RISE Awards 2023

Thanks to all who applied. Announcements will be made in the spring of 2024.



Congratulations to the 2023
 RISE Award Recipients!

The RISE Awards recognize community members from across the globe, celebrating the spirit of leadership, impact, and innovation. Award candidates are reviewed by the RISE Awards Judging Panel, an MPI international volunteer committee. Selected recipients are ratified by the MPI Board of Directors and recognized at that year’s WEC.

 

 


Paola Bowman

Paola Bowman, CMP, CMM

Meeting Industry Leadership


Paola Bowman is the Director of Client Services and Events at the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau. As an experienced hospitality and events professional, Bowman has worked in numerous positions, from front of the house to sales and services. She holds her CMP and CMM and was named as one of Smart Meetings Magazine “100 Women Who Inspire Us” in 2018 and was recognized in the Connect Association 40 under 40 group of 2019.  Most recently, she has been selected by ConventionSouth Magazine as a Meeting Professional to Watch in 2023.

Her involvement with MPI began with the DFW chapter, where she volunteered on the marketing committee. She now volunteers on the MPI DFW Board. She is also highly involved in the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA), where she volunteers on the DEI task force. She has been a speaker at event conferences and has contributed to industry publications with articles. She has been instrumental in developing best practices, industry toolkit specific to event service professionals, and training for Event Service Professionals, including certification for this important role in the industry.

John Kirby

Member of the Year


John Kirby is a member of the MPI Kansas City Chapter and has a 17-year tenure with MPI.  His volunteer service spans multiple industries and organizations. He has been instrumental at his chapter for taking a unique approach to the affiliate program in order to boost membership across the Midwest area. He also supported launch of MPI Kansas City’s University Outreach Program.

In his work as chapter president and beyond, he has focused on industry advocacy, inclusion, and member engagement. He currently sits on the Chapter Membership Advisory Council.  In addition to his efforts within MPI, John is also a member of the PCMA Heartland Chapter, Event Minds Matter, and an Ally member of Encore’s PRIDE Business Resource Group.  He is a nominee and graduate of the Citizens Academy for the Federal Bureau of Investigations in 2012 and remains active in their Alumni Association.


John Kirby
Caroline Cole

Caroline Cole

Young Professional Achievement


Caroline Cole graduated with a degree from Belmont University in Creative and Entertainment Industries and Marketing, plus a Certification in Event Planning. During her time as a student, she held internships in various aspects of the industry. She also took on volunteer roles in event management at high-profile events including the ACMs, the Billboard Touring Conference, and the Grammys. Since graduating, she has continued to foster professionalism and career growth in the events community. She has contributed articles to Belmont’s newspaper about involvement with MPI and has spoken on the opportunities that student members can achieve from their participation with MPI. In turn, she has facilitated colleagues and industry professionals visiting Belmont to speak on career paths in meetings and events. As a volunteer in the MPI Tennessee Chapter, she has volunteered on multiple committees, including her chapter’s mentorship program. Last year she served as MPI Tennessee’s Director of Communications where she oversaw increases in social media engagement, including the creation of the chapter’s TikTok account. Through MPI Global, she has participated in the Future Leaders Forum, where she was named an IMEX-MPI-MCI International University Challenge Finalist; she went on to serve as a judge for this competition. She also volunteers on the international level on MPI’s Emerging Professionals Advisory Council. Last year, she and the committee helped create the “EPAC’s Declassified WEC Survival Guide” to encourage young professionals to attend WEC and have their own best possible experience.

 


Greater New York

Marketplace Excellence


The annual MPI Greater New York Chapter Golf Outing has been the chapter’s best-attended and highest revenue-generating event of the year. The objectives of the event are to create great networking opportunities for the attendees, including experiences beyond golf so that more attendees can attend and so that this event has a great impact that provides sponsors with the justification to return each year. This year these objectives were all met and exceeded throughout the day. Thanks to an innovative reception in NYC the night prior to the event as well as a full day of non-golfing activities with programming focused on wellness and CSR.

Greater-NY
New-Jersey

New Jersey Chapter

Innovative Educational Programming


MPI New Jersey has committed the past 5 years to rebuilding and re-establishing itself as the premier place for industry professionals to receive a top-notch education in the region. Their education committee‘s efforts toward this goal culminated in the launch of the MPI New Jersey MEETS Conference, which stands for Meetings, Events, Education, Travel, and Sales. In planning the MPI New Jersey MEETS Conference, the chapter encountered many of the same issues facing the entire meetings and events industry. To overcome these challenges, the committee employed innovative tactics, starting with a robust marketing effort and a brand new ‘Co-Op partnership’. This partnership attracted attendance and support from other member organizations including MPI New Jersey’s local sister MPI Chapters, PCMA, and ILEA, to name a few. MPI New Jersey also created an innovative sponsorship program, marketing guide, and public relations plan to attract attention and raise awareness. The 2022 MEETS Conference ultimately exceeded its goals and will likely become a signature event for the chapter.


Caribe Mexicano Chapter

Industry Advocate


MPI Caribe Mexicano's collaboration with its local, international, and governmental communities generated business exchange opportunities and networking, as well as a greater awareness of the entire Yucatan peninsula to the MICE industry. Among its array of accomplishments, MPI Caribe Mexicano boasts a 3-year running GMID celebration. Most recently, their GMID event featured a drone show and ensured the event’s entire estimated cost of 35k was sponsored. Further, at the chapter board’s swearing-in ceremonies, the chapter hosted government officials to preside over the event, including the Ministry of Tourism, the Mayor of Cancun and the Governor of Quintana Roo state. These events create synergy, establish credibility, and enhance understanding of what the MICE Industry represents. As a result of these three past years of relationships established with the government authorities, the chapter has achieved credibility and, as a result, received financial support to create an annual flagship event: Vive MICE. On a global scale, the chapter has built industry connections and solidified relationships with five US-based MPI chapters through hosting board retreats, thereby creating networking events with the objective to develop and enhance business relations on an international scale.

 

 

Caribe-Mexicano

Kansas-City

 

 

Kansas City Chapter

Membership Achievement


MPI Kansas City’s achievements as a chapter have been tremendous in the last 18 months as the industry continues to emerge from the pandemic. During 2021-22, MPI Kansas City grew overall membership by 14% and was awarded the Chapter of Excellence, exceeding standards in every single category of evaluation. At the time of submission, the chapter was pacing at 23% growth. The chapter credits its success to its efforts to develop community. Chapter leaders have worked hard to develop new audiences by welcoming a number of small businesses, specialty venues, DJs, caterers, and other verticals not historically a part of the chapter. MPI Kansas City celebrates the diversity of its membership and envisions a bright future as a chapter where all who want to join are enthusiastically welcomed.

2023 RECIPIENT SPOTLIGHT

Meeting Industry Leadership
Paola Bowman, CMP, CMM

Member of The Year
John Kirby
Young Professional Achievement
Caroline Cole
Marketplace Excellence
Greater New York
Innovative Educational Prog.
New Jersey Chapter
Industry Advocate
Caribe Mexicano Chapter

 

 

Recipient Yearbook