter voted to offer the Government Meeting Specialist certification to members. To date, 17 members have made that commitment. In 2013 at NEC in Orlando, Ginger Thompson, our chapter treasurer, was one of 10 recipients to be recognized by national SGMP headquarters as “the most improved” for financial reporting catapulting the Wild West from #20 on the list to #8. Thank you, Ginger, for keeping us financially sound! The new chapter board is in place with two vacancies to be filled. We welcome Brenda Gentry as our new secretary and bring back Crystal Mappes as our immediate past president. Amy Knowles, Michael Farr, Ginger Thompson, Tracy Blair, and I will maintain our positions. Our success continues through chapter membership participation. Without the generous support from all our supplier members and our planner members, we, the Wild West OK SGMP Chapter, would simply not be. The Wild West Chapter continues to hold second in the nation in planner to supplier ratio at 61.4%! Looking forward to a new term, I encourage each of you to “stay connected, plug in to SGMP!”

Alice Moore, CGMP 2013–2015 Wild West Chapter President

National Education Conference … p. 5, 10, 14, 15, 17, & 19 Annual Award Winners … p. 21 And much more!

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IN THIS ISSUE: FEATURES From the President’s Desk ................................................................... 1 SGMP Member Bill of Rights ................................................................ 4 Member Moment: PDC Productions/Winner’s Circle, Inc. .................... 6 SGMP Announces New Education Initiatives ...................................... 10 Transparency in Wild West Site Selection ......................................... 12 Hospitality Committee ...................................................................... 14 Member Moment: Candie Westbrook ................................................ 17 Membership Committee .................................................................... 18 Planner Profile: Amy Knowles ............................................................ 18 VisitTulsa Visits OKC to Say Thanks ................................................... 19 NEC: Wrap-Up ................................................................................... 19 Annual Awards .................................................................................. 21 Industry: Government Meeting Specialist .......................................... 22 Enid Event Center Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting ......................... 24 Member Moment: NCED Conference Center & Hotel ......................... 26 Professional Feature: The Un–Comfort Zone ..................................... 27

SGMP MEETINGS & EVENTS NEC Photos ......................................................................................... 5 Social Media in Meeting Planning (April) ............................................. 6 Safety Preparedness for Event Planning (May) ..................................... 9 NEC: Own the Moment ...................................................................... 10 NEC .................................................................................................... 14 NEC: 1st–Time Attendee .................................................................... 15 Wild West NEC Attendees ................................................................. 15 NEC: Wow! What an Experience! ....................................................... 15 Google-icious NEC ............................................................................. 17 Emotional Intelligence (June) ............................................................. 20 Supplier Appreciation ......................................................................... 20 Upcoming Meetings & Programs ....................................................... 23 2014 National Education Conference ................................................ 28

BITS & PIECES Board Contacts .................................................................................... 4 Want Ads ........................................................................................... 11 Committee Corral .............................................................................. 25

AD INDEX Choctaw Casino & Resort .................................................................... 8 Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center ......................... 13 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino—Tulsa ....................................................... 7 Hyatt Regency Tulsa ............................................................................ 2 King’s Transportation ........................................................................ 26 OKC CVB .............................................................................................. 3 PDC Productions ................................................................................ 23 Renaissance OKC Convention Center Hotel ....................................... 16

In memory of Dr. Ramona Paul

(October 17, 1936–June 30, 2013)

SGMP Wild West Member 2001–2009

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President Alice Moore, CGMP


University of Oklahoma—CECPD

Member Bill Of Rights

1st Vice President Amy Knowles


Members have the right to respect SGMP is our membership and the Society has no life separate from its members.

Moore Norman Technology Center


2nd Vice President Michael Farr, CASE, CGMP Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Members have the right to be heard Members have a voice in the Society and can expect that leadership and staff respond to their input. Members have the right to leaders who put the Society first Leadership is service to others and being true to the Society’s mission. Members have the right to lawful and ethical leadership Members can expect and demand that elected leaders and staff comply with all governing laws, policies and ethical standards. Members have the right to participate in governance The Society is run democratically and allows members to vote and seek leadership positions. Members can expect transparency in governance and operations. Members have the right to have Society funds used to advance our mission SGMP leaders have a fiduciary responsibility to manage Society funds and assets for the good of the entire Society. SGMP funds are to be used for meeting member needs of today, ensuring the sustainability of operations, and preparing for the Society’s future.


Secretary Crystal Mappes, CMP

OK Assn. of Health Care Providers


Treasurer Ginger Thompson Oklahoma City CVB


Director—Special Recognition Tracy Blair, CHSP

Renaissance OKC Convention Center Hotel


Director—Community Service Sara Furr OSU Foundation


Director—Special Projects Angela Salusky

DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown


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Social Media in Meeting Planning April 8, 2013 • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Downtown Tulsa

Core: Technology

by Crystal Mappes, CMP—OK Assoc. of Health Care Providers

Are you familiar with,,,, or If not, this was the meeting for you! Stephanie Heckenkemper is the go–to girl for managing your social media. She was our April luncheon speaker and provided us with many ideas on how meeting planners can manage their social media. She also encouraged smart phone uses to get out their telephones and become social during the meeting. Of course, she requested limited checking of e-mail. As a meeting planner, I do use some of the sites but was not familiar with others. My concern about social meeting, as any change, is it’s new and requires time for learning. Sometimes in our daily routines, carving out learning time is scare but she suggested a daily routine works well. Ms. Heckenkemper suggested social media is a great way to drive attendance. She stated 900 million people use Facebook, 150 million on LinkedIn and 555 million on Twitter. How better for sharing your event socially. She noted one of the most beneficial aspects of social media for event planning is that users self-select what topics they are interested in and what they care about. If attendee’s post blogs on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, this not only increases social participation of your live audience, but now, all the people on the web who weren’t able to attend the event can follow the live update and be informed. If you are not a savvy social media meeting planner, I’d suggest that it’s never too late to learn. Meeting Host DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Downtown Tulsa Angela Salusky 918.732.3641

Member Moment Submitted by Laura Morgan—Winner’s Circle, Inc.

okcBIZ readers have voted for their favorite local business–to–business companies across the greater metro area. Best of Business 2013, sponsored by Comtech, recognizes the readers' top picks in each of 25 categories. Winners were honored at the Best of Business awards luncheon on April 26 at Oklahoma History Center's Chesapeake Events Center. PDC Productions/Winner’s Circle, Inc. received second place in the Best Meeting or Event–Planning Services or Rentals category.

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Safety Preparedness for Event Planning May 9, 2013 • Choctaw Casino/Resort—Durant

Core: Logistics

by Ashley Norman, MBA—Choctaw Casino & Resort

On May 9, 2013, the Wild West Chapter Oklahoma SGMP monthly luncheon was hosted by Ashley Norman at the Choctaw Casino/Resort in Durant, Okla., with a luau theme. It began with the networking portion of the luncheon being held outside in the Amphitheater of the Oasis pool complete with tropical spritzers. The theme continued inside with beautiful centerpieces featuring Hawaiian flowers and greenery with a pineapple in the center. The luau menu included: coconut shrimp, key lime chicken, tropical grilled vegetables, Hawaiian rolls, and pineapple upside–down cake. Daryl Holaday, Director of Safety Management/Emergency Management with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, presented Safety Preparedness for Event Planning. Daryl has more than 10 years of experience in safety and emergency preparedness. The most important aspect of safety preparedness for event planning is pre-event planning. As a meeting professional, here are a few questions you need to have the answers to for each facility you use. Does the facility have security onsite? Where do we go if the fire alarm goes off? What is the procedure for severe weather? Does the facility pass the “eye ball” test? This means are fire exits marked, fire extinguishers available, emergency plans in place, etc. Even though these occurrences are rare and most of the time not an issue, it is our job to be prepared and know how to handle each and every situation in order to keep our attendees safe. As a meeting professional, it is your job to go over these details with your facility contact and make sure they have procedures in place at their facility. It is also a good idea to start your meeting off with going over the emergency plans with your attendees. This way they are knowledgeable about how to handle any situation that could occur. This will prevent panic if an emergency does occur. Daryl gave us all a great tip; the weather forecast is most accurate 48 hours prior to your event. Since we all know how unpredictable the weather in Oklahoma can be; you need to keep an eye on it even if your event is indoors. He ended his presentation with the following statement, “If you plan ahead, then the unthinkable becomes manageable.” This piece of advice sums up his whole presentation perfectly. The meeting concluded with a tour of the facility. We hope those that attended had a wonderful time during their first SGMP luncheon at Choctaw Casino/Resort!

Meeting Host Choctaw Casino/Resort—Durant Ashley Norman 580.920.0160 ext. 1252

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SGMP Announces New and Improved Education Initiatives reprinted with permission from SGMP

The Society of Government Meeting Professionals members who are subject matter experts. The faculty (SGMP) announced the launch of three new education is comprised of industry professionals who will be initiatives at its 31st annual National Education available as instructors to share their government Conference. The organization unveiled its and/or meetings expertise with SGMP revamped Certified Government Meeting members. The expert list is an internal Professional (CGMP) program, the creation of resource for chapter leaders to have more an adjunct faculty and the formation of a resources with which to conduct their Subject Matter Expert list. chapter education duties. “The CGMP program has undergone a thorough review, from course eligibility and registration processes to all of the lesson plans and the exam,” said national president Rob Coffman, CGMP. “This program represents the pinnacle of SGMP’s critical role of providing education to our members and our industry.”

“These are very challenging times in our industry,” Coffman said. “We will continue to focus on bringing more high-quality educational resources to our members.” “Our tax-exemption allows for advocacy, but our mission centers on education,” said executive director & CEO Rob Bergeron, CAE, CGMP. Revised core competencies in education and additional chapter education programs will also be launched by the end of June, Bergeron said.

In his State of the Society address, Coffman also announced the first members of SGMP’s adjunct faculty and the development of a collection of

Own the Moment by Crystal Mappes, CMP—OK Assoc. of Health Care Providers

Education, Networking and Resources were the goals for this year’s NEC at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, FL. There was definitely plenty of each. It was a great opportunity to reunite with fellow SGMP members and of course make new friends, both planners and suppliers. Keynote speaker, Simon T. Bailey, opened the 2013 SGMP NEC Conference with a smile and lots of laughter. He encouraged us to own the moment! Mr. Bailey gave us several questions to ask ourselves for structuring our future. His questions were: what have you learned; why are you here; what can you do; where are you going and what is sight without vision? He stated you should not only leave an impression but leave an imprint. Mr. Bailey talked about this real life experience of how he was influenced at a very young age. Someone left him an impression which he remembers every day. They created a WOW effect and it rubbed off. He definitely practices that effect on a daily basis. He stated it’s similar to customer service and encourages us to apply it in our daily living. Simon emphasized how those five questions can truly affect our lives as well as influence those around us. In closing, he challenged us to leave an imprint in our everyday living and to Own the Moment. Mr. Bailey left that WOW effect.

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Advertising special: Purchase one year of newsletter advertising (4 issues) and receive a 10% discount on your ad! Ad Dimensions

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Share your knowledge and present on a topic of your choice that will educate all SGMP members. You will be appreciated by your peers, & earn points for meeting planning certifications & chapter scholarships. Your topic does not have to be solely on meeting planning or the hotel industry. Think outside the box about topics that are essential in everyday life at work, home, relationships, etc. All of us make up the body of the chapter and each of you ARE the chapter. If you aren’t comfortable presenting by yourself, buddy up with a colleague to do a presentation. You may have someone in your office who would give a presentation. The possibilities are endless! With the amount of expertise we all bring to one group, it will be a phenomenal year for the Wild West Chapter and we can keep bringing stellar programs to the 2nd Thursday of every month! Please contact Amy Knowles, with your presentation ideas at or 405.809.3500. Thanks!

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Ad Deadline April 1 July 1 October 1 January 1

Published by April 30 July 31 October 31 January 31

We want your contributions to The Spur. Let us know what is going on with you on a personal or professional level. Do you have a new addition to your family, new job, got engaged/married or have other news about yourself or another SGMP member? We want your photos and news of events big and small. Articles can be about a new meeting planning experience or something that you learned to do or not to do. Give us your input and remember, articles count for PIE & NEC scholarship points.

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Transparency of the Wild West Meeting Site Selection Process by Amy Knowles—Moore Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus

Transparency in government is often credited with generating government accountability. So transparency in an organization that is dedicated to enhance the knowledge and expertise of government meeting professionals would be considered a good thing as well. Members need to be aware of what is going on at the chapter, regional, and national level. They should ask questions and offer comments and concerns. These should be addressed in an open format for the benefit of all. A recent meeting evaluation included a comment that indicates the Wild West Chapter needs to provide transparency in the process of meeting site selection. Hopefully this will provide new information, reaffirm the process, or clear up any confusion. The comment had to do with meetings at the same locations year after year. The individual wrote that, “one of the benefits, in my view of attending the monthly programs, is to experience different venues.” The comment made by the member is correct. This is a benefit of attending meetings for both planners and suppliers. Planners get to experience the service, food, and environment of a facility. For the host supplier, it is like giving a site visit to numerous planners at once. While the benefit for the visiting suppliers it is a way to compare their property to others. (Nothing like good healthy competition among peers, right?) Once a year, usually in August, the 1st Vice President contacts all supplier members requesting help in completing the meeting calendar. Suppliers are provided with a list of dates and requirements. Some suppliers are more active in the chapter than others and sign up each year. Others might sign up every other year, while some do not wish to host meetings. It is up to each supplier to determine if they can host a meeting and when. After suppliers volunteer to host, agreements are sent to the facilities to confirm the date and location. As the calendar is completed, it is posted on the Wild West website ( Sometimes all of dates do not fill. In this case, the 1st VP will send out another appeal for locations. If a property would like to host a second meeting they are allowed. Additional requests are sent out until the calendar is full. As new supplier members are added, they are asked if the property would like to host a meeting if dates are open. If a date is not available, the property will be contacted the next scheduling period. Member properties of SGMP are given the first option of hosting. However, a Convention and Visitors Bureau that is a member may arrange for a nonmember property to host. The CVB may want to showcase a property and use this opportunity to encourage new suppliers to join. Promoting/showcasing as many member facilities as possible in a year is at the forefront of completing the meeting calendar. The location of the facility and trying to balance meetings throughout the state, so that all members can benefit, are considerations when determining the schedule. As of May 31, the Wild West Chapter had 27 supplier members (17 properties, 5 CVBs, 1 transportation company, and the state parks system). The chapter schedules 10 meetings a year plus the Holiday Gala. The goal is to have 11 different properties host in a year but again it is up to the suppliers to volunteer to host. If you know of a potential supplier member invite them to a meeting. Encourage them to become a member (remember they must join with a planner). Let’s grow the chapter and add to the potential sites for meetings. And keep the comments coming on evaluations or talk to a board members. The success of the Wild West Chapter rests in the hands of the members. And learning more about the operations and processes can only strengthen the group.

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Hospitality Committee Report submitted by Candie Westbrook, CGMP—NCED Conference Center & Hotel

SGMP APRIL 2013 MONTHLY MEETING DOOR PRIZE DONATIONS Michel Farr, Hyatt Regency Tulsa: One night weekend stay in the Regency Club King at the Hyatt Regency Tulsa with complimentary parking and a movie Joey Allen, King’s Limousine: $250 gift certificate Lacy Ragland, Hard Rock Casino Tulsa: One–night stay at the Hard Hotel & Casino in Tulsa Stephanie Heckenkemper: Events promotion package; & In–office social media training Alice Moore, OU CECPD: Candle Tanya Bethel, DoubleTree Warren Place—Tulsa: Tin of DoubleTree cookies Candie Westbrook & Morgan Hughes, NCED Conference Center & Hotel: Goodie bag with water

SGMP MAY 2013 MONTHLY MEETING DOOR PRIZE DONATIONS Michel Farr, Hyatt Regency Tulsa: One night weekend stay in the Regency Club King at the Hyatt Regency Tulsa with complimentary parking and a movie Alice Moore, OU CECPD: Thirty–One Gifts bag Ashley Norman, Choctaw Casino/Resort–Durant: One–night stay at Choctaw Casino/Resort–Durant Candie Westbrook & Morgan Hughes, NCED Conference Center & Hotel: Summer Fun in the Sun Do you want to donate a door prize for a future meeting? Prizes can be anything from your facility, i.e., a t–shirt, key ring, coffee mug, complimentary night stay, jump drive, mouse pad, etc. Anything you would like to offer will be GREATLY appreciated! By donating a prize, you have put your company in front of planners with your logo featured in the PowerPoint presentation, your name and company announced during the drawing, and a listing in the quarterly newsletter, The Spur. If you are interested in donating, please contact Hospitality Committee Chair Candie Westbrook, CGMP at

National Education Conference by Gail Russell—Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services/DDSD

The 2013 NEC in Orlando was an outstanding event. Packed full of education and networking. Always a warm feeling to see all the SGMP folks—reminds me of a family reunion! I was quite honored to be one of the fortunate scholarship recipients. I facilitated a session by Anne Grady, “Leading without Authority: Success strategies that get results! This session really touched base with me. In my line of work, I have seen many individuals who are in the position to lead but they tend to react to the situation rather than choosing an approach that fits the moment. As was mentioned in the workshop, “The effectiveness of the leader will never rise above his/her ability to influence others.” In a nutshell, “He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.” Leadership is the ability to obtain followers. Here’s to all the SGMP leaders!

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SGMP NEC & Expo 1 -Time Attendee by Brenda Gentry— OUHSC–Center on Child Abuse & Neglect

This was my first National SGMP NEC & Expo and all I can say is WOW! I was honored to be awarded an SGMP Rance R. Willis Planner Development Scholarship for this conference. I would not have been able to attend if not for this scholarship. The experience was awesome. The welcome reception, keynote, breakout sessions, expo hall, awards luncheon, and banquet were a great experience. The conference provided a great opportunity for education and networking with other suppliers and planners from across the U.S. The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort property was exceptional, the staff was very friendly and helpful, and the food was fabulous. Our days started at 8:30am and ended late evening. Simon T. Bailey was our opening keynote speaker and spoke to us on how to “release your brilliance.” The education sessions provided included: creating graphics for your events; how to improve your memory; risk management plan; international protocol; ethics in the industry; leadership roles;

contracts and working with venues; and future of government meetings, to name a few. It was great that we were allowed time to visit the exhibit hall and meet the suppliers from different areas of the U.S. Even though my events are in–state, many of the suppliers still offered their help if I should ever need it. Corbin Ball and Jim Spellos were our closing speakers and provided ideas on how to use smart phones, IPAD or other tablets to help plan and organize your event and interact with customers. I want to say thank you to SGMP for providing scholarships to help provide financial assistance to meeting planners to attend the national conference. This is a great opportunity to get additional education and network with others from across the country. So, planners don’t think “why bother, I probably won’t get a scholarship,” apply next year and see what happens! I look forward to the 2014 SGMP NEC & Expo in Portland, Oregon—see you there!

Wild West NEC Attendees

Back row (L to R): Ricky Torix, Michelle Hollier, Tasha Houck, Candie Westbrook, Maggie McGowan, Alice Moore, & Michael Farr Front row (L to R): Danielle Merryman, Ginger Thompson, Morgan Hughes, Crystal Mappes, Brenda Gentry, & Amy Knowles Not pictured: Lacy Ragland & Gail Russell

Wow! What an experience! by Lacy Ragland—Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa

Wild West Chapter, thank you so much for your support and embrace! I am so grateful that our Chapter afforded me the opportunity to attend NEC 2013. I had a blast making connections, fellowshipping with our chapter, and getting educated. Rosen Shingle Creek was quite the getaway for a conference. The breakout sessions I attended were so helpful. Both applicable and entertaining, Peggy Duncan’s tips for organizing have totally changed my life. Thanks to Simon T. Bailey I am daily “Taking it to the next level,” as I release my brilliance by rubbing off on people with the way I think, the things I say, and the things I do. I am so appreciative and look forward to Portland for next year! The scholarship given to me by the Wild West Chapter was the kicker that made it all possible. Thank you for the opportunity and God bless!

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Google-licious NEC by Candie Westbrook, CGMP—NCED Conference Center & Hotel My name is Candie and I am the Hospitality Committee Chair for the Wild West Chapter. This year I was awarded a scholarship by the chapter to help pay my way to attend the SGMP National Education Conference in Orlando Florida on May 22-24, 2013. I gained a lot of experience from this conference through keynote speakers, networking, education tracks and the fun technology SGMP used. On Thursday, I attended the Google-licious: How to find anything on the Internet session. Jim Spellos was a great presenter and if there is anything technology related he and Corbin are certainly the “go-to” people of the meeting industry. The first video we watched was a presentation on Google glass. If you do not know what Google glass is you should check it out by typing this link in your browser. Google glass is a pair of eye glasses that will act as your telephone, map, social media and more. Google is much more than just a search engine. It is also a smart phone, a web browser, a mobile magazine; it can be used as an alternative to Microsoft office and is literally in a battle with Facebook over social media capabilities. If you have the newest version of Google chrome, when you begin to type something that is of interest Google will anticipate what you are looking for so that it can provide you with recommendations on what to search. Want to search for something in specific to narrow your results? Try using the (“) on words that you want in your search and the (-) on words that you don’t. For example, Restaurants in Norman Oklahoma “Asian”-Italian will provide you with all of the Asian restaurants but it will also provide you with any other restaurant that may have Asian food on the menu but no Italian. See how that works?! Google now has a voice search which acts much like Siri! Google’s voice is female but she is very easy to understand

and she gathers data from millions of websites in order to provide you with the best possible answer. You can even have a conversation with her. For example, for those who have the little microphone icon when you open up Google. Ask her, “Who was the 16th president of the United States?” She will tell you Abraham Lincoln. Then ask her, “Who was his wife” she will tell you everything there is to know about Mary. She anticipated that you were referring to Abraham Lincoln’s wife because that was the last question you asked her. When you are finished try telling Google, “thank you.” You may be surprised by the response you get! This can be a great tool for planners and suppliers for researching anything really. The voice app can also be downloaded on to your smart phone and used instead of 411 or getting on the internet to browse. For meeting planners, you can use Google Forms in order to create a free survey for your attendees. Suppliers, you can set up a pay per click campaign to get your name at the top of the list when people search for hotels in your area. Why is this important to have? The reason is because 90% of the people who search on Google never look beyond the first page and will typically choose one of the first three links listed. Want to know what all of your friends are searching? You can now join communities of people from the meeting planning industry or hospitality industry on Google to see what interests they have. You can also set up Google hangouts with a free app that can be used to have real time conversations with up to 10 people. Google Maps is also a great tool to use for prospecting while out on sales calls. You can search for government agencies in the area and then map your route whether walking or driving. I have a packet of information that provides many more fun tips and tricks. I will email it to anyone who is interested in learning more.

Member Moment submitted by Candie Westbrook, CGMP—NCED Conference Center & Hotel

Candie Westbrook auditioned and was accepted to the Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir 4: Bliss which will air July 11, 2013 at the Queen Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. This was an amazing opportunity for Candie because she loves to sing but has a hard time overcoming her fear of singing in front of people. This virtual choir required a simple video submission which can be done in the privacy of one’s own home. 92+ countries are represented in this choir and over 5,000 video submissions were made. To follow the production of this video, please visit

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Membership Committee Report Do you know someone who might benefit from SGMP, but don’t have time to invite them yourself? Send your membership leads and we will invite them for you, plus, you can earn scholarship points for qualifying leads! Send your leads to Michael Farr, CASE, CGMP, at

Members as of June 30, 2013

New Members

1 27

Makayla Orlich—Crowne Plaza OKC

Supplier Planner Retiree


Elizabeth Ross—OU CPM

Thanks to the following members for renewing their memberships this quarter! Bri DeMarco—Visit Tulsa Michael Farr—Hyatt Regency Tulsa Liz Haller—Tulsa Marriott Southern Hills Marley Harris—OU CPM Maggie McGowan—OU CPM Alice Moore—OU CECPD

Ezra Poindexter—Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center Lacy Ragland—Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa Cindy Lu Shaw–Daniels—Oklahoma Historical Society Tessa Traxler—OU Southwest Prevention Center

Planner Profile Meet the Wild West Chapter’s new 1st Vice President. Name: Amy Knowles

Organization: Moore Norman Technology Center

Job Title: Event Planner

Membership Type: Government Planner

Family: Mike Knowles (husband)

Hobbies: reading, Disney, sports, baking, travel

Education: BA, Journalism from Creighton University (Omaha, NE) Job History: OU at National Center for Employee Development (2 years); Marriott at National Center for Employee Development (2 years); Moore Norman Technology Center (4 years); non–profit; family–owned small business; service industry and a training company. What is the best part of your job? Working with a wide variety of individuals What advice can you give your peers? Be flexible, positive and honest—we are all in this together. Favorite Quote: Remember, no matter where you go, there you are. Favorite Movies: The Mummy; Lilo and Stitch; Hatari!; Donavon’s Reef What would you like our members to know about you? I want to attend a game in every MLB park. I have been to 11 parks and have caught a game in 7.

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VisitTulsa Visits OKC to Say Thanks by Amy Knowles—Moore Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus

Visit Tulsa and the Tulsa Convention Center held a Client Appreciation Fiesta at the Iguana Lounge in Oklahoma City at the end of June to show its appreciation to its OKC clients that bring events and meeting to Tulsa. Guests were treated to heavy hors d’oeuvres along with margaritas and a selection of beer as well as goodie bags. The festive atmosphere was an excellent setting for planners from all segments to connect with the VisitTulsa staff members. Similar events have been held in Tulsa but the OKC planners were not always able to attend. As more than one staff member said, it made sense [for the staff] to come to Oklahoma City to see the planners. The first–time OKC event was well received and future events are being discussed.

National Education Conference Wrap-up by Danielle Merryman—University of Oklahoma

My purpose in seeking out membership in SGMP was to receive training and education pertaining to government meeting planning that my agency was unable to provide. Thus, I was pleased to discover several workshops being offered at this year’s National Education Conference that likely would have been very beneficial to a new planner like myself: “Create Event Graphics,” “Mobile Apps for Events,” “Debunking Hotel Contract Mysteries—A Planner’s Perspective,” “Hospitality Law and Contracts for the Government Arena,” and “Creative Food and Beverage on a Budget.” Unfortunately, my moderating duties and scheduling conflicts with other workshops kept me from attending these intriguing sessions. Hopefully, similar workshops will be offered next year in Portland. (Kudos to Travel Portland for exhibiting a fun, creative, and interesting booth! Probably my personal favorite of the expo.) The most enlightening workshop I was able to attend while at the conference was Joan Eisenstodt’s “Shades of Gray: Critical Conversations about Industry Ethics.” Joan presented the audience with ethical questions that forced us all to question our values and perceptions regarding the hospitality industry, government accountability, and working professional relationships. I found this to be a thought–provoking and critically–needed

workshop in a time when government planners now face intense scrutiny in the media. While what a participant is able to take back to their agency from any given set of workshops is often a gamble, I was grateful to find one that really spoke to me. The most beneficial part of the experience was actually receiving the opportunity to attend a conference not planned by myself or my agency. I have found no workshop, training session, or participant evaluations that grant an event planner the kind of insight gained by attending an event as a participant. This was truly an example in which experience trumped education in every way. Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention the hosting venue of this year’s NEC, the Rosen Shingle Creek. This was a fantastic conference venue with wonderfully attentive banquet staff. The amount of detail that went into everything from signage to food presentation was unforgettable. I was impressed with so many aspects of this conference’s management, layout, and flow. I hope to model and implement aspects of this conference’s registration and participant engagement in my own organization. Thank you, sponsors and SGMP, for a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow as a meeting planning professional.

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Emotional Intelligence June 13, 2013 Meeting • NCED Conference Center & Hotel—Norman

Core: Leadership

by Penny Cramer—Moore Norman Technology Center

Paula Hanger did a fabulous job on the Emotional Intelligence presentation. She defined Emotional Intelligence as “being self-aware and managing your own emotions and being aware and managing other’s emotions.” Emotional Intelligence is something that can be developed. She went on to explain the two parts of the brain. The pre–frontal cortex is the thought process part of the brain and the Amygdala is the emotional side of the brain. The amygdala is 100x faster than the thought processing part of the brain. The amygdala in operation increases the heart rate, breathing and the body goes on high alert. If the response is not addressed, the effect lasts 18 minutes. Paula gave us a great scenario involving an unhappy customer showing up to her event to discover that the details did not meet her expectations. She gave us the tools to manage our own emotions by explaining the S.O.S.S. method. This stands for Stop; Oxygenate; Strengthen Gratitude; and Seek Info. This is called our Emotional Life Preserver. Then she gave us the tools to manage other’s emotions with the 3L’s Overview. The 3L’s are Listen; Label; and Look for solutions together. It was a very applicable and beneficial presentation that could be used in all workplaces.

Supplier Appreciation The Wild West Chapter recognized 15 Supplier members who attended the annual banquet held June 13, 2013, at NCED Conference Center and Hotel in Norman. Each attendee was presented with a tablet sleeve with the chapter logo printed on the sleeve. The Wild West Chapter is generously supported throughout the year by its supplier members. We thank you for your continued support! Back row (L to R): Tasha Houck, Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Convention Center; Tracy Blair, Renaissance OKC Convention Center Hotel; Bri DeMarco, Tulsa CVB; Michael Farr, Tulsa Hyatt Regency; Ashley Norman, Choctaw Casino & Resort–Durant; Makayla Orlich, Crowne Plaza OKC; & Lacy Ragland, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino–Tulsa Front row (L to R): Tanya Bethel, DoubleTree Warren Place–Tulsa; Angela Salusky, DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown; Ginger Thompson, OKC CVB; Morgan Hughes, NCED Conference Center & Hotel; Janet Logan, Oklahoma State Parks; Ezra Poindexter, Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center; Kristen Vencl, Cherokee Strip Conference Center–Enid; & Candie Westbrook, NCED Conference Center & Hotel

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Annual Awards Banquet Planner of the Year


Alice Moore, CGMP OU CECPD

Supplier of the Year Michael Farr, CGMP, CASE Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Super Supplier of the Year NCED Conference Center & Hotel

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Government Meeting Specialist submitted by Amy Knowles—Moore Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus

Attending chapter meetings? Put that toward the GMS! The Wild West chapter is pleased to offer the Government Meeting Specialist (GMS), an in–depth certificate program. Over the course of three years of membership with SGMP, members will earn the certificate through attendance of core competency based training events and gain the general skillset necessary to perform duties as government meeting professional. In order to qualify for GMS, members must apply to enroll in the program with the chapter (letter of commitment) and maintain record of attendance and the core competency the program covered (formal tracking sheet). Over the course of three years, the member must meet the minimum criteria of program attendance and categorization in order to earn the certificate. The core competencies with minimum hours are 1. Education/Programming—three hours/programs 2. Facilities/Services—three hours/programs 3. Logistics—three hours/programs* 4. Financial/Contract Management—two hours/program 5. Technology—two hours/programs 6. Leadership—one hour/program 7. Ethics—one hour/program Any current SGMP member can apply for this program. Membership must be maintained throughout the program in order to attend the monthly educational programs/meetings and earn the certificate. The enrollment period is ongoing and can be completed at any time. Each GMS certificate is valid for a period of five years from the date the certificate is originally earned. In order to retain the value of the certificate a minimum of twenty contact hours will need to be obtained within that period, or the member will need to reapply to earn the certificate through the normal three year process. The GMS can also we used for recertification for the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation. Contact hours can be obtained by attending the Wild West’s monthly meetings, the regional PIE Conference, the National Educational Conference or any other SGMP sponsored conference offering contact hours. Since the chapter introduced this program in February members who have applied and attended all of the monthly meetings have obtained five hours: one in facilities, finance, technology, logistics and leadership. The hours should have been e–mailed to you after the meeting. Don’t wait any longer to start. Complete the commitment letter and return it to Alice Moore, CGMP or Amy Knowles. And start tracking! *For those enrolling after July 1, 2013 the logistic requirement must include one hour of travel and protocol. February 2013: Facilities/Services March 2013: Financial/Contract Management April 2013: Technology

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May 2013: Logistics June 2013: Leadership

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Upcoming Meetings & Programs Unless otherwise noted, monthly meetings follow the below schedule: Board Meeting: 9:30am (members invited) • Registration & Networking: 11am • Luncheon: 11:15am

July 29–30, 2013

Venue: Hyatt Regency Tulsa Program: Board Retreat

August 8, 2013

Venue: Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center Program: Ethics Speaker: Margo Barnes—OKDHS

September 12, 2013

Venue: Hyatt Regency Tulsa Program: How to Respond to a Government Contract Speaker: Sara Furr—OSU Foundation

October 10, 2013

Venue: Enid Event Center & Convention Hall

December 10, 2013 Tuesday

Venue: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino—Tulsa Program: Holiday Gala & Silent/Live Auction

Raffle Tickets are $1 each, 7 for $5, & 15 for $10 and may be purchased at registration. A winner is drawn after lunch keeps ½ the pot! The other ½ goes to the chapter scholarship fund. Please bring cash and your lucky charm! Thank you members who participate in these drawings. We appreciate your contributions to SGMP scholarships.

Mark your calendar now!

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ENID EVENT CENTER GRAND OPENING & RIBBON CUTTING submitted by Kristen Vencl—Cherokee Strip Conference Center

History was made in Enid when the brand new Enid Event Center, managed by Global Spectrum at 302 S Grand, opened its doors to the public for the first time on Wednesday, June 12. The public was invited to the Ribbon Cutting on June 12. It was the first chance to see this spectacular facility that will be Enid’s new home for concerts, trade shows and Enid High School athletics. Included with the ribbon cutting was a performance from two world–class performers with Cirque Musica promoting its Enid Event Center show on June 27. Darren Bersuk, vertical pole artist, performed feats of strength, skill and stamina, accompanied by featured violinist Veronica Gan. Also part of the festivities was a pull–up contest pitting Bersuk against contest winners from local gyms. The media was invited to a sneak peak tour of the facility and performance by Bersuk and Gan. Saturday, June 15, Enid Event Center played host to the first Enid Chamber Business Expo. Several Enid and area businesses were on display on the Event Center floor. The grand opening festivities continued on Sunday, June 23, when country music star Gary Allan brought his Set You Free tour to Enid Event Center. Allan and special musical guest Logan Mize played. With the allure of a modern–day outlaw, Gary Allan has sold over 7 million albums and released five platinum and gold albums in a row including two that made their debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. His most recent album Set You Free made its debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 (all genre album chart) and #1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart. Cirque Musica came to Enid Event Center on June 27. Cirque Musica is a new concert and visual experience for the entire family, blending the spell–binding grace and dare–devil athleticism of today’s greatest circus performers with the sensory majesty of the Enid Symphony Orchestra. It was the perfect opportunity to introduce your family to great music including classical, POPS and more, while enjoying a rollicking, shock-tacular circus experience. Global Spectrum (global– manages Enid Event Center & Convention Hall and Visit Enid as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20 million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Global Spectrum is part of Comcast–Spectacor, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast–Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full–service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.

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Committee Corral Do you want to serve the Wild West Chapter, but don’t know what to do? Below is a list of the chapter’s committees and description of each. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, contact the committee chair. Budget and Finance Chair: Ginger Thompson— Responsible for maintaining budget, bank statements, tax reports and other tax information as necessary. The treasurer staffs the registration table to receive monthly meeting fees from members. The treasurer shall submit appropriate records to National Headquarters as required.

Membership Chair: Michael Farr, CASE, CGMP— Develops, promotes, and maintains the chapter membership. The committee registers members and guests at all official functions and maintains membership database and revisions on a monthly basis. Nominations & Election Committee Chair: Shari Goad, CMP—

Communication Chair: Laura Morgan—

Oversees the nominations and elections process.

Publishes the Chapter newsletter, which includes the solicitation of articles, layout and design, publication and distribution. The committee is responsible for all content on chapter website, including but not limited to, meeting schedules, archives, and advertising.

Programs & Education Chair: Amy Knowles— Arranges meeting sites, speakers and programs for the regular monthly luncheons and Acts as the liaison to the speaker for any audio/visual equipment requested and the host properties.

Community Service Chair: Sara Furr—

Scholarship Chair: Angela Salusky—

Develops and implements community service projects, which are carried out by the Chapter membership throughout the year.

Consists of Chapter Board members and Committee Chairs. Updates the scholarship guidelines and distribute to all chapter members at least 3 months prior to NEC and PIE.

Hospitality Chair: Candie Westbrook, CGMP—

Special Projects Chair: Angela Salusky—

Responsible for meeting and greeting members and guests at each chapter meeting, soliciting door prizes for each monthly meeting and send a thank you card for those who donate gifts, maintaining Chapter PowerPoint for each monthly luncheon meeting, and maintaining spreadsheet of monthly door prize donors.

Responsible for planning special activities to raise funds for scholarships to enable Chapter members to attend the NEC (National Education Conference) and Partner’s In Education (PIE). Also responsible for the holiday gala, silent auction, installation of officers and awards ceremony.

Marketing Chair: Crystal Mappes, CMP—

Special Recognition Chair: Tracy Blair, CHSP—

Responsible for regular communications and notifications to the chapter membership for monthly luncheons, special events, and other chapter events.

Responsible for recognizing members who volunteer time and energy to the Chapter. Other honors may include special recognition in the newsletter, telephone calls, letters of thanks, letters of appreciation to their supervisor, or certificates.

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Member Moment submitted by Laura Morgan—Winner’s Circle, Inc.

During 2013’s Travel and Tourism Week, May 4-12, the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau presented awards at its annual luncheon. These industry awards highlighted community partners who contribute to the overall hospitality experience in Norman. The NCED Conference Center and Hotel tied for the Norman CVB 2013 Outstanding Hospitality Award. The criteria for the outstanding hospitality award includes going above and beyond in customer service, unique amenities and other positive contributions to the Norman tourism industry. This could be awarded to a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast or a hospitable person from any of Norman’s attractions, hotels or any entity that receives visitors.

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The Un-Comfort Zone Criticism Sucks "Let me drive the boat." It was the one statement from the Creative Director that I'd come to dread. It usually came within moments of his reading over my shoulder as I wrote advertising copy on my computer. It meant, "Get out of your seat; I'm going to start changing your work." The changes were seldom significant; he never modified the meaning or the motivation of my message. He never altered my concept or idea, but his little edits still sent a powerful message: my work was not good enough to leave alone. Gradually, over the months I worked for his advertising agency, the constant criticism undercut my confidence. Sometimes it was overt verbal criticism, but most of the time I would simply find that my work had been revised without anyone consulting me. A co–worker suggested that he was simply behaving like a dog, who, had to mark his territory; she said he did the same thing to the graphic designers. I couldn't see it that way—to me—it felt like an attack on my ability. Before I worked for him full time, I had worked for him freelance. During those days, he praised my work, and constantly asked me to work for him full time. I liked being a freelancer, and was reluctant to take a regular job. Then one day, he made the proverbial offer I couldn't refuse. After that the praise stopped and the criticism began. Before I took that job, I had won advertising awards, I had been invited by colleges to teach advertising, and I had successfully created ads that significantly increased the revenues of my clients. I was at the top of my game, an authority on advertising, but the almost daily criticism in my new job took its toll.

Sometimes I would try to write copy in his style just to see if it would prevent him from changing it. He still changed it. By the time I left that job 18 months later, my confidence was gone. I no longer felt like an authority in advertising. I felt like a failure. A couple of weeks later, I completed and turned in a new freelance job to a new client. I cringed as he read it— expecting criticism to come at any minute. When he finished, he looked up and said, "This is great! I can't wait to run it." Relief flooded my body. I hadn't heard those words in so long—they were immediately fortifying—and I felt my confidence returning. Critics think they are doing us a service; they think they are helping us improve our work, but what they frequently do is destroy our motivation by demoralizing us. Unbridled criticism given without praise will also destroy relationships. It not only kills self–assurance; it kills love. Whether the recipient is family, friend or lover, the message is clear: "You are not good enough." Some victims of criticism will try to win approbation by changing for the critic, but over time if it is not forthcoming, they will give up. This funny observation by radio personality Jay Trachman puts relationship criticism in perspective, "Never criticize your spouse's faults; if it weren't for them, your mate might have found someone better than you." There is a place, of course, for criticism; it is part of teaching. So, if you must criticize, be sure to lace it heavily with praise before and after you give it. In order to motivate someone to become better, remember this formula: Praise—Critique—Praise. Newspaper editor, Frank Atherton Clark, got it right with this wisdom, "Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots."

Publishing Information Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. is a motivational speaker and humorist. He works with companies that want to be more competitive and with people who want to think like innovators. For more information on Robert's programs please visit This article is offered free of charge on a nonexclusive basis. The copyright is retained by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. You may reprint or post this material, as long as my name (Robert Evans Wilson, Jr.) and contact information ( are included. If you publish it, please send a copy to Jumpstart Your Meeting! PO Box 190146, Atlanta, GA 31119. If you post it, please send the URL to

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The 2014 SGMP NEC & Expo will be held in Portland, OR, May 6–8, 2014. This will be our 32nd annual NEC— the biggest annual event in the government meetings industry— where government professionals from across the country come together for one–stop and non–stop education, resources and networking.

In Portland, it’s easy to find limitless recreation, fabulous food and drink and flourishing culture. See for yourself, and come early or stay late to enjoy all that Portland has to offer. With no sales tax, Portland is a haven for shoppers. You’ll find retailers large and small, international and indie within easy reach of downtown hotels. The nearby Pearl District is home to galleries, boutiques, chic restaurants and the legendary Powell’s City of Books. An award–winning airport, efficient light rail system and pedestrian-friendly city blocks in the central city make getting around town a real pleasure.

The Spur (April-June 2013)  

Wild West Chapter Oklahoma SGMP Volume 12, Issue 2