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MPI San Diego Board of Directors

 

Spencer Bezy

President

Spencer Bezy
Mobile Music Plus

Spencer Bezy is a former nationally syndicated On-air radio mix DJ of 13 years, producing shows in various formats for 40 stations nationwide including shows airing in San Diego, Las Vegas, Houston, New Orleans and more. As the owner of Mobile Music Plus Inc., he’s the award winning DJ and Emcee that San Diego’s Event Coordinators and Hotels call on for their own parties. 

He has been recognized as a Master Emcee by the San Diego Association of Bridal Consultants and regularly speaks to groups of Event Industry professionals on entertainment related topics.

Carrie Shen, CMM, CMP, CED

President Elect

Carrie Shen, CMM, CMP, CED
Bridgepoint Education

Carrie is the manager, event planning for the Asian Real Estate Association of America with their national office in Old Town, San Diego, serving 17,000 members. Prior to her current role, she spent nearly 10 years at Zovio, Inc., (formerly Bridgepoint Education) planning company and employee events. 

Carrie joined MPI in 2011 and has volunteered in several different roles since 2012 on the Leadership Development and Education Committees. The summer of 2018, Carrie took up learning to play the violin as a hobby and met her goal of learning Silent Night in time for the holidays. She lives at home in La Mesa, with her husband, Howard, and their two cats, Penny and Pippa. 

Alyssa Longeuay

Immediate Past President

Alyssa Longeuay
Conference Services at Aztec Shops Ltd. San Diego State

Alyssa Longeuay graduated with a BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management from San Diego State University and has made her way back there in her current role as the Associate Director for Business and Housing Development. Her new role allows her to partner with clients to create memorable experiences while hosting their meeting, conference or camp on campus. 
Before coming back to SDSU, Alyssa worked for PRA for almost five years where she used her knowledge and expertise of San Diego to help clients design unique events to meet their budgets. Although she is not a San Diego native, Alyssa, her husband and their daughter have made San Diego their home. She became a Member of MPI in 2013 and has been involved ever since. After serving as the Director of Recruitment for a year, the Vice President of Finance for three years and most recently as Chapter President she is looking forward to her new role as Immediate Past President to focus on moving the Chapter forward through the challenges COVID-19 has presented. In her spare time she enjoys being outside taking advantage of all San Diego has to offer – especially a day at the beach or catching a baseball game!

 


Jen Cease

Vice President, Leadership Development

Jen Cease, CMP, CMP-HC
ConferenceDirect

Jen Cease began her career in hospitality & tourism over 17 years ago with her first industry job selling concessions at a popular historic resort in The Berkshires, Massachusetts.  That was all it took for her to get hooked and begin her journey in the industry.  

 

At that venue, Jen held roles of fine dining server, sales & marketing intern and banquet server.  In 2004, Jen moved to San Diego, so she could continue to follow her career path in a destination that thrives in tourism.  For the next 12 years, Jen grew to become a very well-rounded hospitality sales professional, gaining experiences and holding various roles that would give her a great understanding of hotel group sales, operations and revenue management.  In 2018, Jen was ready for a new challenge and joined ConferenceDirect.  She offers global hotel/venue site sourcing, contract negotiations and many other event supportive services to her clients.Jen has been a member of MPI San Diego since 2016 and has held positions on the Board of Directors for several years.  Her favorite parts of being involved in MPI is connecting with others with a passion for events and keeping her skills sharp with the Professional Development resources that MPI offers.  Jen carries the respected designations of CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) and CMP-HC (Certified Meeting Professional- Healthcare). In her free time, she enjoys traveling, nature, hiking and spending time with friends, family and her dog Kona.

Tina Marie Honor

Vice President, Finance

Tina Marie Honor
Live Nation at House of Blues

Tina Marie Honor’s love for the Meeting and Event industry started at the age of 12, when she joined the student body leadership group as class president.  Bringing something fun and unique to event plans with an easy-going personality, has always been her passion. 

As a native of San Diego, Tina Marie has found pleasure in serving on charitable boards. She has over ten years of quality, professional experience in the Meeting and Event industry - from the planning and execution of weddings and events to managing event sales departments in San Diego and Temecula. She is currently Sales Manager of Corporate Special Events with Live Nation at the House of Blues. After serving as Director of Recruitment on the Membership team, Tina Marie is thrilled to now be VP of Finance for MPI San Diego. Aside from working, she spends her leisure time enjoying time with her family and friends traveling, attending concerts, exploring new restaurants and singing her heart out at karaoke venues. "Shine while you work." That’s the Tina Marie Honor style.

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Vice President, Membership

Nathan Medina
Vario

Nathan is a student athlete alumnus of Sonoma State University.  His passion for soccer took him to Germany, where he played professionally from 2010-2013.  

Returning to the US after 4 years, he joined the meetings and events industry.  Landing a sales position in 2015 at Vario, his passion for meeting new people, and developing relationships, led him to become a member of SDMPI. Immediately looking to be more than just a member, he now has served two years as Director of Membership Recruitment and is now serving his second term as Vice President of Membership.  Nathan looks forward to learning as much as he can from his peers on his journey to becoming influential, in the meetings and events industry.  When not on site, in meetings, or at the office, Nathan can be found out on the soccer field, grilling, or out being social in America’s Finest City! 

Rachel Cohn

Vice President, Education

Rachel Cohn, CMP
ViaSat

Rachel began her event planning career at the age of 21 while planning her sorority's formal in college. Her first professional role was with PRA as an Operations Manager.  
Since then she has been a planner-supplier for United Jewish Federation, San Diego Natural History Museum, Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa, and National University. Currently, Rachel works for Viasat in Carlsbad, running their state-of-the-art Conference Center and managing their vast outdoor event space for corporate functions. Rachel has worked her way up on the MPI San Diego Education team, first as a committee member, then as the Director of Education, and now as VP of Education, working hard to bring the best of professional development to our members.  Rachel’s older daughter is in graduate school and working in Boston, pursuing a career in healthcare.  Her younger daughter is in college majoring in hospitality.

Carlos Murillo

Vice President, Communications

Carlos Murillo

Carlos started his hospitality career in Food and Beverage operations for Loews Coronado Bay Resort in 1992. Over the course of the following 27 years, he was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility, including Sales Manager, Executive Meeting Manager, and Major Market Sales Manager. 

In 2005, he became the National Sales Manager for Pechanga Resort & Casino followed by Director of Sales/Catering for Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino in 2008 and then, in 2011, Director of Sales for Morongo Casino and Resort. In 2013, he was named In Market National Sales Manager for Caesars Entertainment where he handled booking business for over 2 dozen properties nationwide. In this role he was responsible for selling more than 26 properties throughout the USA.  As of Nov. 2018, Carlos decided to move back to a leadership role as Director of Sales for Viejas Casino & Resort, where he can impact and mentor our future leaders to prepare them and assist them in moving into leadership roles themselves, all while keeping the true element of group sales in today’s hospitality industry.

Outside of work Carlos dedicates his time to his family. He and his wife, Lilli, have three children: Jeffrey (24) recent graduate from Notre Dame; Carla (21) recent graduate from UC Irvine; and Ary (14) moving into 10th grade of high school. Having originated from Costa Rica, he returns frequently to spend time with family and friends; he enjoy doing just about anything as long as he is with his family.


Lisa Kelley Headshot

Director, Education Programs

Lisa Kelly, CMP
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Lisa joined the Chamber of Commerce team in 2016 as the Marketing & Events Manager, where she oversees 60+ events per year, including educational workshops, industry networking opportunities, golf tournaments, expos, delegation trips and signature events. She also manages graphic communications and content creation for digital and print platforms. 

Prior to joining the Chamber, Lisa managed circulation, events and digital media for WHERE San Diego Magazine, and held the position of Director of Weddings at V. Sattui Winery in Napa, CA.

Lisa graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a Minor in English. As a San Diego native and farmer’s daughter, she loves the unique personality of this “city of neighborhoods” and enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with various industries in Chamber events. Lisa enjoys running, hiking, surfing, snowboarding, and spending time with husband, Eric and their fur baby, Kona.


Armando Cepeda

Director, Edcon and Expo

Armando Cepeda
Encore Event Entertainment

Armando is an award winning Multimedia Producer with over 25 years of experience in the Live & Virtual Event Production, Music & Entertainment industry. He is skilled with AV services such as Audio Production, Video Production, Graphic Design, Lighting Design and Live Music/Entertainment. Armando is a Military Veteran who has served his country as a member of the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet in Japan, an Educator and proud member of the Southern California event community. 

 



Sydney Simmons

Director, Special Events

Sydney Simmons
Stone Brewing

Sydney Simmons is native to San Diego and has been in the hospitality industry for almost 8 years now.  Sydney thrives in the venue setting and is passionate about event sales.

She has sold a variety of event spaces, from Country Clubs to Breweries and to Hotels. Sydney has been San Diego Meeting Certified since 2018 and attended SDSU’s Extended Studies Program where she was certified in Meeting and Events. Sydney has been a member of MPI since 2016. In October of 2018 she received the Outstanding Volunteer Award and then in 2019 received the Emerging Leader Award. In her free time you can find her out on a trail hiking, spending time at the beach with friends, or having a family dinner at home.

Peggy Jewell Headshot

Director, Strategic Partnerships

Peggy Jewell
West End Entertainment

Peggy Jewell has established herself as an industry leader with over 25 years in the corporate event industry. She has served as the President for the Association of Bridal Consultants San Diego (2004-2008), Board Member for ILEA (formerly ISES) San Diego, while currently serving on the Communication Committee for MPI San Diego and has served on many San Diego charitable boards and projects. 
For many years, Peggy was a faculty member at the University of San Diego and California State University at San Marcos and taught in their prospective Event Management Certification Programs. In 2011, Peggy received the Instructor of the Year from USD. She is a former voiceover artist and singer, a San Diego native, and believes that no event is too small or too big. She deems herself an Entertainment Match Maker and puts equal value on the client and the artist.

Kim Bishop

Director, Member Retention

Kim Bishop
Hornblower

Kim Bishop has been in the Special Events, Hospitality Industry for over 25 years. She is a people person, passionate, curious, energetic, creative, loves design and most of all- "creating amazing experiences".

She started in events at Nordstrom in San Diego in the Special Events department.  Store openings, galas, fundraisers and fashion shows are some of the projects she worked on.  Production, design and booking entertainment at an entertainment agency followed next for large convention groups.  She joined the Hornblower Cruises and Events family in the 90's and was the Wedding Sales Manager, Incentive and DMC Market Manager and eventually the Associate Director of Sales for the San Diego location.  She relocated to Austin, Texas-"Hey Ya'all" for 8 years with her husband and two boys.  The Four Seasons Resort in Austin, Texas is where she gained all of her knowledge about the hotel industry and managed special VIP events for guests, celebrities, musicians and with Austin being the Music Capitol, they all stayed at The Four Seasons when touring! Moved back to her hometown of San Diego 5 years ago and is Senior Sales Manager with Hornblower Cruises & Events.  When not working, she is cruising, attending concerts, live performances, musicals, checking out the newest restaurants, bars and new trends on the San Diego scene.

Kristen Elgo

Director, Member Recruitment

Kristen Elgo
The Allstar Group

Kristen Elgo has been in the Special Events, Hospitality Industry for over 24 years. She got her start with SEAT Planners in 1996 operating transportation logistics across the country.

She is a San Diego native, receiving her degree in what is now called Hospitality & Tourism Management from San Diego State University.  After graduation she was with Pacific Event Productions for 15 years managing their Entertainment Division and then moving into Event Design. She is currently with The Allstar Group, who provide Event Production, Design and AV Solutions across Southern California.  In her current role she’s produced a wide range of events from Product Launches, Grand Openings, Off site Events for up to 10,000 ppl, multi -day conferences and more.  When she’s not doing events she’s busy raising 2 pre-teens with her husband.  They enjoy traveling, camping and exploring the great outdoors.   She’s been involved with MPI San Diego for many years and currently serving on the board as Director of Recruitment.

Jaime Lee Tiffany

Director, Leadership Development

Jamie Lee Tiffany
Associated Luxury Hotels International

Jamie Lee Tiffany, Director of Global Sales for Associated Luxury Hotels International has over 13 years of experience in the meetings and hospitality industry, serving in management level positions from hotel sales roles to account management with a 3rd party. She has cultivated relationships with professionals across the globe while serving as SITE SoCal Board of Directors since 2015, as well as the Chair of SITE Global Young Leaders. 

With a degree in Communications and Psychology from UC Davis, Jamie Lee is equally comfortable in sales as she is in event management. Her enthusiastic personality and genuine love for people combine with her vast hospitality knowledge to create a sales force to be reckoned with. Born and raised in San Diego and has spent bouts of time in Northern California and New York City, her passion for travel and new experiences continue to parlay into her professional life. She is a new mom, avid runner, yogi, sports enthusiast and loves spending time with her family and friends.

Dayna Malik, CMP

Director, Communications

Arcadis North America
Dayna Malik, CMP

Dayna Malik began her career in Event marketing & Communications over seven years ago, coordinating a newsletter and producing marketing collateral for an environmental remediation consulting company. With a degree in Environmental Studies, she wasn’t entirely sure of where her career path may take her. 

Events and event marketing frankly fell into her lap when she volunteered to help plan her company’s annual seminar in Miami, FL. Sun, sand, and the challenge of creating an experience that would leave a lasting impression on attendees was all it took for her to get hooked and begin her journey in the event’s industry.  

Since then, Dayna grew to become a seasoned event marketing professional, gaining experiences that would give her a great understanding of corporate event & meeting planning,  contract negotiations, content marketing, brand strategy, and merchandise procurement.

In 2019, Dayna moved to San Diego for apparent reasons (the greatest city in the world!), and quickly became a member of the MPI San Diego chapter. 2020 is her first year as a member of the Board of Directors, and she is eager to network with peers and learn and develop her communication skills as the Director of Communications. Dayna carries the respected designation of CMP (Certified Meeting Professional.)

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, eating, brewery hopping, traveling and spending time outdoors with her friends, family, and dog-child, Archer.


Erin Scholes

Executive Director

Erin Scholes, CMP, CSEP, CMM,DES
Phone: (858) 270-2103

Erin Scholes is a past MPISD Chapter President and currently Executive Director of the chapter. During Scholes 16 year tenure with MPISD she has served seven years on the MPISD board of directors and three years as a committee chair. 

She owns a local meeting & event planning business SD Meeting & Events. SDME provides full service meeting planning, hotel site selection and local onsite event staffing.  Erin is a faculty member of the Institute for Meetings and Events in the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University.  Scholes carries the respected designations of CMP (Certified Meeting Professional), CMM (Certificate in Meeting Management) and the CSEP (Certified Special Event Professional).

Allison Anderson

Chapter Administrator Assistant

Allison Anderson
Phone: (858) 270-2103

Allison Anderson graduated from San Diego State University with a BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management with an emphasis in meetings and events. Allison’s passion for working with people led her to focus on a career in hospitality but it was a recreation event course in community college that geared her focus to event planning. 

Allison thrives at the registration desk, where she uses that passion for working with people to its full affect. You have probably seen her manning the registration desk at all the MPI San Diego Chapter events. Allison has been a member of MPI San Diego for three years and her favorite part about being a MPI member is the connections she has made with her industry peers. Allison is currently focusing her time on building as much professional knowledge as she can and is looking forward to growing in this fulfilling industry. 

 

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