Chapter News

Fall Letter from 2021 President, Amy Brown

Happy Spring, PCMA Gulf States Members! I hope this finds you well and feeling optimistic. Vaccine rollouts are underway, successful GMID celebrations happened last week and hotels & destinations are beginning to see leisure and group travel increase. We’ve come a long way since this time last year!

Recap: Hotel Vin Networking Event

Gulf State Chapter members enjoyed meeting in person and networking with their colleagues as they gathered at the Hotel Vin last Thursday in Grapevine, Texas. Past chapter president Arron Brooks welcomed the attendees who were enjoying drinks and snacks provided by the hotel banquet team. Members and visitors were taken in small groups for tours

Successful F2F Meetings: What to Expect and How to Hybrid Panel Discussion

PCMA Gulf States Chapter celebrated its first face-to-face meeting in over 16 months as members gathered last Wednesday at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in downtown Fort Worth for fellowship and to listen to a panel discussion on what to expect in live and hybrid meetings. An on-line audience also participated in the one-and-a half-hour program

Virtual Bingo Happy Hour Recap

B-I-N-G-O led to F-U-N for over 50 players at PCMA Gulf State Chapter’s Virtual Bingo Happy Hour last Thursday. There were 15 individual winners of over $2,500 worth of prizes which included luxury hotel stays, sports event tickets, gift cards and much more.

Mind and Body Wellness Discussed

Mental health and sleep disorder seem to be at the top of many people’s challenges in the meeting and hospitality industry. These were two of the topics focused on by Dr. Taunya Kiefer during her talk, Mind & Body Wellness: Balancing it all in the “New Norm” at a recent PCMA Gulf States Chapter roundtable.

Recap: Bite-Sized Goal Setting in our New Reality

Feeling overwhelmed? Feel like your to-do list is just too much to tackle? Well, Sherron Washington, Founder and CEO of P3 Solution, shared some methods and solutions during her high-energy and entertaining presentation, Bite-Sized Goal Setting in our New Reality, last week with the PCMA Gulf States Chapter members. The “Lunch & Learn” session was

Letter from 2021 President, Amy Brown

Happy Spring, PCMA Gulf States Members! I hope this finds you well and feeling optimistic. Vaccine rollouts are underway, successful GMID celebrations happened last week and hotels & destinations are beginning to see leisure and group travel increase. We’ve come a long way since this time last year!

March Winner for Resume Review

Congratulations to PCMA Gulf States Chapter member Amy Simon of Dallas who is the March recipient of a free resume review as part of a contest for posting on the Gulf States Chapter social media platforms.

Recap: Crafting a Budget for Your Virtual Events

While many groups have already had their first taste of virtual meetings and many have had multiple shots at it, identifying the type of engagement you want for a specific meeting and then creating an accurate budget for that event can be challenging. Cindy Lo, CEO of Red Velvet, a full-service creative events agency based

Student Apprentice Program Opportunity

A New Collective Impact Approach Offers Inclusive Entry-Level Opportunities for the Meetings and Events Industry Our industry is committed to providing more job opportunities for all individuals. For those interested in pursuing a career in event planning or tradeshow management, an apprenticeship program may be your best first stop to gain hands-on experience working with

Recap: Contracting in a Post COVID World

Contracts with facilities and other vendors are usually the most intimidating part of a meeting planner’s job as it relates to selecting a location and event partners. These same contracts can be difficult for the facilities and vendors as well in working to making a meeting happen. “I really try and pride myself on building

Fireside Chat Recap: Building a Resume & LinkedIn Profile That Get Results

Trying to grab an employer’s attention in today’s world is daunting for most job seekers that’s why Gina Meier says she likes job candidates that make their resumes visually appealing. “I don’t necessarily mean pretty, but I mean something that’s sort of easy to read and gives me your professional background,” said the PCMA Director

Member Spotlight: Jason Ware

Meet Jason Ware, Vice President, Convention Housing Operations & Contracting When interacting with Jason Ware, one can’t miss his upbeat personality, his passions for many things in life and his overall enthusiasm. He is energized positivity personified. Ware has shared this exuberance with others during his over 20 years in the meeting industry and is

Gulf States Chapter First 2021 Roundtable Recap

Sharing Engagement Successes Shorter sessions, more breaks and chat games were just some of the virtual audience engagement successes Tracy Lake, CMP, shared with the Gulf States viewers at the chapter’s first roundtable of the year last week. Lake, Director of Events for FastSigns, is a veteran meeting planner and is known for her creative

Member Spotlight: Alicia Miller

Meet Alicia Miller, Director of Sales and Marketing at Courtyard & Residence Inn, Austin Coming from a family of teachers, educators and family service providers, Alicia Miller saw her future following a similar path as she entered college at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Miller, one of the new 2021 PCMA Gulf States Chapter

PCMA Gulf States Reception Kicks off 2021

Using their fingers and phones, participants in PCMA Gulf States Chapter’s first meeting in 2021 enjoyed guessing what each other was drawing as much as their own creation. This activity, along with chapter information and group discussions highlighted Tuesday’s on-line reception held in conjunction with the 2021 PCMA Convening Leaders Conference. New chapter president, Amy

Letter from 2021 President, Amy Brown

Happy New Year and CHEERS to 2021! I am honored to serve as your President, alongside a phenomenal Board, as we adjust to the changes in our industry and the world. Thank you to Arron Brooks, Immediate Past President for his leadership last year. We’ve all learned so much and as hard as it has

December Letter from the President

Greetings Gulf States PCMA Members, What a wild ride 2020 has been! Never would I have imagined what the year would have in store, for both our industry and Chapter. As I write my last letter as Chapter President, I’m excited for what we were able to accomplish, and what 2021 will bring. Although we

A Tasty Board Meeting: December Virtual Happy Hour Recap

Charcuterie boards are much more than meats and cheeses as on-line members learned when they took part in last week’s PCMA Gulf States Chapter Happy Hour which was highlighted by a presentation from Inspiration Catering of Arlington, Texas. The audience was treated to Inspiration Catering owners Kristene and Manny Toledo’s visual and descriptive solutions to

Approved: Gulf States 2021 Board of Directors

PCMA Gulf States Chapter has selected the listed individuals whom we believe have the skills, dedication, and integrity to provide outstanding leadership to our chapter during their term of office. The 2021 Gulf States Board of Directors is excited to lead the chapter to further success and provide our members with a great sense of

Gulf States 2021 Proposed Board of Directors

PCMA Gulf States Chapter has selected the listed individuals whom we believe have the skills, dedication, and integrity to provide outstanding leadership to our chapter during their term of office. Please be aware that as a member in good standing you have the right to challenge this slate as indicated in the chapter bylaws. If

September Program Provides Tips for Virtual Events

Start preparing early, have plenty of staff assigned to specific areas, and have a back-up plan were just some of the hot tips put forth by the Red Velvet team of Anna Gryglewska and Jason Sick when discussing executing virtual events last Wednesday during the PCMA Gulf States on-line program. Gryglewska and Sick, who have

Member Spotlight: Lori A. Carper

Meet Lori A. Carper, Director of Meetings and International, Houston Association of Realtors. Lori Carper is in her 22nd year working for the Houston Association of Realtors. She leads a team which is in charge of 20+ meetings a year, so when her in-person meetings came to a halt and she needed to learn how

August Program Provided Suggestions and Hope for the Meeting Industry

Be flexible. Be creative. Expand your knowledge. Show your value. These were just a few of the suggestions put forth by the expert panelists in the PCMA Gulf States Chapter August 27th program: Stay Calm and Make a Plan: Proving your Value and Adapting through Disruption. The program, hosted by Steven Foster, CMP of Foster+Fathom,

Member Spotlight: Leslie Petro, CMP

Meet Leslie Petro, CMP, Supervisor, People, Growth and Engagement with HORNE LLP. As an event supervisor for her firm, Leslie Petro really enjoys the meetings and conventions she helps plan both internally and externally. And then there is what she calls the “fun stuff.” This is the time of year that Petro gets to enjoy

Member Spotlight: Marla Roe

Meet Marla Roe, Executive Director, Visit Frisco If you will drive seven hours for a baseball game or a football game, you probably are a pretty big sports fan. Marla Roe is just that. Growing up in Brownsville, Roe would need to make that seven-hour, family road trip north to Houston if she wanted to

Member Spotlight: Sarah Kokernot, CEM, CMP

Meet Sarah Kokernot, CEM, CMP, Director of Meetings & Events for Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society. Sarah Kokernot hopes she will be lying on a nice, hot beach in Kawaii in December relaxing after successfully planning and executing a meeting on the Hawaiian island and reflecting on this wild, exhausting year. But for now,

Member Spotlight: Kimberly Castanuela

Meet Kimberly Castanuela, Senior Logistics Manager, for Vizient, Inc. Kimberly Castanuela has just finished an hour-and-a-half virtual meeting about clinical skills for her members and later today she will be heading into an internal meeting to discuss a digital platform for her company’s larger meetings that will go on-line later in the year. Such is

Member Spotlight: Elaine Williams

Meet Elaine Williams, Director of Sales at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans There is a pretty good chance that if you have ever planned a meeting at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans you have met Elaine Williams. If you haven’t, Williams wants to meet you. Williams, the

Member Spotlight: Brenda Teichroeb

Meet Brenda Teichroeb, Director of Sales and Catering, The RK Culinary Group at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. As San Antonio hits triple digits this week during the usual hot Texas summer, Brenda Teichroeb is right where she wants to be. Like they say, ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’

Member Spotlight: Geraldine Bordelon, CMP

Meet Geraldine Bordelon, CMP, Director of Destination Sales at Visit Baton Rouge. Visit Baton Rouge was feeling really good about 2020 when an event it had been preparing for some time was a huge success. “We had a great event, it was a tourism event in March. We worked on it for two years and

Member Spotlight: Dr. Tracy Ginsburg, Ed. D, CAE

Meet Dr. Tracy Ginsburg, Ed. D, CAE, Executive Director for the Texas Association of School Business Officials. Ever since Dr. Tracy Ginsburg went to her first Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) conference in El Paso, she has been a big believer in both the association and the conference environment. “I went to my

Member Spotlight: Amy Simon

Meet Amy Simon, Director of Events for AEG Presents at the Theater at Grand Prairie Social distancing and being apart from family and friends is tough enough for most people during this current environment, but for someone in the meeting planning industry, it is even more of a challenge since most everyone in this business

Member Spotlight: Melissa Ariate Jarvis

Meet Melissa Ariate Jarvis, Director, Scientific Conferences and Meetings Programming for the American Heart Association. When her hotel contacts and meeting planning colleagues find out Melissa Jarvis graduated from Cornell University, they just assume she majored in hospitality. Ranked No. 1 in 2019 rankings of schools producing hospitality management degrees, Cornell has long been

Member Spotlight – Tonya Farmer, CMP

Meet Tonya, Farmer, CMP, Meetings Director, International Association of Venue Managers When Tonya Farmer was ready to go back full-time into the meeting planning business after taking two and a half years off to raise her now four-year-old daughter, she found that the business wasn’t quite ready for her. “I had a lot of experience,

Member Spotlight – Karen Aytes

Karen Aytes has a dream of being a meeting planner. As a new member of PCMA and the Gulf States Chapter, Aytes has been taking the steps to hopefully one day work in the industry that she feels fulfills her natural traits of planning and making people happy. “I love planning things – meetings, weddings,

Member Spotlight – Jennifer Brown, CMP

Jennifer Brown is a student again. She is not back in school per se like her time as a Speech Communication major at University of California-Fresno or Fresno Pacific University where she received her Master of Arts in Organizational Development. No, this time Brown, like most everyone in the meetings world, is navigating the galaxy

Member Spotlight – Samantha Vogel

Feeding her creative juices and her zest for innovation, Samantha Vogel, CMP, loves her position at GameStop where she is able to utilize her talents to the fullest. Innovation, however, has had a whole new meaning in this COVID-19 world as this Sr. Manager of Meetings and Travel and her GameStop (the video game store

Recap of Gulf States November Lunch and Learn

Last week the chapter hosted our final in person education event for 2019 at Live! by Loews Arlington. A very special thank you to Visit Denver and the PCMA Education Foundation for making the luncheon possible. Our PCMA Best in Class Speaker, Sourabh Kothari, presented on Building on Neuroscience Princes for Storytelling. His presentation touched

Member Spotlight – Victor Fernandez

Member Name  Victor Fernandez 2020 Gulf States Board of Director at Large Current Position & Company Sales Executive – Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority The first concert I went to was? Ozzy & Motley Crue! What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Peanut Butter/Chocolate What would people be surprised to know about you?

Members On The Move

Join us in recognizing our new and renewing PCMA Gulf States Chapter members! Welcome to all the new and renewing members of the Gulf States Chapter this month: Katherine Putnam Patrick Espinoza Melanie Hoover Amy Tran Susan Booth Jennifer Gustafson Melissa Read Jason Purifoy Liz Polom Laura Garcia Kristina Elizondo Nathan Joel Kasselder Lisa Jackson

Win Big At The November Lunch & Learn

Attention Suppliers and Planners! Are you planning to attend the November Lunch and Learn? Bring a Supplier or Planner friend and be entered in a drawing for fabulous prizes! Suppliers who bring at least one Planner (PCMA member or nonmember) will be entered into the prize drawing. Planners attending with a Supplier (PCMA Member or