April 2018 Print

MiSGMP e-Reel


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President's Pen

President’s Pen – April 2018

April is Volunteer Month – a month dedicated to honor and thank all who volunteer their time and expertise year-round to make a difference. As MiSGMP members, you volunteer in a variety of ways that strengthen and support our chapter…attending MiSGMP events, mentoring new members, serving on the board or on committees, and so much more. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to MiSGMP!

Following the 2018–2020 MiSGMP elections, your newly elected board members will be reviewing our chapter’s committee structure, updating our strategic plan, and planning for another year of outstanding education and member service. We’ll be looking for volunteers so, when the call or email comes, don’t hesitate – choose a committee (or two) and reply, “Yes, I’d love to help!”

I look forward to seeing you at our April 18th meeting in Kalamazoo!

Happy Spring,


Laurie A. Nickson, CMP

MiSGMP President

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Election Updates

Michigan Slate for 2018-2020 Elections

Chapter President                            Laurie Nickson

Chapter First Vice President              Tammy Novak

Chapter Second Vice President          Heidi Schmitt

Chapter Secretary                            Anissa Damon

Chapter Treasurer                            Stacy Yerby

Chapter Director (3 positions)            Shelley Long – Planner

                                                       Charnitamy (Char) Alexander - Planner

                                                       Terese McInnis – Supplier

                                                       Michelle Norton - Supplier


Candidates will be eligible to campaign April 11, 2018 10am - April 18, 2018 5pm.

Please make sure to add to your email address book, as the election ballot will be sent from National. 

Any questions regarding SGMP's campaign rules/guidelines may be sent to, Michigan Chapter, Nominations & Election Chair.

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Welcome New Members!

April Membership Report

New Members

  • Mitchell Lindstrom, MPHI
  • Angela Morgan, Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center
  • Lisa Hobaugh, DNR/Ralph a. MacMullan Conference Center

Upcoming Membership Anniversaries


Pamela Malone

Karley Crawford

Brandy McCallum


Linda Thomas

Tracy Sproul

Amy Castner

Jodi Shaver

Karalee McKinstry

Debbie Kopkau

Pat Strzalkowski

Chris Schroeder

Larissa Draves

Nicole Coats-Quals

Kari Gafford

Meagan Mosher

The SGMP Superheroes Circle Campaign ends on April 30.  The campaign currently has 27 members (these folks recruited someone) and of those 27, 6 are from Michigan!  Go MiSGMP…keep up the good work.

We are always looking for members to join our committee and help us keep our membership going.  If you don’t want to join the committee, you can still be an Ambassador.  If you are interested in either position, please contact either Tammy Novak or Anissa Damon.

Thank you for your continued Planner and Supplier support – Your Membership Committee,

Tammy Novak, Board Liaison

Anissa Damon, Committee Chair

Char Alexander

Jocelyn Davis

Brenda Haight

Shelley Long

Duke Rosendahl

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Member Spotlight

Ashley Ault

Event Planner


A little bit about where you grew up: I grew up in Lansing, Michigan with two loving parents and two younger brothers. 

Favorite vacation spot: My favorite vacation spot is Arizona.  All four years of high school, my mom and I would spend a week in Arizona with my grandparents.

What do you like most about MiSGMP: I like that MiSGMP brings together both planners and suppliers.  I am constantly reminded of the importance of relationships between suppliers and planners.  At times, one gets caught up in the hustle and tunnel vision of event planning that we forget the suppliers are our allies; we are both looking for the same outcome: a successful training, conference and event.

What do you like most about being a planner? My favorite part of planning is the reward of seeing the event come to life on the day of the event.  Watching all the team’s hard work pay off for a successful conference, training, or event. 

Supplier Spotlight

Shaun Ballard

Shaun Ballard

Business Development Manager

Discover Kalamazoo

A little bit about where you grew up: I grew up in Peru, IL, a small town about 2 hours southwest of Chicago.  Fun fact: I lived 2 houses down from J.A. Happ who is now a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.     

Favorite vacation spot: I’d have to say Destin, FL.  My wife and I visited a few years ago and stayed in a condo near the ocean.  It was very relaxing!

Thoughts regarding the industry: While I have only been in the industry for eight months, the connections made from attending conferences and tradeshows are outstanding.  Coming into this role, I did not know what to expect or how long I could see myself in the meeting and event industry.  I can confidently say I have found my calling!

What do you like about MiSGMP? I really enjoy the ease of getting to know other members throughout the state.  The monthly meetings and annual conference are great for networking and catching up with friends.

What do you like most about being a supplier? I look at my role as being a solutions provider.  There are many needs for an organization’s conference or convention and I love working with planners to see how they envision their event being successful. 

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Upcoming Events


April 18, 2018

New Innovative Technologies for Better and Smart Meetings

Presenter: Jason Radmacher, MBA, and CEO, TBD Solutions

Innovative web services have made meeting and conference planning easier than ever before. Learn how new technologies can make life as a meeting professional less stressful. Explore ways to implement innovative technologies that not only help planners and suppliers, but provide better experiences for attendees.

Core Competency: Technology

Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center, 100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

This meeting is sponsored by:


Don't forget to bring your donations for:

MiSGMP Community Service April - June 2018

Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes

Katie Paauwe


Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes got its start in several downtown Kalamazoo congregations in the early 1980’s. A group of individuals recognized that their neighbors were struggling to put food on the table so they took up the charge to fill the food gap. What they didn’t know at the time is that their initiative to lend a hand would have a profound impact on our community. Today, those efforts have grown into an organization that, while no longer religiously affiliated, welcomes people of all faiths. With help from people of all beliefs and backgrounds, we provide an average of 700 people with groceries each day. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes is a 'Food Bank Plus.' This means that we acquire food through donations and our pennies-on-the-pound purchasing power, and distribute food at 73 distribution sites throughout Kalamazoo County via our five food programs.  Cite:

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Get involved. Build your network!

MiSGMP Committees

Committees are comprised of members of the Board of Directors and the Chapter membership. Each committee develops a plan that outlines the committee’s objectives and the steps for achieving those objectives. Committees meet as needed to complete tasks.

Advertising/Sponsorship Committee
Responsible for website and email advertising, soliciting sponsorships for special events and marketing the chapter brand.
Board Liaison: Stacy Yerby (313) 303-1909
Board Liaison: Heidi Schmitt (616) 233-3557


Annual Education Conference Committee
Responsible for the planning and implementation of the Chapter’s Annual Education Conference.
Board Liaison: Chris Ward  (517) 374-6848

Communications Committee
Responsible for monitoring all publications and communications of the Chapter, including but not limited to email, website and social media.
Board Liaison: Karalee McKinstry (989) 460-1704
Website: Karalee McKinstry (989) 460-1704

Community Service Committee
Responsible for planning and implementation of Chapter’s charitable activities.
Committee Chair: Amanda Toy  (517) 377-1405
Board Liaison: Heidi Schmitt (616) 233-3557

Education Committee
Responsible for soliciting proposals for regular monthly meeting sites and speakers. Also responsible for determining, establishing and promoting the educational programs of the Chapter.
Board Liaison: Annette Pepper  (517) 374-6848

GMS Certificate Committee
Responsible for overseeing the implementation of the GMS Certificate Program.
Committee Chair: Tracy Sproul (517) 346-6339
Board Liaison: Debbie Kopkau  (517) 327-2587

Honors and Awards Committee
Responsible for the development and implementation of an awards program giving recognition to Chapter members who have significantly contributed to the objectives of the Chapter and to the Society.
Board Liaison: Diane Dick  (517) 327-9261

Marketing Subcommittee
Responsible for promoting the Chapter and the Society to interested parties as well as connections with partner organizations.
Board Liaison: Stacy Yerby  (313) 202-1909

Membership Committee 
Responsible for the recruitment and retention of Chapter Society members.
Committee Chair: Anissa Damon (517) 324-7329
Board Liaison: Tammy Novak (517) 887-9444

Nominations and Elections Committee
Responsible for identifying members interested in running for Chapter Board positions. The committee’s function is directed by the National Board’s process for elections. The Immediate Past President chairs this committee. Meets every two years.
Board Liaison: Debbie Kopkau  (517) 327-2587

Registration Committee
Responsible for completing registrations for all members and guests at monthly meetings.
Board Liaison: Diane Dick  (517) 327-9261

Scholarship Committee
Responsible for distributing, accepting and awarding of Chapter scholarships, including AEC and NEC.
Board Liaison: Stacy Yerby  (313) 202-1909

Special Events Committee
Responsible for Chapter functions that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Education Committee, i.e. annual banquet and auction, installation of officers, road rally, and other fund raising events.
Board Liaison: Laurie Nickson  (517) 351-4183

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