PCMA Southeast Chapter
August 2012 E-Newsletter

President's Message
Wow - we are already into August of 2012! I don't know about you, but this year has been very fast paced for me.  Being in the meetings industry most of us are very busy traveling all year without our families or friends.  I hope everyone has had a chance to take a little vacation or "staycation" to re-energize and reconnect with those loved ones this summer. 


All of us that serve on the PCMA Southeast Board know that your membership expectations are important to your professional and personal growth.  Our commitment to provide you with outstanding Quarterly Educational/Networking Programs continued in August with the opportunity to hear what your President & CEO of PCMA, Deborah Sexton, had to share in regards to the "State of PCMA" and trends/critical issues affecting the industry.  She was joined by Susan Katz, who is your PCMA Southeast Chapter HQ Liaison and Director of Corporate Events & Travel for True Value Hardware, as well as Ann Godi, President/CEO of Benchmarc360, Inc.  


In September, we will hold our L.E.R.N. (Lots of Resources and Networking) event in Raleigh, NC.  This is a continuation of what we started in Birmingham, AL this past April.  L.E.R.N. helps promote membership to the large region our chapter represents.   Non-members and members are invited to discover how the Southeast Chapter delivers superior and innovative education as well as promotes the value of professional convention management.  Registration is coming your way soon.  Please pass this info along to anyone you feel could be a potential member.


Stay tuned for much, much more.  If you are interested in volunteering to make your mark with the PCMA Southeast Board in 2013...this is your time.  We are looking for dynamic, creative, and innovative professionals to help take our chapter to the next level!  Volunteerism is what makes this chapter successful.  We appreciate all of our current volunteers but always welcome new ones to help the PCMA Southeast Chapter grow.  Please contact me directly at (251) 208-2012 to talk about whatever is on your mind.




Patty Kieffer

2012 PCMA Southeast Chapter President 


November Educational Luncheon
Wednesday, November 7
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM


 Join fellow PCMA Southeast Chapter members for our 2012 Annual Meeting with awards and announcement of the 2013 Board Members - among other activities. 


Registration open soon!  

2013 Convening Leaders Scholarships Available


PCMA Southeast Chapter has three scholarships available for chapter members only to attend 2013 Convening Leaders in Orlando, FL from January 13-16, 2013.  Two registration scholarships; and one Planner Only scholarship that includes airfare, lodging, and conference registration will be awarded.


Click here to obtain the scholarship application.  The deadline to submit applications is October 19, 2012.  The winners will be chosen by the Scholarship Committee - chaired by Immediate Past President Megan Maharry.


Questions?  Contact Megan at megan.maharry@disney.com or (407) 566-1946.


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*Chapter offers two scholarships per year  -  annual meeting registration is paid. 


Your $795 scholarship sponsorship offers you: 

  • Logo and link on chapter website for one year
  • Sponsor ribbon for one year
  • Recognition & Highlighted in one Monthly E-Newsletter
  • Podium Time at Annual Meeting Chapter Reception
  • One complimentary registration to two educational programs
September L.E.R.N. Event in Raleigh, NC
Wednesday, September 12
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM


As one of the leading organization for meeting and event professionals, discover how the Southeast Chapter delivers superior and innovative education and promotes the value of professional convention management. If you are not a current member, see what education, professional resources and networking opportunities can benefit your specific needs. Or, if you're a current member, reconnect with the benefits that you find most valuable.


So come join your industry peers at the PCMA Southeast Chapter on September 12 at the Chatham Hill Winery in the Raleigh area.


Registration open next week!  

Sponsored by:



Register for PCMA Global Professionals Conference

The 2012 PCMA Global Professionals Conference (formerly International Summit), is conveniently co-located with IMEX America. This highly anticipated annual global conference brings planners and suppliers together to collaborate on solutions and current challenges when managing their global meetings.  

Planners from PCMA's Global Task Force as well as industry trends have helped us shape this year's content for what is predicted to be the best global meetings think tank.

Topics on the table include:

  • Training your volunteers and staff to understand multiple cultures
  • Country-specific insights on key topics you need
  • Local hotel and venue negotiations
  • Effective delegate marketing for growing attendance
  • Social media tactics and new technology offerings

Registration for planners is now open. Please contact Katie Yandell for registration information at (312) 423-7257.


Dates: October 11-12, 2012

Location: Las Vegas, NV - co-located with IMEX America

PCMA Southeast Chapter Member Anniversaries

20 Years

  • Karen Sue Williams, Executive Vice President - Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau
14 Years
  • Rhonda L. Marko, CMP, CMM, DMCP, President and CEO - Destination Nashville
13 Years
  • Bonnie Brownell, CMP, Director of Convention Sales - Vista Cay by Millennium
  • Deborah Davies, CMP, Assistant Stated Clerk - Presbyterian Church USA
  • Brenda P. Dempsey, Director of Southern Regional Office - Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Jan Fortmayer, Senior Account Executive - Marriott Global Sales
  • Ronald F. Olejko, Senior Director, Meeting Services - American College of Rheumatology
  • Jerry Pfeiffer, Regional Vice President of Sales - GES
  • Andy Totin, Senior Sales Manager - Hyatt Regency Atlanta
  • James T. Wood, President & CEO - Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau
10 Years
  • Tyra W. Hilliard, Ph.D., JD, CMP, Program Director and Associate Professor - Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings - University of Alabama 
6 Years
  • Michael L. O'Connor, CMP, Vice President of Conference Management - Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
3 Years
  • Joy C. Brown, Manager - Morehead Conference Center
2 Years
  • Shari M. Fisher, CHME, CMP, Director of Sales - Hotel Monteleone
  • Holly Waters, Marketing Assistant - Harris Equipment
1 Year
  • Lisa O. Beard, President - M3Solutions, LLC
  • Annette Carollo - Iberostar Hotels & Resorts
  • Carol K. Foley, CMP, Convention Services Manager - Emerald Coast Convention Center
  • Lisa Haller, Executive Director of Sales - Galt House Hotel
  • Sara M. Rex, Student - Teamwork Event Specialists


PCMA Southeast Chapter 2012 Board of Directors
Patty Kieffer, CASE
Mobile Bay CVB 
President Elect
Sharon Collins, CMP, SMMC
American Cancer Society 
Brenda Dempsey
Nashville CVB 
Karyl Hanisch
Renaissance Hotels of Mobile 
Immediate Past President/Scholarship Chair
Megan Maharry, CHSP 
Disney Destinations 
Director/Communications Chair
Michele Sawka
Director/Community Service Chair
Kim Maling, CMP, DMCP
InLine Meetings 
Director/Membership Chair
Jennifer Smith Hicks, CASE, CMP 
San Diego CVB 
Director/Programs Chair 
Mike Whittington
Miike Whittington & Associates 
Director/Sponsorship Chair
Sarah Bigorowski
Georgia Pharmacy Association 
Sponsorship Co-Chair
Ali Brown
Eventions of Florida 
Director/Volunteer Chair
Susan Rawlins, CMP Emeritus
Join a PCMA Committee or Task Force
Becoming a volunteer is the best way to connect with fellow PCMA members, develop 
your leadership skills, and become an integral part of the PCMA community. 
No matter what your talent, interest, or availability, there's a committee or task force that is right for you!


To view the available 2013 committee and task force opportunities and submit your volunteer form, click here.


Deadline is August 31, 2012.

Join the Southeast Chapter in Social Networking!



Join a discussion; meet industry colleagues; and reconnect with new and old PCMA friends!

(Click on the logos to be directed to the PCMA Southeast Chapter pages)
Call for PCMA Award Nominations

In preparation for the 2013 Professional Achievement Dinner, PCMA is now soliciting nominations for honorees.  We encourage you to nominate your fellow industry professionals for this very prestigious recognition.


PCMA will honor three individuals that represent significant contributions in the following categories: Meeting Professional, Supplier Professional, and Educator.  Please be sure to note the Selection Criteria and Eligibility requirements prior to your nomination(s).


Deadline for nominations is July 31, 2012. 

Last Chance to Register!

Choose your educational path at SEA: The Alliance (Summer Educational Alliance) from August 16-19, 2012! 


At this year's MPI Georgia Chapter SEA at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico, you get to choose your educational path to best meet your career needs. You can choose to Emerge or Renew. Whether you are a seasoned planner (Renewing) or just starting your career (Emerging), there is a path for you! 


2012 SEA: The Alliance will feature:
  • a pre-conference Case Study session
  • two educational paths
  • two Consult Your Peers Breakfast Sessions
  • two Face OFF general sessions
  • potential of 10 CEUs
  • and much more...
View the full agenda and learn about all of the great sessions this year's conference has to offer.   
Visit the conference web site today to register for only $89!

PCMA Southeast Chapter's Newest Members

  • Lisa Linke, Manager of Meetings - National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys

  • Sharon Walker, Event Planner - Molnlycke Health Care
Call for Volunteers

The biggest benefit of your PCMA membership is the people you meet! Also the more involved you are in the chapter, the more people you get to know in our industry. We all are busy with personal and professional responsibilities, but the extra time and effort given to the Southeast Chapter is rewarding. You will gain valuable experience and develop relationships with wonderful colleagues along the way.


Consider joining one of the many dynamic committees.  For more information on each, visit the Committees/Volunteers page of our Chapter website or contact Director/Volunteer Chair Susan Rawlins at (404) 508-1404 or sarawlins@bellsouth.net.


ATTN: Planners! Bid on a San Diego Citywide

Are you looking for a meeting for as low as $150,000? Look no further than sunny San Diego and the PCMA Citywide Auction.


Bid on a highly discounted meeting and convention at the acclaimed San Diego Convention Center. The minimum bid investment starts at only $150,000, or you can exercise the Buy Now option for only $190,000 and the citywide is yours and the auction closes. 


Get started here and see if your meeting qualifies.




Become a PCMA Southeast Star!

Be a part of our organization and take advantage of unique marketing and sponsorship opportunities. Being a partner with PCMA Southeast Chapter is one of the best marketing investments, especially if you are looking to target one of the fastest growing areas in the southeast. PCMA is the premier organization for our industry. Contribute to continuing education and business development, the basis of professional growth by supporting the Southeast Chapter.
For more information on PCMA Southeast Chapter sponsorship opportunities, click here or contact Ali Brown, Director/Sponsorship Co-Chair at (813) 600-5763 or ali@eventionsfl.com.


Thank You to Our Sponsor - Anaheim & Orange County Convention & Visitor Bureau!

Lora Stanley and Harriet Porter from the Anaheim & Orange County CVB thank you for attending the PCMA Southeast Chapter August Educational Program. Anaheim

 is undergoing a significant transformation as a meeting destination with the development of the Grand Plaza: come and hear how the Grand Plaza can improve your Anaheim meeting experiences, along with all the other updates from Orange County.