President’s Message

Welcome to MPI, Orange County! This is a special year for MPIOC as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary as a chapter.  I am so proud of our chapter — each year our chapter gets stronger and that is large in part due to the support of our board and committee members who have volunteered their time and talents.

Even though the term has just begun, or team has been hard at work since early spring.  Here is a brief snapshot of our team and their goals for this year:

  • Our Communications team of Donna Mulgrew, Diana Jameson, and Michael Procopio have set their initiatives to include the continuation of our bi-weekly at-a-glance emails to help declutter your inbox, a new user-friendly website, and provide more touch points on social media and video content.
  • Our Education team comprised of Pawntra Shadab and Shannel Crane will focus on education events that qualify for Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) credit, increasing attendee numbers through streamlining events, and taking the CMP program up a notch with a more in-depth study group program.  We will also be partnering with MPI San Diego in Spring 2018 with our Education Conference & Expo (“EdCon”).
  • Our Finance team of Chip Szmurlo, Alisa Walsh, Jessica Nibblet, and Melissa McGuiness will take our social events to the next level by partnering with unique venues we have not visited yet and to work more closely with our sponsors to showcase them to our members.
  • Our Membership team headed by Jhoanna Belfer, Mark Stewart and Michelle Sais will continue to grow our membership and ensure that we retain our current members through active engagement in our ambassador program so that each member feels connected to the chapter.
  • My partners on the Leadership team are Lisa Meller and Brian Gilman.  Our goals this year include coordinating a 30th Anniversary Event in October with the help of all our departments.  We also look to hold a couple satellite events with our Orange County members that are located outside our region, such as Palm Springs and Las Vegas, to help them connect with other members in their area.

MPI is here to help you along the way.  The traditional gift for 30 years is the pearl.  MPI is embracing this as our theme for the year and we hope that you will gather pearls of wisdom as you attend our social and educational events.  The best way to get the most out of your membership is to join a committee.

I joined MPI as a student through a scholarship program offered by one of Orange County’s past presidents.  I joined to make connections and to continue my education.  As a past teacher, I knew the importance of education.  I was immediately connected to the education committee and was soon thereafter asked to join the board.  The last few years I have learned so many new tools of the trade through attending various MPI events.  MPI has helped me attain my CMP, create a network of suppliers where I can “buy MPI,” and it has given me mentors that I know I can turn to whenever I have a question or need.  And it has given me some of my most cherished and valued friends.  These are my pearls I have gathered throughout the year.

My hope this year is that you are inspired to be part of something bigger than yourself.  That you try new ideas you see at events and take it a step further by documenting and sharing it with us through social media, videos, and write ups in our newsletter.  We want you to tell us your pearls of wisdom.

            So, dive deep and collect those pearls – and know this…

           Orange County is your Oyster, and MPIOC is your Pearl.

Heather Even, MA, CMP
Maple Street Management
President, MPIOC 2017 – 2018