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Success Stories

What is the Impact of the MPI Foundation on MPI Members, Chapters and the Industry?

Hundreds of MPI members have taken the next step in their careers through programs made possible by the MPI Foundation. But don’t take our word for it:

MPI Foundation video testimonials


SPOTLIGHT

Cynthia Lamont
MPI Greater Calgary Chapter

“Without the work of the MPI Foundation, many MPI members—herself included—would not have the opportunity to learn, connect and grow professionally.”

Read more online or in the September 2016 issue of The Meeting Professional®. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities.

Sarah Kalick
MPI Orlando Chapter
Student at Rosen School of Hospitality

“When I saw that I got an email and that it stated ‘WEC Conference Scholarship,’ I immediately freaked out and called my mom. I opened the email and saw that I won the MPI Foundation scholarship to attend this amazing conference. This was a very life-changing and exciting opportunity for me that I could not pass up.”

Read more online or in the July 2016 issue of The Meeting Professional®. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities.

Pete Honsberger
MPI Ohio Chapter

[Recipient of a conference scholarship to WEC 2015] “It was an environment that allowed for new relationships to blossom. The content was outstanding and the events allowed me to have a blast while networking with great people. It helped me go from having an MPI membership to being a member of the MPI family.”

Read more online or in the May 2016 issue of The Meeting Professional®. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities.

Christina Northcott
MPI Toronto Chapter

“When I received the scholarship, I recognized that the MPI Foundation is making it possible for planners like me to be inspired and motivated by experienced and innovative meeting planning professionals from all over the world. Discussions about current economic conditions, business trends and new tools for negotiating have boosted my confidence in interacting with stakeholders and vendors.”

Read more online or in the April 2016 issue of The Meeting Professional®. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities.

Sherri Cook, CMP, CMM
MPI Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter

“The MPI Foundation professional development scholarship has allowed me to collect numerous points toward my CMP Recertification by attending WEC, where you receive excellent education while accumulating many needed CMP points.”

Sherri Cook has been involved with MPI for 23 years and is a past recipient of the MPI Tomorrow’s Leader Award.

Read more online or in the March 2016 issue of The Meeting Professional®. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities for 2016.

Sofia Nikolaeva
MPI Finland Chapter

Sofia Nikolaeva earned an MPI Foundation scholarship to attend the 2015 World Education Congress which helped her find a new job, make friends with amazing people and step out of her comfort zone. Nikolaeva joined MPI as a student in 2013 after a fellow student member shared her story about receiving an MPI Foundation scholarship.

“Her story was so inspiring and she was so excited so I thought to myself, ‘I definitely want to join this community! At that time I wasn’t sure where I wanted to work or in which industry upon graduation, even though I was studying event planning. So I joined MPI and my life has changed a great deal since then. I’ve found my passion for the meeting and event industry thanks to MPI Foundation!”

Read more online or in the February 2016 issue of The Meeting Professional®. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities for 2016.

The MPI Foundation had an extremely successful 2015 in terms of giving back to the meeting industry through grants and scholarships. These efforts are a testament to the industry’s belief in supporting the Foundation’s mission to fuel the growth and advancement of MPI members by providing them with professional development and career opportunities. One particular area of success was at MPI’s World Education Congress (WEC) in San Francisco. The Foundation was able to send 60 meeting professionals (from senior-level planners to suppliers to students) to this year’s WEC—up from eight in 2014.

Read more online or in the December 2015 issue of TMP. View the listing of MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities for 2016.

Julie Locke
MPI New England Chapter

“The MPI [CMM] scholarship was fantastic. Without receiving it, I am not sure I would have gone through with my CMM. I was able to bring home some valuable information and new things to focus on.”

Read Julie 's full story online or in the November 2015 issue of The Meeting Professional®. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities.

Nikki Sayers
MPI Toronto Chapter

“I knew the education at WEC was imperative to taking my business to the next level, and by applying for the [MPI Foundation] scholarship it took off some of the financial burden of attending. As a business owner you must continually invest in yourself to move forward in our fast-changing economy to stay relevant, and this scholarship allowed me the means to do this.”

Read Nikki 's full story in the August 2015 issue of The Meeting Professional®.  View MPI Foundation grants and scholarship opportunities.

Jennifer Dills
MPI Washington State Chapter

“Because of the MPI Foundation scholarship, I was able to attend WEC 2014. It was fantastic to meet so many great people and make connections from all over the world that I’ll carry with me for a long time. And the bonus was I was able to gain the CEU hours I needed to apply for—and pass—the CMP exam. It was one of the best moments of my career.”

Read Jennifer's full story in the July 2015 issue of The Meeting Professional®. Also, join the conversations on the MPI Facebook page.

Jade Woodall
MPI U.K. & Ireland Chapter
Vanessa Cotton Memorial Scholarship to EMEC

“The [MPI Foundation] scholarship looked like a wonderful opportunity to continue progressing my professional develop¬ment. It provided me with an invaluable experience to network with industry professionals, attend indus¬try educational sessions, learn more about the industry and how I can be a part of it, develop my CV and see a new culture (bonus!).”

Read Jade's full story online or in the May 2015 issue of The Meeting Professional®. Also, join the conversations on the MPI Facebook page. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarships.

Stephanie Rapko
MPI Toronto Chapter
Recipient of a MPI Foundation conference scholarship to the MPI World Education Congress.

Being able to attend WEC and take full advantage of the education and networking opportunities helped me to be more confident in the knowledge and expertise I have of our industry and put me on the right path to start off in my new position upon my return home.”

Read Stephanie's full story online or in the March 2015 issue of The Meeting Professional®. Also, join the conversations on the MPI Facebook page. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarships.

Taylor Wardle
MPI Greater Orlando Chapter

“I applied for the MPI Foundation scholarship when I made the decision to pursue my passion for the hospitality industry. Many great things have happened to me since receiving the scholarship. Attending the Rosen College has opened a lot of doors for me and I have met and learned from so many different industry professionals.”

Read Taylor's full story online or in the March 2015 issue of The Meeting Professional®. Also, join the conversations on the MPI Facebook page. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarships.

Seungwon "Shawn" Lee
MPI Potomac Chapter

Lee earned an MPI/IMEX Future Leaders Scholarship that enabled him to attend the World Education Congress and the Future Leaders Forum in Miami in 2005. He says an MPI Foundation scholarship helped him become an assistant professor in Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and that wonderful experiences made possible because of the scholarship have impacted his teaching agenda. “Right now I am living my dream and offer special, heartfelt words of thanks to the people who supported me.”

Read Shawn Lee’s story online or in the February 2015 issue of The Meeting Professional®. Also, join the conversations on the MPI Facebook page. View MPI Foundation grants and scholarships.


Johanna Norberg
MPI Sweden Chapter
Digital Data Strategist, Hyper Island

“I’ve been a student member for two years, and I’m pleased with what MPI does for younger associates. The senior fellows are open-minded and willing to give their best advice, and that’s how I came across the Larry Lee Memorial Scholarship—I met an inspiring member who told me about a great icon, Larry Lee, and encouraged me to apply.”

To read about Johanna’s journey, go to page 27 in the December 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on MPI’s Facebook page.

Dominika Polus
MPI Poland Club
Student - Warsaw School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

“WEC is one of the biggest events for professional meeting organizers. This is the best place for a student to become visible in the market.” Polus says keeping in touch with people she met at WEC is one of the highlights of this experience. “Fortunately, some of them will be in Krakow, Poland, this February for the European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC). It will give me another opportunity to talk with them and, who knows, maybe help me to find my dream work.”

To read about Dominika’s journey, go to page 27 in the November 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on MPI’s Facebook page.

Heather Day
MPI Pittsburgh Chapter
Acting assistant director of stewardship for Penn State University’s College of Education

“I have always been very interested in professional development and continuous improvement through learning. Being a young professional, I lacked years of experience but feel like I made up for it in my drive and passion for the work. I wasn’t in a position financially that I could invest money in the [new] membership, yet I very much wanted to be a part of the group, so I applied in hopes of the MPI Foundation picking up on my determination and enthusiasm for the meeting and event industry.”

To read about Heather’s journey, go to page 27 in the August 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on MPI’s Facebook page

Becky McMillen, CMP
MPI Pittsburgh Chapter
Executive Director, Conference Services


California University of Pennsylvania in California, Pa.,

“Our chapter decided to market the scholarship opportunities to help recruit new planner members. We placed an article in our newsletter and personally reached out to several planners who were on the fence about joining MPI. As a chapter we knew part of our continued success was reliant on bringing in new planners to our membership.”

To read about Becky’s journey, go to page 27 in the July 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on MPI’s Facebook page.

Jingxian Huang / Sunny Wong
MPI At Large – China
Student at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics/MICE

“It is no exaggeration to say that the MPI Foundation scholarship to attend WEC changed my life and made me who I am today. The scholarship opened more than a door to Las Vegas, but also a window to the world. I strongly believe in what MPI believes. When we meet, we change the world. I am determined to devote myself to foreign affairs, taking full advantage of what I’ve learned from the MICE industry and maximizing my value in seeking worldwide peace and development through meetings.”

To read about Sunny’s journey, go to page 29 in the June 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on MPI’s Facebook page.

Melissa Brown
MPI Washington State Chapter
Project and Registration Coordinator for Mary O’Connor & Co.

“After researching ways to get involved and learn more about the event industry I came across the MPI Foundation scholarship and decided to apply in hopes of building great networks and experience.”

To read about Melissa’s journey, go to page 27 in the May 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on Facebook.

Shannan Scott
MPI Toronto Chapter
Buyer, Meridican Incentive Consultants
Education Scholarship: MPI Conference

“Winning the MPI Foundation scholarship validated my choice to pursue a career in the meeting and event industry. The highlight of my career thus far was definitely accepting the award on stage at IMEX. I was overjoyed and so proud of myself for going after my goal and persevering all the way through to the end with passion and excitement. It has truly helped in building my professional image in a positive way. I can even say it has given me that ‘competitive advantage’ over other young professionals.”

To read about Shannan’s journey, go to page 29 in the April 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on Facebook.

Dorrelle Scott
MPI Potomac Chapter
Event Associate, Ratliff Events
Education Scholarship: MPI European Meetings and Events Conference 2013 (EMEC)

“The best part of the scholarship is it offers hidden value. Nearly every [EMEC] conference attendee is hopeful about networking and connecting with industry professionals. However, the unexpected treat is the exposure to national brands, marketing, venues and systems. It's been a fabulous experience to check out international meeting industry contacts on LinkedIn and say, ‘I've met that person.’ It's great that I still communicate with those that I met. MPI has given me the contacts and instruction to really enjoy a new venture.”

To read about Dorrelle’s journey, go to page 29 in the March 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on Facebook.

Magdalina (Yarichkova) Atanassova
Communications Manager, AIM Group International, Milan, Italy
Education Scholarship: MPI European Meetings and Events Conference 2013 (EMEC)

“Attending EMEC was very useful in my professional plan. There were sessions that were truly inspirational and others that gave me ideas on how to manage and be more productive every day – ideas that I am still using to date! Acquaintances that I have made during the event were of great value.”

To read about Magdalina’s journey, go to page 26 in the February 2014 issue of The Meeting Professional ® or join the conversations on Facebook.

Yovanka Ramirez
Global Events & Conventions

"Receiving the MPI Foundation Disney Destinations New Member Scholarship last January has been incredibly beneficial to me and to my career. Having access to the marketplace, publications, research and valuable tools is extraordinarily useful. MPI is recognized and respected in the industry, and therefore being a member affords me that same recognition and respect as a planner."

Robyn Mietkiewicz, CMP, CMM
Director, Global Meeting Management Services at Meeting Sites Resource

"I was recently awarded a scholarship to pursue my Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) and am absolutely honored to have the Foundation support my pursuit of higher education. Without their support, I would not have been able to pursue this certificate. After being a long time contributor to the Foundation with the MPIOC Chapter and participating in the Small Business Donor Program, it was wonderful to be on the receiving end. The MPI Foundation truly stands by their vision for a future of opportunity, prosperity and limitless possibility. I have seen this firsthand at both the Chapter level and as an individual member. Thank you to the MPI Foundation for all you do to support our members’ and industry’s growth and prosperity."

Barry D. Jones
Manager, Conference Planning
FAMILYLIFE

"Amidst the fallout of staff reductions and frozen budgets in my organization, The MPI Foundation became an umbrella in the storm. Through their generous partnership, I attended WEC 2009. More than ever before, the connection, education and sharing of experience became personally and professionally vital. Because MPI understands how to equip and serve its members, our reach and relevance will remain strong in any economy."

Katherine Manfredi, CMM
Global Meeting, Incentive and Event Professional, Manfredi & Associates, Inc.

"Thank you so much for the scholarship to attend this year’s WEC. Without your support, I don’t know how I would have managed to attend, and it was breaking my heart not just because it was an amazing event, but this year right in my backyard! I truly appreciate the support of the Foundation in my continuing quest for education and networking in our industry."

Ananda Ybarra, CMP
Mammoth Black Concierge Manager, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area LLC

"My MPI chapter was very fortunate to get a Foundation Chapter Grant because it allowed us to do things that we couldn’t earmark money for in our budget."

Mariela Mcilwraith, CMP, CMM

"I am very grateful to the MPI Foundation and its donors for supporting my graduate studies. The scholarship not only provided me with the necessary financial assistance, it also gave me the extra encouragement and confidence I needed to return to school."

Sophie Bunker
Undergraduate Studying at the UK Centre for Events Management

“The European Meetings and Events Conference has been the biggest opportunity of my career so far. It has given me that extra push and has reinforced that this is definitely the industry in which I want to be. I have met and now look up to a great amount of people. I wish to thank the MPI Foundation for funding it.”

Agata Macherska
Recipient of the Larry Lee Memorial Scholarship to attend IMEX-America 2013.

IMEX America 2013 was a great experience for me! The Larry Lee Memorial Scholarship Program gave me a unique opportunity to meet inspiring people and get to know professionals from the meetings and events industry from the entire world. Thank you to all of the people who contributed that I received the Larry Lee Memorial Scholarship Program! This confirmed my belief that I want and I will work in the meetings and events industry.

Emily Portinari
Recipient of the Larry Lee Memorial Scholarship to attend IMEX-America 2013.

Receiving the Larry Lee Memorial Scholarship allowed me to attend IMEX America 2013 and the Future Leaders Forum. During IMEX America, I was able to meet so many professionals in the industry that will be fantastic for me when I graduate and begin my job search. I also attended a Future Leaders Forum and it was amazing to hear stories from professionals and meet other tourism students. Winning this scholarship has been fantastic. I have learned so much.

Kellen Clarke
2013 Recipient of the Rosen Hotels & Resorts Scholarship to attend the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida for 4 years.

Life at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management has been perfect! The staff at Rosen is completely dedicated to seeing all of the students succeed. I have learned so much since coming to Rosen about the hospitality industry and my major, event management. This scholarship has given me the opportunity to go to college where I will be given the tools to be as successful as I strive to be in the hospitality industry. I am extremely thankful that the MPI Foundation picked me to be awarded this scholarship and I will do my best to make them proud!

Emily Mounce
Undergraduate studying at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Winner of the MPI Foundation Rosen Hotels & Resorts 4-Year Scholarship

I absolutely LOVE Rosen, UCF, Orlando, Hospitality...everything! Everyone asks how I'm doing and I say, "I didn't know I could be this happy!" The MPI Foundation has given me such a blessing is so many ways.

Jeffrey F. Perrin, CMP
Director of World Wide Accounts HHyatt Hotels and Resorts

During this past year, the Greater Orlando Chapter has had the privilege of receiving a Foundation Grant. The Foundation Grant supported a whole new platform in which to present education. We are indeed indebted to the Foundation for their commitment to education!

Jillian Roksvaag
Project Coordinator, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Winner of MPI Foundation Disney Destinations New Membership Scholarship

To the entire Disney team and MPI Foundation, I can’t thank you enough for selecting me as a scholarship recipient. It really has made a tremendous impact on my growth as a young professional.

Trina Avalos, CMP
Event Planner, Farm Family Insurance Company
Winner of the MPI Foundation Peabody Scholarship to attend WEC 2011

I just wanted to take the time out to say once again how grateful I am for the opportunity of attending this year's WEC conference in Orlando. My experience there was amazing! I met so many people and learned so much that I will use to help further my career in the event planning industry. I have some unforgettable memories of this experience and feel so privileged to have had this opportunity.

Danielle Nelson Adams, CMP
Contributing Writer, prevue
Winner of the MPI Foundation Conference Direct Registration Scholarship to attend WEC 2011

I thank the MPI Foundation and Conference Direct for making these scholarships possible. We are blessed to have such dedicated people and businesses devote time and money to help support our industry.

Samantha Shaw, CMP
Winner of MPI Foundation Scholarship to attend WEC 2011

For me, the best part about attending WEC was getting to know my new MPI Nor. Cal. Chapter. I made some great relationships and being able to be apart of the evening functions was priceless. Such great memories, and a great way to bond with people. I'll never forget my time in Orlando. Thank you for all you did to help me get there.

Courtney Stanley
Co-Founder, Stiletto Empire
2011 RISE Award Young Professional
Winner of MPI Foundation Scholarship to attend WEC 2011

I had such a wonderful time attending WEC this year. It was my first international conference and an incredible experience that I will never forget.

Melissa Milione, CMP, CPCE
Sr. Director of Catering and Convention Services at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville

Our Chapter (North Florida) has chosen the Foundation as our "Community Outreach" beneficiary. We have several members who are Disney scholarship recipients and one member who received a Foundation scholarship for the CMM program. I think it's time we give back to the Foundation.

Cynthia Douwes, CMP, CMM
Manager, Ambassador Program & Event Servicing, Meetings & Conventions Calgary
Winner of the MPI Foundation Peabody Scholarship to attend WEC 2011

My experience at WEC11 was absolutely amazing! Being a Peabody MPI Foundation scholarship winner was an honor, which I am still trying to comprehend! The feeling of pride and accomplishment you gave me, by awarding me this prestigious award, is something I will not soon forget. I was made to feel like a 'rock star' during the Peabody reception! What an honor it was to be an Honorary Duck Master. I am so blessed to be part of this Association, which includes their members in all facets of its growth and development. Thank you to the MPI Foundation and The Peabody Hotel.

Mina Malin, CMP, CMM, CFCS
President, Mina Malin Consulting Group, Inc.
Winner of the MPI Foundation Conference Direct Registration Scholarship to attend WEC 2011

A BIG THANK YOU to MPI Foundation for the opportunity to get the scholarship that provided the additional funds to enable me to attend WEC2011. As I reflect on the experience of attending WEC2011, I must share with you that receiving this scholarship was very important to help me move to the next step in my business.

Taylor Wardle
Undergraduate studying at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Winner of the MPI Foundation Rosen Hotels & Resorts 4-Year Scholarship

Meeting Mr. Rosen himself at the MPI Foundation Appreciation Reception and receiving the 4-year scholarship award is a dream come true, and I will strive to make you all proud of this very special gift.