Looking back on the past year and all that was accomplished, I am overcome with so much emotion and pride! This has been a year of transition and change—some small changes, some not so small, but necessary — as we continue to evolve, grow and develop our legacy for the future. I am so proud of the work we have done this year. We’ve grown in membership, we’ve grown as leaders, we’ve grown as an association, and we will continue to grow as an industry. I feel humbled, honored and privileged to have had this opportunity to serve you and to be a part of this MPISCC Legacy.
I have had the great fortune to work with a dedicated, passionate, fully-invested Board of Directors, along with extraordinary committees and volunteers who have made amazing things happen this year. Here are just a few of the things we’ve accomplished or set in motion that will have positive impacts on MPISCC’s legacy moving forward:
Most important, Membership! From a membership stand point, we are continuing to grow! In numbers, in participation, in energy and with the changes coming from MPI International, I have no doubt that this trend will continue upward! Thanks to all who participated in the Member Satisfaction Survey as well as our own Chapter Needs Assessment. Your feedback is valuable and will help our future leaders as they chart a course for the next steps and set objectives for the coming year.
We know that you have a choice of several associations out there, so thank you for choosing MPISCC!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team: Laura Bergersen, CMP, VP of Membership; Carlos Murillo, Director of Member Recruitment; Michelle Conant, Director of Member Care, and all of the Membership Chairs and volunteers for reaching out, engaging with our members, helping our members get what they want out of their membership experience and being a resource to those who may need some advice, some information and in some case a shoulder to lean on when one was needed. Paramount of all though, I want to thank each of you, our members! We know that you have a choice of several associations out there, so thank you for choosing MPISCC!
This year Shelley Grey, CMP, VP of Education; Joe Martin, Director of Professional Development; Anna Kim, Director of Monthly Programs; and all of the Chairs & volunteers on the Education Team were tasked with carrying our membership’s directives from feedback received in past member surveys and needs assessments. They were fantastic, productive and successful, and I will be forever grateful for all of the Education Team’s efforts we alternated our monthly educational programs with networking events. We provided educational content that spoke directly to member interests and needs. We revamped our Weekend Educational Summit and SoCal EdCon & Expo to create a brand new We(Con) with much success and great positive attendee feedback. Thank you Nikki Wilbur and Rosa Navas for doing such a great job on this stellar inaugural event!
We continue to offer CMP Study Groups. Special thanks to Libby Zarrahy and the Concourse Hotel (A Hyatt Affiliate) for hosting this program and to Haley Powers for continuing to work with Libby on preparing area meeting professionals on this next step in their own success. Your passion and dedication are greatly appreciated!
Again this year we were thrilled to provide the three-part Meeting Planning Basics & Beyond program. It is the continued passion and devotion of Gary Rosenberg and his colleagues and friends that ensures this program’s success! It is with great honor and pride I announce, due to programs like Meeting Planning Basics and Beyond, we are a finalist for MPI International’s RISE Award at WEC in Atlantic City in June! Thank you Gary, and Hyatt Hotels for being a wonderful sponsor of this 20 year program…now that’s quite a legacy! Marge Risinger, Carroll Reuben, Tom Smith and all of the facilitators that volunteer their time to this program – we know it would not happen without all of you and I am so thankful for interest, dedication and investment! You have made this what it is today!
Thank you to Amy Zelinsky, VP of Communications, Amani Roberts, Director of Public Relations & Media, Alvalyn Lundgren our InterCom Editor Extraordinaire, Jane Mato, Ty Brassie, webmaster, Tom Gleason and all of our Communications volunteers! The Communications team has worked hard all year and done a great job at getting the word out, communicating to our members and listening to our members about how they want to receive information from us. We’ve changed our Marketing & Communications up by sending weekly emails to include upcoming events. We’ve also created some social media packages and increased our social media presence, not to mention the new format of the InterCom online!
From a financial perspective, we are leaving the chapter in a really good place! Thank you for all of your efforts Joe Marcy, CMP, VP of Finance, Bryan Quinan, Director of Strategic Partners, Mai Hogan, Director of Special Events, Jason Soporito, Chair of the Beverly Laing Golf Tournament and all of our Finance volunteers! Not only did they do the hard work of crunching the numbers, saying no when it was appropriate and yes when it was a right fit but we also had some great financial successes this year! Both the Fundraiser in November and the Annual Golf Tournament were well attended, fun and helped further our financial legacy. We have been fortunate to secure some great partnerships that truly have a positive impact on the benefits we can provide to you, our members. Thank you to all of our Strategic Partners and Sponsors.
Without the work of Christine Hartman, VP of Leadership Development, much of what we accomplished would not have been possible. Thank you for all you did to help connect members wanting to get involved with the right opportunity for them and for ensuring our Volunteers were engaged and plugged in. Right along with Christine is Akemi Shapiro, Director of Awards & Recognition, who made sure that our volunteers feel that their time and efforts are appreciated. She did a great job in making sure that those volunteers received recognition and kudos for their efforts on behalf of MPISCC. But most of all to everyone that volunteered on a committee this past year. Our chapter depends upon volunteers like you to exist, to conceive and produce the programs and services we are able to provide to Southern California area meeting professionals. Without you we would have no legacy to take into the future. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to express our gratitude to each of you. I encourage you to plan to join us at the Volunteer Reception in June that is all about celebrating you because I would love the opportunity to express my appreciation personally.
The Back Office
To Renee and Francesca Radabaugh with Paragon Events, thank you for your administrative support and getting us through this past year. It has been a pleasure working with you, and I’m thankful for your assistance in serving our chapter.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my right hands. David Anderson. CMP, Immediate Past President, I can’t thank you enough for all of the support, guidance and leadership examples you’ve given me and all of the Board of Directors for the past two years. From the Nominations process, to working with all of grants and scholarships and working with the Past Presidents Council, you have gone above and beyond the call of duty. I know that these years did not go exactly as we had envisioned when we accepted our positions but I want to make sure you know how much it means to me that you were by my side, urging me on through the laughter and the tears. I will forever be grateful. To all of the Past Presidents, thank you for your continued support counsel and leadership. And to Nicole Newman, President-Elect, thank you for all of your support, advice and encouragement! You are going to make an amazing leader for our Chapter. Your passion and knowledge of the industry will serve us all well in the coming year and I look forward to continuing to work with you and serve under your leadership next year!
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank my employer, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Thank you to our Senior Vice President, Sales, and member, Darren Green, to my immediate supervisor and Vice President, Hotel Sales, Bryan Churchill, my colleague and member, National Director, Hotel Sales, Cory Abke and last but not least, my colleague, member, as well as fellow board member, Destination Sales Director, Anna Kim. Thank you so much for your support!
The theme of this issue of InterCom’s is Learning. This year, the biggest and most important thing that I learned is that without all of you — colleagues, members, and friends — none of this would have been possible. I am so lucky to have lead this chapter because of all of the wonderful people involved in it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart all for your contributions in making our chapter stronger and better than when we started and contributing to the legacy of MPISCC.
Mariles Krok, CMP
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
2015/2016 MPISCC President