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President's Message

April 2020


President’s Message

Hey all you cool cats and kittens,

If you are anything like me, you may have dumped a few hours of your social distancing into Netflix's Tiger King. If you haven't yet, you may have at least seen one of the many MEMEs on social media. It is a shocking documentary (or a train wreck that you can't stop watching) about crazy cat people, but nonetheless, it has helped many get their mind off of COVID-19 for at least a moment.


This letter is not just another COVID-19 communication, as MPI and the rest of the world that you have ever given your email address to have already communicated. If you know me well, you know that I have multiple side hustles. However, the CDC is not one, and I am not going to pretend to have any information on this virus and when things might go back to normal. This is a message of hope to an amazing MPI community that is my family.


While our industry is hurting and many of us struggling personally and financially, please know that your chapter is working to rise above by creating new initiatives for you during this time of physical distancing


As you have seen, we did cancel our 2020 Meetings Academy program, as well as multiple networking events due to the pandemic. The committees behind these programs put in many hours to never see them come to fruition. But I wanted to take a moment to recognize these amazing leaders.


Our Special Programs committee had worked on planning our Game Night, as well as March SOS and April After 5. Thank you to our VP of Special Programs Brittany Erigo, Director of Community Outreach & Networking Lynette Menendez and the committee of Alexis Dempsey, Angie Harris, Carol Cohen, Dolly Brown, Ellen Thomas, Jennifer Eggan, Krystal Ferm, Marc Ingalls, Mary Katsougrakis, Maria Cook, Kristin Norris, and Eric Class.

The Meetings Academy committee has been meeting year round to put on an exceptional program at Tampa Marriott Water Street. Thank you to our VP of Education Jenifer Smith, CMP, Director of Meetings Academy Katie Cauler, CMP, Chair Maria Thornal and a fantastic team of volunteers Richard Miseyko, Holly Young, JoDee Colonius, Krystal Ferm, Laurie Hill, Beverly Hastings, Kevin Egan, Allyson Kuentz, and Stacey Reed-Cash.


At this time, we are still planning on having our May events and will roll out some exceptional pricing for our members, but please keep in mind that programming may change based on CDC guidelines.


However, we don't want to wait to connect with you! With the need to socially connect with one another, but remaining physically distant, we have launched two virtual networking opportunities. Coffee Talks will be on Tuesday mornings at 10am, pajamas are acceptable, and Happy Hours on Thursday with Its 5 o'clock somewhere (at 4pm). I honestly had a blast last Thursday chatting with everyone; it was a delight to see someone other than my husband and my fur baby for a change. I was rocking a Carole Baskins ensemble; I am Tiger King obsessed, with my flower crown and leopard print.


Additionally, a task force has been created with Orlando, North Florida, and South Florida chapters to collaborate on innovative virtual education for all our members. Speaking of innovative, I am proud to announce that MPI Tampa Bay is a two time Rise Award Finalist for Innovative Education. The programs up for an award are our Emerging Leaders facilitated by Tara Liaschenko and our Planner Appreciation Breakfast facilitated by Laurie Hill with Collaborative Labs. The winner of the Rise Award will be announced at WEC in June, where we can Reunite for Recovery.


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families, along with those on the frontlines. Please know I am here for you whether you need someone to talk to, laugh with or drink with (virtually). During this time of uncertainty, let's spread hope for ourselves, our industry, our country, and our world; instead of fear and cooties. I am looking forward to the day we can all be together again because when we meet, we change the world.


Stay healthy and safe,


Nevar Campbell, CMP

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