MPI Chicago Area Chapter
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December 21, 2022

In 1948, with the memory of World War II still fresh, the United Nations crafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The very first article states: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The document goes on to define what human rights should be respected and protected universally, as well as emphasizing how important it is to do so. 

One of the most important things you can do throughout the course of this month – and beyond into next year – is to find common ground with the people around you. Human Rights Month is about acknowledging that people of different cultures and creeds are still people. We must be careful of differentiating ourselves from our fellow humans so much that we forget this core truth. Take the time to learn about another culture that is different from yours. If that culture makes you nervous, so much the better. The Dignity & Respect Campaign has some wonderful resources on how to go about this.

By learning about other people and standing up for their rights you encourage equality, justice, and freedom. These values are antithetical to human and labor trafficking. For more information about Universal Human Rights Month, International Human Rights Day, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights click here: Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ways to Observe Human Rights Month

  • Reread the Bill of Rights – Research what these freedoms mean to you. 
  • Do Some Volunteering – Organizations such as Amnesty International (a charity that works to support and spread awareness of human rights) are always looking for volunteers.
  • Give Back to Your Community – Help those who are hurting in your own community.

Why Universal Human Rights Month is Important

  • It Allows Us to Reflect and look back on the ways we’ve treated our fellow human beings.
  • It Reminds Us of Our Ideals which include individual freedoms which we must fight to protect.
  • It Empowers Us to stand up for ourselves, our own rights, and the rights of others.

*Information sourced from:

Image: Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English), Lake Success, New York. November 1949.


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Start your day with coffee and conversation with your fellow MPI-CAC members. We’ll hear from MPI Chicago Area Chapter Board President Heather Brown, CMP, DMCP about all that our chapter has planned for the new year!

This is a FREE event for all members, so be sure to register and join us Jan. 17!

Register Here


Join MPI’s Chicago Area Chapter at The Holiday After Glow for an evening of education and networking! The holiday season may have commenced, but it is time to gather and celebrate a new year. 

The Education Program will feature industry esteemed panelists discussing how to use the afterglow of an event to debrief, strategically plan, and increase the impact of the next event. Following the Education Program will be a Networking Reception to include passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations, open bar, and entertainment. Don’t miss out on an education glow up and a night of fun with industry friends.

Register here!

See all of our available partnership opportunities here.


With the holidays in full swing, let’s take a moment to think about the holiday tradition that Americans love the most – eating!

Most of us have food traditions at the holidays – many passed down culturally or through generations of our family. One of my new traditions has been taking a break from the crush of work that marks autumn in the meeting industry and attending Signature Luncheon.

This year’s Signature Luncheon was a delicious journey through the offerings at the Marriott Marquis Chicago, beginning with a caprese-style salad that layered a variety of sweet and bitter greens with succulent tomatoes, huge chunks of mozzarella, and a balsamic dressing. My allergy was handled without question at this event. They took my card and then brought it back with a salad that substituted the balsamic with olive oil and spices. It still tasted so good that I ate every bite. The tomatoes prevented it from tasting dry, and the mozzarella gave it enough of a savory flavor that I hardly missed the dressing.

The main course combined chicken and gravy with seasonal root vegetables. No one at my table chose a vegetarian or vegan option, so I didn’t see what that entrée was, but the chicken was perfect – mostly boneless for ease of eating at a business event with a salty gravy balanced by the mix of sweet and savory vegetables.

Finally we came to dessert – a pumpkin pie tart that was as whimsical as it was delicious. The crust was filled with rich pumpkin filling and decorated with whipped cream, chocolate straws, pumpkin seed brittle, and sugar stars. I tried to savor it, but it was gone too soon!

As we continue the holiday season, eat safely and enjoy every bite!

Thank you to ETHOS Event Collective for their festive decor, and Marriott Marquis Chicago for the delicious meal at MPI CAC's Signature Luncheon 2022.

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Congratulations to Antoinette Gonzales of Chicago Association Management and Corporate Event Interactive – our August 2022 Spotlight Award winner!

Recognized for her work on the chapter's IDEA Committee, Antoinette has been an MPI Chicago Area Chapter member for over 20 years. For her favorite MPI-CAC memory, Antoinette said they keep shifting as time goes on! “Right now, it's Jeff Durocher (US Poker & Casino Parties) and Sean Thorndike (Akire Productions) wearing long-haired wigs and dressed as hippies for the recent MPI-CAC Trivia night at LM Studio.”

Want to know how you can earn a Spotlight Award? Join one of our committees and volunteer with the chapter! Check out this link to learn how you can get involved!


A big congratulations to Sarah Witt – she is the September 2022 Spotlight Award winner recognized for her work on the IDEA Committee!

Sarah, who is currently seeking her next opportunity as an event director or association manager, is one of our chapter’s membership grant recipients this year. She knew right away the IDEA Committee was the right fit, as she’s very passionate about Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility and looks forward to helping it have a more prominent role in MPI. One of her favorite MPI moments was the recent virtual Membership Days event, Ghouls & Games. “Everyone dressed up and we had an at-home/office scavenger hunt,” she said. “It was a great way to get to know others in the group and enjoy some festivities! 

Want to know how you can earn a Spotlight Award? Join one of our committees and volunteer with the chapter!

Congrats to C. Dallas Golden (he, him, his), Pond Ripple Media, LLC - Founder & Executive Director, on his October 2022 Spotlight Award win!

Dallas believes he was “asked” to join two committees at his first in-person event as a sponsor by Tanya Mishigian. “While on the planning committees for Holiday Party and Awards, our company became an annual sponsor to support the chapter with video testimonials for the YouTube Channel and some video content for events,” he said. “This year, I’m helping with the MarComm committee.”

As for his favorite MPI story, one memory stands out. “I think my favorite story is going to the golf tournament this year, which just happened to be on my actual birthday,” he said. “Heather Warthen made it her mission to ensure everyone sang happy birthday to me. That was really a special feeling.” 

Want to know how you can earn a Spotlight Award? Join one of our committees and volunteer with the chapter!

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Executive Committee Board of Directors

Heather Brown, CMP, DMCP

Adam Tanguay
Director of Partnership Development

Hilary Saurer

Jessica Lindberg
Director of Holiday Party & Golf Classic

Erika Johnson
Vice President, Finance

Anna Hess
Director of Leadership Development & Engagement

Alli Shebek, DMCP
Vice President, Communications

Jamie Sowski
Director of Trivia Night & Annual Awards

Sara Broderick
Vice President, Education

Stephanie Swaney
Direcor of Education Programs

Tanya Mishigan
Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility (IDEA)

Katrina Whaley
Director of Membership

Allison Hines
Vice President, Special Events

Barb Balaguras
Director of Educational Events

Heather Warthen
Vice President, Membership

Eneyda Rodriguez
Director of Marketing & Public Relations

Jeanette Kilrea
Immediate Past President

Bunny Raylett Lee
Director of Content