Updated March 20, 2020

Hello Arizona Sunbelt Chapter,

These are unprecedented times, and during these times it's best not to act out of fear. As we all know, a good leader gathers all the facts before making an informed decision. MPI AZ remains diligent in ensuring that the safety and security of our members and attendees remains the top priority. As stated in last week’s email, MPI AZ has continually been monitoring the latest COVID-19 developments locally. When we made our decision, it was based on Governor Ducey’s approach that Arizonan's should not panic and that our approach would be calm and steady since we had not had a spike in cases, after he declared a state of emergency.

On Sunday afternoon, the state of Arizona received an order from Governor Ducey that Arizona would now be following the updated COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC. What does this mean for us? It means that mass gatherings and events over 50 be canceled for the next eight weeks. This includes: conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, and other types of large assemblies. All MPI AZ events that follow under these guidelines & timeframe will postponed until further notice. Effective immediately, we will be postponing our networking mixer that would have taken place Thursday, March 19th at Dave & Buster’s, and our Global Meetings Industry Day event on Tuesday, April 14th at the Arizona State Capitol. Please stay tuned for further updates as we work to figure out alternative plans for our chapter.

Again, I will reiterate that during times like these, it is vital that we remain focused on facts and share information from credible resources, such as the CDC or WHO. MPI AZ is still committed to providing you up to date resources to keep yourself informed at a global and local level as you navigate this uncharted situation that we are currently facing. Please continue to refer to MPI Global’s devoted page that provides resources for our meeting and event professionals community. In addition to that page and the resources listed below, our social media and chapter newsletter will continue to provide updated, relevant and credible content to ensure our community is well-informed.

Let’s not lose hope! We have weathered tough times in the past, and we will overcome this setback. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at any time. All lines of communication to me are open and waiting to hear from you.

Please stay healthy and safe!

Tiffany Higgins
MPI AZ President

MPI Coronavirus Resources


Additional Resources

Resources for Hotel and Travel Industry Professionals
Provided by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Local Resources

Resources for Arizona Tourism Professionals
Provided by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association

Provided by Maricopa County

Provided by the Arizona Department of Health for members outside of Maricopa County

Top Performing Chapter Award

COVID-19 Resources
Resources for Meeting Professionals
Click Here for Info

A Video Message From Your MPI AZ President
Concerning Coronavirus
Watch Video

Top Performing Chapter Award




Interested in chairing or volunteering for a committee?

Click Here to sign up to serve on a committee or click here if you are interested in chairing or co-chairing a committee.


DESCRIPTION: Plans and implements the Annual Awards Gala held in June of each year.


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DESCRIPTION: Coordinates a business education session which is held twice a year for MPI AZ Business Owners to provide an opportunity to expand their knowledge and resources which will assist them in managing their company.

Time commitment: 20 hours per year

How often does Committee meet:

jwongJulie Wong, CMP
The Event Concierge
Committee Co-Chair
aking Anne King, CMP


DESCRIPTION: Oversees and manages the chapter's social media job bank for both job seekers and employers. Liaison with Arizona universities and community colleges specific to internship opportunities in the meetings industry, recent grads seeking professional experience in the industry, and students seeking professional development hours for graduation.

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hswitzer Heather Switzer

DESCRIPTION: Certification opportunities are a part of MPI's Global Training program which provides an array of career development opportunities that will allow for continuous learning and recognition as a meeting and business event professional. The committee coordinates the CMP Study Groups, mentor program for CMP and CMM designations, certification orientations and promotes Global Training certification programs offered by MPI.

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Mary Anne Whittle 

Mary Anne Whittle

Able Aerospace Services


DESCRIPTION: Focuses on giving back to the community by soliciting volunteers from the chapter for community service projects throughout the year. Through these efforts, the committee works to increase awareness of MPI AZ and the hospitality industry. Coordinate all of the volunteer and community service projects, giving members unique networking opportunities. Oversees the selection process for MPI AZ's charitable organizations and works to bring awareness on the selected charities to the chapter. We are a fun group and are always looking for additional volunteers to join us.

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LoriAnn Harnish 

LoriAnn Harnish
Speaking of Meetings


DESCRIPTION: Organizes the annual education forum to be held August 23 – 25, 2019 in Tucson. Great opportunity for planners and suppliers alike to help plan and coordinate the annual educational retreat for the chapter. Tasks include Raffle, Social Media / PR, Food & Beverage Coordination, Speaker Coordination, Activities and Transportation. Members can learn new areas of skills while having fun! Great networking opportunity. 

Time commitment: 2 – 10 hours monthly through retreat. Must be onsite for the retreat in August.
How often does Committee meet: Once a month in person or by phone



Mary Young, CMP
The Hermosa Inn


Jessica Nagell


Jessica Nagell
Southwest Conference Planners



DESCRIPTION: This committee plans and implements the Annual MPI/HSMAI Golf Tournament held in the Fall.

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DESCRIPTION: Plans and executes the Annual Holiday Party in December. The committee finds the location and creates the theme.

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Don Ortiz Don Ortiz
Dina Preston Band/DEO Entertainment Group

DESCRIPTION: Oversee and manage the process for creating, communicating and delivering the monthly eNewsletter and all other relevant activities and promotions between MPI AZ and the public. Specifically ensure that the marketing efforts are establishing relationships with local media, members, industry partners and the local community. Work within MPI AZ to help oversee marketing efforts for MPI AZ events, promotions and communications.

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Terrie Rickard Terrie Rickard
ADI Meetings and Events

DESCRIPTION: Drive new member recruitment with a strong new member, guest, and mentoring program designed to welcome and educate on the return of investment that can be obtained by joining MPI. Membership retention will be tasked to increase the value of membership and the retention of current members. Develops and implements fun and exciting monthly and annual programs designed to increase the ROI and the participation of current membership. Assures that all members are aware of the upcoming monthly meetings and events by calling them prior. Welcomes all attendees to MPI events and assists with registration at meetings/events.


Troy Peters, CTS

Video West, Inc.



DESCRIPTION: Creates, implements and designs ongoing educational programs to increase membership, knowledge within the meetings, events and hospitality industry as well as enhance business profitability.

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Stephanie Willson 

Stephanie Willson
Hard Rock Café Phoenix


DESCRIPTION: Plan and execute the inaugural Networking mixer to be held in January. The committee will secure the location and organize all event details.

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Description: Send out requests for raffle donations to be utilized throughout the year at all chapter events. Sell raffle tickets at events as needed. Donation tracking.

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours per month

How often does Committee Meet: Monthly via web call


Ann Steward 

Ann Steward
Visit Prescott



DESCRIPTION: This committee plans and executes the annual Spring Fundraiser to take place in either March or April.

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Kristine Demlong Kristine Demlong
North Central Group

DESCRIPTION: Oversees and manages the chapter website's social media specific to profile management, enhancements, updating, moderating, and improving public access to MPI AZ's social media streams through the use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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Cathy Clifton 

Cathy Clifton


DESCRIPTION: Responsible for securing Corporate & CVB sponsorships for monthly meetings. Ensures sponsors' benefits are met and communicated to the monthly meeting team. Donation tracking.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per month

How often does Committee meet: Monthly, via web call

Summer Peil 

Summer Peil
AFR Event Furnishings



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