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Celebrating MPI Georgia's First Mother & Daughter Certified Meeting Professionals!

By: MPI Georgia | Feb 9, 2021

Carrie and Natalia photo

It is likely that Carrie Hurd, CMP, could not have envisioned this moment when she and her husband made the decision, while she was MPI Georgia Chapter’s President, to adopt a beautiful daughter Natalia from an orphanage in Russia. Everyone in MPI Georgia instantly became Aunts, Uncles and Cousins as we welcomed Natalia to the MPI community and the Hurd family.

Fast forward to today, and we are all sharing in the achievement that Carrie has renewed her Certified Meeting Professional designation every 5 years while mentoring her daughter Natalia in the fine art of meeting and event planning, inspiring Natalia to join the MPI Georgia CMP Study Group and earn her own CMP.  This dynamic Mother and Daughter have experienced the joy of working in the same industry for the past 15 years as well as the sadness we are all going through today due to the COVID pandemic.  In the midst of the current challenges, we have much to celebrate with these two valued members of MPI.

As Natalia shares, “After earning a bachelor's degree in Event Management from Rosen College of Hospitality (UCF,) I wanted to get a CMP to boost my confidence in the industry. I grew up watching my Mom being involved in MPI Georgia and seeing how well she was known in the industry. After graduation, she encouraged me to become a member of MPI and get active as that is how I would gain connections and learn from the MPI community.  It always amazed me how many people she was connected with and how many people she introduced me to over the years. Anytime we went to an industry event, it always seemed like she knew everyone. I always admired that and wanted to be in her position one day.”

When asked about her daughter’s career and achievements, Carrie said, “I have probably been Natalia’s biggest cheerleader and coach throughout her learning process.  Natalia naturally has what it takes to be successful in the hospitality industry; I’m just there to answer questions and guide her.  I have encouraged her to become a member of MPI Georgia and to not just go to meetings but get involved.  I learned so much about meeting planning and leadership while a member, especially as MPI Georgia Chapter President, and I wanted Natalia to have the same great experience with our MPI Georgia colleagues and friends.  It was Natalia’s idea to earn her CMP.” 

When asked how did joining the MPI Georgia Chapter’s CMP Study Group support your CMP exam preparation, Natalia replied: “Joining a study group was the smartest thing I did. The encouragement and dedication from everyone really helped me to get through the readings and create my own way of studying for the CMP Exam. Having the Study Group virtually on Zoom is truly another level of discipline and a way to keeping myself grounded while at the same time holding myself accountable to read the weekly materials. Without the group support, I think my exam preparations would not have been as focused and helpful. The study group provided additional tools like practice quizzes to ensure I understood and retained the material I read. As Study Group members emailed that they had passed the exam, it was encouraging and gave me the boost of confidence that ‘I can do this.’  It was great to be able to share my exam results and add “CMP” after my name.

Natalia had a familial advantage in having her Mom, Carrie, as her "Study Buddy” which was helpful given English is Natalia’s second language.  She shares, “My Mom has always been my mentor and someone I look up to on daily basis. After being laid off due to COVID’s impact on our industry, I decided to take the opportunity to concentrate on getting my CMP. When I told my Mom this, she was very excited for me and let me know right away that if there was anything I needed or if I had any questions, she would be there for me. As she is an industry expert, I called her often to help breakdown a definition of something. She would even use her past work experiences to help me better understand the material when I needed more details to understand concepts. I made notes from the Study Group assigned weekly readings, and she would then create a 10-15 question quiz for me to help me comprehend the material and review the information.”

Natalia’s commitment and dedication paid off perfectly.  Please congratulate our new CMP, Natalia Hurd, who proudly joins the 416 other CMPs in the State of Georgia!

If you are curious about the CMP process and have earning your designation as a goal for 2021, please click on the MPI Georgia Chapter CMP Study Group link below for more details.

Connie Bergeron, CMP
President, Site Selection Solutions, Inc. 
Chair, MPI Georgia CMP Study Group Committee


MPI Georgia

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