PCMA Southeast Chapter
October 2012 E-Newsletter

President's Message

"Beep, beep" 4:00 AM wake up, pack a bag, kiss my sleeping family goodbye, grab a coffee, then off to the airport...again.  Yes,  I realize we all have busy lives that include family, friends, careers, faith, and volunteerism.  As a member of PCMA, you have made the right decision to be a part of the leading meetings organization that supports and fosters growth towards your professional life.  To make the most of it...this can take precious time.

The PCMA Southeast Chapter Board applauds and welcomes you in every capacity you can offer as a volunteer.  This is the industry you have chosen (or fallen into), so why not put forth the extra effort and reap the benefits?!? You won't regret it. There is always room for volunteers in our Chapter.

Your Board is working diligently on the next chapter event.  The PCMA Southeast Chapter Annual Meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at Emory Conference Center Hotel.  This will be a little different from the past quarterly luncheons.  The educational and networking component are still center stage.  However, we will wrap up the  2012 Chapter accomplishments and springboard into a dynamic 2013.  You don't want to miss this one!  Invitations are coming your way very soon.  We look forward to seeing you on November 7.

As always, feel free to reach out to me if I can help enhance your membership.


Patty Kieffer
PCMA Southeast Chapter President
Registration Now Open for 2013 Convening Leaders

Convening Leaders in Orlando, FL January 13-16, 2013 is your go-to place for discovering and experiencing new big ideas to keep your meetings fresh and relevant.


From space design and usage to audience engagement, the PCMA Business School and the Learning Lounge, we'll take you on an unprecedented journey of meeting innovation.    


You and all your best-in-the-industry colleagues will be learning and networking side-by-side as we challenge the status quo together.


Register today!

November Educational Luncheon/
PCMA Southeast Chapter Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 7
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM


Join fellow PCMA Southeast Chapter members at the Emory Conference Center Hotel for our 2012 Annual Meeting with awards and announcement of the 2013 Board Members - and hear Jennifer Dorian, SVP of Strategy Development, Turner Entertainment Networks and Turner Animation,Young Adults and Kids Media, 

speak about how to brand yourself, your company, and your meetings and events. 


Registration opens Monday, October 8!  


Jennifer Dorian


Your Help is Needed!

Service In SyncŪ (SIS) is a program encouraging PCMA members to come together and give back to their local communities on behalf of the meetings industry during the first week of November.


PCMA Southeast Chapter will be volunteering at the Atlanta Community Food Bank in the Product Rescue Center (PRC) this year.


The Product Rescue Center (PRC) provides quality grocery items including non-perishable goods such as canned and packaged products as well as perishable goods such as frozen/refrigerated items and also health and beauty items  to over 700 non-profit partner agencies in Metro Atlanta and the North Georgia area. These partner agencies, in turn, distribute these products to individuals and families in need. Volunteers make this possible by sorting, inspecting and packing donated items for these groups.  The PRC is a fun, hands-on project for groups, families, businesses, schools, and individuals.


Please join us in making a difference on Thursday, November 8 from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.  


Registration to open soon!

The PCMA Education Foundation: 
What You Might Not Know

Many PCMA members think the PCMA Education Foundation primarily "gives back to the communities in which we meet."  That's a finding of a research project we conducted in late 2011.  And it's true, we do give back, and feel it's important for us to set an example for how meetings can help destinations where we meet.   


However, by far most of the funds raised through our events like Party With a Purpose, the Dinner Celebrating Professional Achievement, the Silent Auction, Partnership Summit and programs like Annual and Planned giving funds grants for scholarships, research and education to advance the meetings industry.  I guess that's a good thing because the survey also showed that those three areas are where our members think we should be primarily spending our money.  


Two of the grants we fund each year are designed to give back to our Chapters and support popular programs at PCMA.  One is the Best in Class program that delivers top-rated speakers from PCMA events to Chapters so that high level education can be offered at the local level.  Last year, every PCMA Chapter took advantage of the program.  The PCMA Education Foundation also funds the PCMA effort that supports Service in Sync and donation drives.


But the bulk of our funds go to scholarship recipients like Opal Wade, a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, who would have had to drop out of school this year had she not received a scholarship funded by the Foundation.  Other large grants helped to fund research such as the very valuable Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy.  New research to be unveiled in Convene magazine in August answers the critical question of "What the Millennial Generation Prefers in Their Meetings and Events."  We are always funding research on issues critical to meetings.  


The PCMA Education Foundation is dedicated to meetings industry innovation and creating a culture of giving to support the transformation and advancement of our industry.  To learn more about who we are, what we do and to see a list of individual and Chapter donors and planned giving donors visit  www.pcma.org/foundation


Written by: Brad Lewis, Executive Director, PCMA Education Foundation  

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  meganmaharry@yahoo.com or (407) 913-1222.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 






*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
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 -
Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel!

The Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel is ideally suited for business and conventions.  Step into a fresh space of contemporary design and experience world-class amenities unrivaled by other Gulf Coast hotels.  Featuring 373 hotel rooms and 44,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, this premier convention hotel in downtown Mobile, AL is connected to the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center via a skywalk.  For information, contact Karyl Hanisch at (251) 415-3074 or email karyl.hanisch@renaissancemobile.com.


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   
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 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 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.


PCMA Southeast Chapter's Newest Members

  • Sandra K. Strick, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Faculty Advisor, University of South Carolina
  • Rita A. Norman, CASE, Senior Sales Manager, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
  • Carole Bebout, Director of External Relations, Pharmacy Development Services
  • Libby Settle, Meeting Manager, Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, Inc. (TAPPI)
  • Jennifer E. Lasseter, Orlando Rental Manager, BearCom
  • Shelley Goff, National Sales Manager, Shepard Exposition Services, Inc.
  • Ragini Stearns, Senior Sales Manager, Hilton Bonnet Creek & Waldorf-Astoria Orlando
  • Hilary Yeh, Student, University of South Carolina
  • Donna Caloia, CMP, Corporate Event Planner, The Legend Group
  • Claudia Jonsson, Director of National Accounts, LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort
  • Natalie Broadus, Sales Manager, Presenting Atlanta
  • Richard Jones, Owner, Presenting Atlanta
  • James Keller, Jr., CTA, CTE. Senior VP, ADTRAV Meetings
  • Tifanie Haun, Sales Manager, Georgia International Convention Center
  • Shelli Stenton, Convention Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage
  • Jennifer Barnett, VP of Convention Development, Louisville CVB
  • Frances Maestre, Account Manager, Shepard Exposition Services, Inc.