Chapter News

Tips, Advice and Memories From Our Long-time Chapter Members: Kathleen (Kitty) Ratcliffe

Impressively, our Heartland Chapter has 13 members who have belonged to the Chapter 20 or more years. Their contributions to our Chapter have been, and continue to be, invaluable. We benefit from their shared wisdom, experience and advice.

In today’s edition of The Pulse, we feature one of our 20-plus-years members, Kitty Ratcliffe.

Read on to learn about her favorite author, favorite movie, fondest Chapter memories, tips for young meeting professionals, and more!



Kathleen (Kitty) M. Ratcliffe


Explore St. Louis


I originally joined the PCMA Heartland Chapter because:

I moved back to the Heartland of America and my job at Explore St. Louis after many years away.


The committees I have served on during my 20-plus years as a member include: 

I’ve been a PCMA member since 1983, which pre-dates the Chapter system! When they were announced, I was on the founding group for the Chesapeake Chapter, as I was living and working in Baltimore at the time. I was an Executive Committee member, wrote the original bylaws, and served as the Secretary-Treasurer, before moving away. In the time that I’ve been back in the Heartland, my involvement with PCMA has been at the national level, Co-Chairing the Convening Leaders Content Committee for the Vancouver meeting, serving on a variety of other committees, and currently also as a member of the Board of the Future Working Group, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the international board.


My fondest memory during my many years as a Chapter member is:

We hosted the PCMA EduCon here in St. Louis in 2016, and had great fun working with Chapter leaders as the host chapter for a national PCMA audience. The most fun that we had was arrival day, which also was the massive Pride Parade, with a route that encircled the headquarter hotel.  The streets were filled with all the colors of the rainbow and the celebratory atmosphere made quite a welcoming party for our out of town guests!


My advice to a young professional embarking on their event planner/meetings business journey is:  

Volunteer; it’s a great way to develop your network, to learn skills that are outside your current job, will make you better at the job you do, and potentially builds lifelong friendships.


Other valuable resources beyond PCMA for meeting professionals include:

Read non-industry specific business articles and white papers, including the business news in national newspapers. They all provide you with a more well-rounded understanding of the economy and the business climate that your customers or your members operate within.


The biggest change in me as a professional since joining the Chapter is: 

I’ve learned to change with the industry as it evolves.


My favorite book author:

is a toss up between George RR Martin and JK Rowling, because: They each write spell-binding, unpredictable tales that pull the reader in to the life of the characters, and make you eager for the next installment.


The number of states in the U.S. I have visited: 

Oh, at least half. I’ve never kept a record. There are many still on my bucket list!


My favorite movie of all-time is:

This will tell you how weird I am…my favorite movie is called, The Secret of Roan Inish, a weird Irish movie that I just love. My family all make fun of it and me.


My next splurge purchase/treat is going to be:

Dinner with my Mom, who is still a precious gift (as long as she doesn’t start talking politics)!

heartlandpcmaorgTips, Advice and Memories From Our Long-time Chapter Members: Kathleen (Kitty) Ratcliffe