Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, formerly SVP at PRA, was slated to become chair of Meeting Professionals International’s 2019 Board of Directors even before being tapped for the role of senior vice president of experience. At the MPI press conference during IMEX America in Las Vegas, Paul Van Deventer, MPI’s president and CEO, introduced her as “a unicorn, someone who brings a passion for education and who has been a longtime MPI member and strong volunteer. She is well known in the industry and also knows the industry well.” Van Deventer joked that it was only her second day on the job yet she already had 1,000 ideas. Steve O’Malley, HMCC, of Maritz Travel, will continue on as MPI’s board chair to provide consistency for ongoing projects.
Other announcements at the press event included confirmation of upcoming event destinations. The European Meetings and Events Conference 2020 will be held in Seville, Spain, and the city has promised to open up historic venues to attendees that are not usually available to the public. EMEC 21 will be in Brighton, U.K., IMEX’s headquarters city, and MPI’s World Education Conference next year will take place in Grapevine, Tex.
One other big announcement came from Chief Operating Officer Darren Temple, who detailed a new educational course titled Women in Leadership: Executive Skills Certificate Program. “MPI is 80 percent women,” he noted. “We believe it is our responsibility to do everything we can for women in our community. So ‘what’s the why?’ Why are women not represented in the C-suite?” Van Deventer added that “It’s not just about women and educating them, it’s about educating male colleagues to drive the importance of female empowerment.”
Other educational news from MPI is a new partnership with the International Live Events Association to provide on-demand education. Members of both organizations will soon have access to collaborative courses on topics from risk management and safety to business and finance in the meetings and events industry.