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MPI WestField History

In the beginning...

In mid-1988, a group of industry devotees saw the needs for a local chapter of the then Meeting Planners International.  Led by Yankee Chapter (now called the Connecticut River Valley Chapter) member Mike Fiorentino, the group included Harriett Bingham, Tony Pastor, Marty Bear and Anne Renken.

The following Spring, after studying national guidelines, gathering the required number of signatures, coordinating and filing volumes of paperwork, the group applied to become a chapter - Southern Connecticut/Westchester County, NY Chapter.  We became official in March 1989 with 75 members.  Mike became the first president.  Harriett, Tony, Marty and Anne each became president in subsequent years; most remain active Chapter members today.  In the early 1990s, we decided to change our name to something simpler (and shorter!) so we became the WestField Chapter.  Since then, our membership has tripled, with each new member bringing enthusiasm and creativity. Many members move on to join committees, some join the board of directors and, then over time, some even become president.  All that have stepped up to that challenge have commented that it was an enriching experience, both personally and professionally.

Our primary goal...

The primary goal of MPI is to provide industry education, networking opportunities, professional growth and a forum for individual success.  We've accomplished this in several ways - by providing timely and substantive monthly education programs, by creating CMP Study Groups and interactive workshops, and by granting scholarships to those who could not have otherwise joined our Chapter or taken part in many of MPI's educational offerings.  In 2009, we started the Bailout Plan (now called WestField Cares) to help those who are struggling in these hard economic times.

Giving back to the community around us...

Another goal of MPI is to provide community service - our way of giving back to the local community.  Our track record in this area has also been impressive.  We have supported numerous local charities and the MPI Foundation.

MPI WestField means excellence...

On a monthly basis and on a grand scale each June, outstanding Chapter contributors are recognized and rewarded with certificates, plaques and prizes received through member contributions.  Our committee members have held innovative receptions, golf outings, holiday parties, interactive cooking classes, social events and showcases in which members share their goods and services with other members.

Over our storied history, we've hosted meetings and events at hotels, conference centers, castles, restaurants, theaters, boats, golf courses and cooking schools.  We've improved, speed-networked, wine-paired and played Jeopardy!  We've learned about customer services, negotiating skills. the power of networking, procurement, Sarbanes-Oxley, food trends, and security and safety.  We started a fabulous education conference (MeetNow!) in 2007 and have been hosting it ever since.  We've applied for Awards of Excellence in several categories and have won 2 times - once for Special Projects and once for Membership.  Most recently, we applied for and won the coveted Chapter of the Year (COTY) Award for 2006-2007.

And the journey continues...

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