November 2018 Print

MiSGMP e-Reel


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President's Pen

President’s Pen – November 2018

At a luncheon I attended this month, we were asked to share what we were thankful for with regard to our careers as meeting planners. In a room of 35 people, the overwhelming response was for the people in our industry…CVB partners, hoteliers, planners and suppliers…who generously share their expertise, resources, support and friendship. This is absolutely evident in our chapter. Your dedication and commitment to MiSGMP, to helping each other, and to promoting Michigan's meeting and hospitality industry is an amazing tribute. You are the reason MiSGMP is a strong, effective chapter…thank you!

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! The 2019 MiSGMP AEC preliminary program and chapter scholarship application will be available in mid-January.

More about NEC…it’s being held at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center; preliminary information can be found at Planner scholarships are available through SGMP, the deadline is 5 pm, December 3. For information and the scholarship application, visit

Please apply for a national scholarship first. If you do not receive a national scholarship, you can apply for one of the 16 planner/supplier scholarships the Michigan Chapter has budgeted for NEC 2019. The Michigan Chapter NEC 2019 planner/supplier scholarship application will be available online after the SGMP NEC 2019 scholarships have been awarded.

Best wishes for time with family and friends during the upcoming holiday season!


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


Katie newsomeKATIE NEWSOME
CTA, GMS, Director of Group Sales
Radisson® Hotel, Radisson Plaza Hotel &Suites

  • A little bit about where I grew up:  I was born and raised in the greater Kalamazoo area.  I was lucky to be able to grow up on a small lake west of Kalamazoo, which provided hours of entertainment at a kid.  In the summer I was always on the lake, swimming, skiing, tube, or just hanging out with friends.

  • Favorite vacation spot:  My favorite vacation spot is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  My husband and I have been there several times.  We enjoy walking the beaches and seeing the art from the street vendors on the El Malecon Boardwalk.

  • Thoughts regarding the industry:  I have had the pleasure of working in a variety of different industries as a salesperson, but the Hospitality Industry has been one of my favorites.  It amazes all the time that even though it is one of the largest industries in the world, it still provides the sense of a small community.  The feeling of always being welcoming, whether working with planners or your partners in the industry.  For business or personally, people will always travel and I am excited to see where the industry will be heading in the future.

  • What do you like most about MiSGMP?  Easy, the people!  MiSGMP, has a wonderful group of members that are so much fun.  Also, the organization does a wonderful job of providing relevant education and sometimes the best lessons you learn are from your peers at a meeting.

  • What do you like most about being a supplier?  As a supplier, I love meeting new people from different organizations, learning about them as well as their organization, and if the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites - Kalamazoo is able to help them have a successful event.  Developing a strong partnership.



  • A little bit about where I grew up:  I was born and raised in Lansing along with my brother and sister.  I attended Lansing Eastern High School and went on to Lansing Community College.  I was a stay-at-home mom for six years while my boys were young.  During that time, I planned family gatherings, parties, reunions and weddings.  I’ve always been creative and organized and love getting people together for a fun time.  After a four year stint working for the state in the Governor’s office, I started my own custom drapery, blinds and window treatment business.  I worked the business for 20 years and had a small store front in Old Town.  As my mom’s health started to decline, after surviving cancer, I moved in with her to take care of her.  I closed my business and went back to work at the state.  I was fortunate to get a job where my planning skills and experience were profitable with MDHHS.  I thoroughly enjoy planning and executing a great event!  And, of course, meeting new people.

  • Favorite vacation spot:  I LOVE to travel.  I enjoy adventure at the last minute or planned out.  I have been fortunate to be able to visit many places in my life.  My most frequently travelled area is the Caribbean, but my dream is to go to the Fiji Islands.

  • Thoughts regarding the industry:  So much growth has taken place in this industry in the past few years.  The growth has led to professionalism and integrity for all involved.

  • What do you like most about MiSGMP?  When I returned to the state 6 ½ years ago, I was so excited to hear about an organization like SGMP.  The bar has been raised so that we all work together for a great experience, regardless which side of the table you are on.  It’s a win-win!  And the educational sessions are always inspiring and informative.

  • What do you like most about being a planner?  Making it happen!  I love details and being creative.  When I overhear someone say “that was the best” meeting/party/conference, I’m very proud.  But, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my peers. ????


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

Future Meetings

9 Secrets to Building a Volunteer Surplus

December 12, 2018
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
219 S. Harrison Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48824

Although the benefits of a successful volunteer management program are many and varied, the complexities should not be underestimated.  Given the right approach, however, the investment can be well worth it.  Explore the nine strategies for making the most of your volunteer management program.  Learn how to make it easy, enjoyable and beneficial for your volunteers to give back – and you will be rewarded tenfold.

Core Competency:  Leadership


$25.00 Member Government Planner
$30.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$15.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

$25.00 Member Contract Planner
$30.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$15.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

$35.00 Member Supplier
$50.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$25.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

$25.00 Member Educator/Student
$30.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$15.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

$25.00 Member Retiree
$30.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$15.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

$25.00 Non Member Planner
$30.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$15.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

$35.00 Non Member Supplier
$50.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$25.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

$25.00 Non Member Educator or Student
$30.00 after 5:00 pm December 7
$15.00 Earlybird rate before December 5

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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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