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Member Showcase


Member Showcase - February 2023

By: Paulette Hopkins | Feb 7, 2023



Carla Albright, CMP
Manager, Global Corporate Events & Trade Shows 
Member since 2021


Russell LoPinto, CMP
Member since 1990

The February Member Showcase members are Carla Albright, CMP, Manager of Global Corporate Events & Trade Shows with Immucor, and Russ LoPinto, CMP, owner of R3Consulting and are the two co-chairs for the Spring Summit. Russ is a 33-year member of MPI Georgia with Carla joining in 2021.  They both have a love for the industry, Russ comes from an interest in live productions and Carla has enjoyed the networking and educational offerings of our amazing chapter.  We are thrilled that Carla has chosen to be the main chair for Spring Summit 2023 – Russ claims to be the “muscle” to her brains and will support Carla all he can.  I do believe Russ is being modest as I have known him for 30 years.  

MPI Georgia connection? 

Carla Albright: After pivoting my career from an Executive Assistant and focusing only on corporate events and Tradeshow Manager positions, I was eager to learn as much as possible while establishing connections within the industry. A colleague I met while planning a major event told me about MPI. I immediately googled to learn more and joined. MPI Georgia has provided me with a network and learning opportunities to grow my career. 

How did you get into the hospitality industry? 

Russ LoPinto: I always wanted to be involved in live events. Soon after graduating from the University of South Carolina, I came to Atlanta and found my way to an industry pioneer in AV production, TAVS. They led me to MPI, and the rest is history. It is where I made lifelong industry friends and colleagues.

Carla Albright: I launched my professional career as an Executive Assistant supporting the C-Suite. As an Executive Assistant, my role included planning customer-facing events and internal meetings. As my role expanded, I was charged with planning, managing, and executing more and more customer-facing events. At one point, I managed all aspects of major national corporate events for my business unit with budgets exceeding $500k. Then, I caught the bug and wanted to focus only on event planning - nothing else! I was hooked!

How has MPI Georgia helped you grow professionally in the industry, as well as personally?  

Carla Albright: MPI Georgia has been my lifeline in this industry. It is where I earned my CMP, built my business, and developed an all-around knowledge of all aspects of the hospitality industry.

Are you a natural-born leader, or do you have to work at being in that role?

Russ LoPinto: I am typically geared toward supporting this organization as a committee volunteer. I have been on the board in years past years. This year I was asked by a dear my dear friend Kareena to co-chair. I have a hard time saying no to her. My goal is to support my lead Chair on this committee Carla Albright best I can. She is the brains behind this operation. I plan on supporting the muscle. 😊 

Carla Albright: I am a hybrid. As a Black woman working in corporate America, I must show up for myself and lead with courage to ensure my voice is not lost. Navigating through the bureaucracy while tackling microaggressions as a woman of color is not fun. It is risky. It is exhausting. I constantly encourage myself to show up fearlessly and lead with grace and gratitude. The work looks like tapping into my support system - friends, mentors, and my therapist.

 What is one of your most unique personal or work accomplishments? 

Carla Albright: Earning my degree at 35 was a pivotal moment, personally and professionally. My son was a high school senior and active in everything. I also worked full-time as an Executive Assistant, solely supporting a President of a business unit in a Fortune 500 corporation. While that was a busy time in my household, it allowed me to demonstrate perseverance and resilience to my son. He and I both graduated the same year. He continued his career in the military. I am a proud mother to a veteran of the U.S. Navy.



Paulette Hopkins
The Hopkins Alliance

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