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Meeting Professionals International, with more than 19,000 members in 64 countries and 60 chapters and four chapters in formation, is the leading global community committed to shaping and defining the future of the meeting and event industry. For more information on MPI, visit www.mpiweb.org 

NOTICE:  Current MPI News has moved to the Industry News category in our Article Archives.  See the latest MPI news using the search feature and inserting MPI.

Meeting Professionals International Moves Women's Leadership And Multicultural Initiatives Under Direction Of MPI Foundation

Foundation EVP David DuBois appoints new managing director for Women's Leadership Initiative

DALLAS (April 22, 2002) - As part of its progressive approach to enhancing industry research and development, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has moved administration of the research and development phases of MPI's Women's Leadership and Multicultural Initiatives under the management of the MPI Foundation.

Under MPI Foundation oversight, the Women's Leadership Initiative will continue to recognize, uphold and further contributions of the professional women who represent more than 75 percent of MPI's membership. The Multicultural Initiative program will address the needs of and provide leadership opportunities for underrepresented groups in the meeting industry.

As the meeting industry's leading research foundation dedicated to professional development and education, the MPI Foundation has supported these initiatives with $225,000 of funding and now will oversee them through 2003. Joining the Foundation as a financial sponsor for the Women's Leadership Initiative is Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for the Multicultural Initiative.

"Moving the Women's Leadership and Multicultural initiatives under the direction of the Foundation will broaden the scope of MPI's industry research and education," said Edwin L. Griffin, CAE, president and CEO of MPI. "The integration of these two key initiatives will serve the Foundation's core mission of being on the cutting-edge of industry development."

MJ Calnan, former senior manager of education for MPI's professional development division, has been named managing director of the Women's Leadership Initiative. She will be responsible for overall management, implementation and evaluation of the initiative's educational programs and committees.

Calnan brings more than 12 years of corporate and nonprofit adult-learning development, marketing and strategic communication experience to the position. In her former position with MPI, Calnan created and implemented senior-level programs for meeting industry executives, including the industry's premiere professional designation, the Certification in Meeting Management (CMM), and was a key player in the development of educational curriculum for MPI's Professional Education Conferences and World Education Congress.

"It is my pleasure to announce MJ's appointment to this position," said David DuBois, CMP, CAE, executive vice president of the MPI Foundation. "She is an excellent resource for our initiative because of the years of leadership development and adult-learning experience she brings to the position. MJ will be a vital asset as MPI enhances its efforts with additional research, programs and services that will support the expansion of the current Women's Leadership Initiative."

MPI Grants Howard Feiertag Honorary Lifetime Membership

Feiertag Honored for More Than 30 Years of Dedicated Service to 
Association and Meeting Industry

(DALLAS – March 14, 2002) – Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the global authority and resource for the meeting industry, has granted Howard Feiertag, CMP, CHSE, CHA, an honorary lifetime membership. As a charter MPI member since the association’s inception in 1972, Feiertag is recognized for his outstanding service to MPI and the meeting industry.

MPI’s International Board of Directors approved the lifetime membership citing Feiertag’s dedication to advancing education and professionalism within the meeting industry through his work as a faculty member of the MPI Institute, a role in which he has served for more than 15 years. He also participated in an educational outreach program with MPI President/CEO Ed Griffin, Jr., CAE, and MPI Legal Counsel Jonathan T. Howe, Esq., in Tokyo that resulted in the formation of the MPI Japan Chapter. In recognition of the education and training he has provided the industry, Feiertag also was honored with MPI’s President’s Award.

“I’ve been a dues-paying, card-carrying member of MPI since 1972 when it began with only 50 members,” Feiertag said. “Since then, the growth has been tremendous. MPI has come to embrace a worldwide membership and has become the preeminent educational resource for the meeting industry. I’m very proud to continue to be a part of that legacy.”

“Howard has reached an unprecedented milestone, and MPI is pleased to recognize his dedication to and leadership in the association and industry,” said Griffin. “For more than 30 years, he has worked tirelessly to elevate the educational and professional development opportunities available to meeting professionals and has become a role model to many. As MPI commemorates its 30th anniversary, we look to the leadership of Howard and others like him, to guide us toward another 30 years of achievement and success.”

Feiertag is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 30 years experience in convention bureau management, hotel operations, food and beverage, sales and marketing, catering, management development, meetings and conventions, and travel and tourism. Currently, he serves as a faculty member at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. In addition, he has conducted educational training programs for the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Hospitality Services of America. He also is co-author of “Lessons From the Field—A Common Sense Approach to Effective Hotel Sales,” pens a monthly column for Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine and is a group and meetings editor for several trade publications.

Feiertag has received wide-spread praise from other industry associations, including the 2001 Arthur Landstreet Award from the Educational Institute of the AHLA; induction into the Convention Industry Council’s (CIC) Hall of Leaders in 1999 for his leadership and contributions to the meeting and convention industry; and in 1998, he was voted Educator of the Year by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

MPI Honors Outstanding Chapter Achievements
Chapters Recognized for Furthering MPI Mission

DALLAS - Jan. 29, 2002 - Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the global authority and resource for the meeting industry, honored the MPI Pittsburgh and Dallas/Fort Worth Chapters as the association's Chapters of the Year during the Chapter Management Forum of MPI's Professional Education Conference-North America (PEC-North America) in Honolulu.

The Pittsburgh Chapter received a total of 441 out of a possible 500 points with its highest ratings given in the areas of education, communication and special projects. The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter was lauded for its outstanding communication program, and both chapters were each cited for achieving the highest member retention rates in their respective categories. In addition, the MPI International Awards committee commended both on significant accomplishments in the areas of chapter administration and educational programming.

MPI also awarded three Awards of Excellence, which honored chapters demonstrating qualities in the areas of membership growth and retention; communications/marketing and public relations; and special projects.

The MPI Tennessee Chapter won unanimously in the category of membership growth and retention with a 73.96 percent growth rate for 2001. The chapter exceeded its membership goals for the year and was given the maximum allotted points in the areas of recruitment and involvement of new members, retention efforts and member recognition.

The chapter was also honored with an Award of Excellence in the category of Communications/Marketing and Public Relations for its use of Web-based communications and chapter newsletter. The MPI British Columbia Chapter received the Award of Excellence in the special projects category.

"MPI commends each award winner for having elevated the meeting industry by raising the standards of professional excellence," said Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE, president/CEO of MPI. "These honorees serve to advance MPI's mission of empowering members with the skills and resources to succeed in the meeting industry by providing innovative educational programs, networking opportunities and mentoring at the local level.

The annual MPI Chapters of the Year and Awards of Excellence allow all MPI chapters the opportunity to be acknowledged by their peers for their exceptional achievements. This year, 35 submissions were received for the competitions. Materials outlining chapter activities between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001 were eligible for the awards, and the MPI International Awards Committee conducted the judging, with final confirmation given by the MPI Executive Committee.

MPI Welcomes Omni Hotels As New Awards Program Sponsor
Entries Currently Being Accepted for Meeting Industry's 
Best Practices Awards

DALLAS - Jan. 29, 2002 - Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the global authority and resource for the meeting industry, today confirmed Omni Hotels as the new partner for its annual Global Paragon Awards program. MPI's Global Paragon Awards recognize innovative best practices from the industry's most exceptional and distinctive meetings and the people who orchestrate them.

"MPI is thrilled to partner with Omni Hotels in recognizing the best the meeting industry has to offer through the Global Paragon Awards," said Edwin L. Griffin, Jr., CAE, president/CEO of MPI. "Known as the 'best meeting in the world,' two awards are given annually for an event that spends more than $1,000 per attendee and an event that spends less than $1,000 per attendee. The winners are global role models, and this partnership will allow MPI to continue to showcase strategic events that provide a positive return on investment and enhance the value of the meeting industry."

As a leader in the hospitality industry, Omni Hotels has been at the forefront of providing dedicated services and support to assist meeting professionals with a variety of strategic events. Through its support of the Global Paragon Awards, Omni Hotels is committed to allowing meeting professionals the continued opportunity to learn and share best practices that will enhance their professional value.

"At Omni Hotels, we are dedicated to helping meeting planners develop and execute innovative, results-oriented events, which is why we have partnered with the world's largest association for meeting professionals to recognize superior achievement in meeting planning," said Jim Caldwell, president of Omni Hotels.

Entries currently are being accepted for the 2002 Global Paragon Awards. Submissions must be for meetings and events held between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001. Entries may be submitted for the following:

  • Category I: Meetings costing up to US$1,000 per attendee

  • Category II: Meetings costing more than US$1,000 per attendee

  • Best Themed Event

  • Best Meeting and Event Promotion

  • Best Product Launch

  • Best Brand Campaign

Winners will be announced during the Opening General Session of MPI's World Education Congress, July 21-23, 2002 in Toronto. For more information about the Global Paragon Awards, visit www.paragon.mpiweb.org .

Omni Hotels, based near Dallas in Irving, Texas, offers luxury accommodations at 40 hotels and resorts located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Each property in the Omni Hotels portfolio provides guests with exceptional four-diamond hospitality, personalized service and exquisite decor, creating a distinctive experience at each location. Omni Hotels offers unsurpassed meeting facilities and a wide range of guest services and amenities, including wine tasting, gourmet dining, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, tours of local attractions, and specialized programs. Through an aggressive expansion strategy, Omni Hotels is steadily entering new markets around the world. Guests can locate hotels, book accommodations or find out more about Omni Hotels by calling 1-800-THE-OMNI or accessing the company's Web site at www.omnihotels.com .

MPI Unveils Chancellors Program
Fellows Program Recognizes Meeting Industry Leadership,
Fosters Mentoring

DALLAS- Jan. 29, 2002 - In an effort to tap the collective knowledge and expertise of the meeting industry's foremost professionals, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has created a comprehensive leadership and mentoring initiative, the Chancellors Program. The program will offer advanced leadership training to selected participants, who, in turn, will serve as mentors to MPI membership, providing visionary industry leadership and direction on program development.

"The individuals selected as chancellors will have a unique opportunity to chart the future of the meeting industry," said Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE, president/CEO of MPI. "Their outstanding leadership will play an integral role in cultivating innovative solutions to issues facing the industry as they serve as role models for the next generation of industry leaders. We are delighted that such a prestigious supporter as Universal Orlando has partnered with MPI for their very high tribute to such deserving professionals."

Program participants will be selected from a cross-section of MPI's global membership based on their previous mentoring experience, tenure as an MPI member, global involvement and leadership roles within MPI and other associations. Up to 12 chancellors initially will be named during MPI's 2002 World Education Congress, July 21-23 in Toronto. As part of the program, chancellors will travel to MPI chapters, mentor other members and volunteer additional resources and support. Following a two-year term in the program, the initial participants will become the body, which will identify and select future chancellors.

The program has been under development since being approved by the MPI International Board of Directors at PEC-North America 2001. Universal Orlando is the founding sponsor of the program.

"Universal Orlando is a trend setting major global meetings and events venue. As such, it seems appropriate that Universal Orlando be the founding sponsor of the visionary new MPI Chancellors Program as it helps shape the future of our dynamic worldwide industry and its leaders," said Teri Harrington, vice president of park and event sales, Universal Orlando. Harrington has been an active member of MPI having served on the International Marketing Committee.

Chairwoman, Colleen Rickenbacher, CMP, CSEP, president of Colleen Rickenbacher Inc., has lead the Chancellors Program subcommittee in outlining the program's mission, structure and selection criteria. Additional committee members include, Theresa Breining, CMP, CMM, president of Concepts Worldwide; Tom Smith, CMP, director of meetings and conventions, HealthNet; Alan Pini, CMM, managing director, Teknocongress; and Hugh Lee, president of Fusion Productions, who has served as board liaison to the development committee.

The Universal Orlando resort destination (www.universalorlando.com) includes two dramatically distinct and adjacent theme parks, the Universal Studios motion picture and television theme park and Islands of Adventure, Orlando's next generation theme park. Universal Orlando also includes CityWalk, a 30-acre dining, shopping, club and live-entertainment venue as well as premier on-site Loews hotels and world-class film and television production facilities. Universal Orlando is a unit of Universal Studios, a part of CANAL+, the TV and Film division of Vivendi Universal, a global leader in media and communications.

Are Men And Women From The Same Planet Professionally?
MPI survey results reveal women's and men's perceptions about professional success factors

HONOLULU - Jan. 20, 2002 - Are men and women really different when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder? According to a survey by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meeting industry's premiere association, there are no extreme differences between men and women's views about the qualities needed to succeed professionally, rather, the variable exists in the rankings.

MPI's Women's Leadership Initiative was designed to identify key success and professional development areas for female professionals in the meetings, hospitality and travel industries. The initial survey focused on factors for success, strategies for advancement, barriers to advancement, life balancing strategies, leadership and demographics. While survey results conclude that men and women share viewpoints about these professional factors, the difference in statistical rankings indicate that women have a more complex view about key success and professional development areas compared to their male counterparts.

The survey was conducted by Bonnie J. Knutson, Ph.D., of The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University via a random sampling of 2,000 female MPI and six other professional meeting organization members in the summer of 2001. In the fall of 2001, select questions from the women's survey were sent to a similarly drawn sample of male meeting professionals to determine comparisons between female and male professionals.

Results of MPI's 2001 Women's Leadership survey include*:

* Qualities to Succeed in the Meeting Industry: According to all respondents, adaptability is the most important factor for success in the meeting industry because of today's global, complex and changing business environment. After adaptability, women and men rank the top qualities needed to succeed as determination, ability to get a point across and negotiation skills. One disparity between men and women respondents: three-fourths of all women say that a strong intellect is important to be a successful meeting professional, while only half of the men agree.

* Strategies to Advance Professional Careers: Like women, men feel the most helpful strategy they can use to advance their careers is to regularly exceed expectations (ranked first by both groups). However, there is a sharp contrast in the value men and women place on developing a working style with which their superiors are comfortable (ranked second by both groups). Four out of five women say it is very important to develop a working style suitable for superiors, while only three out of five men surveyed agree. This 23-percentage point chasm is the largest of any of the advancement strategies tested in these surveys.

Interestingly, nearly three-fourths of the women surveyed say it's important for them to work on difficult or highly visible job assignments, yet only half of men feel that such visibility is necessary for advancement. The only strategy that is deemed more important by men is the ability to relocate.

* Balancing Personal and Professional Lives: All respondents ranked regular exercise as the most important means of achieving work-life balance. A third of the women reported a decrease in sleep and personal hobbies, while fewer than one in 10 men curtail sleep or hobbies to balance personal and professional responsibilities. Additionally, half of women turn to hiring household help to assist with childcare, cleaning and lawn maintenance, while only 15 percent of men reported relying on outside household help.

* Keys to Leadership: According to both men and women, the top three marks of a leader are developing a vision for the organization, trusting subordinates to effectively carry out the vision and remaining calm during times of crisis. The largest gap between genders comes in attitudes regarding encouraging risk and inviting dissent. Women are far more likely to see these as key elements for leadership than their male counterparts. Seventy-seven percent of women think encouraging risk is a key to leadership, while only 54.5 percent of men agree. Sixty seven percent of women think inviting dissent is a key to leadership, while only 44.2 percent of men agree.

* Company's Strategies for Advancing Women's Careers: All women requested a level playing field as a means to help them advance their careers. Three-quarters of the female respondents say a company must offer the same perks and benefits to both men and women in terms of salary, bonuses, training programs, attending professional seminars and opportunities to work on visible assignments.

* Barriers to Women Reaching Leadership Positions: When asked what barriers women face in advancing their careers, no one barrier dominated the results, although the lack of a mentor and professional networking ranked in the top five. Women reported that the overwhelming majority of companies in the meeting industry provide a level playing field, and that barriers that do exist are subliminal.

* Demographics: Regardless of gender, today's meeting professional is well-educated with significant responsibility for meeting budgets, managing staff members and proving a return on investment for meetings. Sixty percent have a bachelor's degree, while a sizable portion has also earned a graduate degree. The average salary falls between $50,000 and $75,000, with a sizable portion earning more. Approximately 15 percent more women control meeting budgets upward of $2 million (40 percent for women versus 25 percent for men), yet are doing so with approximately the same size staffs as male counterparts. Nearly two-thirds of all women and virtually all men surveyed look to MPI for professional education, networking opportunities and advancement.

Cary Jehl Broussard, vice president of marketing for WOMEN ON THEIR WAY, a program of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and chairwoman of the MPI Women's Leadership Initiative committee said, "This survey was the first part of an unprecedented and exciting program designed to unlock the leadership potential of women and identify ways that meeting industry associations, like MPI, can help women meet and exceed their professional goals. These research findings will be key for women, men and everyone in the meeting industry as the value of meetings as an essential, strategic business tool continues to increase."

The Women's Leadership Initiative is another example of how MPI is defining the power of meetings. MPI launched its Women's Leadership Initiative in January 2001 to recognize, uphold and further the contributions of the professional women who represent a majority of MPI's membership, as well as all professionals across the meetings, hospitality and travel industries. Funding for the program is through Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and the Meeting Professionals International Foundation, who each have provided $150,000 for the effort, as well as Meeting Professionals International.

Based on the final research findings, educational seminars designed to propel women into high-level positions in the meeting, travel and hospitality industries will be developed and rolled out.

Meeting Professionals International Honors 27 New CMMs

DALLAS – December 17, 2001 – Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the global authority and resource for the meeting industry, announced that 27 new candidates have received their Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM) designations. The recipients will be recognized during MPI’s Professional Education Conference-North America, Jan. 20-22, 2002 in Honolulu.

The fourth annual CMM program was held at the Georgetown University Conference Center in Washington, D.C., Aug. 18-23. To date, 177 meeting professionals worldwide have obtained this acclaimed certification.

As the first university co-developed professional designation, CMM is the premiere designation in the meeting industry and has major implications for professional success and career development of senior-level industry professionals. The program blends a traditional educational framework with a hands-on, interactive setting. CMM candidates take part in an intensive four-step process that includes pre-residency, residency, examination and post-residency components. Pre-residency involves active participation in an MPI learning group using online technology and a variety of reading assignments; residency includes a four-and-a-half-day residential full-immersion course and examination; and finally, a post-residency business project.

The following 27 new candidates have received their Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM):

  • Catherine Ascolese, CMP, CMM, Supervisor-Area Meeting Services, KPMG, LLP, Blauvelt, NY

  • Maggie Boyce, CMM, Manager Corporate Meeting Services, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA

  • Bill Boyd, CMP, CMM, President/CEO, Sunbelt Motivation & Travel, Inc., Dallas, TX

  • Paula Brown, CMM, Manager Executive Events and Services, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TN

  • Nancy Cobb, CMM, Marketing Specialist, Evista Product Team, Eli Lilly & Co, Indianapolis, IN

  • Darlene Evans, CMP, CMM, Independent Corporate Planner, DE Meetings & Event Management, Agoura Hills, CA

  • Dana Giovinetti, CMP, CMM, Special Events Coordinator, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, Philadelphia, PA

  • Linda Gonzales, CMP, CMM, Corporate Meeting Manager, Clorox Company, Oakland, CA

  • Carol Gulley, CMM, Executive Assistant, Eli Lilly & Co, Indianapolis, IN

  • Joy Johnson, CMM, Center Director, AT&T, Washington, D.C.

  • Christy Lamagna, CMM, Larkspur, CA

  • Randy Lee, CMP, CTSM, CMM, Events Program Manager, IBM, Austin, TX

  • Al Lomas, CMP, CMM, Assistant Director, San Antonio Convention Facilities, San Antonio, TX

  • Daphne Meyers, CMM, Senior Event Manager, Microsoft Great Plains, Fargo, ND

  • De-de Mulligan, CMM, Owner, Mulligan Management Group, Hudson, OH

  • Mary Ellen Murphy, CMP, CMM, National Director of Sales, The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, INC,, New York, NY

  • Silvia Molina Neves, CMM, Event Manager/Document Solutions Consultant, Xerox, McLean, VA

  • Donna Patrick, CMP, CMM, Education and Events Coordinator, Meditronic AVE/Vascular Division, Santa Rosa, CA

  • Mariclare Rafferty, CMP, CMM, Manager Meeting Planning, Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, St. Davids, PA

  • Lynn Scaturro, CMP, CMM, Senior Meeting and Event Specialist, Colgate Palmolive Co., New York, NY

  • Stephen Schick, CMP, CMM, Project Manager, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO

  • Sharon Shively, CMP, CMM, Senior Manager Corporate Events, Cingular Wireless, Woodbridge, NJ

  • Julie Upton, CMP, CMM, Director Meetings and Corporate Travel, United Communications Group, Rockville, MD

  • Teri Valls, CMP, CMM, President, MECC Inc., Coral Gables, FL

  • John Williams, CMM, President, Williams Management Strategies, LLC, Marietta, GA

  • Patricia Wilson, CMP, CMM, Conference Services Manager, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, McLean, VA

  • Todd Zint, CMP, CMM, Director Corporate Events, Equitable Distributors, New York, NY

"MPI is proud to recognize the achievement of the prestigious CMM designation by these remarkable individuals," said Edwin L. Griffin, Jr., CAE, president/CEO of MPI. "To date 177 of the meeting industry’s leading professionals have attained the CMM, and the program continues to be the premiere vehicle of strategic education and training for meeting professionals."

The recognition of new CMMs reaffirms MPI’s commitment to strengthening education, leadership, professionalism and globalism in the meeting industry.


MPI Offers Case Study On Association Crisis Management
Chairman Shares With Fellow Executives MPI's Winning Strategy

DALLAS - December 12, 2001 - Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the global authority and resource for the meeting industry, announced that Jerry Wayne, MPI Chairman of the Board, 2001-2002, participated in a panel discussion titled, "Where Do We Go From Here," sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The panel was held during ASAE's Management and Technology Conference & Exposition, Dec. 2-4 in Baltimore.

The panel was convened to address the issues facing many nonprofit associations in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to share best practices. Wayne highlighted MPI's proactive approach to managing the economic downturn.

"It was a great honor to represent MPI at this prestigious meeting," said Wayne, the Executive Director for the Galt House Hotel. "Having the opportunity to discuss the successes of MPI with association executives was both flattering and rewarding. After hearing about other associations, it's quite apparent that MPI's success during these challenging times is due to its foresight."

In anticipation of member needs following Sept.11, MPI conducted two business impact surveys to benchmark industry impact and responded with a "Crisis Care and Support" Web site, which provided MPI's membership with critical information, including a legal issues white paper, industry policy information, educational materials on crisis management and personal support resources, in addition to providing resources and data to local chapters.

Whereas many associations felt that a recession was unlikely during the first half of 2001, MPI leadership made a concerted effort early on to develop a plan of action to offset any potential decline in meeting business. Within the organization, a series of scenarios was evaluated and optional budgets developed, expenses cut, programs and services reprioritized and internal restructuring implemented.

MPI also stepped up marketing efforts to emphasize the value of an association membership. Members now have greater access to online and distance-learning resources. Additionally, the focus of the upcoming Professional Education Conference-North America (PEC-NA), slated for January 20-22, 2002, in Honolulu, has been modified to provide members with the knowledge and resources to move the industry forward. As a result, the 2002 registration pace is ahead of 2001.

Joining Wayne on the panel were representatives from the American Institutes of Architects, the ASAE Foundation and the American Health Information Managers, among others. Moderators for the discussion were Hugh Lee, President of Fusion Productions and Vice Chairman of Finance for MPI, and Don Dea, also of Fusion Productions.

MPI and WorldBridge Webcasting Form Digital Partnership; 
2002 PEC-North America to be Webcast Via Forbes.com

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 2001--Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the global authority and resource for the meeting industry, and WorldBridge Webcasting, a leading global Webcast production and marketing company, have announced a three-year digital partnership to produce Webcasts of MPI's international conference events and to educate MPI members about the benefits of Webcasting.

Beginning with MPI's 2002 Professional Education Conference -- North America (PEC-NA) Jan. 20-22, in Honolulu, WorldBridge will produce and Webcast MPI events via MPIWeb (www.mpiweb.org) and on Forbes.com, the popular business and investment site of Forbes magazine which hosts weekly Webcast programming produced by WorldBridge.

Webcasting as a digital meeting tool helps enhance meetings and events by extending the meeting experience to attendees beyond the scheduled time of the meeting, and to those interested parties who are unable to physically attend but who wish to benefit from the content being delivered. Webcasting technology allows meeting attendees to attend conferences, meetings and press conferences via the Internet from their home, their office or on the road.

"Our partnership with WorldBridge coupled with the distribution reach of Forbes.com will allow our members and meeting industry stakeholders around the world to experience the power of meetings as delivered at our international conferences through the Internet," said MPI President and CEO Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE. "Having experienced the benefits of Webcasting from MPI, our members can then explore opportunities in their own organizations or for their clients to build return on investment using this 
digital tool."

According to an October MPI Foundation Meeting Outlook survey, 54 percent of planners are considering Webcasting technology to augment meetings. Previously, WorldBridge Webcasting provided a highly successful live Webcast for the MPI Aloha Chapter from Hawaii on Sept. 13, 2001, despite the communications challenges of the devastating events two days earlier.

"Government and private sector studies show that Webcasting is destined to become a critical communications channel for enhancing meetings of all sizes in all industries in the next few years," said Chuck Ashman, President/CEO of WorldBridge Webcasting. "MPI is the logical leader to educate the business world about technology and participate in meaningful programming."

This digital partnership affirms MPI's commitment to defining and shaping the meeting industry by providing members with access to the latest digital tools as well as resources and techniques for incorporating the latest trends into chapter operations and individual professional development.

ABOUT WORLDBRIDGE WEBCASTING -- WorldBridge Webcasting, a global web casting company, provides turnkey creative, production and technical services for large and growing firms and associations and has produced electronic programming for Meeting Professionals International, IBM, Compaq, AT&T, Arthur Andersen, Price Waterhouse, the Sheraton and Fairmont hotel chains, United and American airlines and the U.S. State Department. The Company is based in Los Angeles, with regional offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Hong Kong and London.

MPI Charters Its 60TH Chapter

DALLAS -- August 30, 2001 -- Meeting Professionals International's (MPI) Board of Directors unanimously approved the chartering of a chapter in Norway during its meeting last month at MPI’s World Education Congress in Las Vegas. The formation of the Norway Chapter brings MPI's number of chapters to 60.

"It is an exciting time to welcome the Norway Chapter into the MPI community," said MPI Chairman Jerry Wayne. "As we continue to grow through Europe we are pleased to have the Norway Chapter offer the best professional development, networking and educational resources to meeting professionals in that region."

Currently the Norway Chapter, chartered with 51 members, is building a Norwegian language Web site that will be accessible on the Internet sometime during the fall. Long-range goals for the chapter include increasing membership, continuing to provide quality education and continuing to partner with MPI’s other Nordic chapters, Denmark and Sweden, to provide the annual Nordic region conference.

Four years ago, Norwegian meeting professionals came together to meet the criteria of MPI's guidelines for becoming a chapter by organizing a steering committee and establishing goals, bylaws, officers and board members. In April of 1997, MPI’s International Board of Directors collectively agreed that Norway had met the criteria to become a club and provided funding and development support to assist in obtaining a full chapter charter.

"Here in Norway, we are committed to the continual process of increasing both customers’ and suppliers’ focus and understanding of each other’s situation, as well as an understanding of the meeting industry in general," said Norway Chapter President Mari-Anne Robberstad, sales manager for TS Forum in Oslo, Norway. "To facilitate communication, MPI Norway will soon be accessible on the Internet with its own Web site that will be a new ‘meeting place’ for both existing and potential new members.”

The MPI International Board of Directors may grant charters for chapters for the advancement of meeting planning and to further the objectives and services of MPI, as long as aspiring chapters meet association guidelines and criteria.

Currently there are four chapters in formation, Puerto Rico, Brazil, France and Japan. The MPI global development and chapter relations staff assists the various chapters in formation to provide services that help with the individual group’s professional growth in its respective country.


LAS VEGAS - July 22, 2001-Meeting Professionals International (MPI) today awarded Glenn Reighart, CAE, CMM, CMP, director of meetings and expositions for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurse, as the recipient of the 2001 Meeting Professional Award-Marion N. Kershner Chapter Leadership category.

The Meeting Professional Award in the Marion N. Kershner Chapter Leadership category is presented annually to a member of MPI who motivates others, stimulates volunteer functions and acts as a catalyst to cause exceptional results that influence the life of that individual's respective MPI chapter.

Reighart received the honor during the opening general session of MPI's 2001 World Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas. The Meeting Professional Awards are sponsored by Hilton Hotels Corporation.

Currently, Reighart serves as the 2000-2001 immediate past president/executive committee member for the MPI Potomac Chapter. Previously, he served the chapter as copy editor for the chapter newsletter, The Potomac Memo, where he was responsible for recreating the newsletter to make it more professional and user friendly. Additionally, Reighart has instructed six sections of the chapter's Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) study groups, which resulted in 100 percent of the participants achieving their CMP designation.

"What a terrific honor it is to be recognized by my peers this way. I've grown a great deal through my involvement in various MPI leadership experiences and am very thankful for the many opportunities they have afforded me," said Reighart. "This is just one more example of the fact that those who give even a little time to their professional organization really do get so much more in return."

As president of the Potomac Chapter from 1999-2000, Reighart focused heavily on membership recruitment, which resulted in the Potomac Chapter achieving the second highest chapter recruiting numbers of that year. Through his dedication, he raised $9,000 from the Educational Retreat, as well as implemented the revised "Buddy Program," a new member retention process that resulted in 67 percent additional new member committee involvement.

Along with his participation in the Potomac Chapter, Reighart has also been involved with numerous committees on the chapter and international levels. His chapter committee involvement includes, president-elect - Executive Committee 1998-1999, board liaison - Program Committee 1998-1999, Nominating Committee chair 1999-2000 and board liaison - Leadership Committee. Internationally, Reighart served as a representative on the Council of Chapter presidents in 1999-2000 and as a member of the International Chapter Leadership Committee in 2000-2001, in addition to serving as a roundtable speaker at the 2000-2001 CMF.

"Glenn was president and a respected leader of one of the largest chapters. He personally was involved in the growth and development of his chapter and now is assisting many chapters through his service on the International Chapter Leadership Committee," said Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE, MPI president/CEO. "He is an effective mentor to many in our association

International Planner of the Year, Richard Aaron, CMP, CSEP, 
Recognized at MPI's 2001 World Education Congress

LAS VEGAS - July 22, 2001 - Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the global authority and resource for the meeting industry, today announced Richard Aaron, CMP, CSEP, founder of BizBash.com Idea Center, as the recipient of the 2001 Meeting Professional Award-International Planner category.

The Meeting Professional Award in the International Planner category is presented annually to a member of MPI who is recognized for their outstanding association and industry contributions, leadership and professionalism.

Aaron received the honor during the opening general session of MPI's 2001 World Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas. The Meeting Professional Awards are sponsored by Hilton Hotels Corporation.

The International Awards Committee selected Aaron for his extensive international and local chapter (Greater New York) participation and presentations, as well as his strong leadership as illustrated by his numerous speaking roles at industry events and the articles he has authored for hospitality industry publications. Additionally, Aaron demonstrated the highest levels of leadership by founding the SEARCH Foundation (Special Event Industry Aid and Response for Care and Hope), the hospitality industry's first organization providing support to individuals with life threatening-illnesses.

"The highlight of my career will always be that my peers selected me for this prestigious award," said Aaron.

Aaron served on the MPI International Board of Directors in 1998 where he was instrumental in the association's name change from Meeting Planners International to Meeting Professionals International. Additionally, he played a key role in the creation of the Global Paragon Awards, a program that recognizes the people and events that truly define the power of meetings.

Additionally, Aaron has served on a number of MPI committees, including chairperson roles on both the Global Paragon Awards and the International Marketing Committees.

As a six-year member of MPI, Aaron has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors. Currently, he is a nominee finalist for the Industry Visionary 2001 award from Event Solution Magazine. In 1999, he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York Chapter International Special Event Foundation (ISEF), and he was named one of the 25 Most Influential Professionals by Meeting News Magazine, in 1998.

Along with serving as the president to his business-to-business media web site, Aaron is an associate professor at New York University's Hospitality School where he teaches event management and marketing. Additionally, he pioneered the first distance learning class on meeting site inspection on the NYU online campus.

"Richard has been truly outstanding in all of his services and positions within MPI. He is one of the most creative and talented planners in our membership," said Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE, MPI president/CEO. "He teaches and inspires many to greater heights."


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