October 2018 Print

MiSGMP e-Reel


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President's Pen

President’s Pen – October 2018

Fall has definitely arrived – the leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping. I hope you find time to enjoy our beautiful, colorful state this season!

The monthly calendar of MiSGMP events, through June 2019, is posted on the MiSGMP website ( Be sure to mark your calendars and save the dates. Our education sessions and special events are some of the best in the industry!

Plans are shaping up for the MiSGMP Annual Education Conference (AEC), March 6-8, 2019 at the Comfort Inn & Suites and Conference Center in Mt. Pleasant. The conference theme…Saying Goodbye to the Roaring 20’s! as our chapter, originally named the Great Lakes State Chapter, was established on January 24, 1990. It’s never too early to start thinking about and planning your Roaring Twenties outfits! Our annual auction will be held at AEC, and we’ve added a bedazzling room…bring an inexpensive pair of white shoes to bedazzle and wear at MiSGMP functions and at the opening reception at the 2019 National Education Conference (NEC) in Detroit, June 25-27!

More about NEC…it’s being held at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center; preliminary information can be found at The Michigan Chapter will be providing 16 scholarships to NEC 2019. Scholarships will cover registration and two nights of housing. Details and the scholarship application will be available in early 2019.

Happy fall!


Laurie A. Nickson, CMP
President, MiSGMP

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Welcome New Members!

Michigan’s Chapter Operations Plan includes a Strategic Focus Objective to increase its membership to 150.  I am excited to announced that the Michigan Chapter has met and exceeded this objective with 151 members!

New Members

  • Jan Hebekeuser, MI Department of Natural Resources (August)
  • Stephanie Miszkowski, United States District Court (August)
  • Kathy Spackman, Kalamazoo RESA (August)
  • Kim Harmon, Holiday Inn Near U of M Ann Arbor (Kim is replacing Kari Gafford – August)
  • Bethany Rademacher, CMHAM (September)
  • Heather Mydloski, Experient (September)
  • Phil Rimes, Evergreen (Phil is replacing Kathy Morin – September)
  • Laura Hill, Holiday Inn West Kalamazoo (Laura is replacing Beth McBride – September)

Anniversary Reminders for October and November 2018

  • Mary Chris Hotchkiss, Greater Lansing CVB (October)
  • Hannah Kroll, Spartan Hospitality Group (October)
  • Mike Rice, Hotel Contracting Services, Inc. (October)
  • Greg Taft, McCamly Plaza Hotel (October)

  • Ashley Ault, Michigan Public Health Institute (November)
  • Katie DeWeerd, Shoreline Inn  & Conference Center (November)
  • Janet Engelhardt, Royal Park Hotel (November)
  • Mary Estrada, Home Consultant (November)
  • Amber Feldpausch, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan (November)
  • Stephanie Kelly, Westin Southfield (November)
  • Sulema Kiekintveld, Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Airport (November)
  • Jennifer Leo, Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Downtown (November)
  • Tammy Novak, MDHHS/Office of Child Support/MiSDU (November)
  • Patrick Potyraj, Crowne Plaza Grand Rapids (November)
  • Kristen Taylor, Ngage Management (November)
  • Lynnette Uribe, Holiday Inn of Midland (November)
  • Stephanie Watson, DZS Luxury Meetings, Conferences & Events (November)

If your name is on the above list, you will be receiving an e-mail and phone call with regard to your membership and its renewal from one of the Membership Committee members.  We strive on assisting our members with reminders to allow you to renew within the allotted renewal time frame.  Remember suppliers, if your membership expires and you still want to be a member, you must have a planner match to rejoin.  So please allow yourselves enough time to renew so this situation does not occur.


The “Drive Momentum with SGMP” campaign began on September 17th and runs through December 30th with the goal of adding new members to the Society and its chapters.  This is a CHAPTER campaign where chapters will compete for one of four prizes with a new “Best Membership Retention Initiative” Award being offered to one chapter.

The “Superheroes Circle” campaign returns with an 8-month run date of September 2018 through April 2019.  When new member applications are completed, members who are identified as having referred at least one new member will automatically be considered members of the 2018-2019 Superheroes Circle and again, receive recognition based on their participation level.  So refer, refer, refer - invite a friend or colleague to attend one of our upcoming monthly meetings!

The AMBASSADOR PROGRAM needs volunteers to help new members by showing them around, introducing them to other members, sitting with them during a meeting where they may not know anyone else, or simply assisting any member who may have a question.  The current MiSGMP Ambassadors can be identified by a green “Ambassador” ribbon hanging from their name badge.  If you would like more information or are interested in joining us, you may talk to one of the current Ambassadors, or contact either Tammy Novak or Anissa Damon, Membership Board Co-Liaisons.

Thank you to everyone for your membership commitments.

Tammy Novak – Board Co-Liaison
Anissa Damon – Board Co-Liaison
Brenda Haight – Chair
Char Alexander
Terra Brenner
Jocelyn Davis
Shelley Long
Duke Rosendahl

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Member Spotlight

INTRODUCING MISGMP's supplier SPOTLIGHT for september ...

senior Sales Manager
& revenue analyst
and conference center

  • A little bit about where I grew up: Born in California but raised in Michigan. I called Alma Michigan home, a small town near the middle of the mitten, where bagpipes and kilts were common.

  • Favorite vacation spot: Too many to name, traveling is my passion! If I had to name one I would have to say Maui, Hawaii.

  • Thoughts regarding the industry: I’m so glad I found this industry, there’s never a dull day. I enjoy meeting new people, learning new skills and creativity and flexibility of this industry.

  • What do you like most about MiSGMP? The thing I like most about SGMP is a feeling of friendship and community. Everyone is so friendly and knowledgeable in this industry, it is really nice to learn from them.

  • What do you like most about being a supplier?  Being a supplier gives me the opportunity to meet new organizations and to showcase the perfect venue to host their events. I enjoy helping meeting planners make their event memorable and valuable to their customers.


Executive Secretary 11

  • A little bit about where I grew up:  I grew up in Lansing, Michigan. I had 2 brothers who liked to torment me.  Our family enjoyed camping all over Michigan.  I went to Lansing Eastern High School and then on to Lansing Community College.  I moved to Austin, Texas and worked for IBM for 5 years.  I met my husband in Austin and we moved to Houston, Texas and then Hampton, Virginia for his job.  It was great to see other parts of the country.  Once we started a family, we decided to move back to Michigan to be closer to family.  My husband’s family is in Texas so we make yearly visits back to our favorite places.  My two sons also live in Austin and Corpus Christi now so we love to visit them too.

  • Favorite vacation spot:  My favorite vacation spot would be camping in northern Michigan.  Whether we are camping at Young State Park on Lake Charlevoix, visiting Petoskey or Charlevoix, or wine tasting in Traverse City, we feel blessed to have these beautiful locations so close to home!  Our family in Texas is amazed when they come to visit and we take them to these areas.

  • Thoughts regarding the industry:  The meeting planning industry is such a “teamwork” type industry where you as the meeting planner work closely with your supplier and CVB to make sure your event/meeting is the best it can be.

  • What do you like most about MiSGMP?  I love that MiSGMP gives me the opportunity to meet other meeting planners to learn their best practices.  It is also an excellent way to network and build relationships with the suppliers.  It is great to have those relationships when working on an event or meeting as it always makes our meetings more successful.  I enjoy the speakers at our monthly meetings and learning more about meeting planning.

  • What do you like most about being a planner?  I enjoy the logistics and details that go into being a meeting planner and working with the suppliers to hammer out all the details for the event.  It is such a great feeling at the end of a meeting or event when your participants are happy with the location, food, presenters, etc.


The MiSGMP E-Reel is looking for members to SPOTLIGHT!

Following is the criteria:


*Must be engaged on a committee

*Interested in sharing a little of yourself with our membership through answering a few simple questions, and submitting a photo by deadline.

If you are interested please email

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Upcoming Events

OCTOBER Monthly Program

Hot Topics Café

October 17, 2018
10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
 Add to Calendar

Michigan Princess
Grand River Park
Lansing , MI 48918
Venue Website


Step back in time to the early days of river cruising. The Michigan Princess is a classic replica of a 19th century steamboat. Escape to a simpler way of life for a few hours while taking in breathtaking views of the Grand River, enjoying a delicious lunch, and engage in a unique education session, Hot Topics Café´.


10:30–11:00 am       Registration Check-in
11:00 am                    Boarding Begins
11:30 am                    Cruise Begins/Lunch
12:15 pm                    Education Session
  1:30 pm                    Cruise Ends
  2:00 pm                    All Passengers Depart

Hot Topics Café

Engage in your choice of facilitated round table discussions about the hospitality and meeting industry. Audiovisual; diet, diversity and liability; consistency of services; security of data; and Wi-Fi are a few potential topics. MiSGMP members will receive a survey prior to the meeting requesting topic suggestions.

Each table of participants will discuss a topic or topics chosen by those at the table, and will select someone to record and ‘report out’ at the conclusion of the session. Share your thoughts and learn from your colleagues!

Moderator:     Laurie Nickson

Facilitators:    Charnitamy Alexander, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, and Terese McInnis, Traverse City Tourism

GMS Core Competency: Education

This meeting is sponsored by:


Don't forget to bring your donations for:

MiSGMP Community Service July-September 2018

Refugee Development Center

Erika Brown-Binion


Their mission is to cultivate a welcoming, thriving community that collaborates with refugees and newcomers through education, engagement and support.  The Refugee Development Center (RDC) is a grassroots organization offering formal and informal learning opportunities in an open and inclusive setting. The RDC opened in 2002 because the Greater Lansing community identified service area gaps for newcomer populations seeking self-sufficiency. The common denominator in the gaps identified revolved around education, and hence, the mission of the center was born. Today, the RDC helps serve as the link between newcomer populations and the private, public, and faith-based communities of Ingham County.  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.

For more information on volunteering on a committee please visit:




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