August eFocus Print

President's Message

August 2018

Sara Melvin, CMP

August – Back to School for the little ones, and a bright new year ahead for MPITBA!

Hi fabulous members!  As you shop for school supplies and get those back to school haircuts for the kiddos, MPI Tampa Bay is hard at work making sure you have every opportunity to get involved and be a part of the fun!

We had an incredible time at the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College on July 25th.  It was an amazing opportunity to focus on strategic planning for our companies as well as our MPITBA chapter.  Members shared what is most important to them in the chapter, and we heard you loud and clear! Our board is putting action steps behind that feedback and we can’t wait to share updates with you on them this Fall.

On Wednesday, August 15th, we hosted our annual Volunteer Kickoff along with an After 5 at American Social on Harbour Island. We connected new members with committees, played a rousing game of bingo, and enjoyed the gorgeous views of Tampa Bay!  If you missed the volunteer kickoff, but still want to get involved – don’t worry, there’s still time! Visit this link and fill out your information and one of our team members will reach out to you with next steps.

I look forward to seeing Tampa Bay represent at the Sunshine Education Summit in Ponte Vedra, FL at the Sawgrass Marriott August 22-24.  It’s sure to be an exciting week of education, networking and fun!  Plus, one of Tampa’s own, our VP of Communications Laurie Hill, will be speaking, so be sure to check out her breakouts on strategic planning!

In September, we have our second education program of the year at The Historic Manhattan Casino.  This time, we want you to bring a friend!  Members can register themselves and a friend for just $5 extra dollars.  Check the website for updates on the speaker and other fun happenings.

Fall is just around the corner, and I don’t know about you but I’m ready for it! Football, pumpkin spice everything, and opening the windows! Enjoy these last days of Summer with your families and friends and we’ll see you soon! #BeLegendary!


Sara Melvin, CMP

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Calendar of Events

You are invited to attend the Sunshine Education Summit 2018 (SES), where the business of meetings and events showcases the resources, beauty and energy of Florida. Formerly known as Southeast Educational Conference (SEC),SES remains a cooperative effort between the four MPI Florida Chapters (Tampa, Orlando, North Florida and South Florida).

This year's conference will feature cutting-edge industry education that addresses the hottest topics and issues affecting meetings and events professionals—at all levels—through learning styles that range from invigorating keynotes to interactive classes.

We have a great line-up of keynote speakers and entertainment including:

  • Keynote Speaker, Ken Rutkowski, Co-Founder of nationally syndicated “Business Rockstars”
  • Keynote Speaker, Danielle Baker, Certified Body Language Coach and Trainer at the Science of People
  • Emcee, Michelle Johnson, The Anchor Group
  • DJ Roonie G


MPI Tampa September SOS After 5

September 04, 2018
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Art Ovation Hotel 
1225 N. Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

SOS After 5


MPI Tampa Bay Area September Education Program

September 19, 2018
11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Historic Manhattan Casino
642 22nd Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Monthly Education Meeting
Promotion:  Members can bring a non member guest or co-worker for $5.00



MPI Tampa October After 5

October 11, 2018
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Armature Works

After 5


2018 MPI Tampa Bay Area Emerging Leaders

October 18, 2018
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Tampa Westshore Airport

Tampa, FL

Emerging Leaders Program


MPI Tampa Bay Area Mid Year Board Retreat

October 21, 2018 9:00 AM to October 22, 2018 5:00 PM

Even Hotel

Board Retreat


MPI Tampa November Education Program

November 07, 2018
11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Fenway Hotel
453 Edgewater Drive
Dunedin, FL 34698

Monthly Meeting



MPI Tampa January After 5

January 17, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

J Thor

Annual Ugly Sweater Party


MPI Tampa Bay Area February Education Program

February 13, 2019
11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Glazer Children's Museum
110 W Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, FL 33602

Monthly Meeting



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Membership News

Please welcome the following new members who joined MPI Tampa Bay Area in August-

Victoria Edwards, Director of Catering, Godfrey Hotel Tampa

Jena Gonsalves, CMP, Group Sales Manager, Marriott Suites Clearwater Beach on Sand Key

Darin Henry, Sr. Sales Manager, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa

Cherry Murwin, CMP, Account Executive, Exclusive Destination Management Inc.

Ellie Soucy, President, HMSGS, Inc.

Kaitlyn Taylor, Student

Congratulations to our Members as we celebrate their membership Anniversaries!


5 Years -  Racquel Khuri, Director, Nova Southeastern University

MPI Tampa Bay Area is now a Preferred Provider with EIC.


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Sponsorship & Partnership Opportunities

The Sunshine Education Summit will be held this year on August 22 - 24 at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.  Each year a silent auction is held to raise funds for the respective Florida MPI Chapters. This well-attended event is an excellent opportunity to showcase your products and services, plus help raise money for our chapter.

Suggestions for Donations include:

        Accommodations - Meals - Spa Treatments - Car Rentals - Gift Certificates - Airfare - Meeting Space - Clothing - Event Certificates - Limosines - Cruises - Paintings - Rounds of Golf - Gift Baskets -Sports/Collectible Memorabilia

In order for our chapter to receive the benefit of your donation, we must receive your commitment by Thursday, July 5, 2018. 

 Please email photos of the items in one of the following formats: .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, or .png and send the certificate/letter/tickets or items, 2 rack brochures and /or promotional material, if applicable.  Please note all restrictions and blackout dates, and an estimated DOLLAR VALUE of each item.  Also, please note the dates of validity (9/1/18 – 8/31/19) on all certificates.

Please send all material to the attention of Wayne Childs at by July 5th.

Another SES Opportunity!  

We have an exciting offer for exhibit tables at Sunshine Education Summit. June 19th – July 2nd we are offering tabletop displays for suppliers for only $500 or a spot to participate on our Educational Hosted Buyer Program which also includes 1 conference registration and a tabletop display throughout the conference. That’s $250 off the regular price!   The tabletop displays are open throughout the conference in our Connections Café and available for networking with attendees during breaks and lunches.    

The Educational Hosted Buyer option will help you build meaningful relationships and get business done. Apply here.

We also offer sponsorship packages featuring different ways to engage attendees – from speaker introductions to room drops – we’ve got options.

Our team is ready to help you make the right choice for your brand. We've even put together a letter that will help you make your case to your boss. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact Whitney Feather, Director of Business Development, at or via phone at (352) 318-2096


Get your company name out there while connecting with your fellow MPI Tampa Bay Area members! Sponsor an event or advertise on our website!  

We have a number of opportunities that will fit any budget and objective. Just reach out to Angelic Hodnett, Director of Cash Sponsorship & Advertising at Follow this link to our Cash Sponsorship and Advertising Packet:



Take advantage of our 2-part Table Host/Sponsor Program!           

You will receive ...

MAXIMUM exposure at the next MPI Education Luncheon.

PART 1: Registration/Networking Hour - Showcase your business & promote your specials!

PART 2:  Education Luncheon - Gather your colleagues and prospects at your reserved table. Spotlight your business and facilitate the conversation during lunch. Bring fabulous gifts for your tablemates so they don’t forget you! The emcee will recognize your business too!

During the on-line registration for the Education click the “Add-on” Table Host/Sponsor ($40.00)

Reserve your Sponsor Table Today!

Judy Mockabee

 This is a call to action for everyone. We are searching for Out-of-Industry Sponsors for events. If each of you could provide us with just one prospect, we can reach our goal, and add value to our meetings.

So we are asking for referral and leads from each of you. It could be clients, financial planners, gyms, veterinarians, insurance, or any company that would bring benefit to our organization, and would like to address the awesome buying power of MPI.

Please send at least one prospective lead to Angelic Hodnett –

Thank you for your help and support!


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Committee and Other News

Volunteering with Global Impact

Volunteers power MPI - WE NEED YOU!

On the chapter and global level, you will find MPI volunteers bringing passion for their profession to the community.  Through volunteer roles, MPI members forge meaningful connections, take leadership roles, and contribute to the industry. Please contact Kevin Egan our Membership Chair to find out more at 

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