December 2019 (Updated) Print

MiSGMP e-Reel


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President's Pen

President’s Pen – December 2019

MiSGMP had a busy and productive year – our membership increased, our monthly education programs, Knowledge Quest and the annual education conference were well attended, and we were the host state for the 2019 National Education Conference.  The chapter’s success is due to the dedication of you, our members – thank you!

Speaking of success … the mini auctions in October and December raised a total of $943 for our scholarship fund!  Thank you all for your generosity.  The MiSGMP annual auction – silent and live – takes place at AEC.  Please begin thinking about what you can donate and what you can convince others to donate – 100% of auction proceeds are added to our scholarship fund, this is a direct benefit to our members!

A few reminders as we prepare for 2020 –

  • Monthly programs are scheduled through June 2020 and posted on the website.
  • 2020 AEC is March 18–20 at the Crowne Plaza in Grand Rapids.  The preliminary program and online registration will be available in early January, as will the AEC scholarship application.
  • The new Zenith Award, which replaces the Planner and Supplier of the Year Awards, will be awarded at the 2020 AEC.  The Zenith Award criteria and process, and the nomination form, are on the website.  The nomination deadline is February 12, 2020.
  • The 2020 National Education Conference is in St. Louis, MO, May 19–21
  • The MiSGMP Bowling Extravaganza is Wednesday, June 17 in Cadillac!

Best wishes to you and yours for a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy 2020.  I look forward to seeing you at MiSGMP meetings and events in the coming year!

Laurie A. Nickson, CMP
MiSGMP President

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 169 Members as of November 30, 2019.

New Members

  • Planner – Tanisha Black, Michigan Department of Corrections
  • Supplier – Ashley Jarosz, Delta Hotels Marriott Muskegon Downtown

New Transfers

  • Sasha Glover for Hannah Kroll, Kellogg Center
  • Phillip Barnhart for Sarah Jarous, MCEDSV

Anniversary Reminders for December and January

  • Nadine Thompson (December)
  • Terese McInnis (December)
  • Kari Thrush (December)
  • Matt Tomlinson (December)
  • Jay Gladstone (December)
  • Becky Search (December)
  • Dustin Morris (December)
  • Trisha Olach (December)
  • Christine Lincoln (December)
  • LaTonya Spearman (December)
  • Michelle Norton (December)
  • Stephanie Wohlfert (December)
  • David Buckenberger (December)
  • Niles Mayrand (January)
  • Barbara Lincoln (January)
  • Marilyn Clark (January)
  • Chris Rowley (January)
  • Debbie Denyer (January)
  • Beverly Sobolewski (January)
  • Sheila Smith (January)
  • Jill Shorkey (January)
  • Michelle Erskine (January)
  • Clarissa Lange (January)
  • Pete Smith (January)
  • Sharonda Wray (January)

If your name is on the above list with an expiration date of December or January, you should have received an email from your Membership Committee Board Liaison with regard to your membership and its renewal. 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.

Two Membership Campaigns

  1. Soar with SGMP” is a chapter based campaign where all new recruitments are combined for the Chapter.  In FY19, Michigan won the “Members Growth” Award for having the highest net growth for the year.
  2. All Stars Circle” is a member based campaign where each member will receive credit for the number of members they recruit.  Recognition levels vary.  Visit the SGMP website for additional information.

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

The Member Spotlight is now being created by your Membership Committee.  We need volunteers, so look for your email asking you to be featured in an upcoming e-Reel Newsletter.

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

The December e-Reel is being resent with the following correction to
MiSGMP's Supplier spotlight.  It was incorrectly noted that Mr. Rosendahl works at the Otsego Resort.  In fact, he works for Grand Traverse Resort.
With sincere apologies to Duke and to both properties for the error.

Introducing MiSGMP’s SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT for December ...

Duke Rosendahl 

Grand Traverse Resort

A little bit about where I grew upI grew up in Linton, ND, population 1,500.  My father owned an amazing pizza restaurant, where I could eat all the pizza I wanted and play all of the newest pinball games, video games, pool, and foosball.  He then became the local EDC Directory and my mother was a dental assistant and hair stylist.  Linton is mainly an agricultural community, with a very good high school sports history.

Favorite vacation spot:  North Dakota and Torch Lake.

What do you like most about being a supplier?  Having grown up in hospitality, I truly like helping people.

What do you like most about MiSGMP?  The people in MiSGMP!

Thoughts regarding the industry: Given the current status of both Federal and State Government, it’s definitely been interesting the past couple of years.  I’ve noticed some meetings not happening due to public perception, budgets being cut, and because various departments are simply being more cautious about booking their evens.  I do feel the industry is still strong; however, and that’s probably proven by how booking windows keep getting further and further out.

Introducing MiSGMP’s PLANNER SPOTLIGHT for December ...

Tammy Blackburn 

Michigan State Police

A little bit about where I grew up:  I grew up in Dewitt, Michigan with my three sisters and my parents. We are a very close family and have stayed close to Mom and Dad.  I reside in Grand Ledge with my husband, Matt, our three children, Keira, Madelyn, and Lincoln, and our two dogs, Sadie and Cooper.  

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere I am with my family! We love to camp in the summer and cruise in the winter. We love to travel to waterparks, Chicago, and Disney!

What do you like most about being a planner:  I have the best of both worlds. Not only do I plan conferences and love the job that I do, but I also work for a department where, as a civilian, I wear the shield proudly and strive every day to provide top notch service.  Our agency’s motto is “A PROUD tradition of SERVICE through EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, and COURTESY.” We strive to meet that with every conference, every meeting, and every day!  

What do you like most about MiSGMP?  Definitely the connections I’ve made.  Before coming to EMHSD, I planned smaller conferences for the department. I did not know what a CVB was or how much they could help me. MISGMP is a one stop shop for a lot of resources!  Rather it be advice from other planners, help from a CVBs, or something I need from a supplier, I can always count on the group for help!


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Upcoming Events

To Sue or Not to Sue:  Music Licensing

The use of live or recorded music may be protected by U.S. copyright laws – and these laws can be applicable to event planners, hotels, management companies, organizations, and more. Through an interactive mock court case, explore the issues surrounding music licensing, including obtaining the proper license from any or all the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and Society of European State Authors and Composers (SESAC). Attendees will serve as jurors, deliberating and determining the verdict!

Presenter: Laurie Nickson, Director of Professional Programs
Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children - MI Department of Education
and MiSGMP Members

GMS Core Competency: Logistics

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Community Service

Happy December and the Holiday season! Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah or Christmas or prefer no celebrations this time of the year, there is one thing we can all celebrate. We are a very fortunate group of individuals that all work extremely hard to make events in the State of Michigan the best they can possibly be!

Thank you to everyone who supported the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force with your generosity in November and December.  Below Executive Director Jane White is pictured with the many donations collected at the December meeting.

The Community Service Committee is looking for a couple of things in 2020:

  1. Members that would like to join this committee and bring their great ideas to fruition.
  2. Ideas for community service projects for 2020 and beyond. Let’s make this next decade a memorable one for MiSGMP and the communities in which we live, work and play.
  3. Suggestions can be sent to Shelley Long at [email protected] or call me 517-372-0012 if you’d like to discuss your idea further.

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

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Get Your GMS!

Get Your GMS Today!

PLEASE NOTE:  There will be a cost increase for the Government Meeting Specialist (GMS) application fee starting January 1, 2020. The cost of the final application or the renewal application will change from $30 to $35. This fee is only collected when you are completing the program or renewing your certificate. If you want to renew early at the lower price, please do so by December 31, 2019. We will issue your certificate in the month that you complete all the requirements or are due for renewal. If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Kopkau, GMS Committee Board Liaison at [email protected].

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].

GMS  Up for Renewal ...

August 31, 2019 | Anissa Damon | Michigan Public Health Institute
November 30, 2019 | Pamela Frankenberger | Home Builders Association of MI
January 31, 2020 | Anisa Mazuca | Michigan Works! Association
April 30, 2020 | Amy Castner | State Bar of Michigan
April 30, 2020 | Tracy Sproul | State Bar of Michigan

Renewing of your GMS constitutes completing a renewal application - and having 20 contact hours from the last five years of your expiration date. You can review your attendance through MiSGMP by logging in and then going under Member Area to View My Order History. This will show all the attendance with MiSGMP.

Thank you, Debbie Kopkau

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MISGMP Sponsorship Opportunities


There are still a few sponsorship opportunities available! Get yours secured for the new year by clicking this link or by emailing [email protected]

MI SGMP thanks you for your generous support.

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Bring A Guest!

Ten times a year the Michigan SGMP chapter holds dynamic programs/events with topics that are vital to meeting planners and suppliers in our beautiful state. These meetings are typically held the third Wednesday of each month, throughout the state with the majority held in the Lansing area.

Did you know that you may bring a guest? A guest may attend a maximum of two MiSGMP sponsored programs/events at the applicable planner or supplier guest rate. To attend additional MiSGMP sponsored programs/events, one must become a MiSGMP member.

For more information on bringing a guest, please refer to the MiSGMP website:

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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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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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