MPI itself is also going through some changes: In addition to the new CEO, who took over the reins from interim CEO Cindy D’Aoust, who now has resumed her original role as MPI COO, MPI recently appointed a new board of directors, led by a new chairman, Michael Dominguez, senior vice president of sales with MGM Resorts International. Dominguez vowed to redouble MPI’s efforts to be chapter-centric and work to ensure a more consistent experience across the organization’s chapters by providing better tools and templates on the local level. “The board’s job is to advise and consult, then get out of the way and let the staff and volunteers execute the strategy and mission,” he said, adding, “Boards sometimes forget about that last part.”

On the global front, also announced at the meeting was the appointment of Pierre Fernandez as MPI’s senior director of European operations. Fernandez’ background with the Four Seasons Resort Provence and Disneyland Paris Business Solutions, as well as his work helping to found the France-Switzerland MPI chapter, made him a good choice to lead European membership, chapter relations, sales, and strategic partnerships, said Van Deventer. Further afield, MPI also signed an official memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, that it would work with TCEB to increase the professionalism of meeting planners in Thailand. “The strategic importance of this partnership will positively influence the meetings and events industry in Thailand,” said Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB director of MICE Capabilities Department, after signing the MOU.

MPI’s WEC 2014 will be held August 2–5 in Minneapolis.