Chief Solution Strategist
MEETing Needs, LLC
Carolyn Browning, CMP, CMM began her career in the meetings industry on the corporate side handling customer events and sales meetings at both Sprint and GE Capital. Currently she speaks about meeting planning, leads prep classes for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Exam, facilitates meetings & retreats and supports client’s planning efforts for both their strategic and logistical needs.
Carolyn has presented at educational sessions and facilitated board retreats for MPI WestField and has also presented at other industry associations and local companies such as CSAE, CWBTA and The Scienomics Group (TSG). She recently conducted her first guest lecture for the Introduction to Hospitality class at Norwalk Community College (NCC).
Carolyn is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and recently earned her Certification in Meeting Management (CMM). She is a multiple-award winning member and two-term past president of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) WestField Chapter and a member of Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN) and the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).
Independent Meeting Planner/Professional Conference Management and Freelance Meetings/Travel Writer
Terry is an industry veteran with a resume that covers both international planning and incentive work as well as positions on the supplier side with hotels and theme parks. Among the first in the industry to become Certified, she also has a degree in hotel management, has served as a Founding Member and Two Term Past President of GOAMPI, and now is proud to be active with SPIN and serves as the monthly newsletter editor. Along the journey of planning and event production she has traveled the world and made it a lifelong mission to be a student of the universe, one lobby bar at a time.
Terry has two grown children, lives in Orlando with her husband and ‘it’s not my dog’, and these days in addition to planning, her by-line can often be seen on relevant articles in industry trade magazines. She advises industry newcomers that want to learn fast how to succeed in this business, “Make sure and sweat the small stuff!”
Hospitality Industry Consultant & Speaker, Content Curator for The Hive Network
Tracey Smith is a savvy, poised meeting manager with 20+ years’ experience in executing events that impact people’s lives. She's strategic, tactical and darn creative. She also has killer writing skills, and knows what her peers prefer to receive in your emails and proposals.
Meetings and events include corporate and association educational conferences, national sales meetings, lead-producing marketing events, interactive social events and charity fundraising events. She also launched the inaugural SPINCon in 2011, which won Event of the Year from Meetings: MN Hospitality Journal magazine.
Specialties: Marketing writing, event planning, strategic use of events for marketing, negotiating contracts, Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM)
SPIN and The Hive Network
In 2008, Shawna founded SPIN, the Senior Planners Industry Network, which is now the largest meetings & events association in the world that's strictly comprised of veteran planners.
In 2014, she founded The Hive Network, just for veteran suppliers. Customer-taught education? Imagine that. Shawna hopes it finally bridges the planner/supplier chasm.
In addition to running the networks, she loves to get out and speak to groups struggling to network better, build better meetings, understand customer behavior, learn social selling, and she even speaks on zombies (yes, you read that right). She trains sales organizations on how to understand what their prospects really want in order to let them past the moat & drawbridge. She also does a little travel writing to help destinations showcase themselves to planners.
President & Speaker
For twenty years Jill Harrington was a globally respected sales leader and executive within the meetings and incentive industry, (most notably CEO for Site International based in New York and managing director with Maritz Canada in Toronto.) She was cited by Successful Meetings magazine as one of the 10 women changing the industry and redefining power, and by Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine as one of the 10 women leading in their field.
Inducted into the Canadian Meetings & Incentive Industry Hall of Fame in 2012, Jill’s fresh thinking and extraordinary communication skills continue to contribute to the career success of generations of meeting industry professionals.
For the past 11 years she has spearheaded her own company, salesSHIFT, and has helped sales and service professionals from a wide range of industries shift the way they think and act, enabling them to drive stronger business results in highly competitive markets. She is a highly respected speaker, trainer and writer on the subject of sales effectiveness, and has spoken to rave reviews at industry conferences and corporate meetings on four continents. Jill currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Centre of Excellence in Sales Leadership at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto and she is an active member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.
Jill brings thought-provoking content, and a fresh perspective with an “insider’s understanding” of the business of meetings and incentives. She is determined that everyone who attends her webinar leaves motivated … and equipped to make positive change.
LJS Meeting Strategies
Larissa J. Schultz, CMP, MHA, has been actively involved in the meeting management industry for over 17 years. Her background and experience as a meeting planner includes working with corporations and associations planning both domestic and international conferences and meetings. Some of her former and current employers/clients include: ING Advisors Network, California Association of Realtors®, Academy of Country Music, One2One Network (BlissDom Events), International Council of Shopping Centers, ICANN, and Cetera Financial Group.
She has been an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) for over 17 years and currently sits on the Southern California Chapter Board of Directors as the 2013/2014 Immediate Past President. Larissa is also an adjunct professor at Glendale Community College teaching in the Hospitality and Tourism program.
During 2008, Larissa published TSA and Me: A Light-hearted Look at Travel Today which was nominated for an independent publishers award in 2009. She is also the author of two training guidebooks - Meeting Planning Basics: A Guide for Administrative Professionals (published in 2009) and Event Planning Basics: Meetings, Conferences, Conventions, Exhibitions and Special Events (published in 2010).
Hospitality Social Selling, LinkedIn Business Development Workshops
Valarie Sparks is the leading LinkedIn expert for the hospitality industry. She is known for her high-energy, high-content, get-to-the-ROI LinkedIn Social Selling Workshops.
Valarie's professional background includes 13 years in hotel management, from Marriott International to independent resort properties. She gained a reputation as a successful sales hunter who consistently exceeded hotel sales quotas through her usage of LinkedIn. She now owns a training company called Hospitality Social Selling in which she trains hospitality sales and meeting professionals how to maximize the functionality of LinkedIn a business development and continual client engagement tool. Additionally, she is a freelance blogger for the Cvent Hospitality Blog, one of the most widely read online publication by hospitality professionals.
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