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What Happened to the Year 2014?

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As I write this article to close out my tenure on the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Board Chair, I look back and wonder what on earth has happened to the year 2014? This year has come and gone with the blink of an eye. Just 11 months ago (January 2014), I wrote an article focused on turning challenges into opportunities to make something positive happen. I certainly have had my share of challenges this past year and have somehow managed to get through each one. I honestly believe the people with whom I surround myself had a lot to do with me getting through the challenges.

Immediately, thoughts of my fellow CMP Board members and CIC staff come to mind of the people Iíd like to thank who have a hand in my tenure as the Chair of the CMP Board. During my time spent as Chair, I worked closely alongside some amazing, smart and dedicated leaders who represent each of the 33 Convention Industry Council member organizations. We shared our experiences, ideas and other countless ways to ensure the CMP Program remained the best, most recognized certification in the meetings industry.

Here are just a few highlights of the work we accomplished this past year:
  • Hosted a successful Conclave in New Orleans, Louisiana. The largest attended Conclave ever with more than 400 CMPs in attendance. Attendees took full advantage of the educational sessions led by top notch speakers, as well as availed themselves to ample networking opportunities with fellow CMPs to engage in discussing new ideas and current trends within the meetings industry. The Conclave could not have been a success without the support of our industry sponsors. Time and time again, they come through for the CMP community. For the first time, I learned how to speak Cajun and was thrilled to learn how to say "laissez les bon temps rouler," pronounced "lay-zay lay bon ton rule-ay," which means "let the good times roll." In just a few minutes, I became a NOLA native. (smile)
  • Launched the first subspecialty to the CMP, the CMP-Healthcare (CMP-HC). The new subspecialty designation has been awarded to 55 CMPs. 
  • The 9th Edition of the CIC Manual was published this year and, for the first time, is now offered in e-book format in addition to hard copy.  
  • Hosted our second CMP Town Hall in Alexandria, Virginia. The Town Halls gave CMPs an opportunity to dialog with board members face-to-face, network with other CMPS, hear about new developments with the CMP Program, and shared what was on their minds. The information the CMPs shared with the Board and CIC staff members will definitely help us to shape future policies and programs to ensure the CMP remains a world-class designation.
  • Conducted a board self-assessment to ensure we were still meeting our obligations to the CMP Program, as well as ensuring we are structured appropriately as a certification board.  
  • The CMP Communications Task Force conducted a short survey with the Board members on how information on certification is communicated throughout their respective member organizations. The results of the survey will be used to create a benchmark for assessing current and future strategies of the value of certification.
  • The Global Expansion Task Force and CIC staff identified specific international markets for expanding the CMP Program. CIC contracted with Avenue M to conduct further research to establish a framework for assessing international certification markets.
  • The Long Range Planning Task Force conducted extensive research and findings as it relates to long-term occupational and demographic trends with certifications.
As you can see from the above accomplishments, the Board and CIC staff were very busy this past year. 

Congratulations to all of our new CMPs who earned the distinct honor of having their names added to the list of over 10,000 CMPs around the world. Did you know that more than 50 million American adults (one-quarter of the population) hold some credential (professional certification, license, or certificate) per the U.S. Census? For those who have yet to recertify your CMP certification, please remember to do so before your hard-earned designation expires. I donít know about you, but I certainly do not want to re-take the CMP exam. (smile)

I would also like to take this time to extend my sincere appreciation to the CMP Board and CIC team who continuously dedicated their personal time and commitment to serving on behalf of our CMP community this past year.

Finally, please join me in congratulating Joanne Joham, CMP, CMM, 2015 Chair of the CMP Board.

Best wishes for a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Melody Kebe, CMP, CGMP
Chair, CMP Board

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