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MPI Honors 2020 RISE Awards Recipients


DALLAS, June 25, 2020 — Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced the recipients of this year’s RISE (Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence) Awards during the association’s 2020 Chapter Business Summit held virtually this year. The recipients were selected for exceptional achievements in the meeting and events industry and will be formally recognized during the World Education Congress (WEC) taking place in Grapevine, Texas, November 3-6, 2020.

Established in 2009 and recognized globally as a significant achievement for those awarded, this year, the RISE Awards feature seven awards in two categories: individual achievement and community achievement. Recipients are recognized for innovation, global transferability, impact and influence within the industry, and will join the MPI Community of Honorees, a group composed of past MPI award winners and distinguished leaders.

“We are so proud to congratulate this year’s 2020 RISE Awards recipients,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “The commitment by MPI members to make an impact in their communities, as well as the industry, is inspiring –– and their accomplishments are remarkable.”

The RISE Award for Young Professional is presented to Cassie Poss, CMP of the MPI Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. Poss is the Sports Events Manager for Visit Fort Worth and she has been an active MPI member since 2015. In 2017, Poss was selected to serve on the MPI D/FW Board as Director of Education and Events. Currently, Poss proudly serves as VP of Education and Events, leading a committee whose membership has grown to 30 individuals. Poss now uses her position to spread MPI’s reach into new relationships across the metroplex and across the country.

The RISE Award for Member of the Year is presented to Bryan Quinan, CMP of the MPI Southern California Chapter. Quinan is the Director, Events for Milken Institute in Santa Monica, California and has been an active member of MPI since 2001. Quinan has served on the Board of Directors for his chapter at various times and in different roles. During Quinan’s tenure, MPI Southern California Chapter committed to the spirit of collaboration with other hospitality associations on Global Meetings Industry Day. Award-winning meeting strategies were developed from Quinan’s experiences collaborating with industry leaders in his chapter.

The RISE Award for Meeting Industry Leadership is presented to Sherry DeLaGarza, CMP, CMM of the MPI Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. Currently, DeLaGarza is the President of Key Standards Event Management LLC. DeLaGarza joined MPI in 1997 seeking education for an industry new to her. Within her tenure, her commitment to MPI, its members and the industry, has led to various leadership roles with other industry and civic and community organizations. Over the past 20 years, DeLaGarza has chaired 16 educational programs; 6 of which either won or were a finalist for the chapter’s Program of the Year Award. Currently, DeLaGarza serves as MPIDFW’s GMID Co-Chair and Creator and WEC Grapevine Co-Chair.

The RISE Award for Innovative Educational Programming is presented to the MPI Netherlands Chapter. In 2019, MPI Netherlands chapter hosted and organized the European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC). The game changing edition of EMEC was entirely designed with the different stakeholders in mind, this resulted in an 8.9 average score and a +64 NPS. It also received global recognition as the Best Conference Award from BEAWorld.

The RISE Award for Marketplace Excellence is presented to the MPI Mexico Chapter. MPI Mexico Chapter has 20 years of history and has established itself as the largest MICE Association in Latin America. Their main focus has been to support and enrich all meetings and events value chain players in Mexico through education and networking.

The RISE Award for Industry Advocate is presented to the MPI Potomac Chapter. This past year, the MPI Potomac Chapter has turned their focus on Advocacy and Diversity & Inclusion within their chapter and the hospitality industry, reinforcing the fact that diversity naturally brings new perspectives and ideas to the table. The chapter was able to add a Director of Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion and created a Diversity & Inclusion task force.  They created the first ever Diversity & Inclusion content presented at their Education Event (E2). Shortly thereafter they held a Town Hall at Mid Atlantic Conference & Exposition (MACE), the chapter’s annual education day and once again focused on D & I. They have collaborated with another local industry association chapter to hold a joint educational event for Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), providing educational opportunities, as well as a networking reception.   

The RISE Award for Membership Achievement is presented to the MPI Caribe Mexicano Chapter. In February 2019, five ex-presidents of the MPI Mexico Chapter came together with a vision: starting the MPI Mexico Caribbean Chapter in order to grow the most important state in tourism in Mexico, to seek new opportunities for professional learning and networking and increase more and better business. Last year, membership grew from 54 to 70 members, a 25% growth, and continues to grow with great monthly events and a sustainable business plan.

For more details on the MPI RISE Awards and this year’s recipients, visit

About MPI

Meeting Professionals International

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including nearly 13,000 engaged members. It has It has nearly 70 chapters, clubs and members in more than 75 countries worldwide. "When we meet, we change the world."







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