Chapter News

Member Highlight – Taylor Cox

Meet Heartland Chapter member Taylor Cox, Meetings & Finance Coordinator, American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA), Overland Park, KS. The first concert I went to was: The first concert I went to was Cher at the age of six. My favorite holiday is: My favorite holiday is Halloween. What you would be surprised to

Annual Awards & Installation Banquet Turnout

We had a great turnout at our Annual Awards & Installation Banquet at the Westin Crown Center! Congratulations to our award winners: Taylor Abbate – Emerging Leaders Award Melissa Abuel – Distinguished Planner Member of the Year (not pictured) Melissa Whitaker – 2019 President’s Award David Kinney – Distinguished Member of 2019 Hayley Neverve –

Welcome Letter from 2020 Heartland President, Sandy Wachter

Dear PCMA Heartland Chapter, Thank you to all that joined us as we celebrated an amazing event during the 2020 Annual Awards & Installation Banquet at the Westin Crown Center. I look forward to leading the chapter this year. My focus will be on kindness and inclusion. I want every member and guest of the

Heartland Hospitality Career Exploration Day

The words we have written or seen written too many times in the past couple of weeks….Out of an abundance of caution we are postponing the Hospitality Career Exploration Event for March 28th! Many of the colleges that participate in this event have already stated that they will be holding classes virtually for the next

San Francisco hosted education and celebrity packed Convening Leaders conference

More than 4,000 business event professionals and suppliers from around the world gathered the first week of January 2020 in San Francisco to attend the annual PCMA Convening Leaders conference. This year’s theme was Extend Your Reach and the conference offered many networking and educational opportunities. Featured speakers were Condoleezza Rice (66th U.S. Secretary of

Great Turnout at Chapter Reception During PCMA Convening Leaders

We had a great turnout at our Chapter Reception at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco during this month’s 2020 PCMA Convening Leaders. Here are a few pictures from the reception.                 And, thank you to our much-appreciated reception sponsors: Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau Oklahoma City Convention

Thank You Caitlin For Your Great Leadership During 2019

A big “thank you” to Caitlin Arnold for being such a good president for our mighty Heartland Chapter during 2019.  Reflecting on the past year, Caitlin shares the following thoughts: What was your favorite part/moment from being president in 2019?  Definitely the 25th Anniversary celebration – the past presidents put on a spectacular event and

2020 Heartland Chapter Programs

Save the date for these upcoming 2020 programs! More information will be provided throughout the year. January 5-8 – Convening Leaders in San Francisco February 6 – Awards Dinner & Board Installation at Westin Kansas City Crown Center March 4 – St. Louis Lunch & Learn March 28 – Hospitality Career Exploration at Marriott Overland

Heartland Chapter Awards

Do you know a full-time meeting professional who deserves recognition for their great contributions to their organization and community?   Nominate them for one of four Chapter awards to be given out on February 6: Distinguished Meeting Professional of the Year Distinguished Supplier Partner of the Year Emerging Leader Distinguished Member of the Year  

Member Spotlight: Kristin Malek

Meet Heartland Chapter member Kristin Malek, Event Management Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor; University of Nebraska Lincoln; Lincoln The first concert I went to was: America one week and Backstreet Boys the next! Yes, I have always had varied tastes! My favorite holiday is: Christmas. My family is spread all over the country and Christmas

Heartland Chapter’s State of the Industry Recap

The PCMA Heartland Chapter’s State of the Industry Address on November 14 discussed the epidemic of human trafficking, which is problematic throughout world and specifically in the hospitality industry. Laura Pilkenton, Director of Guest Services and Employee Business Travel with Martiz Travel and Co- Chair of the Martiz Global Events Human Trafficking Awareness Steering Committee,

Get Your Approval to Attend Convening Leaders 2020

Now is a good time to decide to attend Convening Leaders 2020, or to convince your supervisor to provide professional and financial support so you can attend. Here are suggestions of what to share with your supervisor to increase the likelihood your supervisor will approve your request: Details: Review the Convening Leaders schedule and outline

Heartland Chapter 2020 Slate of Officers

PCMA Heartland Chapter is pleased to present our proposed 2020 Slate of Officers and Board Members.   The 2019 Board of Directors wish to thank these dedicated members for their continued support of our PCMA Heartland Chapter as they make this commitment to serve for the coming year!   Officers                                               President – Sandy Wachter, American

PCMA Heartland Chapter Scholarships

The Heartland Chapter has 2 membership scholarships available to any non-member Supplier or Planner. To be eligible, you must either be a new member or not have been a member since January 2019. The scholarship includes a one-year membership paid for by the chapter. The deadline to apply is November 22nd. Click here to apply!

Chapter Member Tip for How To Be A More Effective Meeting Planner

Jill Hericks, CMP, Director of Convention Sales with Explore St. Louis provides her meaningful tips to help you become a more effective meeting planner: “Never stop building meaningful relationships with customers and other people in your industry. Choosing to instead view competitors as potential partners and collaborators can positively impact your business in a big

Celebrating the Life of Ken Hamm

The Heartland Chapter of PCMA is sad to hear of the passing of a long time industry partner, Ken Hamm. He is a bright light in our industry that will be greatly missed in our community. A celebration of Ken’s life will take place on November 2nd at Lew’s Bar & Grill in Waldo from

Tips For Setting Goals For Team Members You Manage

Here are some great tips for how to set goals from the book, One Page Talent Management, by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort: The Harder the Goal, the More It Motivates – There is a linear relationship between a goal’s difficulty and the amount of effort and performance the goal produces. Goals Aligned with Self-Interest

8 Questions To Ask When Discussing Career Development With An Employee

When discussing career development with an employee ask at least these eight questions: 1. What are your recent successes? 2. What are you most proud of? 3. What rewards and recognition matter most to you? 4. How does your role make a difference? 5. How would you like to make a bigger difference? 6. How

Recommendations from Past Chapter President Missy Johnson

Past Chapter president Missy Johnson, CMP, Principal/CEO, MJMeetings LLC, shares this good advice and these insights with us today: Question: What are good questions to ask a fellow Chapter member when meeting her/him for the first time? Missy: What made you want to join PCMA and the Heartland Chapter? What do you expect to get

Do You Have Your REAL ID?

Starting in October 2020, every U.S. airline passenger will need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or other acceptable form of identification to fly within the U.S. If you don’t have a REAL ID after October 1, 2020, you will most likely need to carry your passport while flying within the U.S. A REAL ID

Business Insights and Chapter Participation Tips

Business Insights and Chapter Participation Tips From Member Brad Plumb, CMP, Senior Sales Manager, Visit Overland Park. Question: What is a good question to ask a fellow Chapter member when meeting her/him for the first time? Brad: I’m always curious as to how people got into the business events industry. In the last few years

10 Myths About Multigenerational Meetings

This past July, Chapter supplier member Ascend Media sponsored a PCMA webinar that busted the biggest myths about planning multigenerational meetings. During the 1:11 hour webinar (1 CMP Certification Clock Hour), presenter Jeff Hurt (CEO-Chief Epiphany Officer at Empowered Epiphanies) covered technology, marketing and content. He discussed what motivates each generation and how to capitalize

Business Tips: How To Be A More Effective Meeting Planner

This Week’s Chapter Member Tip For How To Be A More Effective Meeting Planner “It’s all about relationships!” says Wendy M. Harms, Administrative Director, Kansas Livestock Association in Topeka, KS. “Sounds obvious, I know, but there is so much more to the word. If you know me, it is the connection and interaction with others

Member Spotlight: Meet Valerie Villa

Name: Valerie Villa Meeting Coordinator, Flik Hospitality Conference Centers. The first concert I went to was: Destiny’s Child (Pre-Beyonce) My favorite holiday is: Dia de los Muertos (November 1st and 2nd). This is a very ancient Mexican tradition where families and loved ones throw a party for their ancestors. An event filled with a lot

Hackathons – What are they and why you should care

A hackathon is an event that brings together a group of people for an in-depth experience over an extended period of time for the purpose of creating solutions, solving problems, or starting something new.

Meet Ashley Taber, New Chapter Administrator

Hello! My name is Ashley Taber. I’m a Cincinnati native and a Kansas City transplant as of 3 years ago. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and exploring all that Kansas City has to offer.

Heartland Helping Hands Program Overview

Heartland Helping Hands Program Duration: Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2019 Goal: Encourage and support the giveback efforts for PCMA Heartland Chapter Members and further grow the impact of the chapter in the community. Community Service: Service that a person performs for the benefit of his or her local community.   Opportunities that Earn Credit: Direct

Member Spotlight: Meet Luke Wiggins

Meet Heartland Chapter member Luke Wiggins, Meetings & Convention Sales Manager, Visit Rogers, Rogers in Northwest Arkansas.   My favorite holiday is: Thanksgiving hands down. Watching football and eating turkey is an unbeatable combo.    My favorite food is: Without a doubt steak.    My next dream trip is to: I’ve always wanted to go

4 Tips from a Past Chapter President

Here are four great tips from Liz Huston, one of our PCMA Heartland Chapter’s past presidents: Question: What are good questions to ask a fellow Chapter member when meeting her/him for the first time? Liz: Why did you join PCMA? What are you looking to gain out of being part of our Chapter? Is there

Member Spotlight: Meet Colleen Bay

Meet Heartland Chapter member Colleen Bay (National Rural Health Association and HelmsBriscoe Associate).   The first concert I went to was: New Orleans Jazz Festival.   My favorite holiday is: Halloween.   What you would be surprised to know about me: I can play the cello.   My favorite food is: French.   My next

Accepting Applications for Chapter Administrator

PCMA Heartland Chapter is seeking a new chapter administrator, effective immediately. This is a perfect position for a self-employed contractor or someone seeking a part-time position from home. Seeking a person located in the greater Kansas City area, ideally, as our larger chapter events are held here. Candidates who work in the meetings industry are

Scholarships Available for Convening Leaders

The PCMA Convening Leaders Scholarships financially supports up to two (2) meeting professionals or suppliers of the Heartland Chapter to attend PCMA’s Convening Leaders in San Francisco, CA, January 5-8, 2020. Application Deadline: August 27, 2019 Apply Now! Who is eligible? Up to two (2) Heartland Chapter Meeting Professional or Supplier members in good standing

Earning Your CMP Certification

The CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) credential is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education and a rigorous exam. According to recent industry research conducted by PCMA, meeting planners who hold the CMP earn (on average) more than $10,000 annually than their

Annual Golf Tournament

Thursday, September 12, Top Golf Overland Park Register Now! Plan now to attend this year’s Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, September 12 at Top Golf in Overland Park, KS. Helping to organize the event is Heartland Chapter member Bobby Riggins, Groups & Events Manager, Overland Chauffeured Services, Kansas City and Worldwide. “You do not have

Member Spotlight: Meet Maria Davis

Meet Heartland Chapter member Maria Davis, CMP and Director of Meetings and Partner Relations for Missouri REALTORS, Jefferson City, MO.   The first concert I went to was: Menudo in Manila (Philippines) since I was a fan of Ricky Martin back then.   My favorite holiday is: Valentine’s Day since I am a hopeless romantic.

PCMA EduCon Recap

PCMA’s EduCon Storytelling Theme Inspired This Year’s Chapter Scholarship Winner By: Taylor Abbate – Meetings Planner, American Public Works Association Let me start by saying I had a FABULOUS time at PCMA Educon 2019! (June 25-28 in Los Angeles, CA). I am so grateful to have received a scholarship from the PCMA Heartland Chapter to

Introducing the NEW Heartland Chapter Weekly Pulse

During my time on the board chapter emails and how we send them out has been a hot debate. Some say we do not send enough, some say we send too many, and some say they never read them because the subject does not apply to them. After research, more debate and lots of hard

2018 Lunch and Learn Recap

On October 24th, planners and suppliers traveled from Oklahoma City, Northwest Arkansas, and Tulsa to Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills for the 3rd Tulsa Lunch and Learn! After time to network, attendees enjoyed a lunch and panel discuss by some of Oklahoma top meeting professionals. Our moderator, Brian Ferrell, CMP, DMCP, CTA, Factor 110, facilitated a

KState Students Explore St. Louis

Over the weekend of November 2nd, students from the Kansas State hospitality program spent time in St. Louis exploring the city and touring several hospitality venues.Thanks to our Emerging Leaders Chair, Teresa Hellman, the students set up several tours and meetings with hospitality industry leaders. Their first stop was to Top Golf St. Louis where

Closing Words from 2018 President Kerry Kerr

When did you become involved in the PCMA Heartland Chapter and what made you want to join? I joined in 2011, after Belinda “B” Waldo finally convinced me to come to a couple of meetings. What was your favorite part/moment from being president? It gave me the opportunity to understand the workings at HQ and

State of the Industry Tackles Disruption

By: Eric Jacobson, Vice President, Media Development, Ascend Integrated Media LLC Last November, the Heartland Chapter hosted its annual State of the Industry event at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, and this year’s panel discussion focused on the topic of disruption. Moderating the panel and sharing his expertise was Michael Dominguez, Chief Sales Officer, MGM

Meet Scholarship Chair Blayr Bitler

By: Eric Jacobson, Ascend Integrated Media LLC Meet Heartland Chapter member Blayr Bitler, Event Coordinator at Garney Construction, Kansas City, MO, and Chair our Chapter’s Scholarships/Awards Committee My favorite food is: My all-time favorite food is stuffed crust pizza. It can have almost any topping, but it must have stuffed crust! My next dream trip

Meet Sponsorship Chair Melissa Abuel

By: Eric Jacobson, Ascend Integrated Media LLC Meet Heartland Chapter member Melissa Abuel, Manager of Conferences and Special Projects, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, Overland Park, and Co-Chair our Chapter’s Sponsorship Committee My favorite food is: French macarons. My next dream trip is to: I would love to see Charleston and visit the coast

2019 Committee Updates

SPONSORSHIP COMMITTEE: For more information on sponsorship for the Heartland Chapter, please contact David Kinney at or Melissa Abuel at COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE: Contact: Danielle Wright at If you are interested in joining the communications committee, please contact Danielle Wright. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for Chapter Updates and Events Facebook Twitter

Mark Your Calendars!

Compiled by: Danielle Wright, Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills Your program  and lunch and learn committees have been busy putting together events that are educational, social, and fun.  You don’t want to miss any of these upcoming events: March 7th – Social Impact Panel Luncheon –11:30 AM – 1:00 PM at Training Umbrella in Overland Park,

Get to Know Your 2019 President, Caitlin Arnold

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Technically I have been in the hospitality industry since college. I started out wanting to plan fundraising events, did 2 internships in college (one at a non-profit doing a fundraising event and one at my universities’ career center planning career fairs) and then after college worked at JDRF

Heartland Chapter 25th Anniversary Celebration

By: Danielle Wright, Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills 2019 is the Heartland Chapter’s 25th Anniversary! We will be celebrating this milestone at our Annual Officer Installation Dinner. Our 2019 25th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Officer Installation Dinner  will take place at the Hotel InterContinental Kansas City on the Country Club Plaza on February 7, 2019.

Meet New Heartland Chapter Administrator

Meet new Heartland Chapter Administrator Katherine Hughey.  Katherine Hughey has worked in non-profit development and association management for 11 years. Most recently, she has served as the Executive Officer for the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals. In addition to consulting with health-related associations, Katherine opened a fitness studio in February 2017. Phone: (816) 255-8779

E3: Educate, Engage, Experience

By: Danielle Wright, Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills In July 2018 we hosted the 2nd E3 Conference: Educate, Engage, Experience in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This three day conference was full of interactive educational sessions, networking events, and fun Tulsa tours. On Thursday, July 19th, Hyatt Regency Tulsa kicked off our conference with a welcome reception and