Chapter News

Congratulations To 2022 Award Winners

At the Heartland Chapter’s February 2, 2023, Annual Awards & Installation Banquet, 2022 President Vicki Baker presented five awards.

“All of these awards acknowledge a meeting professional who excels in their contributions – professionally, personally, and in their community,” said Vicki. “These awards are presented annually to a member of PCMA Heartland Chapter and recognize their involvement, commitment and achievement in a given year.  Recipients are role models and exemplify professional excellence.”

Congratulations to our award winners:

Emerging Leader 

Melissa Whitaker

This person is a leader both in and outside the chapter. Whether it is serving on the Board, volunteering at her church or coaching her daughters’ softball teams, she represents herself with high morals and leadership qualities. She steps up and helps where-ever needed within the Chapter and offers great advice and direction for where we want our Chapter to go. 

Melissa: “The Emerging Leader Award means so much to me coming from this incredibly talented Chapter! It was even sweeter to share that surprise moment with my teenage daughters and introduce them to my professional community and friends.”

Distinguished Supplier Partner of the Year

Visit KC

This year we are honoring an entity instead of one person. This group has supported our Chapter for many years by supporting us with individual involvement and participating in all of our events and supporting our Chapter with an annual sponsorship each year even during the covid years. We are very appreciative of all that Visit KC does for our Chapter.

Debbie DeJulio on behalf of Visit KC: “Visit KC is honored to receive this award. It is special to be recognized by our industry colleagues. We have a long-standing relationship and connection to our Heartland Chapter, one that will continue for many years to come!”

Distinguished Meeting Professional of the Year

Sherie Howell

This person joined one of our committees this year and made an immediate impact on both the Communications Committee and our Chapter. She relaunched the Chapter’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages and posts to each week to help heighten Chapter visibility and to encourage stronger member engagement. She has really increased our Chapter’s social media presence. Within weeks of joining the committee, she brought increased strategy and planning for our Chapter’s newsletter and was an integral part of making both content and design improvements to the Chapter’s weekly newsletter, including a new logo for The Pulse

Sherie: “Winning an award was never the goal when I re-joined PCMA and signed up for the Communications Committee. I was more interested in working with dear colleagues and friends that I had missed collaborating with during my absence. Being empowered to make suggestions, ask questions, and suggest new ways of doing things was invigorating. Having the tools to work with such as the electronic newsletter, and social media platforms made it easier for me and is so much fun! 

It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized among fellow peers, mentors, and colleagues. PCMA has developed me as a person, employee, meeting planner and industry ambassador, and I can’t thank you all enough!”   

President’s Award 

Mary Ryan

This member has chaired one of our top events of the year for many years and does so with such ease.  She sets up committee meetings, contacts vendors, negotiates pricing, menus, markets the event and executes the event very successfully without anyone really knowing. She has been consistently involved in our Chapter for many years, even being President years ago. 

Mary: “I am still in shock about my award. We have so many dedicated and talented members in the Heartland Chapter. I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of the President’s Award this year.“  

Distinguished Member of the Year

Geralyn Krist

This person has been a tremendous asset to the Heartland Chapter. She is willing to lend a hand where- ever it is needed. She was integral in putting together the Emerging Leaders Experience in KC this fall and is a mentor to those students. She single-handedly planned all the events both years we’ve had the fall Emerging Leaders experience and have gotten students from multiple universities signed up as members and more importantly, get the students engaged with our Chapter. Her support in finding program locations has also helped the Sponsorship Committee. She also sat on a panel during the E3 Conference providing her expertise from the planner perspective.

Geralyn: “Winning the Distinguished Member of the Year Award means a lot to me. It tells me that I am working with a great team and that the work I do is valued and important. I don’t volunteer for the recognition but for the opportunity to help further careers in the hospitality industry and spending time with our emerging leaders.”

heartlandpcmaorgCongratulations To 2022 Award Winners