May 16, 2021 - May 17, 2021
2021 Annual Meeting
Let's go to the beach! Back to in-person!
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Annual Meeting 2021

May 16, 2021 - May 17, 2021
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
The Beaufort Hotel
2440 Lennoxville Rd
Beaufort, NC 28516
MPI Carolinas

Non-Member Registration - click here


Sunday, May 16

Time (EDT)   
In-Person Agenda  Location Virtual Agenda
4:30-7 PM Health Check Open  Beaufort Hotel  
6-8 PM Welcome Party
   Sponsored by:
   Burroughs Wellcome Fund                           
Beaufort Hotel       

Monday, May 17

Time (EDT)  In-Person Agenda  Location  Virtual Agenda
7:30 AM Exhibitor Booths Open Pre-Function
7:45 AM  Breakfast    
8:45 AM     Welcome Beaufort Hotel Welcome
9-10 AM Education Session: 
  "From Information to Application:                          Evolution of Empathy"

    EIC_Preferred Provider Approved Logo
Beaufort Hotel Education Session: 
  "From Information to Application:                        Evolution of Empathy"
10:30 - 11:30 AM                           Breakout: "Beyond the Badge"
   (onsite attendees only)
   EIC_Preferred Provider Approved Logo
Beaufort Hotel Breakout: "Beyond the Badge"
   (Virtual attendees only)
12-1 PM Lunch
   Beaufort Hotel                       
Lunch Break

  12:45-1:15 PM                     
Exhibitor Booths Open    
1:30-2:30 PM Education Session:
  "Partnering with Authenticity"

   EIC_Preferred Provider Approved Logo

  Beaufort Hotel               
Education: "Partnering with Authenticity"
2:30-3 PM Exhibitor Booths Open    
2:30-7 PM
  Explore On Your Own   
3 - 3:30 PM Rapid Fire: Intersectional Dialogue
   (onsite attendees only)

   EIC_Preferred Provider Approved Logo
Beaufort Hotel Rapid Fire: Intersectional Dialogue
   (virtual attendees only) 
7-9 PM Closing Night Celebration
   Sponsored by:
   Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Resort and   
   Visit Mooresville
Beaufort Hotel                  


Education made possible by:

MPI Foundation logo

From Information to Application: Evolution of Empathy

9am - 10am (in person and virtual)

Beginning in the mid 1980’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion or DEI has become a buzzword. Defining the terms has been elusive and agreeing on how to implement actionable, measurable and sustainable methods has been a challenge.

Using our simple CADAZO Method we’re doing training differently. We’re on a journey to help leaders learn what they don’t know, discuss the uncomfortable topics, discover resources and gain competitive advantage through a strategic commitment.

CADAZO Consulting Group is a women-owned business that is evolving the hospitality, meetings and events industry through facilitated Equity, Diversity & Inclusion training, workshops and consulting. 

  • Learn how the CADAZO Method is helping leaders approach Equity, Diversity & Inclusion innovatively.
  • Discuss and comprehend three techniques to navigate uncomfortable dialogue in your personal and professional lives
  • Discover how you can participate and be apart of our Think Tank
  • Gain a community, consultant and support 

Beyond the Badge
10:30am - 11:30am (in person and virtual)

In 30 seconds or less, we have observed, formed opinions, and shaped judgments to determine how we will engage with others. Although name badges are intended to distinguish and recognize fellow professionals at industry networking events, we intentionally, or inadvertently default to our biases. To avoid hindering the success of engagements this workshop is intended to help professionals identify how to leverage interactions not solely for economic benefit but for the enrichment of building relationships beyond the badge. 

  • Learn how to recognize and describe the five primary biases to deepen workplace relationships
  • Discuss and comprehend the five Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies to improve workplace culture and develop diverse partner ecosystems
  • Discover the value of every social interaction to aid in growing an expansive network across all dimensions of diversity.
  • Gain new resources and tools to implement three strategic methods for cross-cultural opportunities.
Partnering with Authenticity
1:30pm - 2:30pm (in person and virtual)

In the last several years we have seen a cultural shift that has taken place in the meetings, events and tourism industry. Event planning heavily involves the site selection process to determine venue, transportation, vendors and suppliers. Common practice for corporate planners is to rely on their existing rolodex rather than leveraging local relationships and partnerships. This workshop will equip professionals with the tools to not only find resources but establish sustainable collaborations which support the local economy while providing their out of town guests with authentic experiences.

  • Learn how to challenge three preconceived notions about working with small business owners
  • Discuss and develop innovative ideas for planning memorable events
  • Discover and describe three processes that improve hiring and contracting as they shift toward equity-driven practices and procurement procedures
  • Gain resources to aid in implementation and measurement of Return on Investment (ROI) 
Rapid Fire: Intersectional Dialogue
3pm - 3:30pm (in person and virtual)

Learn and discuss how to have effective dialogue.

This session is meant to be casual and intimate. Onsite, we will be holding this outside of the ballroom. The virtual audience will have a separate breakout room to hold this intimate conversation online. 
Total CE Hours available: 3.5

EIC_Preferred Provider Approved Logo
MPI-CC is a CMP Preferred Provider. The program(s) identified with the CMP Preferred Provider logo meet the requirements to receive continuing education (CE) credit for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential.  The use of the CMP Preferred Provider Course logo is not an endorsement by the Events Industry Council of the quality of the session. For more information about the CMP credential or CMP Preferred Provider Program, please visit


CADAZO Consulting Group is a women and minority owned business that is evolving how equity, diversity & inclusion training is facilitated in the hospitality, meetings and events industry. From information to application, we are helping leaders become strategically committed to measurable and sustainable change that influences their partner ecosystem, vendor supply chain, event design and workplace culture.

Carolynn Santos (She, Her, Hers)
Strategic Experience Creator, CEO

Carolynn Santos started her career managing her family’s automotive business, learning every aspect of the business from working with the customers, scheduling the staff, researching and negotiating with suppliers and vendors, invoicing, and learning to do automotive work so she could pitch in on busy days. Today with a knowledge of combustible engines and having completed many oil changes herself she can hold her own when talking to mechanics.  

This beginning introduction to business has fueled Carolynn’s continued professional journey of knowledge, organizational skills and people-centered curiosity and connection. Carolynn has built further upon that career with a strategic business background in operations, industry knowledge and hands-on experience in property management, life insurance, retail, catering & restaurants, pharmaceutical and high technology, and her love, hospitality, meetings and events.    
Carolynn has over 40 years of business experience in small and enterprise organizations, with 30 years of experience working in Silicon Valley. This background has given Carolynn the understanding of the hard work, challenges and excitement of business, from the startup lens to the scale of enterprise organizations. 

While working in Silicon Valley she spent over 15 years in global event and meeting planning, organizing and executing meetings, large-scale events, third-party trade shows, conferences, and incentive travel programs; organizing everything from a small business launch to corporate events on a global scale for 22,000 attendees.   

Carolynn holds a B.S. in Human Services from Notre Dame de Namur, Belmont, CA. She is currently pursuing her MBA, Marketing from the same university and is expected to graduate in 2021. 

Dawn Bennett (She, Her, Hers)
Equity Builder & Consultant, CFO

Dawn Bennett is a speaker, pastor, author and family mediator. Through her public platform DawnBennettSpeaks, she is known throughout the Deep South as a conduit for gaining education and experience on the topic of inclusion & diversity.

Dawn’s niche is helping people see and know the deeper meanings of being and belonging. In her corporate relations work, this helps employers and employees strengthen working relationships to profit both people and products.

Dawn is an ordained pastor in the ELCA Lutheran Church, the published author of Loving Pearl and a leader in the voice of family reconciliation work. A leading detail of Dawn’s work is her identity within the LGBTQIA+ community. She invests her time helping families repair the breach in relationships. Corporately, this translates to keynotes and workshops on inclusion & diversity; conflict resolution; and family systems.

Education: MDiv Vanderbilt Divinity School; MACM Luther Seminary; Certificate in Gender, Religion, Sexuality, Vanderbilt Divinity School; TN Rule 31 trained Family/Civil Mediator; Dialogue Facilitator in Circle Process, Disaster Chaplaincy.

Zoe Moore (She, Her, Hers)
Inclusive Event Strategist & Consultant, CMO 

Honorably discharged from the United States Army following 12 years of service, Chiriga Moore, affectionately known as Zoe (pronounced ZOH) completed an M.S. in Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism then started LB Alliance an event planning & resource company in Oakland, CA. Learning that inclusion, diversity and equity were not prioritized in the meetings, events and tourism industry, she became an advocate to help improve dialogue and action in the areas of supplier diversity, organizational culture and diverse representation in leadership.

Initially, spearheading the formation of an Inclusion & Diversity committee with MPI’s Northern California Chapter, she decided to become a Certified Diversity Practitioner (CDP) to deepen her knowledge. Having dissolved her company, LB Alliance due to COVID 19, she became the co-producer of The State of Events podcast and co-founder of CADAZO Consulting Group.

Now an inclusive event strategist & consultant she is helping leaders of organizations define their strategic commitment to DEI through her speaking, writing and consulting. 

The outgoing co-chair for MPIs Global Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, Zoe is committed to holding industry leaders accountable and ensuring that change is both measurable and sustainable.

A contributing writer to The Meeting Professional and Meetings Today, Zoe resides in Marietta, GA with her 16-year-old son, Jourden. She loves homemade chocolate chip cookies, photography and traveling. 

Room Block

The Beaufort Hotel is holding a room block at the discounted rate of $149/night. You will receive the link to book your room once your meeting registration is complete.

Questions? Please contact Christine Irwin, thanks!

Duty of Care

The health and safety of our attendees, speakers, and staff has always been, and always will be, our top priority. In an effort to keep everyone safe we have updated our already thorough cleaning guidelines and implemented additional processes and procedures to ensure your health, safety and comfort. This event hosted at the The Beaufort Hotel, will be held at modified capacity of to allow for limited touch and proper social distancing, while hotel staff and The Management Office expand efforts to maintain a clean and safe environment. These protocols will allow us to provide exceptional service in a safe environment. We are confident in our team’s ability to welcome you safely back to our in-person events, with the personalized service you’ve always known and trusted.

For detailed information on guidelines, procedures and attendee expectations, click here!

Registration Fees

Virtual Fee       In-Person Fee      
Member $55 $225
Non-Member $65 $275
Vendor Table - Member $250 $250
Vendor Table - Non-Member        $300 $300

Thank you to our Annual Meeting partners!

Beaufort Hotel    Cadazo  conferencedirect-squarelogo-with-name_200x200-transparentTech Factory logo  

Venue Details

The Beaufort Hotel
2440 Lennoxville Road
Beaufort, NC 28516


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