End of Year 50s Bash & Awards Celebration
June 9, 2022
Join MPI THCC as we have a BLAST celebrating MPI turning 50 this year!
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Members' "ZOOM Into 2022" Happy Hour
June 14, 2022
Peer-led sessions on the second Tuesday of every month
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Top Performing Chapter Award
Honorary Achievment Chapter Award

 

 

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Deborah Ann Farnum, CMP Emeritus

Est. 2006

Why did you pursue your CMP over 15 years ago?

I was new to Austin, new to my association, and new to this business because of my job. With a master's degree in education I had taught middle school for 13 years, moved to Florida for two years and then returned to Texas. I was hired by an association to do meeting planning, receptionist duties, and education coordinator and didn't know the difference between a CEO and a BEO. Needless to say, I needed help and needed it quickly. Jeff Bell, past MPI THCC came to visit me regarding future meetings (he represented Visit Fort Worth) and told me about MPI so I quickly signed up for a meeting. It was there I found out about the CMP designation and realized this would give me an arsenal of resources, information, and networking. I jumped on it immediately and NEVER EVER regretted it - even at age!!

What value does your CMP add to your career?

I took the test and had to wait on results in those days which is not the case now. However, as I waited I submitted my application for a meeting planner position with the Texas Association of School Boards. At the interview it was plainly noted they would prefer a CMP designation. I was able to inform them I had just taken the examination and was awaiting the results. Long story short I was hired before the results were available and started my job at TASB three days after getting the notification I had passed the exam and was a Certified Meeting Professional. As the years went by I felt compelled to give back what I had learned from the CMP curriculum and became the co-chair of the CMP Study Group for MPI THCC. That was such an enriching experience - to be able to guide and nurture fellow meeting planners as they sought the CMP designation. Best thing I ever did!

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

Don't wait and don't be scared about the exam. Study, review, talk to those who have their CMP, and LEARN. You will not regret it. Pinky swear.


Angela Feinstein, CMP

Est. 2022

Why did you pursue your CMP?

The CMP certification has always interested me. I believe it shows dedication and commitment to our industry. I decided to study and sit for the CMP to have a holistic viewpoint into the entire meeting process from inception through event execution.

What value does your CMP add to your career?

Having my CMP has already helped me to negotiate better terms for my client. It’s helped me to understand the “who, what and why” when usually I only work on the “where”. Knowing my client’s challenges allows me to have better conversations with my hotel partners to help clients locate the right financial package and location for their meetings. Today I was able to ask my client better questions about room rates and was able to negotiate a partitioned room block that allowed pricing for different attendees for a client. Win for the client and the hotel!

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

Create an account with EIC, even if you are not sure if you are going to apply for your CMP. You need to start tracking your education hours. Give yourself a timeline to take the test and stick to it. Take the Study Course with Carol Benavidez offered by MPI THCC. Get involved in weekly class discussions, study and do the homework.


Jennifer Shira, CMPJennifer Shira, CMP

Est. 2021

Why did you pursue your CMP?

I wanted to pursue my CMP to expand my knowledge of the event industry that I have been a part of for over 8 years and to have the globally recognized designation of CMP.

What value does your CMP add to your career?

My current position in the events industry is focused on Facility Operations. Working towards my CMP reminded me of my early years in fundraising and event planning while continuing my education in areas that I am currently not utilizing, adding value to my knowledge of the entire industry.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

I would highly recommend taking the MPI CMP Bootcamp to anyone pursuing their CMP. The chapter worksheets, practice quizzes and weekly meetings were just what I needed to stay focused, work hard and continue studying even after the boot camp ended. Also, the PocketPrep app was a great benefit to me as I worked through the questions provided several times.


Julius Smith, CMP

Julius Smith, CMP

Est. 2021

Why did you pursue your CMP?

I knew I wanted to excel in my career in the meetings industry and having a CMP would definitely advance that mission. I wanted to challenge myself as well as better understand our clients and the industry as a whole; the process of getting the CMP definitely achieved those goals. Luckily I have an amazing group of coworkers and we all decided it would be awesome to pursue it as a team. Their determination and drive helped pushed me forward and now most of us in our group have our CMP and hopefully, there's more to come.

What value does your CMP add to your career?

Having 'CMP' behind my name means that I have a better understanding of the meetings and events industry than I did before. Hopefully, when I decide to advance my career or pursue other opportunities, employers will know that Julius Smith will bring a level of expertise and knowledge that not everyone has.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

I would tell them to study, study, study and never give up. I'd highly recommend signing up for Carol Benavidez's CMP Study Group, it was by far the biggest contributing factor to my passing the exam. Take any and every practice test you can, especially ones that will reference the book and page number where to find the answer.


Emily Talley, CMP

Est. 2021

Why did you pursue your CMP?

I have been in the events industry for 8 years and chose to pursue my CMP to elevate my understanding of this industry and to obtain a globally recognized certification.

What value does your CMP add to your career?

The CMP broadens my understanding of the industry. My current position focuses on venue management, the CMP has more of a focus on the event planning side which was useful for understanding my client base better and the methods behind most of their planning processes.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

Take a bootcamp! The bootcamp I took with Carol Benavindez and the discussion, handouts and practice tests were a game changer for me! Also, the pocket prep app was very very helpful while I studied!

 

2021-2022 Board of Director


David Chapa, CMP

Director of Recruitment & Networking

Est. 2021

Why did you pursue your CMP?

I believe education leads the pathway towards success. I wanted the strength the CMP designation provides to open doors for my career.

What value does your CMP add to your career?

The CMP designation has been extremely valuable to my career. It allows me to stand apart from others when I have applied for new opportunities. It too has established my authority with management in my corporate career.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

Take a study course. The study course will set you up for success and you will meet some amazing event professionals. Create a smaller study group, from within your study course, to work together towards the goal. You will be able to share ideas/experiences while forming some true friendships. To this day I keep up with individuals I met in my study course. Enjoy the experience; while the process is stressful you will be creating memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.


Ellen Forsythe, CMP

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Est. 2003

Why did you pursue your CMP?

The primary reasons I pursed my certification is because it's a globally recognized certification that gives me more credibility as a planner. I believe it displays my skill level and commitment to the meeting profession.


MicheleGonzalez-200Michele Gonzalez, CMP

Vice President of Education

Est. 2021

Why did you pursue your CMP?

Since I started my events career I knew that receiving my CMP would really solidify my knowledge and experience and let our community know that I take our profession seriously. It took some time for me to have the professional support I needed to pursue it but I never gave up. It is an important designation.

What value does your CMP add to your career?

Having a CMP shows that you are involved and informed about the meetings and events industry. It also indicates a level of knowledge and professionalism.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

Study Hard! The test is a real measure of knowledge and expertise. Join a study group like the one we offer within the chapter. It helps tremendously and the knowledge does stick.


Anne Ledet, CMP

Director of Education

Est. 2004

Why did you pursue your CMP?

I had an incredible boss and mentor Terri Toennies who guided me into the CMP process. What a gift!

What value does your CMP add to your career?

CMP is always a door opener. It shows you are informed, current and in the industry as a professional.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their CMP?

Anyone considering CMP should do it! It is an investment in yourself and your future. A CMP almost always gets preference in the job market over non-CMPs. Put yourself first and jump in!

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