Top Performing Chapter Award

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Top Performing Chapter Award



Legendary Member of the Quarter


Maria Thornal

Congratulations on being voted Member of the Quarter by the board of directors of your MPITBA chapter! You are among an elite group of members who has proven their dedication to the chapter and to the industry, as a whole.

Maria Thornal

How many years have you been in the Meeting/Event Business? 

7 years – I was extremely fortunate to be offered a Catering Sales position right out of college in 2013 and have been in the meetings/events industry ever since!

During that time, what would you say has been your best experience? 

I’ve had so many amazing experiences that have allowed me to grow in my career but the best experience has been getting to help others to ensure that their events and meetings are a success! There is no greater reward than getting that call or email the day after an event to hear how amazing it all went and to thank me for playing such a huge part in making that happen. 

What committees/volunteer opportunities have you been involved in during your membership?  

For the last 3 years, I’ve been part of the Meetings Academy committee and most recently held the chair position for MA 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were forced to cancel the April conference but I know MA 2021 will be back bigger and better than ever with the groundwork that the amazing 2020 committee has already done!  

Why did you first join MPI?

I first joined MPI as an additional opportunity to network with fellow suppliers and meeting planners. I also had initial plans to obtain my CMP certification and wanted to earn additional education credits. Although I have not gotten my CMP certification yet, mark my words… 2021 WILL be the year I become a CMP! J

What's the most important/valued thing you’ve gained from your membership? 

Well, this is an easy one… the relationships I’ve been able to form and I truly mean that! There is really no greater networking group than MPI. We work in a tough yet extremely rewarding industry and getting to share that with others who understand is so refreshing. From the moment I joined MPI and the MA committee, I immediately felt welcomed and valued. My busy work schedule doesn’t allow for me to get to every MPI event but when I do get to attend I am always received with warm welcomes and I love it! 

Please tell us any interesting facts about you that you would like us to know.  

I’m a die-hard Florida State football fan, have the FSU spear tattooed on my foot, and named my Golden Retriever, Winston (after Jameis Winston). My husband and I also met at FSU so we both hold our alma mater very close to our hearts! J

Thank you. And congratulations, once again, on your honor!


We would like to again congratulate our previous members of the month:

Previous Legendary Leaders of the Quarter

Winter 2020:  Andrew Humphrey
Fall 2019:  Richard Miseyko
Summer 2019:  Ellen Thomas

Previous Members of the Month


April 2019 - JC York

March 2019 - Krystal Ferm

February 2019 - Holly Young

January 2019 - Samantha Nemeroff

November 2018 - Mary Katsougrakis

October 2018 - Steve Tishman

September 2018 - Karn Clark

August 2018 - Lynette Menendez

June 2018 - Megan Humphrey

May 2018 - Brittany Erigo

April 2018 - Jennifer Smith, CMP

March 2018 - Jeff Boone

February 2018 - Cara Tolzman

January 2018 - Dolly Brown

November 2017 - Stephanie Monroy

October 2017 - Judy Mockabee

September 2017 - Angel Hodnett

August 2017 - Shelby Connett

March 2017 - Ashley Snedeker

January 2017- JC York


December 2016 - Amanda Clark

November 2016 - Rob Ferguson

October 2016 - Wayne Childs

September 2016 -  Linda Urban

July 2016 - Dina Vann

May 2016 - Stacy Feldhusen

January 2016 - Amanda Bernstein

November 2015 -  Matt Allen

October 2015 - Holly Young

September 2015 - Karen Farrington

August 2015 - Christy Cromwell

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