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News & Views

Conventus has changed it's name to News & Views! Same great content covering our chapter events, amazing people, industry news and trends, just a different name!

Want to write for News & Views? Email to learn more!


Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Sep 6, 2022
I have worked from golf courses to restaurants to hotels. I left hotels to do site selection and then the pandemic forced me to become a digital event planner. I was thrilled for the opportunity to join Explore Edmonton’s Business Events team. Now, I am getting destination management organization experience!
Disa-marie Cameron (She/Her) | Aug 29, 2022
This was an official brand launch for Encore “We Are”. It was the first time that we collaborated publicly in the event community in Ottawa as our new brand. We wanted to reinforce the fact that the same passionate individuals from before the merger are the same ones that make up our team today, and the only difference is that we are doing it together as one team, one Encore.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Aug 26, 2022
This monthly article series allows MPI Ottawa Chapter members to share their recent professional and personal accomplishments with the MPI community by highlighting the News Around Town. Get in touch with Élodie Lortal ( to make a submission for the next issue!
Lizzy Low | Aug 17, 2022
I was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan (Metro Detroit) and lived in Lansing, the Capitol of Michigan, after graduating from Michigan State University- Go Green! I moved to Ottawa, in 2015 when I married my husband and fellow MPI member, Roger MacKinnon. We have an amazing three-year-old daughter together and I am a stepmom to my beautiful 14-year-old stepdaughter.
Dr. Altaf Sovani, DBA | Aug 9, 2022
This is a global issue. Focusing on millennials can provide insight into attracting, maintaining and satisfying this growing demographic in hospitality and related careers. This issue is not going away. It will take many years and concerted efforts to keep ahead of the game.
T’keyah Riley | Aug 4, 2022
While being part of MPI I have been able to be creative and grow and to be a part of something outside of the regular day to day. It has provided an outlet and as I continue with MPI, I hope to never lose what makes it enjoyable for not only myself but for everyone that takes part now and in the future.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jul 29, 2022
This monthly article series allows MPI Ottawa Chapter members to share their recent professional and personal accomplishments with the MPI community by highlighting the News Around Town. Get in touch with Élodie Lortal ( to make a submission for the next issue!
Amanda Munroe | Jul 27, 2022
There is no replacement for the business that occurred at the face-to-face appointments and the relationships that were built over networking at the booths and evening events. We were all very excited to show the world that Canada is not only open for business, but is leading the charge on innovative business events and delivering unforgettable, legendary experiences.
Karen Wiersma | Jul 22, 2022
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Karen Wiersma and I am the 2022/ 2023 President of MPI Ottawa. Je m’appelle Karen Wiersma et je suis la présidente d’MPI Ottawa pour l’année 2022/2023.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jul 20, 2022
My name is Elodie Lortal, I am a meetings and events coordinator at National Arts Centre | Centre national des Arts in Ottawa. I am proud to work for this unique venue. I help coordinate in person or hybrid meetings but also unforgettable weddings. I am a member of MPI Ottawa Chapter. I am the Chair of Chapter News & Views which is our MPI online magazine.
Emily McKay | Jul 18, 2022
What is the best advice you have ever received? "I think this comes from a movie but it basically is about how, with having 20 seconds of courage you can do great things. I find if I am brave enough to put myself in situations and I show up even though I am scared, I end up having a good time and it is better than I expect!"
Angelita Aboukassam | Jul 11, 2022
​My favourite moment was stepping onto the EVENT 2022 stage for the first time and introducing myself as one of the Co-Chairs and the MPI Ottawa Chapter Representative. I felt a rush of excitement, happiness and adrenaline, standing up on the stage and welcoming everyone to what turned out to be an amazing 3-day event full of education, networking, collaborating, and doing things differently!
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jul 6, 2022
I am lucky to follow such a well-worn path! A lot of great people have helped me along the way. Whether it be coaches, friends, teachers, professors or colleagues. They have all taken turns keeping me out of the ditch! My mom and my best friend Ian were always in my corner — even when they shouldn’t have been. You can count friends like that on one hand.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jul 4, 2022
I started Makatew Workshops in June 2019 with the intention of sharing my culture with those interested in learning. At that point in time, I really didn’t have much of an idea as to what Makatew Workshops was going to offer in terms of services. The legal company name is Makatew Inc., after a few months and a couple of workshops later, I registered the operating name as Makatew Workshops.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jun 27, 2022
This monthly article series allows MPI Ottawa Chapter members to share their recent professional and personal accomplishments with the MPI community by highlighting the News Around Town. Get in touch with Élodie Lortal ( to make a submission for the next issue!
Nancy Bradshaw | Jun 24, 2022
I started my career as an accountant and when I was with the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, I added the role of fundraising which led to planning my first event – a gala on the stage of the National Arts Centre (NAC) called The Stage for AIDS. From that time on, I was hooked on the meeting and event industry. After 25 years as a planner, I brought my planner skills to the supplier side of our industry and began working with DMO’s. Tourism Saskatoon was an amazing place to begin – working alongside Candace to help grow awareness of that amazing city. Through my work with Cities in Sync, I now have the privilege to work with Paul and our amazing team at Destination St. John’s.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jun 21, 2022
Leanne Calderwood, CMP, believes developing a personal brand is the key to setting yourself apart in the hospitality industry. Serving as a Conference Direct site selection associate for the past 14 years, Leanne used the industry's hiatus in 2020 to help other sales professionals to find their voice and create a brand that attracts business and opportunities. Her true passion was ignited through this work, and now Leanne serves her community through her blog, videos, online courses, and consulting services around LinkedIn and Personal Branding.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jun 20, 2022
Courtney Stanley is recognized globally as an award-winning changemaker, compelling keynote speaker, energetic event emcee and acclaimed creator of the women-inspired podcast, Dare to Interrupt. She has spent 10 years helping women, young professionals, entrepreneurs and organizations engage in game-changing, impactful conversations. With a degree from Central Michigan University in Experience Design, Leadership Studies and Business Hospitality, Courtney helps people from all walks of life fiercely lean into the power of leading with empathy, build confidence and advocate for themselves and others, and seize “silver lining” opportunities to grow personally and professionally.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jun 17, 2022
Lori Pugh Marcum has 16 years of experience in the meetings and events industry on both the planner and supplier side of the business. She worked for six years with Meeting Professionals International as Head of Meeting Innovation before joining EnsembleIQ as the Events Content Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) focused in Communications and Advertising from the University of North Florida and graduated with her Master’s Degree in Meeting and Event Management from San Diego State University in December of 2020
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jun 15, 2022
The biggest challenge in my career other than the last two years? Probably taking the leap from being an Event Services Manager (ESM) to a Sales role. A very different skills set for each of these roles. One is so detailed, and the other is big picture/strategic. One lesson I learned from one of my colleagues in the industry, to be a great ESM, you must “breathe the meeting”, meaning that you have to think about every aspect, every step of the event. For sales, it’s all about relationship building that hopefully turns to business in the future. I think I’m a better Sales Manager having come from the Event Services role.

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