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Honorary Achievment Chapter Award



2021 - 2022 MPI Pittsburgh Board of Directors

Megan uncovered her passion for hospitality at a young age. With that, she has developed and refined her skills through various roles in hospitality, management, and organization. Her years of work with various planners and types of events have given her an exceptional coordination style and expertise. Megan currently serves as the Event Manager for Nova Place; she loves using her role to connect people and craft memorable, tailored experiences.  She joined MPI several years ago and thrives on the connection it brings to the Pittsburgh hospitality community, as well as the educational opportunities it presents. 

Taylor is an energetic, results-driven meeting & event planner with a proven success in event management as the Director of Event Planning & Special Events at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. She is the lead in coordinating the Council’s 80+ yearly events serving over 9,000 attendees. She also manages the Council’s CRM events portal, including: online event creation, registration and attendee management, payments and overall event financial reconciliation.

In her free time, Taylor enjoys spending time with her Australian Sheppard, Luna, serving as the Freeport High School Junior Varsity Girls Soccer Coach, and playing for the Pittsburgh Hotspurs!

Dan has been a member of MPI for 7 years and was humbled and honored to lead the chapter through the 2020-2021 term. Dan’s experience with MPI has flourished his professional career and has given him a lifetime of industry friends and colleagues. In his day job, Dan is a Private Event Sales Manager at the Gateway Clipper Fleet where his primary focus is weddings and special events.

Outside of MPI and work, Dan enjoys hanging out with his friends and family, sitting by a pool sipping on a margarita, or in the cooler months, curled up by a fire, eating a s'more.

Seventeen years of experience in the hospitality industry working for VisitPITTSBURGH, Kristen began her career as Housing Project Coordinator. She quickly transitioned into Convention Services Assistant and progressed to her current leadership role as the Director of Convention Services. In the past two years, Kristen completed the CMP and DES coursework and exams. Kristen is a big believer in lifelong learning and networking and is actively involved in DI, ESPA and MPI. In January, she received the first ever ESPA Leadership in Services Award for her work with VisitPITTSBURGH during the global pandemic.

A native Pittsburgher, Kristen spends weekends, preferably outdoors with her husband, two sons and the only other lady in the house, her Pitbull, Pepper.

Jill is a five-year member of MPI Pittsburgh, going into her fourth year as a Board Member. She joined MPI in 2017 to help foster connections through work as a corporate event planner. Jill has been able to build and maintain relationships with MPI members in her regular job and vice versa. "MPI Pittsburgh has helped me build my network and utilize connections from all over to create long-lasting relationships both personally and professionally."

In her spare time, Jill loves going to concerts (O.A.R. mainly), traveling with family & friends, and camping.

An Ohio native, Becky moved to Pittsburgh from San Jose, California in 2016. She's since found a deep love for Pittsburgh (hello pickles & pierogis!) and especially loves the tight-knit meetings & events community within the city. Becky currently serves as the Catering Sales Manager at The Oaklander, where she loves helping her client's vision become a reality. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking with her dog, Annie, and finding the perfect wine & cheese pairing!

Mike is an experienced event professional who has worked on over 600 conferences, events and sporting events in the greater Pittsburgh region. In his current role, Mike works for an association management firm, Craven Management, where he oversees two state wide associations and manages their conference and event planning, publications, continuing education and more. Prior to this role, he spent 7 years at VisitPITTSBURGH as a Senior Services Manager where he worked with events hosted by the NCAA, NHL, United States Olympic Committee and countless others. Mike is a 2019 member of Destination International’s 30 Under 30 list and currently serves on Duquesne University’s Young Alumni Council and the Meeting Professionals International Pittsburgh Chapter Board. 

We are thrilled to have Carla Sims join the Board as our Director of Networking!

Carla’s passion for the Events Industry started in high school where she was always charged with coordinating her and her friends outings. Her dad dubbed her Julie McCoy and the name stuck. She actually got to be Julie McCoy for her Sorority’s Love Boat themed Rush Party.

College also brought several AV courses which she never thought she would get to use until she became a Production Consultant for an AV company – Hughie’s Event Production Services. Carla has been in the AV world for 20 + years and absolutely loves it! She has been a part of MPI for that long as well, serving several board terms. Carla remarks that “MPI is a great place to network, learn and make lifelong friends. It enables you to keep your finger on the pulse of the event industry.”

Outside of MPI and work, Carla enjoys live music, swimming, reading, spending time with family and friends and, sipping a good glass of bourbon.


Jaime has been actively involved in the Pittsburgh event industry for over 20 years. She exemplifies a passion for the industry, her colleagues, her customers, and her city. Before becoming Vice President of Services with the Hutton Group – Inspired Meetings & Events, her career has included Destination Management experience at VisitPITTSBURGH, leading Event Management teams in multiple hotels, and working in Event Technology at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Jaime recently obtained her Virtual Event and Meeting Management (VEMM) and Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certifications. She is also a six-year board member of the Pittsburgh chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) where, as president, she led the team to an Overall Excellence Award. 

Gina Litterini, VEMM, is a top-tier event planning expert from Western PA. Gina majored in Communications at the University of Pittsburgh, before moving to New York City, where she gained valuable experience at Clear Channel Radio and The Oxygen Network. That business foundation paved the way for her move to Philadelphia, and her media career at Univision, Spanish television. Most recently, Gina honed her skills at the national law firm of Pond Lehocky, beginning her career there as Marketing Director. She excelled across the board but found her true passion in special event planning, recognizing the unique advantage exceptional special events can give an organization. Her particularly adept skill in this area was recognized by the firm, and she was named Director of Events, tasked with building out a robust team that planned close to 150 events a year.

In October of 2020, Gina took the opportunity to follow her long-held dream- to take her passion and expertise and open her own business, SunRoc Events. She continues to educate herself within the event industry and became certified in Virtual Event & Meeting Management to further help her clients navigate in an ever-changing environment.

Gina currently resides in Irwin, PA, with her husband Anthony and two children. The name SunRoc is a combination of two of the most important people in her life, her children Sundra (Sunny) and Rocco. They are both her sunshine and her rock, bringing her joy and keeping her grounded. Incorporating their names into the name of her business serves as a reminder that, at the end of the day, it is all about family, happiness, and finding the things in life that connect us, a philosophy that runs through everything she does.

Nicole has been an Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management for eight years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of focus include human resource management, professional development, event management, and lodging operations. Nicole is the faculty advisor for the IUP MPI student chapter and the Director of Student Involvement for the MPI Pittsburgh chapter. She strives to provide students with valuable experiential learning experiences, community engagement experiences, and networking opportunities.


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