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Welcome to the Post-Conclave Issue of CMP Today!
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July 12, 2013

In This Issue

Featured Article
Chair's Corner
CMP Events
Global Perspective
CMP Program News
CMPs in the News
CMP on the Road
On The Move

The Convention Industry Council would first like to thank everyone who helped make the CMP Conclave, hosted in beautiful Spokane, Washington, June 8-10, such a success.

Attended by more than 200 CMPs, including international CMPs from more than seven countries, Conclave provided an opportunity for attendees to network, attend cutting-edge educational sessions designed to aid their professional development, and share their insights, questions and even concerns, among an inviting community of other CMPs. Last month, we gave you a brief overview of the event and in this issue we will follow-up on some of takeaways from the conference in greater detail.

With such a robust educational program, it was difficult for some attendees to decide which sessions they wanted to attend most. And while all of the sessions addressed a relevant interest to CMPs, the top two attended sessions were "Ditching the Notebook" and "Top Technology Tools and How to Actually Use Them," lending credence to the importance of focusing on technology for CMPs in the ever-changing meetings and events industry.  

Speaking of technology, this year, CIC decided to make better use of technological advances and step further into the digital age in a couple of ways. For the first time ever, we had a Conclave app, designed by EventMobi, to help organize all Conclave-related items (schedule, maps, speakers, presentations, photos, social media, attendee list, etc.) in one convenient online location. Attendees could download the app for free to any mobile device and have instant access to up-to-date Conclave details. This year, we also moved away from stamp cards and opted, instead, to use QR codes that could be scanned with a smartphone to increase interaction between attendees and exhibitors. The resulting product, SCANvenger Hunt, which tested attendees’ knowledge of the CMP Program, exhibitor information and learning outcomes from the sessions and events was a major success.

It also was announced at Conclave that CIC is launching a new Advocacy Hub, where supporters of the industry can register online as advocates. In this issue you will find out more about that effort and how to join.

Read on for greetings from the new chair of the CMP Board of Directors Melody Kebe, insight into what one international CMP thought of Conclave, news about the new healthcare subspecialty, and to see the impact that the Conclave Corporate Responsibility (CSR) project had on a local organization in Spokane. 

To see photos from the event, provided to us by Christie’s Photography Studio, please visit our revamped Facebook page – – in the coming days. Be sure to "like" us and share your comments. 

We would like to offer another sincere thank you to Spokane Convention Center and Visit Spokane the for all of their efforts in making this event a success. 

– Convention Industry Council 

CIC's New Advocacy Hub

During the opening general session of the 2013 CMP Conclave, moderated by Voices in Advocacy Founder Roger Rickard, the topic of advocacy in the meetings and events industry took center stage. Using current events and examples from other industries, Rickard stressed to CMPs that it was important to not only understand the value of what they do, but to also advocate for themselves and the industry by effectively communicating that worth to their employers.

CMPs in the audience weighed in on some of the obstacles they face and their thoughts on the best way to promote the value of what CMPs do versus, perhaps, promoting themselves. During the subsequent panel discussion, CIC CEO Karen Kotowski announced the launch of CIC's Advocacy Hub, designed to help address and assist with these very concerns. Open to all meetings and events professionals, the Hub will be a super-sized database of meetings industry supporters. Professionals, representing the large cross section of the industry, can show their support by registering online as advocates. Designed as an online, on-call resource, the Hub will present supporters with calls-to-action on advocacy issues as they rise, providing CIC the ability to engage advocates with information on a regular basis that will further educate the resulting coalition on issues, alerts, positions and messaging on the meetings industry.

Also announced at AIBTM in Chicago, the Hub encourages meetings professionals to come together to collectively speak out about the value of live face-to-face meetings. To "join the effort," visit and sign up.

Chair's Corner
Exclusively for CMPs!

The title speaks for itself. The 2013 CMP Conclave, recently held in Spokane, Washington, still resonates in my mind. Who knew! Many attendees had no idea what was in store for them upon their arrival but the Spokane community welcomed us with open arms and made each of us feel like VIPs while visiting. A sincere thank you to the Visit Spokane team and the Spokane community.

Attendees that I interacted with at Conclave commented on how pleased they were with the quality of educational sessions and speakers this year. I left the Conclave with great enthusiasm about what I learned and how I plan to continue making full use of my certification.

Each year the Conclave content gets better and better. Networking with, and learning from, fellow CMPs is an added bonus each time we come together. Don’t just take my word for it ... here are comments from a couple of our fellow CMPs who attended this year’s Conclave:

"CMP Conclave was a great experience. From the painless and quick registration process to working with peers on identifying and developing new questions for advancing the CMP Exam, the total meeting experience was exceptional. The goal to earn continuing education credits was accomplished; however, the meeting value was heightened by creating new approaches in my role as a meeting director and can come back and apply this directly to my work. It was an exceptional event and the Spokane representatives made us feel sincerely welcomed and a part of their culture. The Conclave encounter left me feeling validated and proud to be part of the CIC CMP Community."

– Peg Thomas, CMP, CGMP, Military and Veterans Health Solutions and Services, General Dynamics Information Technology 

"It is always so refreshing to come together with fellow CMPs to share wisdom and knowledge in casual conversations allotted throughout this event. You can learn a lot through these one-on-one conversations that simply cannot come out through the educational sessions. The educational sessions, however, were mostly very informative and interactive, which added to a great learning experience. I especially thought the mock exam was presented in a very modern and up-to-date manner that removed most of the anxiety out of taking the exam. Also taking the mock exam on the first day versus the last day was an excellent idea."
– Shelia Edwards, CMP, Osby Management Associates

I believe Peg’s and Shelia’s comments are evident that we had another successful Conclave. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year. A special thanks to those CMPs who facilitate structured study groups that prepare candidates for the examination ... candidates who go on to obtain their CMP and are then able to attend an event "Exclusively for CMPs." I’m happy to be part of the CMP community.

As I begin my new role as chair of the CMP Board of Directors, I am looking forward to working with a team of experts who are committed and dedicated to serving on your behalf. We’re hard at work ensuring that the Certified Meeting Professional continues to remain a strong and valuable part of the dynamic and rapidly evolving meetings industry. .  

My management and leadership experience stems from working with the federal government for more than 40 years, including 24 years in planning/executing conferences on behalf of the Department of Defense. I have also been a member of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals since 1993.

As chair for the next 18 months, my primary goal is to continue the great work and forward thinking about the future of the CMP Program that my predecessors accomplished during their tenures. In addition to continuing the projects outlined in the board’s strategic framework, my focus will also include increasing the visibility of the CMP board inside the organizations that board members represent, creating stronger collaboration and resource sharing, and ensuring that the board participation offers a high return on investment. Now, more than ever, we need the support and involvement of the CMP community to accomplish the work at hand.

I welcome your thoughts as we work together to strengthen the value of the CMP Program. 

Melody Kebe, CMP, CGMP
Chair, CMP Board of Directors
Society of Government Meeting Professionals Immediate Past President

CMP Events
Transitions Thanks CMP Volunteers for Help and Donations
Volunteering at Transitions makes a difference. It makes the difference between living in a house and living in a home. At Miryam’s House, the volunteers completed household chores that made living there healthier for the women we serve. They also helped make the yard more presentable and safer. Many of the women served at Miryam’s House have physical disabilities that prevent them from working in the yard. Your hard work helped the residents take more pride in where they live, creating hope in a tough situation.  

The toiletry donations that were collected went, primarily, to the Women’s Hearth. We see more than 70 women each day at the Hearth and struggle to provide for their basic needs, as well as all of their needs to move from homelessness to stability. The ability to take a shower, to be able to care for yourself when you feel isolated and forgotten, can’t be over-stated, but it is also important when preparing for a housing or job interview. Donations of toiletries empower women to care for themselves and move out of homelessness into employment and housing.  

The towel donation arranged by the CMP Council was perhaps most appreciated by our kiddos at EduCare. They were even able to do a tie-dye craft to tie-dye their towels for this summer’s water activities. I can’t begin to tell you how proud they looked with their creations.  

Thank you for your donations of time, toiletries and basic needs items. I can tell you they you made a real impact on the women and children we serve, and we’re so grateful!

Mary M. Tracey
Development Director
Tropicana Casino
Global Perspective
The CMP Conclave from a Global Perspective

I was part of the first group to write the CMP exam in South Africa. To be a Certified Meeting Professional is a relatively new concept in Africa, but it is growing and people are becoming more aware of the meaning of CMP. Up to now we only had CMPs in South Africa, but we will soon have some candidates from Kenya writing the exam. The idea is to have experts from other African countries becoming CMPs because the expertise is there.

When I first heard about the "CMP Conclave," I thought it was quite strange as I had never heard the word in another context that wasn’t to choose a new Pope. Then I saw that, according to the dictionary it also meant "an assembly or gathering, esp. one that has special authority, power, or influence: i.e. a conclave of political leaders." Well, that said it all. As CMPs, we might not want to become popes or political leaders, but we for sure have special authority, power and influence in our industry. And how nice to see so many knowledgeable people gathered together, exchanging ideas!

I was thrilled to be invited by the CIC to attend the CMP Conclave for the first time and to be part of the selected group of international CMPs chosen to participate in a focus group to assist with the development of the 9th Edition of the CIC Manual and the continuing growth of the CMP as a global certification. When I received the details, I wasn’t very sure about the location. I had never heard of Spokane, Washington – how would I get there from South Africa? Well, it took me 29 hours, but what a pleasant surprise when I got there, not only is the place beautiful, but the people are friendly and the hotels and the convention center chosen were something to write home about!

We were a few international CMPs among approximately 240 from all over America. It was great to talk to people from different business areas and places and see how they think, work and play. The exchange of knowledge and information was fantastic, and the variety of topics offered at the various sessions during the event gave everyone something new to take home, not to mention the CPD points for re-certification, obtained from each of the sessions.

Being able to exchange ideas with CMPs from other countries and to learn how they work to make the certification known was of great help. Some of the International CMPs that participated in the focus group shared the experiences they have in their countries, and some of us are up against the same types of obstacles. All of this was discussed and will be taken into consideration by the CIC when finalizing the 9th Edition of the CIC Manual and continuing to grow the CMP as a global certification.

But the Conclave is not only business and work. We had some wonderful social gatherings where we had the opportunity to meet each other in a more relaxed atmosphere, without having to worry about work. All in all, it is an excellent opportunity for CMPs to meet and share their knowledge and experiences and find potential business partners.

Chris Prieto, CMP, is the Regional Representative for Africa. 

Have You "Joined the Effort?"
The Convention Industry Council has become the first organization to launch a Meetings Industry Advocacy Hub, an online vehicle to engage, educate and activate meeting industry professionals. In partnership with Voices in Advocacy (VIA), this Hub will enable meetings industry professionals to show support of the global meetings industry by registering online as a meetings industry advocate. 

More than 30 percent of CMPs at the CMP Conclave signed up at our soft launch in Spokane, and the official launch to press and the public occurred two days later at CIC’s booth at AIBTM in Chicago on June 11. 

The Hub will create a supersized database of meetings industry supporters who can be engaged as grassroots advocates. We will provide information on a regular basis to further educate the resulting coalition on issues, alerts, positions and messaging about the meetings industry. CIC will promote the Hub and recruit meeting professionals at industry events where CIC exhibits. In addition, CIC members may engage Voices in Advocacy to employ the Hub at their own events, adding to the overall industry advocates list as well as creating their own grassroots database for association specific issues. 

Have you joined the effort? As meeting professionals, it is very important for you to become involved. We have all seen in recent years, what affect an uneducated comment from a president, bad behavior by government employees or sound bites about muffins can have on our business. Please join the effort by signing up at

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Convention Industry Council. 
Naylor, LLC
CMP Program News
Welcome the New CMP Class!
The CMP and New Healthcare Certification: Your Ticket to Success
The healthcare sector, once considered a niche area of meeting management, is growing and along with it, interest in a similarly specialized certification. CIC is prepared to meet that increasing need with the launch of the Certified Meeting Professional’s (CMP) healthcare subspecialty certification program later this year.  

Along with required reporting and transparency, understanding compliance is critical for anyone involved in healthcare meeting management. The CMP-HC designation will validate healthcare professionals’ knowledge and will provide a number of additional benefits, including career enhancement, professional recognition, personal satisfaction and professional opportunities. 

Karen Kotowski, CEO of the Convention Industry Council (CIC), will present a session on the new subspecialty certification at the 2013 World Education Congress (WEC) hosted by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) on Sunday, July 21 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Joined by Pat Schaumann, Founder of IMMPA, the session, entitled, "Certifications in the Meetings & Events Industry: Insights into the Global CMP and the All New Healthcare CMP," will examine the increased relevance of the CMP to the global meeting professional and introduce the healthcare subspecialty and how to prepare for this emerging credential. 

The role of the meeting professional is ever-evolving and you need to be on the cutting edge. Take charge of your professional development and learn more about the new subspecialty to the CMP for the healthcare sector.

CMPs in the News
Michelle Bland, CMP, Named to Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Board of Directors (Komen Maryland)
The Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is proud to announce the appointment of Michelle Bland to its board of directors. The new members will join the existing board of directors to guide the affiliate in fulfilling its mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer forever. Michelle Bland, CMP, is a breast cancer survivor and has been an active year-round volunteer for Komen Maryland since 2010. In 2010, she received the Maryland Affiliate "Survivor Award." She is currently the Associate Director of Sales at the Sheraton Annapolis Hotel, and she has nearly 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, mostly in sales. "We are thrilled to welcome these six women to the board of directors," said Robin Prothro, CEO of Komen Maryland. "I look forward to the guidance, passion and commitment our 13 member board will bring to the organization as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Komen Maryland and look towards the future of breast health in the Maryland community." Komen Maryland is an affiliate of the world's largest and most progressive breast cancer grassroots organization fighting breast cancer. As an organization serving the state of Maryland, Komen Maryland seeks to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.
CMP on the Road
See Us At...

July 20-23, 2013
Las Vegas, NV
More Information

Join us at the following session to learn more about the CMP program and the Healthcare CMP:

"Certifications in the Meetings & Events Industry: Insights into the Global CMP and the All New Healthcare CMP"
Sunday, July 21, 2013, 9 a.m.-10 a.m., Jasmine A, Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel & Casino
Speakers: Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, Chief Executive Officer, CIC, and Pat Schumaan, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, CEO & President, Meeting I.Q.

On The Move
CMPs On the Move
Natalie Anderson-Hernandez, CMP, was promoted to Director of Meetings with Complete Conference Management.

Julia-Isabel Davenport, MBA, PMP, CMP, owner of Maximize Your Publicity, was elected as Vice-President of Membership for the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of MPI in Phoenix, Arizona.

Cynthia J. Douwes, CMP, CMM, is now the Manager, Ambassador Program Event Services, two new departments created by Meetings Conventions Calgary. She will also be the Immediate Past President, MPI Greater Calgary Chapter 2013-2014.

Zena Hawes, CMP, has been promoted to Director of Catering & Events at Conrad Miami in Miami, Florida. She was previously at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Kim Hentges, CMP, has been hired by Lennox Industries, Inc. as their Senior Events & Incentives Planner.

Lori Hulet, CMP, is now Manager, Meeting & Events Planning for Bridgestone Americas in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Chris James, CMP, was promoted to Conference Manager at the New York State Society of CPAs.

Kevin M. Kelly, CMP, CASE, recently retired after 33 years with Marriott, the past 13 years as a Global Account Executive based in Philadelphia. He is now the Director, Meetings Department at ASTM International headquartered in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Abby Ledbetter, CMP, is now the Senior Program Coordinator – Corporate Meetings & Events for  Cerner Corporation. 

Michelle McCarthy, CMP, is now the Senior Event Manager at CDW Corporation. Michelle was formerly with Nokia.

Judy McClain, CMP, is the new Senior Manager of Meeting Planning at the American Payroll Association in San Antonio, Texas.

Tammy Olson, CMP, has been promoted to Global Travel and Event Manager at DJO Global in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Andrea S. Peterson, MTA, CMP, was recently hired as an affiliate faculty member by Metropolitan State University of Denver and will begin teaching part-time this fall in their School of Professional Studies: Hospitality, Tourism & Events Management concentrations. She has also been chosen to write the Marketing Module for the upcoming 6th Edition of PCMA's Professional Meeting Management digital publication for students.

Joanne Lawrence Smith, CMP, is now Manager, Global Accounts with HelmsBriscoe.

Adrienne Tooley, CMP, has recently accepted a position as Meeting Manager with Complete Conference Management in Miami, Florida.

Melissa A. Wenczkowski, CMP, is now a Meeting & Event Manager with Experient. She was previously a Convention Services Manager with Destination DC.

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.


The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a
program of the Convention Industry Council

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