Top Performing Chapter Award
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Top Performing Chapter Award

 

 

Get to Know Your 2021-2022 Board!

By: MPISTL | Jul 12, 2021

MPISTL Board-OldKinderhook-Closeup_2021-2022


Ashley Patrick, CMP - President
  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meeting industry.
    The relationships you make are key to your success.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    I would like to see the chapter get back to meeting as usual. Face to face events for networking and education.
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Spending time with my family, friends and dogs :)

Christina Eller - President-Elect

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    Work hard and love what you do! The meetings industry is incredibly rewarding, and you meet amazing people along the way. Soak it all up!
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    Seeing the passion in our new board members at the retreat this year has added energy to the board. I hope I am able to mentor them through their MPI leadership journey that same way I was mentored when I first joined.
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Outside with a nice glass of wine :)

Sarah Pinkowski, CMP - Past President

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    One of my favorite John Wooden quotes – “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. Its courage that counts.” We can pick ourselves and each other back up now.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    As the “not so immediate” immediate past president, I hope to effectively lead the succession committee and build the next board of directors by getting to know our current committee leaders better.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?  
    I wish for a life that no longer needs any future wishes. 😊 
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Outside – walking in the CWE or Forest Park, reading or wine on the patio, lounging at the pool, really anything with fresh air and sun!

Kaitlin Jakel, CMP - Vice President-Finance

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    Be a duck! Calm on the surface, but paddling like the crazy underneath.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    I would like to improve the financial health of our chapter through fundraising and other endeavors while keeping everything fun.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    I would ask for a time traveling DeLorean with unlimited access to the ability to generate 1.21 gigawatts so I would never get stuck anywhere!
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Some of my favorite things include karaoke, golf, tennis, travel, bingo, and trivia… and of course binging TV shows.

Valerie Fox, CMP - Vice President-Education

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    You want partners in this industry, try and look at things from both sides and be flexible. You will build better relationships this way. 
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    On the education team we want to execute meaningful events for the membership, lets meet in person again and do it safely. While we know not everyone is ready or able to participate in face to face meetings, we want to find creative and helpful solutions to provide our membership value.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    I would ask the genie to find a cure for cancer!
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Shopping 😊

Brittany Kummer - Vice President-Membership

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    My advice: True success comes from believing in yourself first and putting in good ole fashion hard work!
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    Seeing our industry continue to come back from the effects of COVID, adding in new/different experiences (in terms of our events) for our members and welcoming as many new members back to our chapter as possible!
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    For a lifetime filled with true happiness.
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    With my mom and two aunts-they are my favorite people in the world, absolutely hysterical and unwavering with support.

Kelly Whitman, CMP - Vice President-Communications

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    You'll never make 100% of guests, 100% happy, 100% of the time.  Make the idea of perfection what you want it to be.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    Reconnect with old friends and meet new.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    I used to joke and say World Peace after watching Miss Congeniality.  But now it's needed more than ever.
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Finding deals at Estate Sales

Bridget Bitza - Director of Member Care

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    Be yourself and be vocal about your viewpoint. Most likely someone feels the same way, but might be nervous to speak up.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    Meet new people and create new friendships.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    Endless amounts of happiness for everyone.
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    With my two children and anything outdoors.

Robert Brice - Director of Member Recruitment & Retention

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    Don’t give up, there is always something you can do to better your situation.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    I hope that we can stop the chapter membership loss and start rebuilding membership
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Traveling, preferably to Europe.

Michelle Robinson, CMP - Director of Media & Communications

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    We aren’t saving lives!
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    I hope to encourage more readership of the newsletter; increase social media traffic and inspire us to collectively lean into our discomforts regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    To eradicate homelessness.
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Traveling of course😊!

Sarah Pech - Director of Monthly Programs

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    The best advice I have received is along the lines of recognizing our work/life imbalances. We need to remember to set reminders to pause and take time for ourselves in the process.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    Last year challenged us to rethink events, how we meet, and why it matters. This year I hope to provide our members with educational, engaging content while incorporating all that has been learned throughout the past 18 months. My goal is to advocate for our industry to return to in-person events with a fresh perspective and enthusiasm!
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    In my free time, you may find me running around Forest Park or searching the city for the best lavender latte.

Cara McGuire, CMP - Director of EduCon

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    My best advice is no matter what happens in your career, be true to yourself. I know that when it comes down to it, my work and my word is mine to uphold. I want to be someone who people can trust, know will do great work and always stand behind what I do with integrity and accountability. It’s also important that you know when to be serious but also when to keep it light - if we can have a little fun while we get things done, all the better!
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    I am passionate about helping people grow and succeed, so I am excited to be Director of EduCon this year! My overall goal is to ensure the successful execution of this long-standing education event, while looking for ways to enhance and improve the experience of our members and guests. We plan to make this year’s EduCon an opportunity for learning, networking, and celebration with our industry community in St. Louis.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    Time always seems to be my challenge – either too little or too much – so I would love to ability to bend time to my needs. Waiting for that exciting vacation? Speed up the clock! Need to fit more tasks into my day? Hit the pause button so I can get everything done!
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    See the answer above – I don’t have enough free time for sure! My relaxation time is spent with family at the lake, sitting on the covered patio early in the morning with a cup of coffee or on the dock watching my kids play in the water.

Adam Edwards, CMP - Director of Special Events

  • Best advice you have received or can give to people in the meetings industry.
    MPI is a community. Utilize it. Whether you’re looking for supplier partners, industry advice, continuing your education or wanting to network/get involved with other like-minded individuals, this is the place to do it.
  • What do you hope to achieve during your tenure on the board this year?
    Special Events is all about having fun and raising money so I want to be successful at both of those things, especially as we come back to in-person events, as we could all use a little infusion of fun and fellowship back into our lives.
  • If you were granted one wish in your lifetime by a magical genie, what would that wish be?
    I’d love to be able to instantly arrive anywhere in the world I want to go. Not only would this save me hours of travel time, but I would also be able to wait until the last minute to arrive for an event without stressing about it.
  • What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
    Movies, TV shows, Broadway productions, Lego’s, puzzles, knitting and personal travel.
 

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MPISTL

 

 

 

 

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