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Top Performing Chapter Award



Member Showcase


John Foster, Esq., CHME

By: MPI Georgia | Aug 1, 2017

John_Foster,_EsqJohn Foster, Esq., CHME
Foster, Jensen & Gulley
Member since: 1990

John Foster, Esq., CHME is an attorney, speaker, author, and legal counsel whose firm, Foster, Jensen & Gulley, specializes in the legal aspects of meetings & conventions, trade shows & events, and association management. He has been an associate or general counsel for over 400 national and regional associations and companies since 1986. John has been named nine times as one of the 25 most influential people in the meetings industry by Meeting News.

That’s just the first paragraph of his distinguished professional bio. John’s road to serving the meetings industry started in the hotel industry. He served as hotel Sales Manager and Director of Sales with Hyatt and Marriott hotels, and was involved with MPI Georgia even back then. In his hotel role, he clearly saw the need for the importance of understanding contracts. Adding a law degree to his resume created a unique position for him in this industry. 

Foster left the hotel industry in 1986 after one of his best association clients asked him if he knew an attorney that could review the association’s hotel and convention center contracts.

John spoke up, and that association is still a client today. For the last 30 years he has advised associations and corporations nationwide with in-house consultations, and delivers 15-25 speaking engagements each year. When presenting a program to groups he finds his strong suit is the ability to explain complicated legal principles so that non-lawyers can easily understand. When preparing or revising industry contracts he finds his strong suit is understanding the players in this industry, and their relationships and responsibilities.

John’s career spring-boarded after a speaking engagement for a MPI annual meeting in Miami. He spoke on the importance of solid contracts in the meetings industry and within 2-3 days of returning to his hotel office, he had received a deluge of phone messages from meeting planners asking him to review their contracts. This was a loud and clear career message.

And as they say… the rest is history. Thank you, John, for your service to the Atlanta chapter and your many other MPI contributions.

Eventually when John retires he’ll be leaving this industry quite a legacy. In fact, he’s currently in the process of writing “Hotel & Facility Contracts: A Field Guide for Meeting Professionals” which will be a valuable tool for meeting planners, filled with interesting articles and checklists.  It is slated to be published in 2018.




MPI Georgia





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