January 2019 Print

MiSGMP e-Reel


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President's Pen

President’s Pen – January 2019

MiSGMP had a busy, productive year in 2018 – our membership increased, the first Knowledge Quest was held, and our monthly education programs and annual education conference were well attended and well received. 2019 promises to be another exciting, productive year!

  • Monthly programs are scheduled through May 2019 and posted on the website, with the 2nd annual Knowledge Quest scheduled in Kalamazoo in May.
  • 2019 AEC is March 6-8 in Mt. Pleasant with a ‘roaring 20’s” theme and will include the annual auction.
  • The new Zenith Award (which replaces the Planner and Supplier of the Year Awards) was announced in December 2018 – members will have all of 2019 to work on meeting eligibility criteria. Nominations for the Zenith Award will be submitted in early 2020 and the awards awarded at the 2020 AEC.
  • Community service projects have been selected and several are ongoing to provide new and exciting opportunities for continuing engagement.
  • And, the 2019 National Education Conference is being held in Detroit, June 25-27 – MiSGMP will offer a total of 16 NEC scholarships, details forthcoming!

The MiSGMP board continually works to improve services to our members including the review and revision of policies and procedures as needed. Beginning with registration for the February 2019 monthly meeting (remember, there is no meeting in January!), registration policies for MiSGMP meetings and events are changing These changes are as follows:

  • The registration deadline is now 5 pm on Thursday (not Friday) the week before the meeting/event – this allows us to provide the food guarantees and other information within the required timelines.
  • The fee increase between the initial and the final registration deadline has been eliminated – the price will remain the same for all who register by the one and only stated deadline of 5 pm the Thursday before the event.
  • Anyone who does not register by the deadline and wishes to attend must contact Diane Dick to determine if an additional registration can be accommodated based on meeting space, food guarantees and speaker arrangements. If the registration can be accommodated, it will be at the late registration fee which is double the regular registration fee.
  • There are no onsite/walk-in registrations (As meeting planners and suppliers, we have all experienced the chaos caused by unexpected onsite/walk-in registrations, especially when a meal is provided!)

The online registration system is designed to immediately send you a confirmation email after you complete your registration. If you do not receive an email (remember to check your ‘junk’ folder!), contact Diane Dick, Stacy Yerby or me … we can access the system and check – do not assume you are registered! Please understand, the revisions to the MiSGMP registration policies are to simplify the registration process and to provide the information needed to facilities and speakers in compliance with agreed upon timelines.

I look forward to seeing you at MiSGMP meetings and events in the coming year.

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy 2019!

Laurie A. Nickson, CMP
President, MiSGMP


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Membership Report

Michigan is at 156 members, we are currently ranked #8 in the Drive Momentum Campaign, and we have 6 members currently on the 2019 Superheroes board.

New Member Announcements

  • Tracy Drus, Department of Natural Resources (October)
  • Candace Clay, State of MI (October)
  • Jodi Johnson, Community Mental Health Association of Michigan (October)
  • Kathy Morin, Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau (October)
  • Terri Gaeta, Hampton Inn Ann Arbor South (October)
  • Karen McDaniels, TMI Hospitality (October)
  • Chris Wakeman (November)
  • Michelle Norton, Otsego Club and Resort (December)

Anniversary Reminders for December 2018

  • Rosanne Allen, Capital Area Michigan Works!
  • Jay Gladstone, Calhoun County Visitors Bureau
  • Terese McInnis, Traverse City Tourism
  • Dustin Morris, McCamly Plaza Hotel
  • Trisha Olach, Boyne Resorts
  • LaTonya Spearman, Eloquets Event Enterprise
  • Matt Tomlinson, MI Department of Environmental Quality

Anniversary Reminders for January 2019

  • Bernadette Benker, Visit Muskegon
  • Debbie Denyer, Mission Point Resort
  • Diane Dick, Michigan Association of School Administrators
  • Niles Mayrand, U of M Medical School
  • Kathryn Sheridan, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
  • Sheila Smith, Genesee Intermediate School District
  • Beverly Sobolewski, MDHHS-Office of Recipient Rights
  • Heather Woods, Association Management Resources

If your name is on the above lists, you will be receiving, if you haven’t already, an email or 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.

Additional Announcements

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

The MiSGMP E-Reel is looking for members to SPOTLIGHT!  Our goal is to feature one supplier and one planner member in each issue.

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.

Questions, please tell us: (1) a little bit about where you grew up; (2) your favoriet vacation spot; (3) your thoughts regarding the industry; (4) what you like most about SGMP; and (5) what you like most about being a planner or supplier.  And anything else you would like us to know about you!

If you are interested please email [email protected].

Be sure to include a photo (.jpg format preferred).

Thank you!

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Upcoming Events

January 2019 – No MiSGMP Meeting

February 20, 2019 –11:30am - 2:00 pm

To Sue or Not to Sue:  A Case of Room Poaching

Presenters: Laurie Nickson, CMP, President, MiSGMP; Director of Professional Programs,

Michigan AEYC and Specialist, Office of Great Start, MI Dept. of Education; with MiSGMP members as the lawyers, plaintiff, defendant, and witnesses.

A simulated court case with Judge Laurie presiding. Hear about the issues from the perspectives of the plaintiff and the defendant including the rationale, reasons and impact of room block poaching. Room block poaching is a practice by businesses that actively seek to recruit or divert event attendees away from officially contracted room blocks at hotels and into other hotel bookings.

Participants will learn about techniques used by room poachers to approach attendees; explore the impact room poaching can have on current and future events and contracts; and gain tips to combat piracy and protect room blocks, customer relationships, and their brand.

Participants will serve as jurors, deliberating and determining the verdict!

Core Competency:  Financial and Contract Management

Michigan Educational Leadership Group, MASB Board Room, 1001 Centennial Way, Suite 400, Lansing MI 48917

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Community Service

2019 Community Service for MiSGMP

The Community Service Committee met this fall and decided on the following community service projects for 2019. We are excited to have a fresh direction in the New Year and hope that the membership of the Michigan SGMP will be excited as well! Here are the projects:

  1. Isabella County Restoration House. This nonprofit grew out of a concern for the underlying causes of homelessness with a short-term goal to provide a safe, warm place for those who need shelter for as many winter nights as possible. The 2019 AEC is being held in Mt. Pleasant so we are making this organization our 1st quarter priority. Donations vary from monetary to cookware, health and beauty products, food, backpacks and more. and click on “Your Help,” then “Donate” for a complete list of their needed items.

  2. Adopt-a-Spot in Lansing. These are raised flower beds in downtown Lansing that require twice a month love.  The care is gentle weeding and picking up garbage in the plot.  Look for a signup sheet in April 2019 to sign up for your visit to the spot. This only needs attention May through October with committee member(s) local to Lansing checking on the spot occasionally as well.

  3. Kids Food Basket in Grand Rapids is a nonprofit that supplies sack suppers to 8,000 children at 47 schools in West Michigan daily, with 30 additional schools on their waiting list.They send home nutritional meals in a paper sack, and they love to have the sacks decorated. This is something we will incorporate into each meeting. We will supply the bags and decorating tools and collect them at the end of each meeting. Please keep in mind that many sack suppers will be going to public schools and therefore cannot contain religious or political messages. They also request that we do not use paint, glitter, feathers, or stickers. Feel free to color before and during the meal, but not while there’s a speaker so that all attention is given to them.

  4. Buddy Bench. A buddy bench is a safe spot where children can go if they feel bullied or lonely, and other children can come over and talk to or play with them. This idea was brought to my attention from my nephew Carson, who is 8 years old, lives in Maryland and wanted to make sure his school had one. Carson worked with his principal and PTA to get one at his school. And if an 8 year old can accomplish that, we know that the Michigan SGMP chapter will make this happen! We are going to have a 2019 fundraising effort and when we have enough money raised, we will work with Laurie Nickson and an early childhood school or center to install on their playground.

The Community Service Committee is looking forward to a wonderful 2019, and hope that you have a happy and safe holiday season with Happy New Year wishes as well!

Shelley Long
Michigan Chapter Society of Government Meeting Professionals
Community Service Committee Board Liaison


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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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