Concurrent speakers

Medical healthcare meetings (morning and afternoon sessions)

Betsy Bondurant, CMM, CTE, Bondurant Consulting, President

Betsy offers a unique 360o perspective with over 30 years of experience in meeting & trade show management, hotel sales, and procurement, including 17 years of direct involvement in the discipline of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM). During her 15-year tenure at the world’s largest biotech company, Betsy developed a pioneering SMM program as well as a venue compliance process for the early PhRMA guidelines. In 2007, she opened a consultancy dedicated to providing independent and unbiased SMM support. Betsy is considered a Subject Matter Expert, and has authored many articles, developed educational content, and presented to audiences in North/Central America, Europe and Asia.

Betsy holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is an active member of MPI’s MD Advisory Council, is Vice-chair of the GBTA Meetings Committee, and Co-chair of PCMA’s Corporate Task Force. 
In 2016, Betsy was recognized as one of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry by Meetings and Conventions Magazine. Additionally, Betsy has been recognized as “Best Practitioner” by Business Travel News and one of the Meeting News “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry”. 


Your latest budget friendly event technology

Miguel Neves, Social Media Chefs, Founder and CEO, CMP

Miguel is a passionate social media advocate and an experienced events industry professional who regularly speaks on social media and event technology. Since 2009 Miguel has focused on digital engagement for the meetings industry and from 2011 to 2017 he managed the IMEX Group’s social media activity and digital strategy. In 2017 Miguel founded Social Media Chefs where he now combines his love of food and his social media expertise to develop content and training. Miguel sits on the International Board of Directors of the Meeting Professionals International, he co-chairs the Events Industry Council’s Industry Insights Committee and holds a master’s degree in Conference and Events Management from the University of Westminster.


It’s an emergency: What will you do when everything goes wrong?

Jessie States, CMP

Jessie States, CMM, is the head of meeting innovation for Meeting Professionals International, where she delivers education in support of MPI’s global live event portfolio. She designs interactive sessions and experiences at MPI’s live events, showcasing unique learning formats and personalized education, and she facilitates and designs sessions that help people engage. She has developed and delivered educational courses on safety and security, inclusive experiences, strategic meetings management, technology and much more. Jessie earned the Events Industry Council’s Pacesetter Award in 2018 for her work furthering education and professional development in the meeting and event industry globally. She was also named one of the 25 Most Influential People in Meetings and Events – 2017 by Successful Meetings magazine and one of the industry’s Trendsetters – 2017 by Meetings Today magazine.


What's "IN" for food and beverage?

Moderator: Joanne Dennison, CMP, CMP Conclave 2018 Chair

Glenn Rinsky PhD. CCE,CEPC,CEC

Chris Hasting, Hot & Hot Fish Club, Owner and Executive Chef

Chris Hastings is the owner and executive chef of Hot & Hot Fish Club, an award-winning restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, and was twice a finalist for the James Beard Award "Best Chef in the South" award. In 2012, Chef Hastings was the winner of this award.

Clayton Sherrod, Chef Clayton's Food Systems, Chef, Owner

Sherrod is active in the American Culinary Federation and founded the ACF's Birmingham chapter, through which he has been involved in promoting culinary arts in the Caribbean. He is also a coordinating chef for the national Black Family Reunion program and has traveled with World Cooks Tour For Hunger and partnered with Kingsley Holgate in efforts to reduce malarial infection in Africa. Clayton Sherrod (born 1944 in Birmingham) is a chef and entrepreneur, owner of Chef Clayton's Food Systems. Sherrod serves on the board of Culinard. He also chairs the Museum Foundation of the Alabama Negro League Association.

Eric Meyer, Cahaba Brewing Company, Brewer/Cahaba Brewing Company

Cahaba Brewing Company was founded in the summer of 2011 by a group of friends united by their love of craft beer and home brewing. Together, they devised a plan to build a brewery in beautiful Birmingham, Alabama.

Fighting food waste: A triple win for people, planet, and prosperity

Aurora Dawn Benton, Courtney Lohmann, and Chance Thompson


Top trends and innovations from NACE one awards

Harvey Stern, Executive Director of Catering and Banquets, CMP, CPCE


Lawrence LEonard, Executive Director, National Ssociation for Catering and Events, CAE, CMP

Lawrence Leonard, CAE, CMP is the Executive Director of the National Association for Catering and Events. Lawrence has nearly 25 years of experience in association management and business events. He has previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Events Industry Council, Director of Conferences and Events for the National Association of Home Builders and other events management roles.

Secrets of the general session: a peek behind the curtain

Glenn Thayer, Professional Conference Moderator, The Voice of Meetings & Events

Known as The Voice of Meetings and Events, Glenn Thayer is a professional conference moderator and master of ceremonies. He has more than 15 years of experience facilitating corporate and association conferences. His clients span varied industries ranging from technology, healthcare, and financial services. 

Specializing in creating dynamic general sessions, Glenn works with his clients to enhance the audience experience through the use of technology, compelling content, and open, interactive dialogue and interviews. 

When not involved with a meeting or conference, he uses his communication skills and as a corporate spokesperson and voiceover talent for television and radio. He can be seen regularly on PBS and donates his time to Fins Attached, a shark conservation and marine research organization. 

Glenn is a contributing author to the meeting and event design section of the Convention Industry Council’s CMP manual.

Rebecca Garrett, Sr. Consultant, Event Producer, Garrett Marketing

Rebecca is passionate about helping clients design and create events that communicate and connect with their external and internal audiences. With over 17 years of cross-functional communication, strategic marketing, branding, event, and project management experience, she is a seasoned event producer and marketing consultant. Working with companies such as Cisco, VMware, ServiceNow, and Equinix on their general sessions and programming initiatives, Rebecca balances both tactical execution and strategic vision. Her strategies complement companies that place a high value on creating programs that make meaningful connections for both clients and employees.

60 cost saving tips in 60 minutes

Doug McPhee, M.ED., CMP, CMM

Doug McPhee has worked with Experient since 2000. His experience teaching elementary school and consulting with corporations including TJX Companies and Pfizer. As a professional speaker and trainer he has presented to groups in the US and abroad for over 35 years. Doug has presented at MPI-WEC, local chapters of MPI, Conclave, and to his colleagues at Experient. He works with organizations to improve learning. 
Doug has served MPI in local and international positions including President of the NENY MPI chapter He served as Chair of the Albany NY County CVB. He was the founding Chair of the APEX Standards Review Committee, 2008-2012. 

Customer Advisory Panel: A Tale for our Supplier CMPs

Angela Layton, CMP, CMM

Angela Layton is a certified meeting professional (CMP) dedicated to producing high-impact meetings and events that deliver on strategic goals. With a certificate in meeting management (CMM), Angela brings a high-energy approach to meeting and event planning, production and tradeshow program management, as well as, marketing, public relations, communications and project management in the corporate, government, non-profit and association industries.

Angela has served as a local and international volunteer in multiple capacities including Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Tennessee Chapter president, MPI International Membership Advisory Council chair and Professional Development Task Force chair. She also serves as a commissioner of the Association of Destination Management Executives International’s (ADMEI) Destination Management Company Accreditation.

A three-time recipient of the MPI Tennessee Chapter Planner of the Year Award and two-time MPI Tennessee President’s Award honoree, Angela is dedicated to sharing her love of the industry with seasoned and aspiring meeting professionals. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Angela holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.

Doug McPhee, M.Ed., CMM, CMP

Doug McPhee has worked with Experient since 2000. His experience teaching elementary school and consulting with corporations including TJX Companies and Pfizer. As a professional speaker and trainer he has presented to groups in the US and abroad for over 35 years. He works with organizations to improve learning and transform business practices.

Doug served the Events Industry Council as founding chair of the APEX Standards Review Committee, he has also volunteered with MPI in local and international positions including President of the NENY MPI chapter He served as Chair of the Albany County New York CVB.

Kim Stoermer, CMP, HMCC

Kim has 20+ years of experience in the meetings and events industry, including non-profit, association and corporate events.  She worked both as an independent contractor and worked for several third party logistical vendors in the Bay Area with a focus on large-scale meetings, events and city-wide festivals. Before going to Genentech, she held the position of Assistant Festival Director for the San Jose Jazz Festival.

Currently, Kim is a Manager at Genentech, Inc., in the Meeting and Convention Services department.  Kim partners with the Hematology Franchise, planning sales and marketing meetings, Product Launches and Genentech’s National Sales Meeting, and actively supports the M&CS team through multiple department wide teams & initiatives.

Kim is an active member of Meeting Professionals International Northern California Chapter (MPINCC), leading the ACE Education Committee for the upcoming 2019 MPINCC ACE Annual Conference.  She obtained her CMP designation in 2001, and completed the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) program in 2017.  Kim has her MBA from California State University San Jose and her BS in Business from California State University Chico.

Gary Titunick, CMP

Gary has been with Johnson & Johnson Consumer since 2006 as he was part of the Pfizer Consumer acquisition.  Gary has been a CMP since 2007 and has extensive experience in General Operations & Administration Management along with Financial acumen.  Gary’s expertise includes Meeting/Event/Trade Show Planning life cycles, Supplier Management, Procurement/Contract Administration, Customer Service and Compliance.

Gary is detail oriented, focusing on customer/attendee experience and most importantly understands that it takes a team to achieve excellence as “FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.”

Just ask the lawyer: legal forum - the sequel

Jonathan Howe, Founding Partner, Howe and Hutton​, JD

Jonathan T. Howe is President and Founding Partner of Howe & Hutton, Ltd. He has written hundreds of articles and papers, and has spoken to organizations all over the world. He is recognized as one of the true leaders of the not-for-profit organization bar as well as the hospitality and meetings, travel, incentive, hotel, and trade show industries, and for trial and appellate advocacy. Jon was named Association Forum of Chicagoland's Associate Member of the year for outstanding service to the association community and is also General Counsel to Meeting Professionals International. He was selected by his peers as a Member Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives and received the "Pacesetters Award" from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Jon has been honored by numerous other organizations world-wide and has served as a director, officer and chief elected officer of several associations and charitable organizations.

Carol Norfleet, Executive Vice President, Destination Nashville, MBA, CMP, DMCP

Carol Norfleet serves as Executive Vice President with Destination Nashville, An AlliedPRA Company, Nashville’s largest and most award winning DMC. Currently serving as co-chair of the Industry Insights Committee for the Events Industry Council (EIC), Carol co-chaired the 2016 update of the industry cornerstone publication, the APEX Glossary. In 2017 Carol was honored as ADMEI’s (Association of Destination Management Executives International) Destination Management Professional of the Year. As the MPI (Meeting Professionals International) 2016 RISE Award Member of the Year, Carol also was named a Woman of Influence from the Nashville Business Journal in February of that same year.

Carol leads the CMP certification exam study groups throughout Tennessee and internationally for MPI since 2002. As Past Chair for the Accreditation and Certification Board of ADMEI, Carol ensures the advancement of education and professionalism in the DMC and meetings industry. A recipient of the prestigious ADMEI Joanne O’Connor President’s Award, as well as MPI:TN Supplier of the Year, Carol is a requested presenter on meetings industry issues such as site selection, food and beverage and destination management as well as her passion, effective employee training. She has been awarded the MPI:TN West TN Meeting of the Year for two consecutive years, 2017 & 2018. She also serves on the faculty for the Belmont University Meeting & Event Certificate Program specializing in Site Selection. 

All about you - preparing a leadership development plan

Deanna Griffith-House, Sr. Program Manager, Spetctrum Reach, CMM, PMP, CMP

Deanna Griffith-House is a 20+ year veteran of the meetings industry and is an innovative and deeply experienced planner and program manager. Presently, she is a Senior Program Manager for Charter Spectrum Reach responsible for many of the division’s most strategic initiatives. 

Deanna joined the cable industry from the high tech arena, bringing with her a broad base of global Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer marketing leadership and program management. She has served as Director of Marketing at both Exact Software and Jacobsen, leading teams to high levels of success at both organizations. 
Deanna is highly credentialed. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and a Program Management Certificate from George Washington University. She is both a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Marketing (PCM). Additionally, she holds certifications from other professional certifying organizations: Certified Meeting Professional (CMP – Convention Industry Council; Certified Meetings Manager (CMM – Meeting Professionals International) and Certified Manager of Exhibits (CME - Exhibit & Event Marketers Assoc.). Her academic accomplishments are evidence of her life-long love of learning.

Deanna is active with the Convention Industry Council’s Governance Commission and also serves as the Director of Meeting Planning for the MPI-Carolinas Chapter. In addition, she serves on the cable industry’s WICT Carolinas Board serving as the Chair for its annual conference and awards for more than three years. 2016 Carolinas Annual Conference and the 2016 and 2017 Red Circle Awards. She also co-developed WICT Leadership CoP, a mentoring program for senior-level members in the Carolinas. She is also Deanna is a long-time volunteer with Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure and the USO North Carolina. She resides in Huntersville, NC with her husband Mike and Wylie, their dog who serves as the neighborhood ambassador.