March E Focus Print



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President's Message

Hello Chapter Members,

 It is a busy month for our community! Starting out with the Gasparilla Art and Film Festival and onto the Grand Prix and Valspar Golf Tournament all in the first 2 weeks! Over in Plant City everyone is swarming to get their fresh Strawberry Shortcake with those delicious local Plant City Strawberries at the Annual Strawberry Festival! Throughout the rest of the month we have much more filling up our calendars as our amazing Tampa Bay Area sure does have a lot to offer to residents and those visiting us from a far! I hope everyone has successful events and programs and I hope that you all get to go out there and enjoy it all as well!

 I look forward to seeing many of you at Game Night March 8th at Three Daughter’s Brewery! Make sure to bring your Board Games as we will be donating games to The Spring of Tampa Bay. Next month on April 13th is finally Meetings Academy at the brand new Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach!  I am so excited to experience this incredible program that the Meetings Academy team has put together! For over a year and half this committee has been organizing phenomenal speakers and breakout sessions! There are still spots left for the Hosted Buyer Program so please sign up on the website if you are interested of taking advantage of this opportunity! After you register make sure to start collecting soaps and toiletries to donate to the troops for the CSR efforts for STANO. If you have not already registered make sure to do so soon as pricing go up on March 22nd!

 I unfortunately need to share sad news with you all as well.  On March 1st our very near and dear Margaret Williams passed away. Margaret has been a profound leader in our chapter and our community and will be very dearly missed. Margaret was a 26yr MPI member and served on the Board of Directors for many years including her presidency from 2013-2014. There will be a Celebration of Life to honor her on April 8th, 11am at Bible Based Fellowship Church located at 4811 Ehrlich Road. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as Margaret was a beloved, wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. If you would like to share photos or memories of Margaret please send them to or share to the MPITBA Facebook page. Let's always remember Margaret's positive can do attitude, incredible mentorship and love that she gave and that big beautiful smile and genuine laughter. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten. 

 There is a limited time discounted registration open for WEC, which the speakers and programs are available to view on the website! I hope to see many of you there at this incredible global conference! Additionally I wanted to share with everyone that your 2017-2018 Board of Directors met in late February and they are excited to rock and roll next year and they are starting to building their committees so please let us know if there is a new committee you would like to join! Have a great month everyone and in spirit of St Patrick’s Day I will conclude with a quote by Irish born novelist CS Lewis, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”


Ashley Valentine, CMP

MPITBA Chapter President

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Membership News


Courtney Longino, Catering Sales Manager, McKibbon Hotels

Kathleen Shannon, Student





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Calendar of Events




Just $99 for MPI members/$149 for non-members!


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Michael O’Donnell 

Michael will elevate our experience at Meetings Academy through his life experiences, which include climbing Mount Everest!  

Make a difference for  

His experiences include:

  •          World-class mountaineer and explorer
  •          Personal guide for Erik Weihenmayer, first blind man to reach summit of Mt. Everest
  •          Personal life mastery coach
  •          Acclaimed team builder and corporate coach
  •         Author of: Leading on the Sharp End


*Breakout Speakers Announced!

Susan Arts, CMP, “Don’t Phreak Out – It’s Only Pharma”

Karn Clark, CMP, “Transportation: The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round….How to Keep Them from Coming Off?”

Joshua Grimes, Esq., “Cutting Edge Legal Issues in Today’s Meetings” and “The Sharing Economy: Meeting the

Legal Challenges”

Chris Krimitsos, “The Millennial Attendee”

Tara Liaschenko, CMM, “Getting the Most Out of Your MPI Membership”


We are excited to announce a once in a lifetime opportunity! One of our raffle prizes will be a trip to Vail for a 4-night stay, $500 airfare credit and basket of goodies. Value is $2,000! Must be present at the reception to win & a meeting planner to qualify. Make sure you attend the reception take advantage of this spectacular prize!


Elevating Events with Meetings Academy, featuring:
-A full day of education with a minimum of three CMP Continuing Education Credits
-Hosted Buyer Program Opportunity 
-An Interactive CSR activity
-High Level Speakers including Keynote
-Countless Opportunities for Networking
-A Hands-on Experience of Clearwater Beach’s newest hotel featuring 22,000 square feet of meeting space, including over 10,000 square feet ballroom


In addition to the incredible day already planned, we will also be celebrating GMID (Global Meetings Industry Day) at Meetings Academy! 



Interested in attending the conference for FREE? Planners can attend Meetings Academy 2017 for FREE through the Hosted Buyer program!


 Save the Soap!

Ever wondered what you can do with all the travel sized soaps and toiletries we all collect through our travels? We have your answer! For our CSR opportunity at Meetings Academy, we’re going to provide these items to a local charity, S.T.A.N.O. (Supporting Troops Area Wide Nationally and Overseas). We appreciate your support to Save the Soap!


Conference Schedule at a Glance:
Hosted Buyer Program
General Registration & Networking                                        
Welcome & Keynote Speaker 
Morning Educational Breakout Sessions
Networking Lunch              
Afternoon Educational Breakout Sessions
Roundtable Discussions


Thank you to our Venue Sponsor:

 Thank you to our Sponsors!














Please save the following dates


for our upcoming MPITBA Education Programs in 2017!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

  Please check our Chapter website here often for further event details.




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Sponsorship & Partnership Opportunities

Get your company name out there while connecting with your fellow MPI Tampa Bay Area members! Sponsor an event or advertise on our website!  

We have a number of opportunities that will fit any budget and objective. Just reach out to Stephanie Montini, Director of Sponsorship at Follow this link to our Cash Sponsorship and Advertising Packet:



New Table Host Opportunity for Educational Luncheons! 

Are you looking for a way to get the most out of your networking opportunity? Sign up to be a Table Host when registering for Educational Luncheons! For a minimal fee, you will get: 

  • Company name displayed at host table
  •  Lead the "getting to know you" table discussion
  •  Acknowledgement at event as a host
  •  Ability to set out marketing materials and giveaways


Table Hosts get the MOST! Questions, please contact Amanda Clark, Table Host Chair at:


Special thank you to our MPITBA Education Committee Meeting Venue Sponsor for the 2016-2017 Year! We are so grateful for our strategic partners like you!


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Committee and Other News




By Kristina Mitchell, Sales Manager 
Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel


Do you want to get more involved with MPI, but aren’t sure how? Did you know we have Customizing Volunteer Opportunities? Volunteering Your Way is a program that allows you to dictate how much time you have to offer, and get placed with the perfect opportunity. Learn more by contacting Amanda Bernstein Gordon at



Our vision and mission as a member-centric organization are focused on building those personal and business connections for you, connecting you to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. It’s about supporting each other, and helping each other to BUY MPI. 

The Connections Campaign is a celebration of those successful connections! We have LOTS of fun and exciting prizes coming to 2017. Be ready to win some and submit those connections today. Submit here

Questions/Comments? Contact Michelle Cobb at

A prize each month will be given to 1 Connections Winner at each education program

April Meetings Academy- iFLY Tampa Experience Gift Card

May- Flemings Steakhouse Gift Card



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