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MPI Upstate NY supports and applauds members who make an extraordinary effort on behalf of our organization and the events industry. Awards will be presented at the annual MPI Upstate NY Gala, which typically takes place in the spring.

Awards Selection Committee guides the development of the current awards to reflect the ever-evolving meetings and events industry and represents the talented individuals who provide the services for our industry.

If you have questions regarding the award process or would like to join the awards committee, please contact mpiupstateny@gmail.com.

Awards Judging Criteria :

  • Degree to which the nominee has made a remarkable contribution that has enduring benefit to the meeting, convention, and events industry. (20%)

  • Evidence of a high level of achievement in the meeting, convention, and events industry during the year. (20%)

  • The potential to contribute to the meeting, convention, and events industry in the future. (20%)

  • Demonstrated commitment to continued innovation in the meeting, convention, and events industry. (10%)

  • Suitability as an ambassador for the meeting, convention, and events industry as an example and a spokesperson. (10%)

  • Demonstrated commitment to continued environmentally sustainable practice in the meeting, convention, and events industry. (10%)

  • Degree to which claims made in the entry are supported with evidence such as reasons for the claim, statistics, independent commentary, or stakeholder feedback. (10%)


Partner of the Year Award

An MPI UNY Chapter member (Planner or Supplier) who has consistently contributed time and experience to upstate New York’s meeting industry. This individual has shown commitment and involvement to the profession through their volunteer efforts.


  • Must be an MPI UNY Chapter member in good standing.
  • Contributions performed during the current fiscal year will be considered

Volunteer of the Year Award

This annual Membership award recognizes our chapter’s volunteer members and sponsors as well as the overall successes of another great year. As an association we know it takes many volunteers to contribute to the success of our chapter as we highlight one member who has volunteered their time and gone the extra mile. 

This award recognizes the commitment of that member in influencing the life of the Chapter. This is based on the ability of the recipient to motivate others, stimulate volunteer functions and give a sense of direction and act as a catalyst to cause exceptional results that benefit the Chapter.


  • Must be a MPI UNY Chapter member in good standing
  • Continuing MPI UNY Chapter Service
  • Continuing Professional Education
  • Contributions performed during the current fiscal year will be considered
  • Office of the President of the Board of MPI Upstate NY is not eligible 

Planner of the Year
This award recognizes a planner member who represents leadership and excellence in the meeting planning profession along with a commitment to the local meeting community and an outstanding record of customer service in their industry. Nominations are received from the membership and will be reviewed and voted on by the awards committee.  All chapter planner members are eligible. Nominees will be considered for professional experience, involvement in MPI, industry engagement, community service and recognition by their peers.


  • Individual must be an MPI UNY Chapter member in good standing.
  • In order to be considered, a nomination by a chapter member must be submitted.
  • Contributions performed during the current fiscal year will be considered.

Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award is presented to a chapter member (planner or supplier) who exhibits a strong sense of initiative on behalf of the MPI Upstate NY Chapter and the meetings industry during the previous year. This individual shows promise as a future leader based on a record of committee service, overall volunteerism and participation in Chapter activities. The Rising Star recipient is selected by the MPI Upstate NY Board of Directors.


  • The candidate must be an active member in good standing.
  • The member has made significant continuous contributions to the chapter through MPI Upstate NY
    Chapter by events attended, leadership and/or committee participation, professional designations,
    member recruitment, etc.
  • Past Gala Award winners are not eligible. 

Industry Leader

This Award recognizes an individual that has made a remarkable contribution to the meeting, convention and events industry over a sustained period-of-time. The Outstanding Industry Professional celebrates an individual who has dedicated his/her career to the events industry. This person has demonstrated best practices, provided guidance and inspiration to others, and is seen as a leader in the industry. This award is presented to an individual and is the most coveted in our awards program.

Eligibility Criteria:
Entries may be submitted by or on behalf of an individual, or organization who has made an outstanding contribution to the meeting, convention and events industry over an extended period-of-time. You may self-nominate. 

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Congratulations to our 2022 - 2023 Award Winners!



Industry Leader

Susan Baker

Saratoga Springs City Center



Partner of the Year

Discover Albany




Volunteer of the Year

Meaghan Zimmer

Visit Buffalo Niagara

Planner of the Year

Caitlin Gaborow

Delaney Event Management


Rising Star

Lisa Conarton

Ithaca-Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau