A Rewarding Effort

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A Rewarding Effort

By Paul Van Deventer | Nov 1, 2018

As we wrap up an important year for MPI and the meeting industry as a whole, let’s take a look back at the growth, key partnerships and earnest efforts to make the world a better place that punctuated an exciting 2018.

Joining the fight to end human trafficking became a very important cause to me last year after hearing Sister Kathleen Bryant, a Religious Sister of Charity from Los Angeles and a board member of the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, address an MPI International Board of Directors meeting about the issues. I was moved by the plight of these innocent victims—many of them young children—and realized that I had a responsibility and an opportunity to help. To begin building awareness, every issue of The Meeting Professional this year included an article about human trafficking.

The articles this year have included sobering information—such as UNICEF’s estimate that 21 million people are exploited through human trafficking—but also provided plenty of reasons for hope. We learned about the efforts of members of our community to fight human trafficking, such as David Peckinpaugh, whose Maritz Global Events was at the forefront of fighting against trafficking and now addresses the issue in its RFPs; Sandy Biback, who founded Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking in Toronto; and Dawn Rasmussen, who intervened to help a young woman in a situation that could have turned into a human trafficking scenario.

You can read all of our articles at www.mpi.org/blog, and rest assured that MPI is fully committed to continue the fight to end this egregious crime.

MPI also announced a variety of important partnerships this year, which will have a lasting and beneficial impact on our community. The game-changing Meeting and Event Master’s Program by San Diego State University will be rolled out next year. MPI and the University of Virginia Darden Executive Education have partnered to offer online training courses in design thinking and innovation to the MPI community at discounted rates. We worked with the Indiana University (IU) Kelley School of Business, its executive education program and the IUPUI Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management to enhance and deliver MPI’s Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) program. And we collaborated with the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality to develop new education and resources to help meeting planners design more inclusive events.

Additionally, MPI made key investments in our chapters and our website. The customized Chapter Administrator Program was developed in partnership with the AMC Institute in order to provide best-in-class management services, allowing chapter leaders to focus on elevating their purpose and maximizing the member value and experience. And MPI.org, which features a dynamic new platform rolled out in late 2017, has an updated blog interface with an improved user experience, more video content and a wider array of content covering industry news, education, destinations and the latest trends—all of which add value to our community.

So yes, we’ve been a little busy. It’s been a rewarding (and undoubtedly sometimes stressful) year for the MPI Global staff, our International Board of Directors, our volunteer leaders and our partners. But the efforts are well worth it, as we’re already seeing great results and a wave of enthusiasm about the future of MPI and our industry.

So thanks for your support, and have a wonderful holiday season. You’ve earned it.

Paul Van Deventer
MPI President & CEO
Follow me on Twitter @MPICEOPaul


EMEC19We’re “Changing the Game” for the MPI European Meetings & Events Conference, Feb. 9-12 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The MPI Netherlands Chapter is designing the event, which promises to change the way you learn. For more information or to register, visit www.emec19.com or contact seeyou@emec19.com.



Paul Van Deventer
Paul Van Deventer
President & Chief Executive Officer at Meeting Professionals International

Paul Van Deventer joined the MPI Global Team in April 2013 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, he leads the strategic direction of both MPI’s global association and the MPI Foundation, with responsibility for managing its global staff, operating budget, membership programs and community services.