Honorable Mention Chapter Award
April 27, 2021
Dinner's Ready Live - Let’s Get Ready to PESTO!!!
A fundraiser to benefit the MPIGNY Cycle for Survival Team and the Isabella Altano Scholarship for Emerging Artists.
Click here for more info!

April 22, 2021
Auction & Mixology Madness 2021
Click here for more info

Honorable Mention Chapter Award



Behind the Curtain: Planning a "Meet Safe" Hybrid Meeting

April 8, 2021
4:45 PM - 5:15 PM
Conrad New York Downtown
102 North End Avenue
New York, NY

Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) brings the industry together to showcase the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences, and conventions bring to people, businesses, and communities.
On April 8, 2021, join MPI Greater New York, NYPCMA, SITE Northeast, and EventFluence as we come together to co-create and launch our first joint hybrid event experience in New York City with the theme Meet Safe. Fred Dixon, President & CEO of NYC & Company and Co-Chair of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, will kick off the event with an update on why the unwavering value of our industry has never been more important for national economic recovery – particularly at the state and local levels.
You will then gain insights from an expert panel of industry professionals (noted below) who will pull back the curtain on hybrid event experiences. Key learning outcomes will include:

  • Designing and creating event experiences that are clean, flexible, safe & socially responsible.
  • Precautions to take in order to keep everyone safe and ensure productivity to support the industry’s recovery.
  • Protocols for hosting safe in-person events in New York City.
  • Do’s & don’ts of planning and executing a successful hybrid experience.
TIME: 5:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.

CMP/CEU Credits:  1 Clock Hour | Domain G: Meeting or Event Design
This event is open and complimentary to all event and hospitality professionals.


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Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company

Fred Dixon is President and CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization. With more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry, he has the overall responsibility for developing and implementing New York City’s tourism and convention development strategy internationally and in domestic leisure and business markets. At NYC & Company, he has built a sales and marketing team that is at the core of the organization’s strategy to increase visitation and economic impact across the City.

Dixon oversees 17 global offices comprising sales, marketing and press professionals in diverse feeder markets from Australia to the UK, China to Mexico and India to Brazil. He is a respected leader with positions on travel industry association boards and committees including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, the U.S. Travel Association Executive Committee and Board, the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation Board, Tourism Cares Board, the U.S. Travel IPW Planning Committee, and serves as co-chair for the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition.

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Derrick M. Johnson, II, CMP, DES, Chief Diversity Officer & Director of Event Strategy, Talley Management Group Inc. 

Derrick is a skilled association executive with over 17 years of driving global business development and creative strategy for virtual events. As a transformational leader, he has coached and optimized the contributions of over 30 cross-functional teams and thousands of people, developing sustainable roadmaps for organizational growth. With a passion for leveraging technology to navigate disruption, Derrick provides a solid, yet unique, perspective into the domain of change management and the future of events.

Derrick serves as Director of Event Strategy and Chief Diversity Officer for Talley Management Group, facilitates PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist Certification Course, sits on three global association boards of directors, including PCMA, the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association, and the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, and contributes thought leadership as a public speaker on the future of associations and businesses, continuous professional development, and the evolution of virtual experiences.

Prior to joining Talley Management Group, Derrick held positions at the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), where he collaborated with Fortune 500 CEOs to lead million-dollar creative event initiatives, The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) where he infused augmented and virtual reality into multiple CIAB meetings and communication platforms to enhance the member experience and manifest innovation, the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association as Executive Director, and National Association for Gifted Children as the Director of Professional Development and Meetings pioneering virtual learning initiatives for K-12 educators. In 2013, Derrick received the Innovator of the Year Award from Kratos Solutions for his creative virtual initiatives for the US Department of Education.

Derrick received his B.A. from the University of Florida and continued his professional growth by achieving an Executive Certificate in Artificial Intelligence from MIT, a Digital Event Strategist Certification, and M.S. in Business Management and Leadership from Western Governors University.

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Stacey Courtney, DES, Assistant Director of Convention and Events, Modern Language Association 

Stacey brings over 20 years of business event planning combined with a keen photographic eye and a passion for people to her role as Assistant Director of Convention and Events at the Modern Language Association.  Her credentials include a Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification from PCMA and Conference and Event Planning certificate from NYU School of Professional Studies.

Stacey served as president of the PCMA New York Area chapter for 2020, leading a volunteer board in creating opportunities for connection, learning, and engagement, providing a sense of community in ever changing times.

When she's not running conventions or volunteering, you can find Stacey shooting photographs, visiting museums, and exploring her beloved New York City. 

Koleen Roach Thumbnail800x1200croppedKoleen Roach, Director, Meetings & Conference Management, Securian Financial Group 

Koleen is responsible for the overall planning, development, marketing and implementation of all company-wide recognition and incentive programs, as well as company-wide business meetings, board meetings, domestic conventions, and international conferences for Securian Financial.  Her department also has responsibility for the management of industry association programs and awards facilitation for FINESCO, NAIFA, and MDRT on behalf of Securian managing partners, second-line managers and financial professionals.

Prior to joining Securian, Koleen spent 13 years at Dayton Hudson Corporation as a corporate meeting planner and 2 years as the tradeshow manager in the database marketing division of Fair Isaac Company.

Koleen served as Board Chair of Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals in 2012 and served in various roles for FICP. In 2009, Koleen earned the SITE Crystal Award Recipient for “Outstanding Motivational Program” – International – Africa program recognizing her influential work in creating, designing, and executing a powerful CSR experience. She was honored with the 2010 Corporate Meetings & Incentives “Changemaker” Award.

Koleen holds a certification in Business and Travel Management and an English degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE, Senior Director Catering & Events Americas Sales Operations, Hilton

Zena leads catering & events strategy for all managed Hilton hotels in the Americas, with a special passion for developing future leaders in events. She joined Hilton 15 years ago in Toronto and has gained immense experience across the company’s portfolio, including Waldorf Astoria New York, Conrad New York Downtown, Conrad Miami and Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. Before assuming her current role, Zena led catering & events operations for Hilton’s luxury hotels in the Americas.

An active leader in hospitality through industry and association participation, she has served on the national board of trustees for the Foundation of National Association for Catering & Events for several years, and recently concluded an 18-month term as Foundation President. She is also the 2018 recipient of the Event Industry Council’s Pacesetter Award for Innovation, and the 2014 Catering Director of the Year for Waldorf Astoria and Conrad Hotels.

Zena holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development from University of Toronto and is a current MBA candidate at the University of Florida. She has held the designations of Certified Meeting Professional and Certified Professional in Catering & Events for over a decade.

Zena resides in South Florida along with her husband, Ryan, a Meteorologist for NBC Miami and their two daughters.

Hope Holm ThumbnailHope Holm, Regional Sales Director, Encore

Hope is Encore’s Regional Sales Director for the Northeast where she leads and mentors the sales team from Maine to New Jersey.

With over 10 years’ experience in the event technology & hospitality industry, she began her career as a wedding and meeting planner in Las Vegas. Wanting a change of scenery, she returned to her hometown of Boston in 2008, where she began her career in technology as a Sales Manager for Swank Audio Visuals. Once part of the team at Swank, Hope began to spend time mentoring her fellow sales team members which lead her to the role as Regional Sales Director of New England, where she was the winner of the 2017 Regional Sales Director Award.

The lure of New York City brought her to the market three years ago where she continues to mentor and coach a sales team of 13 at several properties. During this time, she was the first in her role to be tapped for Encore’s internal leadership program.

Hope carries great insight across a variety of event disciplines and never hesitates to share her knowledge or further her understanding of the industry. When she is not spending time with her work family she is with her husband cooking up a storm on the grill or in the kitchen.


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Eva Saha, Professional Host/Emcee/Moderator, Gotham Artists

Eva Saha is a professional emcee, moderator and presenter. She is best known for having worked as a TV personality on the Emmy Award winning entertainment show, 190 North, on Chicago’s ABC7. Her natural, warm and commanding presence, both on and off-camera, has also made her the host of choice for a variety of live-event and virtual-event clients including Cardinal Health, Philips Healthcare, Women in IT and Thomson Reuters.

Eva is known to bring out the best in her stage guests. She has interviewed people from all walks of life, including political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, professional athletes Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Venus Williams and Jim Kelly, actor Michael J. Fox, author and activist Glennon Doyle, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Eva’s ability to relate to all personalities and people of different backgrounds and cultures enables her to effectively interview and moderate discussions among Fortune 100 CEOs and customers of those companies alike.

A formerly practicing accountant for an international energy company and corporate attorney for a world-renowned firm, Eva brings focus, dedication and depth to the job. Eva is an active volunteer and advocate for a plethora of causes, working to advance literacy and improve the welfare of disadvantaged women, children and victims of abuse and human trafficking.

When she’s not working, you’ll find Eva laughing, playing and traveling with her favorite people on earth (her husband and two daughters), sampling the culinary treasures of Chicago, or lounging on her couch reading a good book, watching a crime drama or cheering on (sometimes screaming at) the University of Michigan football team.

Venue Details

Conrad New York Downtown

Conrad New York Downtown is a contemporary all-suite luxury hotel located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, in close proximity to many of New York City's important and historic landmarks and prominent neighborhoods. The hotel offers a new standard of luxury, featuring 463 spacious guest suites that average more than 430 square feet. Sixteen stories above street level, a private green roof and seasonal rooftop bar provide stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. Conrad New York Downtown boasts more than 30,000 square feet of adaptable meeting space, including the 6,200-square-foot Gallery Ballroom.


Encore creates memorable experiences that engage and transform organizations. As the global leader for event technology and production services, Encore’s team of creators, innovators and experts deliver real results through strategy and creative, advanced technology, digital, environmental, staging, and digital solutions for hybrid, virtual and in-person events.  Headquartered in the Chicago metro area in Schiller, Park, Il, Encore operates in more than 20 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia Pacific. Encore is the trusted partner of choice for leading hotels and venues worldwide and was named to the Forbes 2018 and 2019 America’s Best Employer list.

Hybrid solutions from Encore provide planners, sponsors, presenters and attendees the ability to reach more people. And a great hybrid experience bridges the in-room set up and technology with a digital event platform to ensure all attendees can maximize engagement and participation. Whether the goal is to educate, collaborate, motivate or network, great outcomes are driven by achieving the right mix of in-room technology and digital platform such as video conference, webinar, microsite, or the Chime Live™ platform from Encore. Based on in-person and virtual audience size, Encore offers numerous configuration options, from a single room with remote attendees, to multiple in-person sites that connect remote participants. Through its network of more than 35 Presentation StagesTM worldwide, other alternatives are available to record or broadcast in high quality from a dedicated space.

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