Chair's Corner
CMP Chair Reflects on Her Term and the Future of the CMP Program
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June 17, 2013

In This Issue

Chair's Corner
CMP Events
Research and Trends
On The Move
The past 18 months that I have spent as chair of the CMP Board of Directors has been gratifying and incredibly rewarding. During that time, we have seen a number of programmatic changes at all levels of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Program — from the expansion of our enewsletters to include not only a publication for current CMPs, but the creation of CMP Pathway for CMP candidates. We heard your desire for more consistent engagement and have seen CMP Today grow to a monthly communication. We have added new members to our Board of Directors (Eric Blanc and Phelps Hope), our Regional Representatives (Jose Ferreras) and even our program staff (Gayle Dahlman and Belinda Thompson), all of whom we have introduced to you here. Additionally, we've made significant strides in developing the ninth edition of the CIC Manual and in undertaking the development of the CMP Healthcare Subspecialty, both of which are on track to be launched this year. 

In the May issue, we instituted our first poll where we asked you, the readers, to tell us what types of articles you want to see more of, so that we can ensure we are meeting both your professional needs and wants. The results of that poll are detailed in this issue, and we would ask that you continue to look out for future polls so that we can hear your thoughts and tailor our content accordingly.  We appreciate your support of CMP Today and know that it will only continue to get better. 

Attending the 2013 Conclave this past weekend was indeed a special occasion for me, as it signaled the end of my tenure as chair of the Board of Directors and the passing of the torch to incoming chair, Melody Kebe, CMP. Next month, Melody will pen the Chair’s Corner column, where she will tell you a bit more about herself and her plans for the CMP Program going forward. Please welcome her as you have me. 

I have so enjoyed my time as chair because it enabled me to interact with CMPs and with the program at all levels, including in this publication. It is my hope that you have felt engaged, connected and informed as a result of reading CMP Today and that you will continue to support the CMP Program going forward.

Thank you. It's been a pleasure. 
Karen M. Gonzales, CMP, is the Immediate Past Chair of the CMP Board of Directors.
CMP Events
The 2013 CMP Conclave in Review

The 2013 CMP Conclave was held June 8-10, 2013 in beautiful Spokane, Wash. More than 250 CMPs gathered together for three days of cutting-edge education, next-level networking opportunities and social activities designed to highlight the city’s treasures. 

Registration opened on a balmy Saturday morning where a number of CMPs participated in exam development and later enjoyed a delicious lunch on the conference center’s Roof Deck, before taking the Mock Exam. Our international community was well represented at  Conclave with CMPs from Austria, Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Taiwan and South Africa contributing global voices to the conversations, as well. 

Roger Rickard, founder of Voices in Advocacy, officially kicked off the conference with a powerful keynote address, where he posed the question, "What’s more important, the meetings industry or the meeting professional?" Addressing current events which affect the climate under which meeting professionals are working, Rickard was later joined on stage by CIC CEO Karen Kotowski and Dawn Rasmussen, Chief Resume Designer at Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, where he took audience questions and comments as they discussed possible barriers to CMPs advocating for the importance of the profession and necessity of their work. 

The Roaring 20's and 30's Welcome Reception at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox was certainly an event to remember. CMPs (some dressed in period garb) were serenaded by flapper girls on their way into the venue, as historical cars lined the street outside. Inside the beautiful theater, they snacked on light hors d'oeuvres and specialty cocktails and mingled while they were serenaded by a barbershop quartet. The mayor of Spokane even stopped by to greet the CMP Conclave attendees and welcome them to the city. 

On Sunday morning, Tim and Kris O’Shea wowed and delighted attendees with a memorable general session filled with laughter and clever takeaways. Attendees later enjoyed a variety of breakout sessions and 15-minute presentations given in the Solutions Lounge, where topics focused on areas of importance to CMPs including: technology, meeting design, marketing, leadership and professional development, sustainability and security. In between sessions and breaks, attendees made sure to take time out to play the ever-popular SCANvenger Hunt game. Susan Ershler gave an inspiring luncheon speech, recounting her voyage from working for corporations to climbing the seven summits -- the highest mountains on each of the seven continents -- with her husband and the parallel lessons she learned while on both journeys. 

Attendees were able to meet and mingle with our conference sponsors during a reception in the ballroom lobby, where they were treated to light snacks, wine and a rustic décor. Later on that evening, more than 100 CMPs gathered for the very popular Spokane "Wine Around," a casual walking tour of four local wineries, where they learned about the city, the history of its vineyards, met new people and tasted some of Spokane’s finest wines along the way. 

Monday morning, the last day of Conclave, looked towards the future, as Dave Radcliffe delved into meetings of the future and why those conversations are so critical to CMPs. Remaining CMPs attended the final sessions and left the convention center, and its beautiful grounds, ready to take on new professional challenges and take their careers to the next level. 

Check back with CMP Today in July for a complete wrap-up of Conclave. We will hear more about: 
• The winner(s) of the popular SCANvenger Hunt contest
• The service projects and scope of donations made to Transitions
• New advocacy opportunities for CMPs
• and much more!
Meetings and Events Industry Urges Caution in Response to IRS IG Report
CIC has been actively engaged, along with its members, to tamp down any fallout from the IRS meetings scandal, and recently urged Congress to have a measured response to the report. The strategy seemed to be effective and, at the hearings held as a result, the questioning centered on the unwise spending and not on whether the meeting should have been held in the first place. Following is the statement developed by the CIC Crisis Communications Management Team, which many CIC members used in their communications out to their members and in the press.

Government participation in business meetings is essential because it fosters effective regulation, contributes to innovation that drives economic growth, and provides unique learning and training opportunities.

While the meetings industry is disappointed by the IG report, it’s important that everyone view the report in the proper context and remember the vital role that government participation in business meetings plays in fostering effective regulation, contributing to innovation that drives economic growth, and providing essential learning and training opportunities.

Congress and the Obama administration should carry out a measured and appropriate response that increases oversight, but does not discourage productive travel from taking place.

The meetings industry has been an active participant in the development of best practices and new guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget to all federal agencies that acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses.

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP is the Chief Executive Officer of the Convention Industry Council.
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Research and Trends
CMP Today May Poll Results Revealed
According to your recent feedback, readers of CMP Today would like more articles on: APEX - Standards and Best Practices, CMP Events, Recertification, and Research and Trends, which all received more than 10 percent of the votes cast. We hear you and are working to tailor our coverage to best meet the interests and needs of our readers. If you did not participate last month, please look out for the poll in our August issue for an opportunity to give us your feedback. You can also email us at We welcome your thoughts.

On The Move
CMPs On the Move
Cynthia J. "Cyndie" Graddy, CMP is now the Meeting Planner for the National Dental Association in Washington, DC. 

Lyn Henderson, CMP has been re-elected to the Florida Chapter of Women in Film & Television’s (WIFT-FL) Board of Directors as Director and First Vice President.

Vanessa Huff, CMP is the new Conferences and Events Manager at AMR Management Services in Lexington, Kentucky.

Amy Stinger, CMP has been promoted to Senior Manager of Conference Planning for Catholic Charities, USA in Alexandria, Virginia.

Make an awesome career move? Let us help you celebrate! Send the details of your latest career triumph to And while you're at it, be sure to log into and update your official CMP record.

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