Top Performing Chapter Award

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Top Performing Chapter Award



March 2019 Grapevine

By: MPI Georgia | Mar 12, 2019

Devon McKenna
Photosynthesis Studio
Member since 2016


DevonBabyDevon and Joe McKenna welcomed their precious baby boy on December 18, 2018. Boston Joseph McKenna was born at 12:10pm weighing exactly 8lbs. Devon is owner of Photosynthesis Studio and recipient of the 2018 Supplier of the Year Phoenix Award. She also serves as the Administration Director with our chapter. Congratulations Devon and Joe. 

 HeatherRoberts   Heather Roberts
Catering Administrative Assistant
Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
Member since 2018
 Chateau Elan Winery

Heather is a recent graduate of Gwinnett Technical College with a degree in Hospitality Management. She joined Chateau Elan Winery and Resort last month in the catering department Heather’s first MPI Georgia event was the networking gathering at Del Frisco’s Steakhouse in Dunwoody. “The best part about the hospitality industry is how we all love to serve and are very people friendly.” Welcome Heather – we are very excited to have you as part of the MPI Georgia Family. 

How did you decide to major in Hospitality & Tourism? 
I chose this because after three majors I really like serving and planning. 

What were some of the highlights as a student at Gwinnett?
I love that I can choose different classes to fit my schedule. 

What advice would you give to others when first starting a job search? 
I would advise to apply actively and find connections. I got my job through a college professor. 

Tell us about one of things at the resort that is the most different than what you had expected?  
I did not realize how many weddings they do per year. People LOVE the ballrooms and our outdoor locations. Yes there are a lot of meetings, but way more weddings than I expected.

 JadeHoward   Jade Howard
Kennesaw State University
Member since 2018
 KSU Logo

What’s your MPI Georgia connection? I babysat for Carla Carroll and she encouraged me to get involved by joining the organization as a student member. My major at KSU is Public Relations. She wanted to know more about my studies and interests. Perhaps I was too candid, because Carla immediately recruited me to join the Phoenix Awards committee to help out with the communications plan.

How did you get involved in Hospitality & Tourism education? I’m actually a PR major, not Hospitality & Tourism but they seem to be a natural extension of what I’ve been trained in thus far.

Tell us about some of the people you met as a new member: I joined when Steve Schumacher was on the board. I met him at my first event, but everyone was so welcoming and engaged with who they were conversing with that it felt natural to be part of the crowd.

What have been the highlights as well as surprises in the classroom? Pitching (persuasion skill) is one area of expertise that has surprisingly improved since my involvement in MPI. Learning how to sell not only myself, but other entities, has benefited me tremendously in the work force.

 allyson   Allyson Wagner, CMP
Senior Director, Client Solutions
MPI GA Director - Leadership Development
Member since 2007

Congratulations to Allyson Wagner, CMP of Omnience, a corporate event management solutions company. Allyson was recently featured as the WINit Spotlight for February. WINiT by GBTA (Global Business Travel Association) is a distinctive network of women and men committed to driving change in travel-related industries.

What was your first job in a travel-related industry? I was a front desk agent at an independent hotel in Atlanta back in the day when everything was manual. We had rack cards and REAL keys to the rooms.

Who is someone you have worked with who inspired you and why?
My first general manager in the hotel business who continues to exemplify her love for the hospitality business, making guests feel special and genuinely caring about her employees and their success.

What is the best career advice anyone has ever given you?
Accept the hard assignments, even if you don't feel equipped. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and learn everything you can from them. 

AllysonWagnerWhat recent experience has brought you great joy? For the last 4 summers, I have traveled with a group from Atlanta to help build homes for families in the village of Camanchaj, Guatemala and worked with Project Salud y Paz to put on a vacation Bible school for over 300 children. The most rewarding part of this experience is being able to go back year after year to see how lives have changed for the better.


MPI Georgia

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