August 2019 Print

MiSGMP e-Reel


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President's Pen

President’s Pen – August 2019

The education committee has been diligently working to create a year of outstanding education and networking opportunities for MiSGMP members. The dates of our events and meetings, from August to June are posted on the website. August’s meeting was well attended and received, and September’s meeting information and online registration can be accessed through the website, By mid-September, information about the monthly meeting topics and the meeting locations will be emailed to all members and posted on the website.

In addition to our monthly meetings, be sure to mark your calendars for the following:

  • MiSGMP 2020 AEC and Annual Auction, March 18–20, Crowne Plaza, Grand Rapids
  • NEC 2020, May 19-21, St. Louis, MO
  • MiSGMP Annual Special Event – Education Session and Bowling Extravaganza, June 17, Evergreen Resort and The Pines Sports Bar and Bowling Center, Cadillac

If you are not already on a MiSGMP committee, please consider joining one, or more. The committees are described on the website, along with the names of the committee board liaisons and chairs (also listed below). It is the work of the board and committees, and the dedication of our members, that keep our chapter strong and successful!

I look forward to seeing you at the next MiSGMP meeting on September 18th at the Michigan High School Athletic Association in East Lansing.

Laurie A. Nickson, CMP
President, MiSGMP

2019-2020 Committee Board Liaisons
GMS Committee – Debbie Kopkau/Char Alexander
Nominations Committee – Debbie Kopkau
Registration Committee – Anissa Damon
Membership Committee -  Tammy Novak
Scholarship Committee – Stacy Yerby
AEC Committee – Heidi Schmitt
Special Events Committee – Char Alexander
Communication Committee – Debbie Kopkau
Advertising/Sponsorship Committee – Stacy Yerby/Heidi Schmitt
Community Service Committee – Shelley Long
Education Committee – Debbie Kopkau/Terese McInnis
Honors/Awards Committee – Laurie Nickson

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Membership Report


Michigan has 170 Members!

   New Members

  • Julie Markham, State of Michigan (Planner)
  • Ann Bruttell, Meeting Coordinators (Contract Planner)
  • Heather Sayer, Weber’s Restaurant and Boutique Hotel (Supplier)
  • Linda Freybler, Calhoun County CVB (Supplier)
  • Ashley Peruchietti, Discover Kalamazoo (Supplier)

New Member Transfers

  • David Buckenberger, Lansing CVB for Amanda Toy

Anniversary Reminders for August and September

  • RJ Arnott (August)
  • Shelene Hahn (August)
  • Jan Hebekeuser (August)
  • Katherine Leonard (August)
  • Duke Rosendahl (August)
  • Carly Sanford (August)
  • Liz Caluory (September)
  • Kathleen Cooney (September)
  • Terra Damchuk (September)
  • Laura Hill (September)
  • Philip Himes (September)
  • Amanda Hunt (September)
  • Sarah Jarous (September)
  • Heather Mydloski (September)
  • Bethany Rademacher (September)
  • Stephanie Smith (September)

If your name is on the above list with an expiration date of August or September, you should have received an email and/or phone call with regard to your membership and its renewal from one of the Membership Committee members. The Membership Committee strives to assist 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.  Please allow yourselves enough time to renew so this situation does not occur.

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 greenAmbassadorribbon 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 Tammy Novak, Membership Committee Board Liaison or Brenda Haight, Membership Committee Chair.

The Member Spotlight is now being created by your Membership Committee.  Look for your email asking you to be featured in an upcoming e-Reel Newsletter.

Recipients of the Membership Recruitment Incentive Program

The following members were recognized at the August 21st monthly meeting for having achieved the recruitment standards for the membership recruitment incentive program by recruiting members for FY18-19.

  • Janice Harvey
  • Jan Hebekeuser
  • Patti Ingleson
  • Stephanie Miszkowski
  • Alexandra Risher
  • Chris Rowley
  • Heidi Schmitt
  • Tammy Novak
  • Andy Silver
  • Sonja Wood
  • Chris Ward – Top Recruiter Award

Thank you to everyone for your membership commitments.

MiSGMP Membership Committee
Tammy Novak – Board Liaison
Brenda Haight – Committee Chair
Char Alexander
Terra Damchuk
Jocelyn Davis
Shelley Long
Duke Rosendahl

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Member Spotlight

Introducing MiSGMP’s SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT for August ...

Mary Zoeller        

Fetzer Center

  • A little bit about where I grew up:  I grew up in Lansing, MI, where I graduated from Waverly High School.  I lived in Lansing until I moved away to college and never moved back. 
  • Favorite vacation spot:  My favorite vacation spot is anywhere where I do not cook or clean and where it’s warm and sunny!!
  • What do you like most about being a supplier?  I like to help people create the events they envisioned.
  • What do you like most about MiSGMP?  My favorite thing about MiSGMP is the friendships I have made.  I also value the knowledge I have learned from meetings.  MiSGMP meetings are always fun!
  • Thoughts regarding the industry:  Hospitality is an ever-changing industry filled with great people!!

Introducing MiSGMP’s PLANNER SPOTLIGHT for August ...

Kim Corcoran         

Destination Michigan/Meetings Michigan

  • A little bit about where I grew up:  My claim to fame is that my parents lived in Hell, MI, when they brought me home from the hospital!  Hell is a small burb just outside Pinckney.  I grew up in Pinckney where my parents were both Physical Education teachers and coaches.  They instilled in me a strong work ethic, an active lifestyle, and love of the outdoors!
  • Favorite vacation spot:  I’ve traveled all over the country and lived in several states, but my favorite vacation spot is still Traverse City!  We have a cottage on Lake Leelanau and my favorite memories as a child, as well as now with my own children, are on the lakes, trails, sand dunes, and cute little towns that surround the Leelanau peninsula.
  • What do you like most about being a planner:  I love being creative and pushing the envelope to find something new and exciting that will stimulate my audiences.  The actual day of the event, when everything comes together, and I can experience the results of many months of planning is my favorite part!
  • What do you like most about MiSGMP?  The people, fellow members, are what I love most about MiSGMP.  We are so fortunate to work in the best industry, in the best state, with the best people!  Everyone is so passionate about our industry and we take pride in our work.  I feel blessed that I get to work alongside my favorite people every day!

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Upcoming Events

The Opiate Epidemic: Horror to Hope to Solutions

September 18, 2019
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Michigan H.S. Athletic Association
1661 Ramblewood Dr., East Lansing, MI 48823

The opiate epidemic has created personal, social and economic devastation throughout nearly every community across the U.S.  The Midwest, including Michigan, have been impacted the most.  Presenter Phil Pavona, VP/Director & Founder of Okemos/Ingham Chapter FAN will discuss this impact and essentially answer to the who, what, when, where, and why of the epidemic.

GMS Core Competency:  Ethics

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Community Service

Thank you to everyone who so generously supported our Buddy Bench project during the August MiSGMP meeting at Embassy Suites in Grand Rapids. The total collected was nearly $50.00 towards getting a Buddy Bench placed at an early childhood center or school. We will continue to collect until we have enough to purchase the bench. For more information on the Buddy Bench, click here

In December we will be supporting Human Trafficking Victims - stay tuned for more information. We will also continue to decorate bags for Kids Food Basket in Grand Rapids:

THANK YOU for your continuing generosity.  It is what makes Michigan SGMP the best organization!

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

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Contact Address - Check Your Records!

Hi Members,

Just a reminder that the address for mailing MiSGMP correspondence is:

5859 W. Saginaw Hwy., #144, Lansing, MI  48917

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Get Your GMS!

Get Your GMS Today!

The Government Meeting Specialist Certificate program was created in 2009 to encourage meeting planners and suppliers to further their knowledge in the meeting industry. The program offers practical information, establishes a basis for advancing professionalism and assurance that a base of knowledge has been achieved.

This program requires attendance of 15 programs within specific content areas to give a well-rounded exposure to many industry-specific topics.

Education/Program – 3 programs
Facilities and Services – 2 programs
Federal, State, and Local Travel – 1 program
Financial/Contract Management – 2 programs
Leadership – 1 program
Logistics – 2 programs
Protocol – 1 program
Technology – 2 programs
Ethics – 1 program

Begin Your Journey

Go to , print, complete, and submit the Letter of Commitment.

Have questions? Contact Debbie Kopkau at [email protected].



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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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