Balancing Work and Life: Setting Goals to Achieve the Balance
October 4, 2023
Wyndham Garden York
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Caffeinated Conversations
October 17, 2023 - October 17, 2023
Cornerstone Coffeehouse
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Overall Excellence Chapter Award





Katherine Walls


Katherine Walls, Special Events Coordinator, Hospice of Central PA (HCP)

Why did you join MPI? When I was in college at Penn State, I was involved with our meetings and events club and served as part of the board in different capacities. Our club was a student chapter of PCMA and had been for a few years at that point. During my sophomore year, our board decided that we wanted to charter a Penn State student chapter of MPI as well. I was a part of the leadership team that handled this process and ultimately transitioned into the club president role as we were finalizing our MPI charter. This was an exciting thing for our club and the students! Fast forward, to when I started at HCP, I learned that my boss was a member of MPIMP. I told her of my experience with MPI in college and she offered to transfer her membership to me. I was very excited to get back in touch with MPI and pick up where I left off in college!

What is a piece of career advice that you strive to live by? One of my favorite mottos is if I’m not learning something new, then I’m not working hard enough, meaning that everyone always has something to learn, and learning is a key part of growing. In order to achieve your goals, it’s important to keep your mind open to every learning opportunity you can.

STephani B



Stephani Bann, CMP, Assistant Director of Sales, Kalahari Resort & Convention Center 

How long have you been a member of MPIMP? Since 2007


Why did you join MPIMP? I joined MPI when I graduated from college for education and networking.


What do you love most about MPIMP? I love the variety of opportunities and events that are offered to network with peers and clients while remaining up to date on industry education and happenings.


What’s your favorite MPIMP event and why? My favorite event is the annual overnight education event. It’s so fun to have two days to be with industry colleagues and clients with dedicated time for learning.


How do you define success? To me, success is being passionate about and grateful for what I do because without passion and gratefulness for what I do my achievements would feel empty. Finding balance in my work life, and my family life and making time for activities that fulfill me is what makes me feel successful.



Margo DeRouchie, National Sales Director, Pennsylvania Americana’s Region


How long have you been a member of MPIMP? I have been an MPIMP member for over ten years.  


Why did you join MPIMP? I joined as it’s a terrific way to connect with and build relationships with meeting planners. They offer many valuable educational and networking events.


What do you love most about MPIMP? The connections with a top-notch group of people and the wonderful events.


What’s your favorite MPIMP event and why? My favorites are the Summer Membership Mixer and the Annual Holiday Reception & Silent Auction. I would love to attend more, but often other things take me away from attending.


What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Work hard, and don’t give up easily, be kind and respectful to others as it will ultimately pay off in end! It’s important how you make others feel, really listening to them…the bottom line always comes down to delivering your best customer service!

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Pam Kammerer, Owner, Signs by Tomorrow Harrisburg West 

MPI Middle PA has done a great job of building its credibility over the past eleven years in our region as the “go-to” organization for professionals in the meetings and events industry.  MPIMP’s reputation for providing quality educational events, great opportunities for networking, and a friendly approach to its members and guests have been the driving force behind its continued growth and success.  Makes me proud to be a member of MPI Middle PA since its inception!




Teri Jakob, CMM, CMP, Manager, Special Events and Partnership Giving, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation 

Joining MPIMP has been an amazing experience for me! I've been able to make industry connections and build relationships with so many people! The education opportunities available through MPI have been tremendously rewarding to me. Thanks to my involvement in our chapter, I have been able to earn my CMM this year and am now working towards my CMP! Thank you so much for all the experiences and support our chapter provides!




Mary Costik, CMP, Meeting Manager, PA Municipal League


Being a member of MPIMP has provided me with the opportunity to make new connections with people in the hospitality industry. These experiences and the caliber of the professional development training provided by our Chapter have enhanced my career. The members of MPIMP are authentic, inspiring, and empowering!

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Ilene K Sauertieg, Director of Education, PA Optometric Association

I must admit that I hesitated to join MPI as I was already a member of another organization, and I did not think that I would get much out of my membership. The first meeting I attended proved me wrong. The MPI educational sessions are always current and relevant, and the speakers are right on point. I have often thought that after almost 40 years as a meeting planner that there could not possibly be more to learn. But the times are changing and if we do not change with them, we get left behind. I want to give my members the best experience at our meetings and belonging to MPIMP is helping me do that. After all, how can I encourage membership in our association if I do not support mine?

Lutricia Eberly



Lutricia Eberly, Director of Outdoor and Programs for Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA

What made MPIMP stand out from other membership-based organizations? The education is specific and relevant for professionals and the members genuinely support each other.

What would you tell someone who’s considering joining MPIMP? Don’t just join. Join a committee! That’s the best way to truly get to know others in the association. 

What made MPIMP a good fit for you? When I was newly promoted to Director of Sales at Roundtop Mountain Resort, I worked with a business coach who recommended I connect with Mike Baker, who was a member of MPIMP. Like a crazy person, I immediately volunteered to serve on the communications committee, which turned into a board position and eventually over time an even crazier person nominated me for president. As a newly minted Director of Sales, I learned from other members of MPIMP how to truly talk to clients. Serving on the MPIMP board allowed me to stand in the shadow of so many industry greats and I soaked up their expertise and knowledge. I would not be the professional I am today without the experiences of serving on the board and monthly education sessions made available through MPIMP.




Stacey Thomas, Program Manager, Pennsylvania Bar Institute

MPIMP is all about community for me – it is where I go to connect with peers, make new friends, compare notes, ask questions, and discover. Every meeting is filled with ‘Aha!’ moments, laughter and so much energy.

Updated October 2022

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