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October 18, 2022
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November 1, 2022
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Top Performing Chapter Award
Honorary Achievment Chapter Award



Awards & Recognition



Chair, Shining Star Committee
Carol Hall

Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center
Association & Government Sales Manager
Member since 2000


As part of the Grants and Recognition Committee mission, we support and applaud members with Shining Star Awards. Your Grants and Member Recognition Committee recognizes members for making extra-ordinary efforts on behalf of our organization. Please take the time to nominate your fellow deserving members via the nomination form.

Our next Shining Star will be named in Fall 2022 so please nominate your fellow members!


Keynotes May 18_ 2022





Katie Professional 


Amber Wright



Our December 2021 winner is a joint nominee for the first time, Amber Wright and Katie Nunn!

Their nominator had the following to say about these two great volunteers:

"Amber and Katie did an amazing job as the Chairs of Fall Classic. Coming in a little later than tradition, they quickly ramped up, got their committee together, organized weekly calls, solicited in-kind sponsors, and made sure every "t was crossed and i dotted". They work very well together to keep their committee informed and motivated. The event was a huge success thanks to their leadership.” Both will receive a lovely framed certificate of a star registered in their names! Please join us in congratulating this due!

MPI Georgia September Shining Star




Nominate a Shining Star (3)



Shining Star Social Media (3)



Hayley YHC Photo (002) 

December 2020

Hayley Burch

Young Harris College


Hayley Burch, CMP of Young Harris College is the December Quarterly Shining Star Award Winner.


She was nominated for her work with the Membership Retention committee. This is from her nominator: Hayley works hard behind the scenes to reach out to current members each month. She has been working with this committee for many, many years. This is the kind of volunteer work that often goes unnoticed because it’s behind the scenes but it’s so important. Members love hearing from long time MPI GA members like Hayley each month.


Hayley will receive a lovely framed certificate of a star registered in her name. Please join us in congratulating Hayley!



Hopkins_ Paulette 

September 2020

Paulette Hopkins

The Hopkins Alliance


Our September Quarterly Shining Star Award went to Paulette Hopkins, The Hopkins Alliance!


Here is what her nominator had say about Paulette:

"She has brought a new perspective and fresh ideas to ReConnect and enabled us to pivot and speak to our members during this very unusual time. Paulette has always been a great inspiration to me and I would love to see her recognized for all she does."


In addition, please congratulate her fellow nominees Hayley Burch, Young Harris College and Natalie King, Independent.



July 2020

Grier Donald Spirited Event Group


Our July Quarterly Shining Star was Grier Donald with Spirited Event Group


" I can't say enough about Grier! She took the reins of our Live Tech Summit Event and created a fabulous and engaging event that everyone was excited for, with a week to go to the event, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the event due to Covid-19. With two months to plan, we switched gears to plan a completely virtual event. Grier and her team blew the planning out of the water. She is an absolute pleasure to work with, a rockstar planner and a fabulous team leader. Thank you for your dedication to MPI!"


May 2020

Christina Porter

Great Wolf Lodge- Georgia


Our May Shining Star was Christina Porter with Great Wolf Lodge. 

"As co-chair of the Hospitality/ Welcome Table Committee, she has worked hard to bring this new MPI Georgia initiative to life. She graciously purchased candy and brought her own props for the table. She helps manage the table even while sometimes having her own Great Wolf Lodge sponsor table! Everyone is always happy to see her smiling face when visiting the table!"



December 2019

Joel Miller

Button It Up


Our December Quarterly Shining Star was Joel Miller with Button It Up.


This is what Jason Bastow had to say about him:

"Joel played an integral role as chair with the success of this years' 2019 Fall Classic. Like most volunteer committees, there are times with best laid plans take a unexpected turn and Fall Classic was not short of that. Joel persevered through those situations by surrounding himself with as many good people he could on his committee. He also sought guidance along the way from people that came before him. Without Joel at the helm this year, the event would not have come together and been such a HUGE success. Joel served on the 2018 Fall Classic as a committee member when I chaired the event. Not only was that a huge help to me but when time came for someone to assume the helm for this year, he jumped at the opportunity!"


Also, a special shout out to our runner up Dee Mittman of the Greensboro, NC Convention and Visitors Bureau!


September 2019

Leah Spain, CMP

Manager, Events
Points of Light
Member since: 2017



CONGRATULATIONS to Leah Spain, CMP, of Points of Life. She was chosen as our September 2019 Shining Star! Here are some of the comments from the 3 nominations she received: ‘She is an advocate for the success of our events and takes ownership and pride in all levels of service and activities’, ‘She is a Rock Star and deserves some limelight’, and ‘She shows her passion for the organization by the amount of volunteer commitment that she provides to our Chapter – she definitely is a Shining Star!’. Please congratulate Leah for her hard work and dedication to MPI Georgia Chapter!



June 2019

Maria Trammell
Sales Manager
Jekyll Island (Tourism) Authority
Member since: 2016



Maria Trammell of the Jekyll Island Authority is our most recent Quarterly Shining Star recipient. Maria's enthusiasm is contagious and we appreciate her many contributions to our chapter and the Community Outreach Committee. 

"Maria's done an awesome job on the Community Outreach Committee. She's always on top of our communication efforts and did an excellent job overseeing the planning process for the Covenant House meal event. We are so glad to have her as a part of our committee."

Chelsea Dahl of the Piedmont Park Conservancy and Tierra Copeland with BOMA of Georgia were also recognized for their volunteer contributions. Please remember to nominate your fellow volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the chapter for the next Quarterly Shining Star Award this fall.


Jason Bastow

December 2018

Jason Bastow
Senior Event Planning Manager
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Member since: 2016

Hyatt Regency


Jason Bastow of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta is our December Quarterly Shining Star. Jason did a phenomenal job as the Chair of the 2018 Fall Classic (view photos). He was thorough and persistent to make sure all details were covered. Jason assisted in bringing in sponsors, both in-kind and cash donations, as well as securing raffle items. It was a great event and Jason deserves huge kudos. In fact, Jason received three nominations which is a record.

In his free time, besides being a new dad, Jason enjoys hunting and reading business books.  His colleagues consider him loyal which we can definitely appreciate this characteristic. Some fun facts about Jason: his favorite beverage is Scotch, his least favorite food is pickles, and his favorite restaurant is Superica. Please congratulate Jason on his hard work and dedication as the chair of the 2018 Fall Classic. 



September 2018

Carla Thomas-Carroll
Director of Global Sales
Salamander Hotels & Resorts
Member since: 2015


The Quarterly Shining Star Award represents recognition for the hard work and dedication of one of our volunteer members. Carla was honored at the September luncheon as the latest Shining Star recipient. She will receive a lovely framed certificate of a “star” registered in her name. Here’s a recap from the individual who nominated Carla:

As the co-chair of the 2018 Phoenix Awards, Carla worked tirelessly to produce an exciting, flawless event. She brought in countless sponsors to make the event sizzle, managed the design and printing of all event materials, managed the awards component of the program, and much more. She is a Shining Star and then some.

We asked Carla a few questions to get a better understanding of what makes her tick…

Hobbies: I grew up in the skating rink and still love to roller skate. I enjoy wakeboarding and would love to learn to snowboard.


If you had to pick another profession: I would probably be a child psychologist. I have a passion for children and also a passion to help people work through their issues in life. I think all children should have a judgement-free zone to express their thoughts, ideas, and problems. Children have so much pressure to excel today and being able to talk to someone who is unbiased is important for their development.


How would your co-workers best describe you? I know they would say that I can be loud, but I hope they would describe me as “the life of the party.”

Miranda von Litolff
May 2018
Miranda von Litolff
Independent Meetings and Events Contractor
Member since: 2015

Miranda has been working for months on the 2018 Phoenix Awards. I know every committee member is important, but as the chairperson she is an amazing leader. Miranda picks up the slack and organized – everyone so there is literally no guess work.

Tell us something exciting we would not know about you… besides being newly married? 
I walked by Paul McCartney in a small suburb outside of London called St. Johns Wood. He actually greeted me and said, “Good morning to you.”  I was in total celebrity legend shock and responded back by stuttering “G-g-ood M-morning.”

How would your colleagues describe you?
Diligent, Classy, Funny, and Sweet

What are your favorite weekend activities?
Travel, outdoor adventures, hiking, biking, and attending museums and festivals

Weirdest type of food you have eaten:
Cow’s stomach, blood sausage, piranha

If you had to pick another profession, it would be: 
Travel writer

Previous Award Winners:

January 2018: Amy Hokkanen, Independent Planner

December 2017: Jill Eisel, Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge

July 2017: Dawn Andrews, Georgia Speakers Bureau

May 2017: Megan Perks, Palm House Group

January 2017: Lissette Mathus, Dave & Buster's of Atlanta

October 2016: Tierra Copeland, Building Owners & Managers Association of Georgia

May 2016: Ashley Izydore, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

January 2016: Steven Schumacher, Dunwoody CVB

October 2015: Anna Williams, Juice Studio

September 2015: Tracy Keller, CMP, ASHRAE

May 2015: Tara Brashear, Freeman

March 2015: Arielle Galimidi, CMP, AG Events  

January 2015: Miranda Allen, CMP, Live Event Solutions

September 2014: Carol Hall, August Marriott at the Convention Center

May 2014: Chris Bonnett, Omnience

March 2014: Eileen Roehl, CMP, Murfee Group

February 2014: Kelli Lusk, Destination South Meetings & Events


January 2014: Tracy Stuckrath, CHC, CMM, CSEP, Thrive! Meetings & Events

December 2013: Tess Vismale, CMP, Atlanta Technical College

November 2013: Britney Darby, Hinman Dental Society of Atlanta

October 2013: Laura Pope, Hinman Dental Society

September 2013: Naomi Green, Fox Bros. BBQ

August 2013: Karyn Kotler, Tabernacle, Live Nation

July 2013: Megan Drew, CMP, TMP, Macon-Bibb County CVB

May 2013: Laura Guerin, CMP, SEDC

March 2013: Andy Williams, TMP, CVB of Dunwoody

February 2013: Sara Justice, Starwood Atlanta Metro Market

January 2013: Alice Tarkington, CMP, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

December 2012: Natalie Broadus

November 2012: Marie Turner

October 2012: Kim Maling, CMP, DCMP, InLine Meeting & Site Selection

September 2012: Bobby Hobes, CCTE, CMP, Chenega Corporation

August 2012: Shannon Pike, Classic Party Rentals


Each year, MPI honors its best and brightest chapters and volunteers through the Recognizing Industry Success & Excellence (RISE) Awards.

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Thank you to our Shining Star Award Annual Sponsor

SalamanderHotelsResorts-HORZ-PMS (1)