The Board Report

 A mid-year check-up reveals a healthy, thriving chapter.

The Board of Directors of Meeting Professionals International Southern California Chapter (MPISCC) was ready to work at its Mid-Year Retreat! The Board strategized, collaborated and continued to build a lasting legacy. The t-day retreat kicked off with an unforgettable team-building activity — whale watching! The Redondo Beach Chamber & Visitors Bureau and the Redondo Beach Voyager were gracious hosts. They set-up a courageous voyage where the Board could get close to sea lions, dolphins and whales.

After our journey on the high seas, we headed back to the beautiful, newly-renovated Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach & Marina Hotel for lunch. The upscale guest  rooms were well appointed and the property had a great location on the waterfront. Our Chapter Business Manager, Judy Webster, reviewed our metrics and dashboard (our business plan for the year) and gave us exciting updates from headquarters. Needless to say, there are exciting things happening with MPI!

Our retreat facilitator, Tara Liaschenko, CMM wasted no time and kept the conversation moving throughout the day. Every department had the opportunity to present their updates and strategies. Presentations by the Office of the President, Membership, Education, Leadership Development, Finance and Communications included highlights to share: We’re enthusiastic to put money back into our reserves and continue to grow membership. We reviewed our 18-month plan to make sure we’re offering the best cocktail of networking and education to our members. We’ll continue to mentor volunteers and increase engagement.

At the end of the day we discussed our challenges and acknowledged our successes. Our chapter is in a great position and our foundation is strong. It’s important that we recognize everyone — our Board, our volunteers, our membership and our industry colleagues in particular. Our registration numbers are up, we’re seeing steady increases in advertising and sponsorships, and our membership is expanding. We recognized Joe Martin and the Education Team for the success of (We)Con. The event exceeded expectations and provided excellent education. The networking opportunities were memorable and appreciated, our sponsors were generous and our attendees truly valued the experience. A round of applause to everyone who contributed!

After the budget review and communication discussion it was time to conclude the retreat. Board members acknowledged the progress made and shared their takeaways. President Mariles Krok, CMP had the final word, where she offered her gratitude to the entire board.

We concluded the retreat with a very special dinner. Brian Stevens, CEO of ConferenceDirect hosted the Board in his beautiful home. Special guests Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of MPI, and International Board Member, Audra Narikawa, CMP joined us for the evening. The toasts were short and sweet, the ambiance was magical and the company was jovial. Brian was a gracious host and credited MPISCC for his success. It was a truly inspiring night to remember. Now, it’s back to work to finish the year strong!

A huge thank you to all the sponsors that made the Mid-Year Retreat successful:

Brian D. Stevens (Chief Executive Officer, ConferenceDirect); Matthew Ringard (Director of Communications, ConferenceDirect); Casidy McClean (Assistant to Brian D. Stevens, CEO ConferenceDirect); Bruce Naglee (Director of Sales & Marketing , Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach – InterContinental Hotels Group); Jan Lemon (Associate Director of Sales, Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach – InterContinental Hotels Group); Tara Liaschenko, CMM (Creative Executive Officer, The Link Event Professionals Inc.); Karin Kartounian (Marketing Manager, Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau); Deborah G. Shepard, CMP CHSP (Co-Chair, Tourism Committee, Redondo Beach Chamber & Visitors Bureau); and Craig & Caryn Stanton (Redondo Beach Voyager).


by Joe Marcy, CMP | Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

MPISCC 2015-2016 Vice President of Finance