New Leadership Council All About Women When women make up the majority of membership in industry associations, it seems redundant to create a separate advocacy group exclusively for women. Not true, says Christine Duffy, president of Philadelphia-based McGettigan Partners, one of the largest meeting management companies in the business.

"Women are not in the majority in holding senior level positions," says Duffy, who recently established the Women's Meeting Industry Leaders Council. "At McGettigan, most of the executives are women, and I've been thinking about doing this for long enough," she says, taking a cue from other industries with similar groups such as Women in Film. "There's a disproportionate amount of men at the senior level," says Duffy, "and no one's disagreeing with me on that."

Duffy gathered some of her most high-powered colleagues, and the Council held its first meeting during Meeting Professionals International's World Congress in Los Angeles. One of Duffy's early conversations about establishing the Council was with MPI's President and CEO Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE, who pledged the organization's support.

"If you look at our industry," Duffy says, "there is no research on women, nothing to tell us what is the best segment for women, nothing on what are the best companies for women. And we want to recognize those companies who are walking their talk."

Duffy says the group won't be starting another association, but will look to existing industry groups such as MPI, Professional Convention Management Association, and American Society of Association Executives, to piggyback with educational tracks designed for women.

The Women's Meeting Industry Leaders Council was scheduled to meet in October. Among the 20 initial members are Charlotte St. Martin, executive vice president of Loews Hotels; and Dawn Penfold, president of Meetings Candidate Network, an executive search firm she created.

"This is not an us versus them, male-bashing thing," Duffy says. "It's about taking an opportunity and the responsibility to address issues and help women get those senior positions."

Leave it to a veteran event planner to write a soup-to-nuts book on how to do it right. Judy Allen, founder and president of Judy Allen Productions, whose clients include EMI Music Canada, Wyeth-Ayerst Canada Inc., and Marriott International, has put it all down in "Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide to Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events" (2000 Wiley & Sons, Canada).

Allen, a frequent speaker at meeting industry conferences, covers all bases from budgeting to site selection. "Tips" boxes (e.g., "When renting an item such as a chocolate fountain, remember to include the cost of trained personnel to run it.") are strategically placed throughout.

Planners will find Allen's appendices most useful - she includes sample cost sheets, payment schedules, and function sheets for meetings and incentive programs. Worksheets can be downloaded from the book's companion Web site (www.wiley.com/canada/event_planning/), where visitors can also find more information about Allen.

Jeffrey J. Maggerine, 32, sales manager for the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., was killed in an early morning one-car accident August 14 in Orlando in the midst of the American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting and just hours before he was to participate in a press conference announcing the convention center's expansion plans.

Maggerine, who was the architect of a 25-year contract between the convention center and Reed Expositions representing about $2 billion in future business for the facility and the community, worked at OCCC for six years. Before that, he was director of sales and marketing for the Oncenter, Onondaga County Convention Center, in Syracuse, N.Y.

A native of Leicester, N.Y., Maggerine received bachelor's degrees from Schiller International University in Strasbourg, France, and Niagara University. He also earned an MBA from Schiller International University in London. He was a member of the International Association for Exhibition Management, Association of Convention Management Executives, and ASAE. He was formerly a member of the Florida Society of Association Executives.

Maggerine is survived by a stepbrother, Joseph Maggerine, of Mount Morris, N.Y., and many cousins. His mother, Charlotte Isson Maggerine, and father, Joseph Maggerine, are both deceased. A funeral service for Maggerine was held on August 18, at St. Patrick's Church in Mount Morris, N.Y.