October 23, 2019
Omaha October Social: Murder Mystery Dinner
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | The DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown | 6:00PM
Register Now!

October 17, 2019
Des Moines October Social: Monster Treats & Pumpkin Painting
Thursday, October 17, 2019 | Teddy Maroons, Des Moines, IA | 3:30PM
Register Now!



MPI Heartland Member Spotlight


Valerie Shoemaker

Valerie Shoemaker

Wyffels Hybrids  (We’re an independent seed corn company!)

Business Coordinator

MPI Member Since: October 2018



How long have you been in the meetings / hospitality industry? 

I’ve been in my current role for two years based in Geneseo, Illinois, just east of the Quad Cities, planning meetings and events primarily in Illinois & Iowa, but also into southern Wisconsin & Minnesota.  I took a short career detour for a couple years before landing where I am now, but I previously I worked with my prior employer doing event and project management for five years in the Denver market (2009-2014). 


How has MPI helped in the support and growth of your career? 

The MPI website is a great resource, helping me to grow in my role as I reentered the world of meeting planning.  I appreciate the valuable education opportunities available online, as I’d like to work towards my CMP certification in the coming years.  I also value what the MPI Heartland Chapter offers through in-person gatherings.  I’ve been able to connect with fellow planners and a wide variety of suppliers, and I always take away something new and helpful from each of the meetings that I’ve attended so far. 

Have you done business with any MPI members, locally or nationally? 

Yes!  I’m finding the local connections made through MPI to be very beneficial in making my future programs a success.


What three tips can you share with others in our industry? 

For my fellow planners, I suggest: 

1. Have a solid Plan A, covering every detail possible, but remain flexible and be prepared for a Plan B, Plan C… 
2. Document everything!  It will help keep you on track now and provide great reference in the future for you or your predecessor. 
3. If at all possible, visit the venues you are considering for a program – there’s only so much you can truly discover from photos and floorplans, it’s always best to explore your spaces firsthand.


What is your dream vacation spot? 

Somewhere to relax uninterrupted with sun, sand, the sound of waves, a good book, and a perfectly chilled glass of bubbly! 


What do you do in your spare time?  

Spare time is a limited resource in my life right now with two young children!  They keep me busy, but I try to squeeze in a little “me time” whenever I can, usually to the gym a few times a week and a book or movie when time allows. 


Any hidden talents? 

Cat herding… a key necessity as both a parent and meeting planner! 


Fun facts about yourself?  

I’m looking forward to welcoming a baby boy to our family this October!


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