January 2018 Print

President's Report

Dear NATCAP Chapter Members,

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year and are now all settled back into the daily grind. Did you set resolutions and goals for the year? I know that I set a few both personal and professional. One of them is to be a little more proactive in providing updates to our membership! I hope to update this letter monthly. Here are a few things that you need to know for the upcoming second half of our NATCAP Education year.

First, thank you to everyone that participated in our Fall events and to all that attended and bid on items at our Holiday Celebration and Silent Auction. A special Thank You to Cheryl Gordon and her Special Events committee for all their hard work on that fabulous event. The proceeds from that event are used to fund chapter scholarships to the NEC. We will be able to fund at least four scholarships this year. Be on the lookout for the application and be sure to apply!

Second, a great way to earn points for that NEC scholarship is to join a committee! If you are interested in joining a committee and help to form chapter activities, please follow this link to get committee info and Board Liaison contact details: Committees. I encourage you to consider joining a committee. This is an organization run by volunteers and participating on a committee is a great way to stay engaged, meet other members.

The Board met in January for our Winter All-Day Board meeting to check our goals so far and to finalize the remainder of the year! We have secured locations for all our upcoming events and have them listed on the Programs page of the website. I am excited to say that we will be doing the March Education and Expo again this year. The Programs Committee is working hard to finalize speakers and we will get that registration link open on the website very soon! Keep an eye on your email for updates. Also, we have a networking event in Baltimore on February 22nd. I encourage you to attend and see the newly renovated Renaissance Harborview. Many of our Baltimore members make the trip down to DC/VA for our chapter meetings, please take the time to join us for this event and let's show them we appreciate them as well! We have education events in April and May and June is the SGMP NEC. We are still looking for a sponsor for the NATCAP Reception. Please email me at [email protected] if you are interested.

Soon we will be sending out the RFP for the Summer Outing, Annual Board Retreat and Fall Host Hotels. Please keep an eye out for those and send in those responses! We appreciate all our supplier members!!

Please be sure to register for the Networking Reception at Renaissance Harborview. You can register here: Register Now!


Erika Noyes, CMP, CGMP

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This year SGMP NATCAP is bringing back the Expo. This will be a day filled with educational content in our concurrent sessions. We will have a number of great opportunities for suppliers and planners to network with each others. Outstanding presentations by industry experts. You don't want to miss this. Mark your calendar now, Tuesday, March 20 at the DoubleTree Crystal City (300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA). 

Suppliers: There are a limited number of exhibitor tables available for purchase. Please contact Cheryl Gordon ([email protected]) for details on how to get a table before they are all gone!

Here are a few of the exciting speakers we have lined up for you:

Garland Preddy, CGMP – Education and Training Consultant, Society of Government Meeting Professionals

Joan Eisenstodt – Hospitality and Meetings Industry Training, Facilitator and Consultant, Eisenstodt Associations, LLC

Kathleen Ryan, CGMP – Customer Engagement, Washington D.C. Potomac Region and Boeing Collaboration Center, Boeing

Lance Simon, CVEP – CEO, iCohere, Inc.

Prentice Pollard, CMP, SGMP, CPCE – Regional Vice President, PSAV

 Stay tuned. More exciting presenters to be announced soon!

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Did You Know?

Natural Disaster 101: What every event professional should know!

- Kimberly Cleveland, CGMP, CVEP

Exhibit Manager, Office of Naval Research

When you are on-site and a natural disaster hits—whether it is a hurricane, fire, earthquake, or tornado—do you know what to do?  You are the On-Site Event Manager. You are the person everyone is going to be looking to for answers when a natural disaster hits your event.  Take charge! You need to be the calm voice of reason.  People tend to wait for someone to tell them what to do, and you’re that person.  Here are some simple things to know when a natural disaster strikes your event:

Know where the closest exits are so attendees can get out in a hurry. Upon arrival at the venue, check all the exits to your meeting space and make sure they are unlocked and unblocked.  This should include all exits leading to the back of the house as well.  Do not place anything in front of doorways. Make sure all exits are clear. 

Know what natural disasters are typical for your meeting location.  Learn what precautions should be taken and what the response should be.  Ask your venue contact what the procedures are in the case of just such an emergency.

Know where the emergency exits are. One of the first things you want to do during the site visit is to take a detailed tour of the property.  Find out where the alternative exits are in case the nearest exit is unsafe during the emergency.

When disaster strikes TAKE CHARGE.  Speak with purpose and conviction.  Don’t panic and clearly direct your attendees on what steps need to be taken.  Don't be afraid to interrupt the speaker and make an announcement.  “It has been confirmed that there is a fire in the building. We must evacuate the building.  Please walk calmly to the stairwell located to the left of our meeting room and exit the building.”  You will be surprised, despite the emergency announcement, how many people will just sit there and do nothing, believing nothing bad will happen to them. Make sure your event team is prepared to also step in and encourage people to follow the directions that have been given.

Be in touch with emergency personnel or the venue manager (when it is safe to do so) to get updated information.  Keep your guests informed and instruct them accordingly.

Lead by example and follow your own directions.  Grab your essential files if they are handy and it is safe to do so.  If you collected money onsite, take that with you for safe keeping.  If you have an attendance list, use that to verify that all your guests made it out to safety.

Being safe and keeping your guests safe while on-site is THE NUMBER ONE MOST IMPORTANT JOB YOU HAVE.  Although the chances are slim that you will ever encounter a natural disaster while onsite at a meeting, if it happens, it is important to have a plan.  This can be a life and death matter.  It should not be taken lightly and absolutely should not be overlooked.  

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Ask the Expert


Accepting a Leadership Position


Enterprise Holdings 

There are many situations in which you may not recognize that a leadership position is being thrust upon you. Situations often arise where there is a distinct need for a leader to drive a process or idea, yet there is no formal announcement or mechanism that recognizes a single leader. When this occurs, are you driven to take a leadership position, or do you hope that someone else will take control?

Regardless of your specific business function, there will be times when you need to recognize that you have the knowledge to drive a process and that you should take command. You may be recognized by your peers for your knowledge and abilities, and this is the time to demonstrate your leadership skills. Since you have not been formally designated as the leader, show your knowledge by sharing it with your colleagues and making yourself available to them when they have a question. You may also need to push and guide some of your colleagues who may not know the direction they should be pursuing. In order to do this, you must demonstrate your understanding of the task and convey what is required for everyone to complete his or her part.

Start by explaining how you view the current task, what steps you have taken to identify what needs to be done, the timeline you have established, and whether you have engaged outside help. Depending on the task, you may be able to share some of the workload with another colleague. By building a sense of cooperation in this way, you can show your leadership ability to complete tasks and involve resources that were not previously used. It is important in this situation to show by your work ethic and organization that you have the vision for the task and you are willing to lead your colleagues.

You may also encounter a situation when you need to collaborate with a competitor for your mutual benefit. It may be that you need your competitor in order to be successful and must, therefore, engage in a situation where you are the minor partner. This can be an opportunity to show leadership by demonstrating that you know how to use “unusual resources” which others may have overlooked. When you do work with a competitor, certain business rules and ethics must be observed. Items related to cost cannot be shared, nor can items of unique value to your organization. Always remember that anything which could appear to be “price fixing” or collusion should be avoided.

Always keep this one final thought with you: Leadership is a position that must be earned, but it can be also be lost very quickly. When you recognize that you have earned a position of leadership, do not abuse it. The respect you show to your colleagues will enhance your position as a leader.


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The National Education Conference – A Look Back

Candi D. Thomas, CGMP
MDR Services ~ Meetings Done Right!

I would like to give a shout out to my local NATCAP chapter for the sponsorship opportunity I received to attend this year’s NEC in Ft. Lauderdale.   As an Independent Meeting Planner, I would not have been able to attend without the contributions from our members; and for that, I’m truly grateful!  

The NEC for me is a great education experience.  The two classes I especially liked were the "Tap Your App” with Phil Rapport and "RFP’s and Contract Negotiations” with Beth Miller-Tipton.  Tap your App provided insight to latest Apps and their capability and cost.  Most organizations are moving in this direction which reduces cost and labor overall.   The RFP and contract negotiation was an opportunity to brush up on what we already know but also a sneak peek into what is changing in the industry.  The speaker provided templates of RFP’s that she uses as a guide in establishing our own to streamline the process. 

Ft. Lauderdale was a great location for this year’s conference.  Close proximity to the airport which reduced cost for transportation significantly, and some attendees could walk to the convention center.  The meals were delicious, and I was able to network with my colleagues.  The closing speaker was phenomenal…great job there!  My overall experience was great, and I look forward to attending 2018 in Norfolk, Va.


The Wonderful World of the 2017 NEC – Beyond Expectations!

Susan Frate, CMP, CGMP

The chain reaction of my excitement mounted in the weeks preceding the 2017 SGMP National Education Conference triggered by being awarded a scholarship to attend the event, and the promise of state-of-the art and trend-setting educational sessions lead by industry professionals. Compounded by the positive flow of marketing/communication emails and the progressive building of the 2017 NEC Application on my iPad and Phone, my anticipation of connecting with long-time colleagues and industry friendly associates, from a world we all have in common, evolved beyond my expectations!

2017 NEC in Fort Lauderdale, FL provided an abundance of learning opportunities for business and professional growth, events that have resulted in broadening my industry knowledge base, access to prime vendors across all services, and the chance to explore the latest trends and technology that can easily be applied to the success of any government meeting and conference. A plethora of good times, good food, good music and great networking was had by all at the Opening Welcome Reception at the Museum of Discovery and Science. Memories were made and outstanding achievements of suppliers and planners announced at the Sam Gilmer Awards Reception and Banquet.

Circling back around to one of the outstanding features of NEC this year were a group of speaker/presenters that brought humor into an otherwise serious business; they showed us how to lighten-up and not take ourselves too seriously. To name a few, as there were so many excellent educational contributors to NEC this year: Dale Henry who presented A Recipe for Leadership Country Style with stories that made our sides ache from laughter, to the witty and energetic Becky McCrary known as the “Carol Burnett” of our industry Delivering Diversity – Southern Style.

Although I did not win anything at the Silent Auction, my take-away from this conference was rich and fulfilling and simply stated – Viva NEC 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia – I can’t wait!

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Maximize your Knowledge, Talents and Skills as a 2018 NATCAP Scholarship Recipient.  This could be You!

Velvenia Minor, CGMP

Excitedly, we approach the National Education Conference (NEC) for 2018, an opportunity to learn, grow and network for both career and professional development. I reflect on my experience in applying for the NATCAP 2017 Chapter Scholarship. What an awesome opportunity this was for me! 

I joined NATCAP in 2010, attended monthly meetings on a consistent basis, and was excited about being a member of this professional organization. I worked as a contract planner and was always financially and professionally supported by my manager to attend the annual National Education Conference held each year.  This all changed in 2016. Due to decisions made by leadership, the organization could no longer contribute financially to my attendance at the conference. 

Realizing I was now in a much different position with the possibility of not attending the Conference, I needed a plan.  I began thinking of my role in NATCAP and spoke to different colleagues.  I thought about my time serving on the Membership Committee for over 5 years in NATCAP, my goals of service to clients, and my active participation at monthly NATCAP meetings, seminars, expos, and webinars—All of which were being offered to advance my knowledge, skills, and talents in meeting planning.

I made a quick and deliberate decision to apply for a NATCAP Scholarship. It was one of the best professional decisions I have made.  As a result of my active involvement with NATCAP, I felt confident that I met the criteria. I was elated and honored to be selected, from what I know was serious competition, to receive one of the coveted scholarships.  The process was seamless.  Committee members were available, responsive, and supportive.

So, what is the take away? If you’re reading this article and sincerely have financial need to attend the upcoming NEC Conference in Norfolk VA, then start on your application today!  Look at the past criteria and make sure that you are making, or have met, the requirements. Make time to serve your fellow members. Press forth towards a rewarding experience that can catapult both your professional and personal life.

To the NATCAP and Scholarship Committee, thank you! You were there when I needed you. Thank you for your consistency that continues to encourage Chapter members to maximize their talents and abilities as they serve their clients in the meeting profession.  I truly appreciate each of you!

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NEC Chapter Scholarships

The National Education Conference (NEC) is fast approaching -- June 5-7, 2018 in Norfolk, VA. Visit www.sgmp.org for more information about the NEC. This is the year that you don't want to miss--it is right next door!

Thanks to the very successful silent auction at our holiday celebration in December, NATCAP is able to offer several scholarships to help planners and suppliers attend NEC. Consider applying for a NATCAP scholarship to help defray attendance costs. Make sure you are active in Chapter (attend regular meetings and networking session), have your membership up-to-date, and consider writing a newsletter article to help earn points on your application.

Please be on the lookout for scholarship applications coming soon.

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Attention Suppliers!

Thank you to all of our amazing suppliers!  Whether it is hosting a Board meeting, the Board retreat, an educational meeting, the Holiday Celebration and Silent Auction, a networking event, the Expo...you continue to support us meeting after meeting and event after event. You help make our Chapter the best Chapter in SGMP! THANK YOU!

Please check the Programs tab for sponsorship opportunities. 

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Welcome New Members

New/Returning SGMP NATCAP Members


First Name Last Name Designation Organization
Abigail Ferguson   InterContinental New York Times Square
Chip Smith   Experient
Elizabeth Gerleit MBA, CMP CSRA
Kimberly Eaglin CGMP Federal  Housing Finance Agency
Kara McElroy   U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Un Lee   Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel
Sharon Riley   Team Lead for 2015 National Policy Conference, 2012-2017 National Directors Meetings every quater
Shayna Daniel   National Science Foundation
Johanna Schubert   Hyatt Regency Fairfax
Rebecca Kennedy   Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay
Maria Bardos McGuire   --
Chanita Saksriprasert   Hyatt Regency Bethesda
Sharmane Fernandez CGMP Destination DC
Christine Peacock   Harbor Hotel Collection
Jo Melissa Gonzalez   United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
Jamie Shillinger   United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
Lisa Frazier CGMP United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
Regina Guyther   AFYA, Inc.
Beverly-Jean Cambridge HMCC --
Martha Toliver   AFYA, Inc.
J Stewart   AFYA, Inc.
Ingrid Brewton   Hotel RL Washington DC
Tara Mikkelsen   Department of Defense
Marva Vincent   Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Caroline Thompson   Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown/Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Magnificent Mile
Tiffany Parker   Prince George's County Public Schools
Lori Kearse CGMP Library of Congress
Zalika Woods   University of Maryland Baltimore - SSW, The Institute for Innovation and Implementation
Jo Melissa Gonzalez   United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
Susan Cairnes CMP Affirma Solutions, Inc.
Erin Ghalayini   --
Scott Higgins   Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board
Zakiya Pettit CGMP Synergy Enterprises, Inc.
Ines Lamkey   Davis Trapp LLC
Jamie Pilot   Strategic Analysis, Inc.
Wendy Whitaker   Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive
Shaunta Wilson   Federal Bureau of Investigation
India Howard   Morrison Clark Inn & Restaurant
Dahlia Williams CGMP --
Ivy Caro   Davis Trapp
Linda Waters    
Angie Gillespie   US Department of Veterans Affairs - Veterans Benefits Administration
Kay Farrow-Smith   PotomacWave Consulting
Cartina BRYANT   University Inn Washington DC
Suzanne Cox   Department of Defense
Debra moore   Defense Intelligence Agency
Carrie Maas MTA Social Impact
Courtney Carroll   Canopy Washington DC| Bethesda North
Christine Godsey   HB & Company, Inc.
Zachary Kranitz   IHG
Laura Hunt   Kimpton Hotels
Stacey Lustig Katz   Hilton Baltimore
Anita Nunez Cepollaro   Hiltons of Washington
Zakiya Pettit CGMP Synergy Enterprises, Inc.
Tricia Ualat-Guardado   The River Inn and Avenue Suites with Modus Hotels
David President   Holiday Inn Gaithersburg & Towne Place Suites Gaithersburg
Tauheedah Muhammad   Hilton Richmond Downtown
Andrea Rebholz CMP National Academy of Sciences
Paul Fogarty CMP New Jersey Department of Education
Stephanie Begin   Washington Court Hotel
Sharrone Ryan   Department of Defense
Samantha Blizzard   Davis Trapp LLC
Amber Prunkl   Lord Baltimore Hotel
Brandon Benson   Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ezra Bourne CMP LPE Associates
Gladys Arrisueno   National Institute for Standards and Technology
Renee Williams CGMP Lockheed Martin
Dara Tavassoli   Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria
Amber Prunkl   Lord Baltimore Hotel
Femi Osimokun   Radisson Baltimore Harbor
Scott Kothenbeutel   Department of Defense
Joel Smith   Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau
Lauren Billups   Administrative Office of the US Courts
Amy Anderson   Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
David President   Holiday Inn Gaithersburg & Towne Place Suites Gaithersburg
Tauheedah Muhammad   Hilton Richmond Downtown
Dawn Jakutowicz   Blinded Veterans Association
Andrea Rebholz CMP National Academy of Sciences
Melissa Badami   Federal Conference
Karolyn Cook   U.S. Department of Education
Ursula McNamara   Kimpton Hotels
Kelley Benedict   --
Heather Wilson   The Bridge Group, LLC
Wendy Drake   The Webster Group
Laura Stine   Holiday Inn Winchester SE - Historic Gateway
Valentine Neira CGMP Palladian Partners
Shayla Edmonds   Center for Naval Analysis (CNA)
Amber Prunkl   Lord Baltimore Hotel
Femi Osimokun   Radisson Baltimore Harbor


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NATCAP continues to lead SGMP in chapter membership, and our planner/supplier ratio is over 60%. We saw great gains with almost 150 new members joining our ranks in 2017. We were not surprised at the slower membership uptake in August when many of our colleagues were on vacation, but we had a great trend over the year and averaged over 10 new members each month. Programs in 2017 could not be outdone! We have had some great education sessions with phenomenal speakers and equally rewarding networking session for suppliers and planners alike. Thank you to all our amazing suppliers who made this happen.

Your membership in NATCAP has made that possible, and we look forward to even more engaging opportunities throughout 2018. We are off to a great start. We encourage you to check out our programs already planned for 2018.

Please encourage your colleagues to join us in the chapter or on the Membership Committee. We’re setting the bar even higher in 2018!


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NATCAP Committees

NATCAP is an all-volunteer organization and would like to sincerely thank all of the committee members for their endless dedication and support. Without your support, we would not be the organization that we are today! Please consider joining one of the NATCAP committees below.


Communications Committee

Chair – Ruth Murphy, CMP Department of State

Donald L. Delauter, CGMP, Administrative Support Specialist – Office of the Chief Operating Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Mary Ann Anderson-Garlic, Program Analyst  NOAA 

Chris McLaughlin, CGMP, CGTP & COR Certified Director, Global Sales – Government, Americas

Ted Miller, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP, Director

Patricia Smith, M.A., CGMP, Project Manager  – BLH Technologies


Fundraising Committee

Chair - Susan Frate, CMP, CGMP

Please consider joining the Fundraising Committee!

Membership Committee

Chair – Ru Paster, Assistant Director of Sales – Holiday Inn Golden Gateway | San Francisco

Renee Atkins, CGMP - NASA Research & Education Support Services

Ryan Heins, CGMP - Virginia Crossings, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Therese Palermino, CGMP – Marriott International

Linda Wiman, CGMP - Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Convention Properties

Outreach Committee

Jesse Strauss, CMP, CGMP, GVEP, Immediate Past President

Co-Chair – Peg Thomas, CMP, CGMP, Meetings Director General Dynamics

Co-Chair – Deidre Young, CMP, CGMP, DES, Senior Conference Manager AFYA, Inc.

Program Committee

Chair – Necoya Tyson, CGMP  NTP Events 

Co-Chair – Susan Blaine, CMP, CGMP, Senior Associate   ICF International

Jesse Strauss, CGMP, CMP – Immediate Pass President 

Emily Bzdega, CGMP  Impaq International

Lorna Kipfner, CGMP  NRC

Velvenia Minor, CGMP –  A Minor Connection

Kathleen Ryan, CGMP  The Boeing Company

Ronnie Schaer, CEM, CGMP, DES  MBO Partners

Special Events Committee

Chair – Cheryl Gordon, CGMP, Director of Government Sales – B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group

Co-Chair – Vacant

Christina Berman, Sales Manager  The National Conference Center

Candi Thomas, CGMP  MDR Services

Eric Kulczycky, National Sales Manager, Visit Fairfax

Kimberly Cleveland, Senior Strategic Communications Exhibit Program Manager, ONR

Natalie Ortiz, National Account Executive, Meet Minneapolis

Gary W. Turner, CERCLA Education Center, USEPA

Renee Beanson, Senior Meeting Planner/Team Lead, Strategic Analysis, Inc.

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