A Time for Leadership and Reflection

From MPI's MeetDifferent 2010

I never thought that when I joined MPI I would one day be President-Elect for the MPI Northeastern New York Chapter. Although I may not have considered the possibility in the beginning, I did not ignore the “tap on the shoulder” when it came, so here we are three years later.

Was leadership a goal of yours when you first joined the Chapter?

I volunteered to be a part of the Communications Team when I first joined, because I wanted to be more involved than just a member.   Becoming a VP probably wasn’t the first thing on my mind, but as time went on – I thought, I could do this.  I could make a difference.  I wanted to have a voice, and being a part of the Board of Directors has given me that voice and improved my leadership skills.


VP of Communications & Marketing

In this role I was able to provide support and leadership to the board of directors and membership through many outlets, including newsletters, social media, and the chapter website.  My “job” was to keep the membership up to date on events and important industry information via the monthly newsletter.  I am particularly proud of the MPI NENY newsletter, as I have taken it to the next level as  an effective communications and marketing tool, recognized by our International association.

One of my favorite roles as VP of Communications was introducing the many facets of social media to the Board and Chapter. When it comes to social media, I created and maintained (and still do) the “Fan Page” for the MPI NENY Chapter on Facebook with event notices, photographs and other relevant industry information.  I also created and maintain a Twitter site for the Chapter as well as manage the LinkedIn MPI NENY Group Page.  These are all such great ways for a Chapter like ours to connect to our members!

Looking forward…


Effective July 1, 2010

To be nominated President-Elect was such an honor (and a shock)!  I am nervous and excited! But I am also confident that my solid team building and leadership skills as well as an ability to connect to other members within the Chapter will benefit everyone on the team.   Some would say that my easy going manner allows me to be accessible – someone that people can connect with and reach out to discuss issues and ideas.   An effective skill as a leader!

Obviously, I will continue my social media campaign and work closely with the Communications Team to ensure our members are getting the information they need!  I hope that my skills as a social media maven continue to bring new and exciting ways to market our Chapter.

What does the future hold?  I would love to improve the Chapter’s presence within the media as well as increase our membership numbers.  I believe our chapter, as it is still less than 200 members strong, struggles to get itself heard in the local media.  There is competition for our members from an association that has been around much longer.   But I believe we can offer our members a litany of things not available elsewhere.  And we can represent them more effectively with an International presence.   In addition, I must say it’s going to be an exciting year for  educational opportunities – our Education Committee has come up with some great ideas – stay tuned!

What advice would you give to a new member or any member who interested in getting involved in the chapter?

Don’t be shy!  MPI and your local Chapters are not a shy bunch!  If you are involved in the meetings industry – you better be an extrovert.  Walk up to others at events – introduce yourself – connect.

And finally…

You know as I review what I wrote, I see that I’ve listed off all the things I’ve accomplished or would like to accomplish.  And it sounds a little like a resume.  Which was not the point.  So I need to add a few thoughts.  Being a part of the Board (and a member of MPI) has been so much more meaningful to me than just a “to-do” list.  It has given me the opportunity to grow, professionally and personally.  As a VP, I was able to lead a committee – and surely without that committee our Chapter communications would not be as strong as it is today.  It is with such effective volunteers that outcomes are so positive.

I have made friends, not just business associates.    I feel proud; my opinion is not wasted, it is respected.  My ideas are thoughtfully considered; I am an important part of a team.

Our entire board is lucky to have such a well rounded team of volunteers.  It is this team that I am so looking forward to working with for the next three years as I transition into President-Elect, President and Outgoing President.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve!

One of my favorite quotes from the MPI Engage Blog regarding Leadership…

Don’t be afraid of taking on the challenge.  To be a Chapter Leader means you can have a hand in the direction your Chapter goes – you get to have a voice – so let yourself be heard!


4 thoughts on “A Time for Leadership and Reflection

  1. Vanessa,

    Congratulations on your election as President of the MPI NE NY chapter. That is absolutely awesome. I am sure you will do well.

    I remember clearly meeting you virtually this past February at the MPI Meet Different conference, and while we have not met f2f yet I know that day will come. I look forward to it.

    Keep up the great work, you are making a difference and helping to change the world!


    • Mike –

      Thanks so much for the compliments! I am really excited to take on this new role and I believe every member should volunteer on some level. I hope to connect with you again during MPI’s WEC event in July! And a F2F meeting is definitely in order.


    • Thanks Theresa! And it has been great to connect with you and others from International. Social media has been so beneficial to me as a board member and as a meeting planner! Looking forward to WEC!!

      I’m totally wearing a pin to WEC with my turkey leg photo!

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