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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!


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.
Jenny Dao-D'Angelo | Jun 13, 2022
To raise awareness and funds for the MPI Foundation, to assist in the meeting & event industry recovery. The funds will be directly donated locally via scholarships and financial support to our local members in the MPI Ottawa Chapter and across Canada.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jun 6, 2022
I’ve made so many valuable connections within the industry after becoming an MPI Ottawa member and even some friends! Being an active volunteer within the chapter has provided me with the opportunity to learn new skills or enhance existing ones.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jun 1, 2022
The main objective of this keynote session was to learn the three pillars to improving employee retention and growing stellar cultures at fast-growing firms in the meeting industry. Attendees left with actionable steps to lead happier and more connected teams and can immediately apply the lessons to their work with planners and suppliers. The result of Delaney's Nice Methodology saves you the costly effort of replacing and retraining your people.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | May 30, 2022
My Role in partnership has taught me that trying something new will always make you stronger, and it builds confidence not only for me personally but also for the partners. This pandemic has presented multiple opportunities where thinking outside of the box has benefitted our chapter and members by moving to virtual events such as The Breakout Room, June BASH and the Prix Prestige Gala.
Nicole Jeffrey, CMP | May 27, 2022
This was our first in-person convention and trade show since 2019, so it was very exciting to be able to reunite the industry. With the large trade show component and an industry that places a lot of focus on in-person relationships, the ability to see and taste the produce was important for everyone. As well, there was a large number of American participants who have begun attending events in the US over the last year or so that were itching to get back to the Canadian market.
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | May 25, 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!
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | May 19, 2022
I had participated at most of the events during Ottawa meet week, but the Charity Auction Dinner was the first industry dinner I’d attended in two years. I was looking forward to seeing everybody and the chance to reconnect, however; I was also a little nervous because of the number of people catching the Omicron variant was increasing. You don’t want to be ‘that person’ who brings it home.

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