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the heartland beat

10 Annual Heartland Chapter Bowl-a-thon th

By Diane Forbes, American Public Works Association

As the heat wave broke over Kansas City, more than 50 members, sponsors and friends laced up their bowling shoes and bowled their way into a fun-filled night. It was the Heartland Chapters 10th Annual Bowl-a-thon and Heartland Chapter community service event held on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Pins crashed and some balls found their way to the gutters but with the support of a cheering section all that bowled and those that didn’t, had a great time. Some skilled and some lucky, players took home some pretty fantastic bowling pin trophies. And the winners are: Best Cheerleader Farhonda Cullum, Kansas City Marriott Downtown Best Dressed Willie Clay, Chicago Marriott Downtown Highest Score Brian Arscott, NAIC 2nd Highest Score Erin Barrett, Hilton New York


3rd Highest Score Craig Deel, Kansas City Marriott Downtown Highest Team Score Willie Clay, Chicago Marriott Downtown, Bobby Riggins, Agenda KC, Kristen Kimbrel, AAFP, Tanya Lowery, AAFP Most Strikes Brian Arscott, NAIC Turkey (3 strikes in a row) He had 2 Turkeys – Phil Allemang, CAM, Inc.

Most Gutterballs Shelly Barmby, NAIC Lowest Score Jacqueline Edwards, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Mission Bowl provided a relaxed setting for participants to network, share a laugh and make new friends. A delicious BBQ spread was enjoyed and bowl-a-thon anniversary cake rounded out the menu. In addition to a fantastic time, event participants gave generously and donated much needed school supplies for the children of Operation Breakthrough. Operation Breakthrough is a Kansas City organization that helps children who are living in poverty by providing them a safe and supportive educational environment. For more information: The sponsors for our event donated $1,500 toward supporting Chapter programs. A huge “thank you” to our generous sponsors: Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Kansas City Airport Marriott Hotel, Kansas City Marriott Hotel Downtown, Overland Park Marriott Hotel, San Antonio Marriott Hotels, New Orleans Marriott Hotels, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Hilton New York, Hilton Worldwide Sales, MGM Resorts International. You are all much appreciated! Thank you to all the participants and sponsors. Please join us next year for this wonderful annual event. Stephanie Deel, San Antonio Marriott, Community Service Committee Co-Chair Vanessa Kane, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Community Service Committee Co-Chair (pictured top right)

2011 Heartland Chapter Board of Directors

A Message From Our President ... Dear Heartland Chapter,


The quote “TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN” is certainly true for me regarding our year so far. Summer is almost over and we’ve had lots of fun helping the children of Operation Breakthrough, learning together at our educational programs and of course, enjoying the friendly competition between the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Robin O’Connor Assistant Director of Sales Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

PRESIDENT-ELECT Mary Ryan Convention Sales Manager Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

IMMEDIATE PAST-PRESIDENT Missy Johnson, CMP Senior Manager, Meetings & Events Lockton Companies, LLC

TREASURER Vicki Comegys Vice President of Sales & Services Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau

SECRETARY Ronda Vaughn, CMP Director of Meeting Services Optimist International

As many of you know, one of my main goals for this year is to engage our current student members and to begin the process of developing other student chapters within our 6 states. There are currently 24 student chapters with over 700 members. As the current President of the Heartland Chapter and a graduate of K-State, I was thrilled to learn that our student chapter at Kansas State University is the largest with 51 students! I’m so proud of what Dr. Barrett has done at KSU and I’m grateful for her willingness to assist with attracting other student members in our region. There is interest from the University of Arkansas and we are investigating other programs at Missouri State, Oklahoma State, Johnson County Community College and several other schools. If you have the passion and would like to work with our Emerging Leaders Committee, please let me know. It is a rewarding experience and you will be amazed what you can learn from our students. We also need members to volunteer with our other committees. Please consider assisting with Membership, Sponsorship, Communications, Awards & Scholarships and/or Community Service. A little bit of your time can help our chapter tremendously and in turn, help you gain more from your PCMA membership. Just let me know which committee might be of interest to you. You might be surprised how “FUN” it can be. I look forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming events on October 13th in St. Louis, October 27th in Kansas City and again in KC on November 10th.


Most Sincerely,

Marilyn Koehler (thru 12/31/12) Director of National Accounts Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

Robin O’Connor

Sherie L. Howell, CMP, CMM, CGMP (thru 12/31/12) Conference Manager A-S-K Associates, Inc. Amy Harper, CMP (thru 12/31/12) Senior Meeting Planner National Association of Insurance Commissioners Kristen Kimbrel, CMP (thru 12/31/13) Senior Meeting Planner American Academy of Family Physicians Jennifer Lion, CMP (thru 12/31/13) Meeting & Event Manager Experient Michelle Stoeppler-Taylor (thru 12/31/13) Holiday Inn Select St. Louis Downtown Convention Center



2011 PCMA Heartland Chapter President

Please Welcome Our New Members! APRIL 2011   Danise Brownlee Manager, HelmsBriscoe La Vista, Nebraska

JUNE 2011 Phil Allemang Promotion & Event Advisor, CAM, Inc. Lenexa, Kansas

Membership Update by Belinda Waldo

2011 Heartland Chapter Committee Chairs AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIP Lauren Harlan, Co-Chair International Association of Assessing Officers Marilyn Koehler, Co-Chair Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

EMERGING LEADERS The Heartland Chapter won 2 Grand Prizes for the annual PCMA Membership Phone-a-thon held in June competing against all chapters. We won because we had the highest percentage of calls made to current and renewing members. Many thanks to the Board and Committee Chairs who participated!  The Grand Prize was two complimentary planner membership. Congratulations to Karen Schacht, Manager with HelmsBriscoe out of St Louis who won a complimentary planner membership at the June 17th Membership Event in St Louis! The other will be given away at the October 27th, Membership Reception at the Kansas Speedway – all members please mark your calendars to attend! As the new Membership Chair I am looking for volunteers to serve on the Membership Committee. I promise to keep it fun recruiting new members and retaining the one’s we have. Please e-mail if you would like to be on the membership committee.

Sponsorship Committee Update by Teresa Hellman The Sponsorship committee is looking for new committee members! We need members that can work on just the Auction (in January/February) and then be finished for the rest of the year, and we also need people who will work year round on obtaining sponsorships for various events throughout the year. If interested in volunterring, please contact Michelle Murdock at

Kristen Kimbrel, CMP, Chair American Academy of Family Physicians Kate Turner, Co-Chair International Association of Fairs and Expositions

COMMUNICATIONS Missy Johnson, CMP, Chair Lockton Companies, LLC

COMMUNITY SERVICE Stephanie Deel, Co-Chair San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter & Riverwalk Hotels Vanessa Kane, CMP, CMM, Co-Chair Veterans of Foreign Wars

MEMBERSHIP Belinda Waldo, Chair Associated Luxury Hotels Incorporated


Awards Committee Update by Marilyn Koehler We are pleased to announce a new award to be given honoring individuals who have performed extraordinary service for the Heartland Chapter. We are thrilled to honor the following two people for the past two chapter events:     Kari Ziblut:  For those of you who attended our Installation Dinner and Silent Auction,  I’m sure you would agree - the event was terrific.  Everyone who volunteered to help organize the evening did a fantastic job, but we wanted to recognize Kari Ziblut for her extra effort in pulling the auction together.  Kari took the lead when needed with very little time, and made the auction a financial success with lots of laughs.  Thank you, Kari, for stepping up to the plate when needed and making our auction one of our best!   Michelle Stoeppler: We wish to recognize Michelle for her stellar work on the planning of the program/membership event at the St Louis Cardinals/KC Royal baseball game in St. Louis.  Michelle single-handedly arranged the event locale, speakers, sponsor and educational program content.   She also made arrangements for Amtrak transportation for those folks coming from out of town, as well as complimentary planner and discounted supplier guestroom accommodations.  Michelle did an amazing job with everything. She was very eager to be sure everyone was enjoying themselves and got something out of the event. Her commitment to the chapter should absolutely be recognized.

Jennifer Lion, CMP, Chair Experient Michelle Stoeppler, Co-Chair Holiday Inn Select St. Louis Downtown Convention Center

SPONSORSHIP CHAIR Michelle Murdock, Chair Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa

PAST PRESIDENT’S TASK FORCE Belinda Waldo, Chair Associated Luxury Hotels Incorporated Dale Shuter, CMP, Co-Chair Electrical Apparatus Service Association


K-State Student Chapter Happenings On Thursday April 28th, 2011 the K-State students of PCMA hosted a wine tasting event to donate to the organization Wine To Water. Wine To Water is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aid organization focused on providing clean water to needy people around the world. Nearly one billion people in the world today lack access to adequate water and 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. This is the student organization’s first attempt at a philanthropy project and it’s been a huge success. Jene

Hofer, Senior in Hotel and Restaurant Management organized and hosted the event. Businesses of the community donated all the food and wine served and guests were able to purchase tasting wines, including an actual Wine To Water wine. The event raised just under $2,500. Because of such a great turnout, a decision was made to make the event the annual philanthropy project for the K-State students of PCMA.

L to R: Students at the event surround our Presid ent, Robin O’Connor (center) and Dr. Betsy Barrett (far right).

A Day on the Farm – Community Service Project – 6/9/11 By Lisa Miller, National Cable Television Cooperative This June, the PCMA Heartland Chapter enjoyed an amazing “Day on the Farm” at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead with the 4-5 yearold class of Operation Breakthrough. The event was organized once again by Brian Arscott & Tye Wofford, with about 14 chapter members in attendance and 14 children. As soon as the children arrived, chapter member attendees passed out cowboy hats and bandanas, sprayed on the bug spray and paired up to head out to the Farm.

Operation Breakthrough Kids at the Farm

Brewster, Victoria Green, L to R:Lisa Miller, Mary Ryan, Robin O’Connor, Amy Shelly Barmby, Amy Harper


It was fun to watch the children’s reactions as some have never been in contact with live farm animals. To hear them remark on the smells or the noises that the animals make, made one realize this was their first time to see a goat, cow or horse. The children had the opportunity to ride a pony, feed the goats, bottle feed baby goats and go for an old fashioned wagon ride pulled by horses. I would have to say the best part of the afternoon was watching the kids interact with the baby goats. Some of the kids would get in there and get right to work bottle feeding the fourlegged “kids” and others exited the gate deciding this was not for them.

We ended the afternoon with lunch which is always a nice time to get to know the children a little better. The group varied in personalities from quiet and shy to loud and boisterous. They were all very well behaved and happy to have the “adults” take an interest in them. I know I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my birthday than to share it with the wonderful children of Operation Breakthrough. Operation Breakthrough began in 1971 and is the largest non-profit day care in the area serving 600 children daily, ages 6 weeks to 18 years. More than 98% of the families served live below federal poverty guidelines, most far below them. About 25% of the children are homeless or near homeless and another 25% are in foster care or other placements. The PCMA Heartland Chapter supports Operation Breakthrough several times throughout the year. For more information on Operation Breakthrough vist www.

St. Louis Membership Event By Jenny Donnelly, CMP, Hilton St. Louis Airport

On June 17th, chapter members gathered at the newly renovated Holiday Inn Select Downtown St. Louis hotel. In their beautiful atrium area, attendees were treated to hors d’ oeuvres and drinks before enjoying a session of rotating round tables. The three topics discussed were Ethics, Technology for Meetings, and Working Better with your CVB. After everyone had a chance to participate in each topic, there was a group discussion on top trends and best practices.

Of course, we can’t have education without a little fun, too. So the gang then headed to the lovely Four Seasons hotel for a complimentary pre-game reception, and then to Busch Stadium to see the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Kansas City Royals. An appropriate match-up for this group! Our K.C. members went home happy, with the Royals taking the game winning run in the 8th inning. The final score was Royals 5, Cardinals 4. Perhaps the Cards should have held a best practices roundtable before the game, too.

Leading and Succeeding in the Transformation Decade – Educational Event on 7/14/11 By Brad Plumb, Overland Park CVB

The pedigree of our July speaker spoke loudly even before he approached the lecturn. With 2 Emmy’s and a Peabody, David Houle has had a successful career with NBC and CBS and was instrumental in launching MTV, VH1, CNN Headline News and Nickelodeon. It’s no surprise that he’s a noted futurist and the author of several books about the future. Mr. Houle is a prolific blogger and a speaker in high demand including as a PCMA Best in Class Speaker. As a consultant he has advised over 1600 CEO’s and business owners in the past 4 years. And to top it off, he is a favorite of Oprah Winfrey (check out )!


da Vaughn, Marilyn Koe

L to R: Jennifer Lion, Ron Jeff Gassaway

L to R: David Houle, Robin O’Connor, Marilyn Koehle


With this background, and with everyone at rapt attention, Houle began his speech by saying, “We live in the most important decade in human history.” Wow, talk about ‘you had me at hello’. For the next hour, but what seemed like 5 minutes he went on to explain how history has brought us to this pivotal moment in time. A lot, but not all of how we got here has to do with technology. As just one example, he explained that of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, 5 billion have cell phones. For over half of the people with cell phones, it is the first phone they have ever owned. Cell phones have taken over so quickly that for a year and a half starting in 2007, there were over 1.5 million new cell phone users every day for 18 months. For the first time in human history there is no time, distance, or place limitation on human communication. With that communication, comes power and change. He made the point that “we are three keystrokes from all of the world’s knowledge”. We now live in a world where music and books and money are all virtual.

So much for the present… But what about the future and why is this the most important time? Houle said that a disruptive world change began in 2007. This disruption converted to the transformation stage in 2010. He predicts that by 2015 we will begin a global change based on our shared technology and the world economy. By 2020 we will see the zenith of the “Shift Age”. Believe it? Look back 5 years, then 10 years, then 20 years. Our world looks nothing like it did back then. David Houle thinks that people will look back at this decade a hundred years from now and identify it as a pivot point for mankind. How does this change affect the meetings and hospitality industry? He believes that the greater the technology, the greater the need will be for social interaction. Simply put, our industry will remain strong because of the human desire to belong and to share. By the end of the hour, our heads were spinning. Houle challenged us not to think about the future from the inside out, but rather from the outside in. In order to be a leader in this transformational age we must be collaborative and resilient and adaptable to change. In closing, he left us with this quote from the 19th century Spanish philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno who said, “We should try to be the parents of our future, rather than the offspring of our past”. This was a thought provoking and upbeat presentation that left the audience anticipating what tomorrow might bring. David Houle believes that better days are ahead for all of us and that we will all be instrumental in the change.


Mark your calendar for these upcoming chapter events: October 13 – 11:30 am-1:30 pm

November 10 – 4:30-6:30pm

St. Louis Educational Event – Speaker: Jeff Hurt, Velvet Chainsaw

10th Annual Heartland Chapter ‘State of the Industry’ Panel & Service In Sync Community Service Activity

Topic: Designing Next Generation Conference Education Sponsored by: Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau Location: Hilton Ballpark St. Louis

Sponsored by: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau Location: Marriott Overland Park Members of the Board ty enjoying the street par AE AS ent rec at the meeting in St. Louis!

October 27 – 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

KC Membership Event Location: Kansas Speedway, Media Center


If you have events happening in your city, please email them to Cheri Jones, CMP at We would love to highlight exciting things happening in your town.



Bentonville – The Walmart Visitors Center located in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas has recently been renovated. This Center is considered one of the oldest buildings locally and shares the life and heritage of Sam Walton, Walmart’s Founder.

Kansas City – Congratulations!!! The Visit KC, Kansas City’s Official Visitors Guide has been recognized as one of the country’s top three tourism publications.

Bentonville – Opening on November 11, 2011 is Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a world class museum. The museum is surrounded by 120 acres of forests and gardens. There are six pedestrian trails through the campus that connects the 10 buildings. This is a must see if you are in NWA.

St. Louis – Watch for the new Laurel, a 630,000 square foot development area next to America’s Center Convention district. This development includes a 212 room Embassy Suites Hotel, a restaurant and bar and the National Blues Museum. Plans are also underway to renovate the Kiel Opera House which has been renamed Peabody Opera House. This location was originally opened in 1934 and is scheduled to reopen Fall of 2011 with a full schedule of performances and events. Springfield – The Wonders of Wildlife is undergoing renovations and will reopen in 2012. This facility includes educational displays, hands on exhibits and live animal exhibits.

NEBRASKA – THE CORNHUSKER STATE Little Rock - Conventions with attendees that enjoy an outdoor stroll, bicycling or hiking, will especially enjoy Little Rock’s newly opened Two Rivers Park Bridge, a beautiful, 1,300 foot pedestrian and bike bridge that is the last link in a bike and pedestrian trail system connecting 20 parks and 18 miles of trails along the banks of the scenic Arkansas River. The trail is easily accessible to convention hotels in Little Rock’s Rivermarket entertainment district. Come enjoy the beauty of Little Rock’s scenic River Trail and parks system.

KANSAS – THE SUNFLOWER STATE Overland Park – the Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau has recently released a complimentary state-of-the-art mobile phone application for Smartphones. The app includes the events calendar, restaurant guide for Overland Park, MCI Airport information, coupons, weather maps, etc. One of the most exciting features for group is that it includes a password-protected area for groups to use for their meeting information. This mobile app can be downloaded by visiting www.

IOWA – THE HAWKEYE STATE Cedar Rapids – Construction is under way at the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex. This project includes the renovation of the former Five Seasons Crowne Plaza, the U.S. Cellular Center Arena and the new Convention Center. Des Moines – The Veterans Memorial Auditorium’s renovation is slated to be competed January 2012.

Omaha – is the state’s largest city offering the 250,000 square foot Qwest Center Omaha Convention Center, only three miles from the airport. The Old Market district is a great place to explore art galleries or take in a musical.

OKLAHOMA – THE SOONER STATE Oklahoma City – Plans are being made for a new convention center to be opened in 2018. Also, the 17 – acre Myriad Botanical Gardens has been renovated. The new displays of the Gardens include four new entry plazas, a dog release area, lake improvements, plus numerous water features.

Something Extra…

Congratulations to Melissa Bronstein – now Melissa Hoffman – on her July 23 marriage to Mike Hoffman. Melissa is the Heartland Chapter’s liason with headquarters and she plays a big part in the ongoing success of our chapter. We wish her the best of luck in this next chapter of her life!


The Heartland Beat - Summer 2011  

PCMA Heartland Newsletter

The Heartland Beat - Summer 2011  

PCMA Heartland Newsletter